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A traveling exhibition assembled by the Santa Barbara Museum of Art opened March 28 in the NEH Museum of Art at Utah State University. Titled "Turning the Tide: Early Los Angeles Modernists, 1920-1956," the show examines the work of 20 "pioneer" modern artists in Los Angeles.

According to museum director and chief curator Steven Rosen, the exhibition is one of the very first shows to concentrate on painting and sculpture produced in southern California prior to World War II.Twenty painters are represented in this exhibition. Their styles are loosely attached to European influences - surrealism, constructivism and synchromy.

The exhibit will continue through May 19. An opening reception is planned for Saturday, April 6, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The public is invited.

- Planning to take a trip to the East or West coasts? Here are some tempting exhibitions that might whet your appetite:

THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART (New York City) - The Fauve Landscape: Matisse, Derain, Braque and Their Circle, 1904-1908, through May 5; Five Years of Nineteenth-Century Acquisitions: European Sculpture and Decorative Arts, through June 30; opening April 10, Eugene Delacroix, through June 16.

THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART (New York City) - Liubov Po-pova, through April 23; British Photography from the Thatcher Years, through April 28; Art of the Forties, through April 30; Projects: Michael Craig-Martin, through April 23.

SOLOMON R. GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM (New York City) - The Thannhauser Collection: Masterpieces of Modern Art, through May 6. Opening April 10 - Kandinsky Watercolors.

NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART (Washington, D.C.) - Eva/Ave: Fiftieth Anniversary Gift Exhibition, through June 16; John Russell Pope: Architect of the National Gallery, through July 7; Eva/Ave, Woman in Renaissance and Baroque Prints, through April 28.

LOS ANGELES COUNTY MUSEUM OF ART - Picasso, Braque, Gris, Leger: Douglas Cooper Collecting Cubism, through April 28; Degenerate Art: The Fate of the Avant-Garde in Nazi Germany, through May 12; Why Artists Draw: Six Centuries of Master Drawings from the Collection, through April 28; Maurice Predergast, through April 21. Zenga: Brushstrokes of Enlightenment, through May 26.

SAN FRANCISCO MUSEUM OF MODERN ART - The Projected Image, through May 12; opening April 11 - Francesco Clemente: Three Worlds.

- The Utah Watercolor Society will hold its April meeting at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 3 in the Commission Chambers (north building) of the County Complex, 2100 S. State. Guest artist will be Richard Brown. He is currently illustrator for The Friend, a publication of the LDS Church.

- Lectures, workshops, classes.

Wednesday, April 3, noon, Salt Lake Art Center - Art-lunch tour by Jill Tucker. Topic: "Documenting the Permanent Collection."

Thursday, April 4, 7 p.m., Salt Lake Art Center. "The Mechanical Paradise," the first of the eight-part film series "Shock of the New." Other segments will follow on every Thursday evening through May 23.

Wednesday, April 10, Art-lunch tour by David W. Pursley. Topic: "Creation of an Installation."

Thursday, April 11, 7 p.m. Salt Lake Art Center, "The Shapes of Dissent, Dadaism" second of the eight-part series "Shock of the New."

Saturday, April 13, 10 a.m. to noon, Salt Lake Art Center. Workshop for children ages 7-13 taught by Tom Judd. Fee: $20. Pre-registration required. Call David Pursley at 328-4201 for details or to register.

- By Richard P. Christenson