L.A.’s backyard alternative to Miami’s Art Basel. Art that weaves together drawing and the election. And a look at historic images of American Indians. Plus: Surrealist fistfights, an important ’60s art gallery, and SoCal’s most important postwar artist. Here are nine exhibitions and events to check out in the coming week:
Art Basil LA. The art herd may be stampeding on the Miami art fairs to pick up some merch (and, quite possibly, a case of Zika), but the real cognoscenti head to Van Nuys for the second annual iteration of Art Basil, held in performance artist John Kilduff’s backyard — where a series of miniature booths feature work by more than 20 artists and galleries. (See my report from the debut event last year.) Naturally, there will be ironic drinking and air kissing. Sublime! Opens tonight with a VIP party at 6 p.m. and runs daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Sunday. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org for location, Van Nuys, artbasilla.tumblr.com.
Michael Lift, “Sidereal Lift,” at Craig Krull Gallery. In his latest solo exhibition at the gallery, the artist is exploring the Southern California landscape from above — featuring a series of prints that capture L.A. in ways that are geometric and a bit magical. Also on view will be Pamela Kendall Schiffer’s images of Yellowstone and Jeff Brouws’ stereoscopic images of an old copper mining pit in Montana. Opens at 5 p.m. Saturday. Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., B-3, Santa Monica, craigkrullygallery.com.
Jeffrey Vallance, “Now More Than Ever,” at Edward Cella Art & Architecture. An artist known for drawing from a wide array of media that brings together both painting and performance, Vallance’s latest exhibition takes on the election, among other subjects, in collages that feature political placards along with the artist’s expressive drawings. These are visceral assemblages that wryly comment on the nature of bureaucracy, corruption, politics and society — in ways that are way more fun than CNN. Through Dec. 31. 2754 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, edwardcella.com.
“Rediscovering Genius: The Works of Edward S. Curtis,” at the Depart Foundation. Curator Bruce Kapson has brought together a rare selection of important, historical works by the legendary photographer, known for chronicling North American Indian cultures during the early days of the 20th century, most famously in his expansive volume, “The North American Indian.” This includes original photography, as well as the artist’s little-seen and never published proofs and photogravure printing plates. Through Jan. 5. 9105 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, departfoundation.com.
“The Origin of Species,” at Noysky Projects. Touching on the theme of immigration, this group show at this relatively new gallery space in Hollywood presents the work of 10 immigrant artists dealing with issues related to identity, acceptance and discrimination. Through Saturday. 6727 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, noyskyprojects.com.
Philipp Kremer, at Nicodim Gallery. In the loose, spare brush strokes of the German artist, you are as liable to find a mournful figure in tears as you are the exuberant limbs of a pack of humans in the middle of an orgy. This is an artist who makes a lot out of a little bit of paint. Through Saturday. 571 S. Anderson St., Suite 2, Boyle Heights, nicodimgallery.com.
“China: Through the Lens of John Thomson,” at CSUN Art Galleries. In the late 19th century, photographer and travel writer John Thomson traveled through China, taking plenty of pictures along the way. These are now the subject of an exhibition that showcases his eye as an astute travel photographer. Through Dec. 10. Cal State University Northridge, 18111 Nordhoff Street, Northridge, csun.edu.
Jud Fine and Barbara McCarren, “AND/OR,” at the University Art Museum. A survey exhibition includes works old and new by the L.A.-based art-making couple. This features a number of pieces related to such topics as offshore banking and the nature of currency, and a new installation, “Continental Edge Dwellers (CED),” that explores the coast — that blurry line between land and water. It’s a good subject to marinate in at a time when California’s coast is subject to struggles over development. Through Dec. 11. Cal State Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach, web.csulb.edu/org/uam.
Betye Saar, “Black White,” at Roberts & Tilton. The grand dame of L.A. assemblage art (who is about to open a one-woman show at the Prada Foundation in Milan) is showing four decades’ worth of sculptures and wall pieces in the gallery’s project space — transformed to reflect both the colors and politics of black and white. Also on view will be the abstract paintings of Evan Nesbit. Through Dec. 17. 5801 Washington Blvd., Culver City, robertsandtilton.com.
“Carlos Rolón/Dzine and Enoc Perez,” at Chimento Contemporary. Rolón, better known as Dzine, and Perez have teamed up for a show that explores immigration, aspiration and identity (partly inspired by the artists’ shared roots in Puerto Rico). Perez has created a series of small oil paintings that depict ideas of home; Rolón has created the frames — out of reclaimed wood and other bits of ephemera that confer notions of American-ness. Through Dec. 17. 622 S. Anderson St., Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, chimentocontemporary.net.
“Thomas Hirschhorn: Stand-alone,” at the Mistake Room. In his first solo installation in L.A., the Swiss artist has transformed the gallery into a chaotic, immersive environment crafted from cardboard, old armchairs and sofas and stocked with a carefully chosen selection of books. The artist is known for re-conceiving the idea of monuments into often humbly crafted installations (think: duct tape) that require the participation of a viewer to complete. Through Dec. 17. 1811 E. 20th St., downtown Los Angeles, tmr.la.
“Sleep,” “David Adamo: Untitled” and “Devin Farrand: Heft,” at Ibid Gallery. The gallery debuts its new space in Boyle Heights this weekend with several new exhibitions, including a group show that riffs on the idea of sleep, as well as a pair of solos devoted to the work of sculptor David Adamo and the abstractions of Devin Farrand. Through Oct. 29. Adamo’s exhibition and “Sleep” are on view through Dec. 17. 670 S. Anderson St., Boyle Heights, ibidgallery.com.
Paul Sietsema, at Matthew Marks Gallery. The artist’s first solo exhibition in L.A. in more than a dozen years includes new paintings and drawings, as well as two recent films. The show is partly built around the color green, featuring one work of pure abstraction and another made with euro banknotes. The film “Abstract composition,” in the meantime, animates phrases from online auction sites. Through Dec. 23. 1062 N. Orange Grove, West Hollywood, matthewmarks.com.
“25th Anniversary Show,” at Kopeikin Gallery. Over the last 25 years, the Culver City gallery has staged more than 200 exhibitions of photography featuring work by masters such as Helen Levitt and Sally Mann. This exhibition gathers images by those important figures as well as many contemporary ones. Through Dec. 23. 2766 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, kopeikingallery.com.
Lena Daly, “Night Bell,” at Various Small Fires. It is the debut solo show for the Los Angeles artist, who makes installations that involve sculpture and video — all with the phosphorescent cast of a nightclub bathroom. Through Dec. 23. 812 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood, vsf.la.
Wolfgang Tillmans, at Regen Projects. The German photographer, renowned for a varied photography practice that spans still life, people and forces of nature, is having his seventh exhibition at Regen with a gathering of new and old works. This includes images from his “Freischwimmer/Greifbar” series, abstract pieces that are the result of light exposed onto color photographic paper. Through Dec. 23. 6750 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, regenprojects.com.
Maria Lassnig, “A Painting Survey, 1950-2007,” at Hauser Wirth & Schimmel. This is the first Los Angeles solo exhibition for the late Austrian artist, known for her inventively weird figurative paintings. The show traces the artist’s journey over a nearly six-decade period, from her early abstractions to the mildly distorted, even cartoonish, paintings of people and settings that are more about capturing psychological states of being than rendering exact figures. Through Dec. 31. 901 E. 3rd St., downtown Los Angeles, hauserwirthschimmel.com.
Isa Genzken, “I Love Michael Asher,” at Hauser Wirth & Schimmel. This is the German artist’s first solo exhibition in California — featuring a new body of work (teetering assemblages crafted from bits of architectural and other detritus). It also pays tribute to an artist by whom she was moved and inspired: California-born conceptualist Michael Asher, who was known for architectural interventions that reconfigured physical and social ideas of space. The gallery also has a traveling exhibition titled “Schwitters Miró Arp,” that brings together works by renowned European Dadaists Kurt Schwitters, Joan Miró and Hans Arp. Sounds pretty boss. Through Dec. 31. 901 E. Third St., downtown Los Angeles, hauserwirthschimmel.com.
“MOLAA at Twenty: 1996-2016,” at the Museum of Latin American Art. The Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach is celebrating two decades in existence with a show that draws from the museum’s permanent collection of more than 1,600 objects. These include works by renowned Modernists Joaqíun Torres-García and Wifredo Lam, Argentine conceptualist Len Ferrari as well as contemporary figures such as Alexandre Arrechea and Patssi Valdez. Through Jan. 1. 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach, molaa.org.
“The Art of Alchemy,” at the Getty Museum. An exhibition at the Getty examines the art of alchemy — an area of study described as “science tinged with spirituality and infused with a spritz of artistic spirit” — dating from its origins in Greco-Roman antiquity to the Industrial Age. Alchemy was also closely tied to the production of pigments and colored inks, serving an important role in the production of art. That’s the subject of the related show: “The Alchemy of Color on Medieval Manuscripts,” takes on. Through Jan. 1. Getty Center, 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood, Los Angeles, getty.edu.
“The Serial Impulse at Gemini G.E.L.,” at LACMA. Over the course of five decades, the innovative Los Angeles print studio has produced historic limited edition works for renowned artists such as Richard Serra, Claes Oldenburg, Vija Celmins, David Hockney and Robert Rauschenberg. Now the museum, in conjunction with the National Gallery of Art, brings together some of the most exquisite examples of work produced at the famed West Hollywood shop, including Rauschenberg’s 1967 print, “Booster,” a 6-foot-tall print that in its day was the largest art print ever made. Do not miss Oldenburg’s pieces, which ruminate on the nature of Los Angeles. Through Jan. 2. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, lacma.org.
Jay DeFeo, “Paintings on Paper, 1986-1987,” at Marc Selwyn Fine Art. Over a four-decade career, the Bay Area-based artist was known for a diverse range of stark abstract works that included paintings, collages and monumental wall sculpture. This show at Selwyn gathers drawings from her “Samurai” series, paintings on heavy paper that were influenced by the artist’s 1985 trip to Japan, as well as an exhibition of Japanese helmets. Through Jan. 7. 9953 S. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, marcselwynfineart.com.
“S/Election,” at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery.Because too much election is never enough, the L.A. Municipal Art Gallery has put together a broad group show that examines issues of citizenship, identity, immigration and criminal justice. The show includes work by such socially and politically minded artists such as Jennifer Moon, Charles Gaines, Olga Koumoundouros and Rubén Ortiz-Torres. Through Jan. 8. 4800 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, lamag.org.
“The Drawing Show,” at the A+D Architecture and Design Museum. A new exhibition gathers drawings by architects who use the medium as an exploratory tool in their design practices. This includes images that channel everything from geometric abstraction to the weirdly biomorphic. Architects featured include figures such as Pritzker Prize-winner Thom Mayne, as well as Kyle Miller, Anthony Morey and Bryan Cantley. Through Jan. 8. 900 E. Fourth St., downtown Los Angeles, aplusd.org.
Doug Aitken, “Electric Earth,” at the Museum of Contemporary Art. The L.A. artist’s first North American museum survey features an array of collage, photographic and video installation works from throughout his career — including the cinematic “Song 1,” from 2012, screening on a massive circular screen, and “Electric Earth,” the 1999 video installation that earned him the International Prize at the Venice Biennale. Through Jan. 15. Geffen Contemporary, 152 N. Central Ave., downtown Los Angeles, moca.org.
“Truc Anh: Vacuphilia,” at Varola. The first exhibition by the Vietnamese-French artist features paintings and installations that feature bodies and body parts inhabiting an abstracted world of black and white. Through Jan. 20. Pacific Design Center, 8687 Melrose Ave., Ste. B256, West Hollywood, helenvarola.com.
Beatriz Cortez, “Nomad World,” at the Vincent Price Art Museum.The L.A.-based artist and cultural critic has transformed the gallery space at the museum into an arcade that picks apart global capitalism. A fortune-telling booth, a pinball machine and a jukebox have been pulled apart and put back together, in ways that grapple with issues such as migration, economics and identity. Through Jan. 28. East Los Angeles College, 1301 Cesar Chavez Ave., Monterey Park, vincentpriceartmuseum.org.
“Virgin of Guadalupe: Images in Colonial Mexico,” at the Bowers Museum. This exhibition looks at the extraordinary impact of the Virgin of Guadalupe on Mexican culture, history and iconography through more than 60 artworks, including objects from the virgin’s basilica in Mexico City, as well as a sacred reliquary that contains a portion of the garment worn by Juan Diego, the indigenous peasant who first saw the virgin in an apparition. Through Jan. 29. 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana, bowers.org
Nkame: A Retrospective of Cuban Printmaker Belkis Ayón, at the Fowler Museum. The Cuban visual artist was known for powerful pieces inspired by the visual iconography of the founding myths of Abakúa, an Afro-Cuban fraternal society. Over her short life (she died at age 32 in 1999), she produced a voluminous number of prints and collages in shades of black and white that convey scenes that are both magical and enigmatic. Through Feb. 12. UCLA, 308 Charles Young Drive North, Westwood, Los Angeles, fowler.ucla.edu.
“Ease of Fiction,” at the California African American Museum. The museum has launched a new slate of shows. This includes “Ease of Fiction,” a group exhibition that features work by four African artists exploring the fine line between the invented and the real and the debut museum exhibition of Los Angeles artist Genevieve Gagnard, whose photographs question notions of blackness and whiteness. There is also a beguiling room-sized installation by Hank Willis Thomas that recasts the symbols of the Confederate flag in the colors of black nationalism — and projects them in tune with a soundtrack of spoken-word audio. Through Feb. 19. 600 State Dr., Exposition Park, Los Angeles, caamuseum.org.
Toba Khedoori, at the L.A. County Museum of Art. This is the first major museum survey of the L.A.-based artist, known for her painstaking draftsmanship and enigmatic drawings and paintings. Her works often feature architectural elements, landscape, smoke and flame in ways that play with negative space and toy with meaning. Through March 19. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, lacma.org.
“Non Fiction,” at the Underground Museum. An emotionally charged exhibition curated by the late Noah Davis in collaboration with the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles brings together works that explore issues of race and violence. This includes important works from MOCA’s permanent collection by artists such as Robert Gober, Kara Walker, Henry Taylor and David Hammons. Through March. 3508 W. Washington Blvd., Arlington Heights, Los Angeles, theunderground-museum.org.
Loris Gréaud, “Sculpt,” at the L.A. County Museum of Art. The entire theater has been taken over by the European artist for a film that screens to only one person at a time. The nonlinear picture follows “a man about whom we know very little, who seems to be constantly developing the concept of what experiencing beauty, thought, or obsession can be,” according the write-up. Times critic Christopher Knight describes it as “pretentious and uninvolving.” A good hate-watch, maybe? On view through a yet to be determined date. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, lacma.org.