What better way to cool down on a hot Los Angeles summer day than by gazing at a large-scale landscape painting of a glacier? Well, there’s swimming of course. Or eating a Bomb Pop. Watching Batman Begins in a frigid theater. Surfing. Cold shower… All right, so maybe there are better ways of decreasing your body temperature than by looking at art, but the Hammer Museum is kept pretty cold and it’s still worth seeing Adam Cvijanovic’s Hammer Project. It’s an 80-by-20-foot depiction of an imaginary glacier, rendered in precise, scientifically accurate terms and mounted on the lobby wall at the UCLA Hammer Museum.

Evoking the Hudson River School and 19th century cycloramas, Cvijanovic’s room-sized installations – made of smaller Tyvek (FedEx shipping material) panels mounted side-by-side – “portray beautiful, yet charged natural scenes that challenge the seemingly sacred divisions between mass-produced and the unique, the decorative and the profound,” states the exhibit’s press release. (I should write here that I’m biased about the whole matter because I’m about to go on an Alaskan cruise and am so terrified of crashing into a glacier that I’m wearing water wings at all times and also bringing a big bag of salt to melt myself out of any chilling situation.)

Hmmm… salty thoughts of destroying this polar creation… could entropy be what this artist is going toward? Art historian Steven Vincent would say so, noting that “…Glacier is more than a natural history lecture: Cvijanovic codes within it a kind of tragic view of life… The hard facts of dissolution, of nonexistence, await the icebergs, as they do us all. And not only us, as the mighty glacier flows toward inevitable annihilation, so too does life in general, its energies winding down into the stasis of entropy. ‘All that is solid melts into air,’ Karl Marx said in another context; in the natural world suggested in Glacier, the air too will someday fade away.” Hopefully, that means this heat will one day fade away, too.

The UCLA Hammer Museum is located at 10899 Wilshire Blvd., in Westwood. Museum hours: Tue.-Wed. and Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-7 p.m., Thu. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Price: Admission is free as part of Hammer Summer through Sept. 4. Parking is $3 for the first three hours with museum validation. For more information, call (310) 443-7000 or visit www.hammer.ucla.edu.