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Datebook: The city abstracted at CAAM, an architectural film festival and meditating at the museum

Datebook: The city abstracted at CAAM, an architectural film festival and meditating at the museum
"Skateboard Movement," 2014, by Eric Mack, in "Charting the Terrain" at the California African American Museum. (Erick Mack / CAAM)

Abstraction inspired by landscapes — physical and historical. A film festival devoted to design. And an L.A. artist’s involving environment in downtown. Here are exhibitions and events (including an artist-led meditation) to check out in the coming week:

“Charting the Terrain: Eric Mack and Pamela Smith Hudson” at the California African American Museum. A pair of artists explore aspects of Western landscape through abstraction. In his work, Mack creates intricate compositions that echo aspects of movement and the urban grid, while Hudson’s works evoke the topographic — mapping devastation and rejuvenation. Opens March 14 and runs through Sept. 9. 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, Los Angeles, caamuseum.org.

Architecture & Design Film Festival at Los Angeles Theatre Center. This international festival is landing in Los Angeles and will be screening almost three dozen films — both shorts and feature length — that explore aspects of architecture and urban design. This includes a documentary on an Australian educational building by Frank Gehry (“Getting Gehry”), a look at the life of New Orleans-born Modernist Albert C. Ledner (“Designing Life”) and a look at the life and work of Pedro Guerrero, the photographer who chronicled Frank Lloyd Wright’s work and others. Plus, films such as “The Future of Cities” examines the challenges facing our growing urban centers. Kicks off March 14 and runs through March 18. 514 S. Spring St., downtown Los Angeles, adfilmfest.com.

Pedro Guerrero
A stabile by Alexander Calder as photographed by architectural photographer Pedro Guerrero. Paradigm Productions

Lauren Halsey, “we still here, there” at the Museum of Contemporary Art. The artist has taken up residence at the museum’s Grand Avenue location, where she is building a fantastical immersive environment that will evolve over time. Through Sept. 3. MOCA Grand Avenue, 250 S. Grand Ave., downtown Los Angeles, moca.org.

“Quiet Morning: Art x Mindfulness @ MOCA.” Since we’re on the subject of MOCA: Conceptual artist Norberto Rodriguez, who once created a coffin-like installation at a small apartment gallery in Arlington Heights, is leading a group meditation session at the museum’s Little Tokyo location, currently occupied by an installation by Adrián Villar Rojas. Get ready to be in the moment. 10 a.m. Saturday; doors open 9:30 a.m. MOCA Geffen Contemporary, 12 N. Central Ave., Little Tokyo, moca.org.

Luchita Hurtado, in conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery. The Venezuelan-born artist has long moved easily among groups of artists in the U.S. and Latin America, producing paintings that dip both into abstraction and the surreal. The artist, who is part of the lineup at the upcoming Made in L.A. biennial at the Hammer Museum, will discuss her life and her work with the Swiss curator. 1 p.m. Sunday. RSVP required at rsvp@foryourart.com. 4800 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, parkviewparkview.com. (Additional information is available here.)

Shinique Smith, “Refuge,” at California African American Museum. The multimedia artist is known for her bulbous assemblages crafted from old clothing and fabric, which she twists and ties and suspends from gallery ceilings and walls. Her paintings echo these bound and squeezed forms. Her first solo show at CAAM brings together works that evoke questions of homelessness and itinerancy. Opens March 14 and runs through Sept. 9. 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, Los Angeles, caamuseum.org.

Shinique Smith
"Sometimes I Wonder," 2016, by Shinique Smith, at the California African American Museum. Shinique Smith

LAST CHANCE

Edgar Heap of Birds, “Do Not Dance for Pay,” at Garis & Hahn. The Oklahoma-based Heap of Birds is an artist who finds meaning in text: creating signage and collaged installations that riff on history, the environment and social phenomena in ways that are pointed yet humorous. This includes an installation that quotes lyrics from American Indian songs (he is Cheyenne and Arapaho) and another that tackles questions of Indian subjugation. Also on view are abstract paintings that are inspired by environments he visits — as well as sculptures, created in collaboration with a Tongva elder, that evoke indigenous place names around Southern California. Through Saturday. 1820 Industrial St., downtown Los Angeles, garisandhahn.com.

Marty Schnapf, “Fissures in the Fold,” and Maria Lynch, “Black Over White,” at Wilding Cran Gallery. A pair of new shows includes an exhibition of new paintings by Schnapf, featuring his surreal and contorted figures inhabiting and slipping into landscapes of color and shape, and Lynch’s new graphite-on-paper drawings, which often serve as starting points for bright paintings. Through Saturday. 939 S. Santa Fe Ave., downtown Los Angeles, wildingcran.com.

Marty Schnapf
"At the Midnight Hour," by Marty Schnapf at Wilding Cran in downtown Los Angeles. Marty Schnapf / Wilding Cran

Kota Ezawa, “The Crime of Art (Hollywood Edition),” at Christopher Grimes Gallery. The exhibition centers on a new multi-channel animated film titled “The Crime of Art,” in which Ezawa re-creates scenes from famous art heist films, including “The Thomas Crown Affair” and “How to Steal a Million.” Also on view will be light-box works inspired by stolen works of art, such as Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” and Gustav Klimt’s “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer.” Through Saturday. 916 Colorado Ave., Santa Monica, cgrimes.com.

Nathan Vincent, “Let’s Play War,” at Noysky Projects. An immersive installation turns childhood toys — plastic army men — into a series of large, child-sized sculptures made out of crochet: objects of violence rendered in materials generally reserved for things domestic. Through Saturday. 6727 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, noyskyprojects.com.

“Circles and Circuits: Chinese Caribbean Art,” at the Chinese American Museum. Latin American identity is often identified with the concept of the mestizo, the hybrid indigenous-Spanish culture that has predominated in large parts of Latin America. But the Asian contribution has been key to the development of culture, food and industry. A two-part exhibition showcased work at the Chinese American Museum and the California African American Museum. The latter has closed, but the former remains open for a few more days — featuring works by artists from all over the Caribbean. Through Sunday. 425 N. Los Angeles St., downtown Los Angeles, camla.org.

Katarina Wong
"Lechon (Lotus Field)," by Katarina Wong in "Circles and Circuits." Katarina Wong

Linda Vallejo, “The Brown Oscar,” at Mezz Gallery. The Mezz Gallery, in collaboration with bG Gallery, is presenting the latest body of work from Vallejo’s “Brown Oscars” series — putting a spotlight on the absence of Latinos in Hollywood. The painter frequently renders iconic Hollywood Oscar recipients in brown paint, creating a world in which Hollywood is absolutely and resolutely brown. Through Monday. Montalbán Theatre, 1615 Vine St., Hollywood, santamonica.bgartdealings.com.

“¡Murales Rebeldes! L.A. Chicana/o Murals Under Siege,” at La Plaza. A historical exhibition looks at a history of Chicano muralism in Southern California through the works that have been censored and destroyed. This includes documentation of important works by iconic SoCal muralists such as Barbara Carrasco, Yreina D. Cervántez, Willie Herrón III (of Asco fame), Roberto Chavez and the collective known as the East Los Streetscapers (David Botello, Wayne Alaniz Healy and George Yepes). Through Monday. 501 N. Main St., downtown Los Angeles, lapca.org.

East Los Streetscapers
The East Los Streetscapers — Wayne Alaniz Healy, David Botello and George Yepes — in 1980. East Los Streetscapers

“Praxis Studio,” at the University Art Gallery at Cal State Dominguez Hills. Organized by Leonardo Bravo, of Big City Forum, this group show features work by five Los Angeles artists — EJ Hill, Mario Ybarra Jr., Ana Llorente, Hazel Mandujano and Juan Capistran — who regularly employ community engagement as part of their work. For the show, the artists engaged public school students from South Los Angeles communities as part of residencies funded in part by the California Arts Council. Through Wednesday. 1000 E. Victoria St., Carson, cah.csudh.edu.

ONGOING

Liza Ryan, “Antarctica,” at Kayne Griffin Corcoran. Ryan has explored Antarctica on foot and by kayak. In this new series of works, she attempts to convey the continent’s subtleties and its vastness in photographs onto which she traces elements of the landscape with charcoal, ink and graphite — pictures that are taken as much as they are drawn. Through March 17. 1201 S. La Brea Ave., mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, kaynegriffincorcoran.com.

Pascual Sisto, “Inside Out,” at Five Car Garage. The New York-based artist and filmmaker takes over this garage gallery with a large-scale four-channel video that also includes elements of audio and synchronized lighting. The images are inspired by the linked nature of web browsing, in which one image or idea leads to the next and down an unending rabbit hole. And they are harvested from a range of sources — including the internet and the artist’s own video archive. The work evolves over the course of the exhibition, as new elements are added. Through March 17. The gallery is located in a private home in Santa Monica; open noon to 4 p.m. Thursdays and 2 to 4 p.m. Saturdays, email for directions, emmagrayhq.com.

John Duncan at Nicodim. When Duncan lived in L.A. in the ’70s, he was known for staging actions that were (to put it delicately) abject and raw, such as shooting at a pair of friends with a pistol loaded with blanks. Another infamous action involved a cadaver and a vasectomy. This show includes an installation titled “Rage Room” that, with its bloody walls and smashed furniture, serves as tribute to, well, rage. Through March 17. 571 S. Anderson St., Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, nicodimgallery.com.

John Duncan
Controversial artist John Duncan has an installation on view at Nicodim in Los Angeles. Nicodim

“New Threads: Perspectives in Contemporary Fiber Art,” at the Laband Art Gallery. A contemporary textiles show features work by more than 15 artists — from the region and the world — all reflecting on issues of technology, the body and the reframing of traditional forms in contemporary ways. Through March 17. Loyola Marymount University, 1 LMU Drive, cfa.lmu.edu/labandgallery.

“Painted in Mexico, 1700-1790: Pinxit Mexici,” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. This groundbreaking exhibition gathers more than 100 paintings created in Mexico over the course of the 18th century — many on view for the first time. The exhibition, organized by LACMA and the Fomento Cultural Banamex in Mexico City, and part of PST: LA/LA, looks at the paths that Mexican painting was taking in the third century after colonization — influenced by transatlantic trade, but also developing a voice of its own. The period saw a rise in the creation of mural-size works to decorate churches, as well as a boon in the region’s singular casta paintings, which documented the racial types of the booming colony. The works range from the pastoral to the wondrously bizarre. Don’t miss the puzzling allegorical canvas that shows the continent of America in the company of ancient rulers Moctezuma and Atahualpa. Through March 18. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, lacma.org.

“Soul Recordings,” at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles. A group exhibition featuring works by artists such as Lisa C. Soto, Deborah Roberts, Caitlin Cherry and Lex Brown shines a spotlight on our state of political unease. This includes work that examines neocolonial architecture, painting that toys with the nature of stereotype and textile work that takes on issues of gender. Accompanying the exhibition is an essay written by independent curator Jill Moniz, who organized the very compelling show of sculpture by African American female artists at the Landing last year. Through March 24. 2685 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, luisdejesus.com.

Esmaa Mohamoud, “THREE-PEAT,” at Ltd. Los Angeles. The African Canadian artist employs a variety of media to look at the intersection of race, gender and sports. This includes creating an installation out of 60 concrete basketballs and photographs of men wearing ball gowns inspired by team jerseys. It continues a theme she recently touched on at an exhibition at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Through March 24. 1119 S. La Brea Ave., mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, ltdlosangeles.com.

“Between Post and Pre: Hilbertraum at Durden and Ray,” at Durden and Ray. A new group show featuring work by more than a dozen artists looks at the act of art making in a world in flux — with works that operate like individual “reality islands.” Through March 31. 1923 S. Santa Fe Ave., downtown Los Angeles, durdenandray.com.

Arthur Cohen
"Bull With Pink," 2015, by Arthur Cohen, at Durden and Ray. Arthur Cohen

Vija Celmins,” at Matthew Marks Gallery. This show gathers more than 20 works produced over the last four years by the artist, as well as the first exhibition of Celmin’s new work in L.A. in more than 40 years. This includes a large painting of a night sky in reverse — featuring dark stars on a light sky — and a close-up painting of cracks on a plate that becomes a pattern of lines and color. Expect work that invites introspection. Through March 31. 1062 N. Orange Grove Ave., West Hollywood, matthewmarks.com.

Sheridan Lowrey, “Bulky Item/Curb Alert,” at Cornelius Projects. The artist records the myriad castoffs that appear on San Pedro streets — bit of private lives that end up in public space. Through March 31. 1417 S. Pacific Ave., San Pedro, corneliusprojects.com.

Herakut, “Herakut’s Rental Asylum,” at Corey Helford Gallery. The street art duo known as Herakut — Jasmin Siddiqui and Falk Lehmann — are known for the bold figurative murals they have placed in cities all over the world. This show gathers their work on canvas, combining photo-realist tendencies and the drips of street painting. Through March 31. 571 S. Anderson St., Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, coreyhelfordgallery.com.

“By the Lights of Their Eyes,” at Shulamit Nazarian. A group exhibition featuring the works of six artists plays on tropes of fantasy, mysticism and science fiction. This includes the work of London photographer Juno Calypso, who stages fictional scenarios in a setting reminiscent of a honeymoon suite, and San Francisco-based Katie Dorame, who creates paintings on movie stills that toy with American Indian roles in the history of film. Through March 31. 616 N. La Brea Ave., Hancock Park, Los Angeles, shulamitnazarian.com.

Juno Calypso
"Seaweed Wrap", 2015, by Juno Calypso — on view at Shulamit Nazarian. Juno Calypso

Mondongo, “What are we gonna say after HELLO?” at Track 16 Gallery. The Argentine collective, which recently had work on view in two Pacific Standard Time exhibitions, is known for creating wild vitrines and dioramas out of carefully assembled bits of detritus or Plasticine. These sculptural pieces — part painting, part three-dimensional object — often evoke dystopic fairy tales, with an acerbic eye toward social, political and economic issues. Through March 31. 1206 Maple Ave., No. 1005, downtown Los Angeles, track16.com.

“Found in Translation: Design in California and Mexico,” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. A groundbreaking exhibition looks at the points of connection in design — architectural, fashion, graphic and other — between California and Mexico from 1915 to 1985. It’s a thorough examination of how designers in the two locales combined local materials with an interest in pre-Columbian and colonial design, as well as folk and craft traditions, to create singular approaches to Modernism that also overlapped in countless ways. The exhibition includes a diverse range of objects, including dresses, political posters, architectural drawings, furnishings and a show-stopping late 19th century piano carved in a pre-Columbian style. Wowza! Through April 1. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, lacma.org.

Pontus Willfors, “Shop,” at Denk. The sculptor is known for his creative takes on mundane objects: cars and shopping carts crafted from wood, furnishings rendered in surreal ways, wood sculptures that are sculptures but also bits of tree. At Denk, he will present a series of new works. Through April 7. 749 E. Temple St., downtown Los Angeles, denkgallery.com.

“Patrick Martinez: America Is for Dreamers,” at the Vincent Price Art Museum. This is the artist’s first solo museum exhibition in Los Angeles, a figure whose work examines the city’s landscape (such as stucco walls, commercial neon, street signage) as much as the social forces that shape it (inequity and police violence). The show’s title toys with notions of the American dream, as well as the uncertain status of recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (known as DACA), the federal program that allows immigrants brought to the U.S. as children to remain in the country. Through April 7. East Los Angeles College, 1301 Cesar Chavez Ave., Monterey Park, vincentpriceartmuseum.org.

Los Angeles Landscape by Patrick Martinez
"Los Angeles Landscape 2 (Lincoln Heights to Venice)," by Patrick Martinez, from his solo show at the Vincent Price Art Museum. Patrick Martinez / Charlie James Gallery

Skip Arnold, “Truffle Hunt,” at the Institute of Contemporary Art Los Angeles. A video installation by Los Angeles-based Skip Arnold is centered on a film that followed Arnold, along with artists Jason Rhoades and Hans Weigand, on a journey to Europe in search of truffles. The show includes maps and other ephemera from their journey — as well as truffles that were smuggled back to L.A. by the artists. Through April 8. 1717 E. 7th St., downtown Los Angeles, theicala.org.

“Outcasts: Prejudice and Persecution in the Medieval World,” at the Getty Museum. An exhibition of medieval manuscripts looks at how the illustrations featured on their pages often revealed a range of era prejudices: against women, Jews, Muslims, blacks, homosexuals, the poor and the ill, who were often depicted in menacing or cartoonish ways. Also included are examples in which images were censored in the name of politics or morality. This one looks fascinating. Through April 8. 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood, Los Angeles, getty.edu.

“Liquid Love,” at Gas. Parked outside of the Pit gallery in Glendale will be this ambulatory gallery space featuring a group show that explores desire, love and affection — and the ways in which technology intersects with these needs. Artists in the show include Cara Benedetto, Kathy Cho and Angelo Washko. Through April 14. 918 Ruberta Ave., Glendale, gas.gallery.

Senga Nengudi, “Improvisational Gestures,” at the Fisher Museum of Art. An artist known as much for installation (wild webs of pantyhose that seem to strangle and pull) as she is for dance-inspired performances, Nengudi is the subject of a solo show at the museum that provides a comprehensive overview of her work — including formative years in Los Angeles. Through April 14. USC, 823 Exposition Blvd., Exposition Park, Los Angeles, fisher.usc.edu.

Yvette Gellis and Ty Pownall, “Liminal Spaces,” at Jason Vass. A two-person show features Gellis’ large mixed-media paintings that feature elements of the built environment, as well as sculptures by Pownall that are inspired by architecture and space. Through April 14. 1452 E. 6th St., downtown Los Angeles, jasonvass.com.

“Axé Bahia: The Power of Art in an Afro-Brazilian Metropolis,” at the Fowler Museum. Brazilian art has been well-represented throughout the Pacific Standard Time exhibitions around the region. This show looks specifically at what has been happening artistically since the 1940s in Bahia, the city that represents the heart of Afro-Brazilian culture. This features works by key Modernists, including Mário Cravo Neto and Rubem Valentim, as well as contemporary figures such as as Caetano Dias and Ayrson Heráclito — all represented in more than 100 works of sculpture, painting, photography, video and installation. Through April 15. UCLA, 308 Charles E. Young Drive North, Westwood, Los Angeles, fowler.ucla.edu.

Robert Irwin, “Site Determined,” at the University Art Museum. In 1975, Irwin installed a sculptural piece called “Window Wall” into a building on the Cal State Long Beach campus. The work, a frame of sorts, was embedded into the school’s architecture, and served as a space from which to contemplate the environment of the campus. That piece was a turning point in his career — and serves as a departure point for this exhibition, which examines four decades of the artist’s outdoor projects. Through April 15. Cal State Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach, csulb.edu/university-art-museum.

Norm Clasen, “Titled (Cowboy),” at M+B Photo. In the 1980s, conceptual artist Richard Prince became known for re-photographing images of Marlboro ads of cowboys at work. Clasen was the photographer who shot many of those original images. M+B surveys the photographer’s images of the American West. In a stab at appropriationist history, a portion of the profits will be donated to the APA (American Photographic Artists) to help support copyright defense. Through April 21. 1050 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood, mbphoto.com.

Norm Clasen
"Sunset Chase, Riverton, WY," 1985, by Norm Clasen, from an exhibition at M+B Photo. Norm Clasen

Harald Szeeman, “Grandfather: A Pioneer Like Us,” at the Institute of Contemporary Art Los Angeles. In the 1970s, celebrated curator Harald Szeeman organized the objects collected and created by his grandfather — a noted hairdresser — into an installation that he staged in his home. The show at the ICA LA features a re-creation of Szeeman’s show and materials from the Getty Research Institute, which holds the curator’s archive. Through April 22. 1717 E. 7th St., downtown Los Angeles, theicala.org.

Petra Cortright, “CAM WORLD,” at UTA Artist Space. The gallery has put together a large-scale survey of the L.A.-based artist’s video work that draws from the culture of surveillance and the internet. This includes pieces that dwell on the artist’s online presence and the ways in which the female body is rendered online. Through April 27. 670 S. Anderson St., Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, utaartistspace.com.

Katherine Sherwood, “The Interior of the Yelling Clinic,” at Walter Maciel Gallery. In her first show at the gallery, Sherwood is featuring works from her “Venuses” series — paintings that take the traditional female nude and alter her body in some visceral way. Her figures are depicted with an amputated limb, a leg brace or an artificial hand; for heads, they sport large scans of the artist’s brain. (Sherwood suffered a cerebral hemorrhage 20 years ago and had to switch painting hands.) These are figures that beguile and confront. Through April 28. 2461 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, waltermacielgallery.com.

“Cold War Spaces,” “The Russians” and “Vessel of Change” at the Wende Museum. The museum, an underrated Los Angeles gem preserving the art and history of the Cold War, is celebrating a move to new digs at the National Guard Armory in Culver City. The grand reopening is marked by the debut of three new exhibitions: “Cold War Spaces” looks at the design of public and private environments, borders and the objects sent into outer space by the U.S. and the Soviet Union. “The Russians” is based on a 1970s photo project by Nathaniel Farb that documented a diverse array of ordinary Russians, while “Vessel of Change” is a playful video piece by Bill Ferehawk and David Hartwell that reinterprets the historic Malta Summit between George H.W. Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev in 1989. Through April 29. 10808 Culver Blvd., Culver City, wendemuseum.org.

“Hammer Projects: Sam Falls” at the Hammer Museum. For the Hammer’s latest lobby project, the L.A.-based artist traveled to all 19 national forests in California. In these journeys, he gathered samples of the state’s vegetation, including Ponderosa pine trees and California buckwheat. He then dusted the samples with pigment, employing them as stencils of sorts, to create silhouettes of important state flora. Through April 29. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood, Los Angeles, hammer.ucla.edu.

John Ford, Samuel Fuller, George Stevens, “Filming the Camps: From Hollywood to Nuremberg,” at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust. Organized by the Mémorial de la Shoah in Paris, this exhibition looks at the vital work done by three key American filmmakers during World War II. Ford, Fuller and Stevens, in the employ of the U.S. Armed Forces and the Secret Services, filmed key aspects of the war — including the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps. The show includes film footage, personal letters, important ephemera and other rare objects and reflects on the way in which playing witness to Nazi atrocities shaped the worldview of these important directors. There could not be a more timely moment for this exhibition. Through April 30. 100 S. Grove Drive, Fairfax, Los Angeles, lamoth.org.

“Harald Szeemann: Museum of Obsessions,” at the Getty Research Institute. This exhibition explores the life, work and obsessions of the esteemed Swiss curator who helped redefine the profession. The show examines his early exhibitions and the ways in which he collaborated with avant-garde artists, the ways in which he turned curation into a global job, as well as his personal collections and obsessions. Through May 6. 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood, getty.edu.

Harald Szeeman
A poster for the exhibition "Der Hang zum Gesmtkunstwerk," organized by Harald Szeeman at Kunsthaus Zürich. Artists Rights Society / ProLitteris, Zurich

“Stories of Almost Everyone,” at the Hammer Museum. In the age of hyper-conceptual art, the story about the art often resides less in the object than in the stories that are told about it: the curator talks and wall text descriptions. This exhibition examines this very phenomenon — the curious oral history often generated by conceptual work and how those histories are passed on. Should be seriously brainy. Through May 6. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood, Los Angeles, hammer.ucla.edu.

“Melting Point: Movements in Contemporary Clay,” at the Craft & Folk Art Museum. This is the museum’s first biennial devoted to clay, featuring work by almost two dozen artists who are working with the material in innovative and unusual ways. Through May 6. Artist-in-residence Wayne Perry will be on-site making work at 1 p.m. Saturday and again on March 25, also at 1 p.m. 5814 Wilshire Blvd., mid-Wilshire, cafam.org.

“Robert Polidori: 20 Photographs of the Getty Museum, 1997” at the Getty Museum. The Getty has turned 20 (it can almost drink!), and to mark the occasion the museum is showing a portfolio of works created by Polidori prior to the museum’s opening in ’97. The photos, on view for the first time, caught the galleries in transition: art wrapped in crates, sculptures off pedestals, bits of packing material in decorative rooms. Through May 6. 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood, Los Angeles, getty.edu.

Adrián Villar Rojas, “The Theater of Disappearance,” at the Museum of Contemporary Art. The Argentine-born artist, known for installations that transform spaces — and often play on themes of the apocalyptic — is taking over MOCA’s Little Tokyo space with an installation that employs the architecture and technologies of Hollywood special effects to create an environment that responds to a “post-human world dominated by technology.” Through May 13. Geffen Contemporary, 152 N. Central Ave., downtown Los Angeles, moca.org.

“Muse: Mickalene Thomas,” and “tête-à-tête,” at Pomona College Museum of Art. This show explores two aspects of Thomas’ work: the muses that have inspired her work and the artists with whom she finds kinship. The first part gathers the artist’s photography of herself, her mother, her friends and lovers — images that inspire and serve as the basis of her work. The latter part features an installation curated by Thomas that features work by artists she finds inspiring, including figures such as Deana Lawson, Zanele Muholi and LaToya Ruby Frazier. Through May 13. 330 N. College Ave., Claremont, pomona.edu/museum.

Dora De Larios, “Other Worlds,” at the Main Museum. Over a long-running career, the Los Angeles-born ceramic artist created work that fused the modern with the Mexican and the Japanese. Now the downtown museum is inaugurating a new gallery space with a survey of the late artist’s work — De Larios died last month — bringing together whimsical sculpture, graceful dishware and the elegant plates she crafted especially for a White House lunch. Through May 13. 114 W. 4th St., downtown Los Angeles, themainmuseum.org.

Dora De Larios
Pieces from place settings created by Dora De Larios for a special White House luncheon honoring American craft in 1977. Bernard Judge

Rigo 23, “Ripples Become Waves,” at the Main Museum. This show by the L.A.-based artist Rigo 23 highlights the case of Leonard Peltier, a member of the American Indian Movement who received a life sentence in connection with the shooting deaths of two FBI agents in 1975. On view will be a sculpture of Peltier that the artist made for American University’s campus in 2017, a work that was subsequently (and controversially) removed. Through May 13. 114 W. 4th St., downtown Los Angeles, themainmuseum.org.

“Unspeakable: Atlas, Kruger, Walker,” at the Hammer Museum. The museum has installed videos by three artists — Charles Atlas, Barbara Kruger and Kara Walker — known for the ways in which they wield art as social critique. This includes works that ruminate on the nature of life, generosity, the body and violence. Through May 13. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood, Los Angeles, hammer.ucla.edu.

Jasper Johns, “ ‘Something Resembling Truth,’ ” at the Broad museum. An exhibition created in collaboration with the Royal Academy in London will feature more than 120 paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings by the celebrated 20th century artist associated with the early days of the Pop movement. The show traces his six-decade career through a series of themed installations that examine the stages of his career, as well as the innovative ways in which he employed materials such as encaustic, collage and other media. The show includes many works that have never been seen before in Los Angeles — a real treat. Get those tickets! Through May 13. 221 S. Grand Ave., downtown Los Angeles, thebroad.org.

Geta Brătescu, “The Leaps of Aesop,” at Hauser & Wirth. The 92-year-old Romanian conceptualist’s first show in Los Angeles consists of more than 50 works drawn from throughout different periods of her career — all inspired by the Greek fabulist Aesop. The artist regards Aesop as a mischievous figure, a symbol of “everything that stood against totalitarianism,” and one who parallels the subversive characters in Romanian folk tales. In her own work, she uses play and other inventive approaches to material to convey these and other ideas. Through May 20. 901 E. 3rd St., downtown Los Angeles, hauserwirthlosangeles.com.

Mark Bradford, “New Works,” at Hauser & Wirth. The gallery is showing a suite of new works by the Los Angeles painter, who continues his process of creating abstraction through collaging, tearing, painting and layering. The new works, which employ comic books in their fabrication, pack a visceral punch. Through May 20. 901 E. 3rd St., downtown Los Angeles. hauserwirthlosangeles.com.

“It Passes Like a Thought,” at the Beall Center for Art + Technology. Seven contemporary artists engage with the human obsession with birds — species studied by armies of ornithologists, linguists and musicologists, and devotedly followed by equally large armies of birders. Artists such as Victoria Vesna and Susan Silton explore birdsong, while Lynn Aldrich and Juan Fontanive look at flight. Other installations mechanize bird movement. Through May 26. 712 Arts Plaza, UC Irvine, Irvine, beallcenter.uci.edu.

“Paper Promises: Early American Photography,” at the Getty Museum. As the United States expanded throughout the 19th century, and news of the Civil War racked the nation, there was a growing demand for images that were easy to reproduce and distribute — hence the turn from daguerreotypes to paper photography. This exhibition looks at some of the earliest examples of the medium, an important period of experimentation that included mournful battlefield imagery and regal portraiture, including notable images of Abraham Lincoln. Through May 27. 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood, Los Angeles, getty.edu.

Abraham Lincoln by Alexander Gardner
"Abraham Lincoln and His Son Thomas (Tad), February 5, 1865," by Alexander Gardner in "Paper Promises" at the Getty. J. Paul Getty Museum,

“Cut! Paper Play in Contemporary Photography,” at the Getty Museum. Another photography-related exhibition at the Getty looks at the medium’s intersection with cut paper. This includes cut-paper models that are then photographed, and photographic images that are collaged into three-dimensional pieces. Through May 27. 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood, Los Angeles, getty.edu.

“Tony DeLap: A Retrospective,” at the Laguna Art Museum. The museum has put together a retrospective dedicated to the Southern California finish/fetish artist who has explored color, form and minimalism in a career that has spanned more than six decades. The show will feature an estimated 80 paintings, sculptures and drawings — and an accompanying catalog will track the arc of his career. Through May 28, 307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach, lagunaartmuseum.org.

“Testament of the Spirit: Paintings by Eduardo Carrillo,” at the Pasadena Museum of California Art. A solo exhibition devoted to the Los Angeles painter and educator examines his legacy and work. The show includes the exhibition of a celebrated mural, “Chicano History,” that Carrillo painted with Sergio Hernandez, Ramses Noriega and Saul Solache, and which is on view for the first time since 1991. The museum has also unveiled two other exhibitions: “The Feminine Sublime,” a group show that takes ideas of the sublime, generally depicted from a male point of view, and gives it a decidedly feminine twist, as well as an installation by Ana Serrano, who is creating an immersive “garden” out of simple art materials such as cardboard, paper and paint. Through June 3. 490 E. Union St., Pasadena, pmcaonline.org.

Eduardo Carrillo
"Chicano History Mural," 1970, by Eduardo Carrillo, Sergio Hernandez, Ramses Noriega, and Saul Solache, at the Pasadena Museum of California Art. Chicano Studies Research Center / UCLA

“In Conversation: Alma Allen & J.B. Blunk,” at the Palm Springs Art Museum. This exhibition puts together the work of two key artists from two generations working with natural materials such as stone, wood and metal. J.B. Blunk, who died in 2002, began making work in the ’60s inspired by organic and anthropomorphic forms. Allen, a contemporary artist, quite similarly works in metal and wood and is inspired by nature’s shapes and textures. Both have created functional objects (such as elements of their homes) as well as sculptures that are experimental and abstract. Through June 4. 300 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs, psmuseum.org.

“Winds From Fusang: Mexico and China in the Twentieth Century,” at the USC Pacific Asia Museum. This is the first major exhibition to look at a key trans-Pacific cross-pollination: the influence of Mexican art on the development of art in China in the 20th century. This includes an examination of the period in the 1930s that Mexican artist Miguel Covarrubias spent in Shanghai, and a look at a subsequent era, from the 1950s to the ’70s, when works by key Mexican artists were presented in China. The show, part of PST: LA/LA, is a grand reopening for the museum following a seismic retrofit. Through June 10. 46 N. Los Robles Ave., Pasadena, pacificasiamuseum.usc.edu.

Gilbert “Magu” Luján, “Recuerdos del Futuro: Roaming Magu’s Chicano Dreams,” at La Plaza de Cultura y Artes. This show on the late artist, a founding member of the influential collective Los Four, gathers 81 works — including paintings, drawings and sculpture — that tracks the ways in which he employed quotidian imagery to channel a Chicano futurist vibe. Embedded in his paintings and surreal installations were images of graffiti, lowriders, dogs and elements of the rasquache (or lowbrow). As part of the show, two contemporary artists — calligraphy artist JERK and printmaker Daniel Gonzalez — created work in dialogue with Magu. Through June 25. 501 N. Main St., downtown Los Angeles, lapca.org.

Gilbert Magu Lujan
"Untitled," c. 2000, by Gilbert "Magu" Luján at La Plaza de Cultura y Artes. Estate of Gilbert "Magu" Luján.

Meleko Mokgosi, “Bread, Butter, and Power,” at the Fowler Museum. Mokgosi first drew wide attention in Los Angeles when he won the $100,000 inaugural Mohn Prize at the Hammer Museum’s “Made in L.A.” biennial in 2012. Now he’s back with a large-scale painting exhibition at the Fowler — a 20-panel installation that looks at how democratic concepts infuse aspects of daily life, down to love and relationships. Through July 1. 308 Charles E. Young Drive North, Westwood, Los Angeles, fowler.ucla.edu.

“Gary Simmons: Fade to Black,” at the California African American Museum. In a lobby installation — one that takes full advantage of its size and scale — Simmons pays tribute to forgotten African American actors and films. On a black background, the L.A. artist features the titles and names of films and individuals important to the early days of Hollywood history, but forgotten over time. Through July 2018. 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, Los Angeles, caamuseum.org.

Leopoldo Peña, “Pelotas Oaxaqueñas/Oaxacan Ball Games,” at the Fowler Museum. For five years beginning in 2011, the L.A.-based painter documented the traditional games played by California’s Oaxacan immigrant community. The games includes the centuries-old pelota mixteca (Mixtec-style ball) and variant called pelota de esponja (sponge ball), both played with decorated mitts that combine indigenous design with contemporary logos. The games, which often take place in empty lots around the San Fernando Valley, are fast-paced affairs that serve as important social gatherings. Through July 15. 308 Charles E. Young Drive North, Westwood, Los Angeles, fowler.ucla.edu.

Harry Gamboa Jr., “Chicano Male Unbonded,” at the Autry Museum of the American West. For years, Gamboa has photographed Chicano men — often figures with whom he has a personal relationship — at night in the dark from a low angle, giving his figures an imposing authority. This exhibition gathers more than 80 of those images into a single-room installation: scholars, artists, musicians, thinkers, photographers and even the artist’s dad, a printer — collectively calling into question the general public’s (not to mention our president’s) stereotyped view of Mexican American men. Through Aug. 5. 4700 Western Heritage Way, Griffith Park, Los Angeles, theautry.org.

Harry Gamboa Jr.
An installation view of Harry Gamboa's "Chicano Male Unbonded" at the Autry Museum. Carolina A. Miranda / Los Angeles Times

Adler Guerrier, “Conditions and Forms for blck Longevity,” at California African American Museum. The Haitian artist is the subject of a solo exhibition at the museum that explores the nature of domestic gardens and other outdoor spaces as mini-utopias. This project looks at spaces in Miami and L.A. where black life takes place in sheltered, protected ways. Through Aug. 26. 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, Los Angeles, caamuseum.org.

Olafur Eliasson, “Reality Projector,” at the Marciano Art Foundation. Eliasson has created an environmental installation for the foundation’s first floor Theater Gallery that combines sculpture, painting, photography and film. The piece works with the former Masonic Temple’s existing architecture to create a play on forms and shadows. It’s an installation that Times art critic Christopher Knight describes as “eye-grabbingly vivid.” Through August. 4357 Wilshire Blvd., Windsor Square, Los Angeles, marcianoartfoundation.org.

“La Raza,” at the Autry Museum of the American West. In its day, the civil rights publication La Raza, which was based in Lincoln Heights, served as a bible for the Chicano movement, covering protest, policy and everyday life for the Mexican American communities of Los Angeles. Over the years, the paper amassed an archive of 25,000 images, recently digitized by the Chicano Studies Research Center. Many are now on view as part of this PST: LA/LA show at the Autry — and in a time of political strife surrounding the issues of civil rights, this exhibition couldn’t be more timely. Through Feb. 10, 2019. 4700 Western Heritage Way, Griffith Park, Los Angeles, theautry.org.

“Artists of Color,” at the Underground Museum. As part of its ongoing partnership with the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Arlington Heights arts space has put together an exhibition that focuses on color — on its aesthetics, as well as the roles color can play as a symbol, affecting the way it’s perceived both socially and politically. The show includes works by an array of artists, including Ellsworth Kelly, Dan Flavin, Lita Albuquerque, EJ Hill, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Josef Albers, Carmen Herrera and Noah Davis (the late founder of the Underground Museum). It’s a striking look at color seen anew. On long-term view; no closing date set. 3508 W. Washington Blvd., Arlington Heights, theunderground-museum.org.

“L.A. Communities Through the Eyes of Artists,” in the Passageway Gallery at Union Station. For 15 years, L.A.’s principal train station has been showcasing work that reveals the city through the eyes of its artists. This year, it is showing a series of newly commissioned pieces — including Shizu Saldamando’s depiction of Little Tokyo, Sam Pace on Leimert Park and Artemio Rodriguez on East L.A. On long-term view; no closing date set. Union Station, 800 N. Alameda St., downtown Los Angeles, metro.net.

Alejandro G. Iñárritu, “Carne y Arena,” at LACMA. The gripping new virtual reality experience by the Academy Award-winning director places the participant in the shoes of migrants making the arduous trek through the Sonoran Desert to reach the United States. This may sound like the trivialization of what can be a fatal journey, but it is not. Iñárritu has considered all the elements that surround his virtual reality video to humanize the story of immigration on the U.S.-Mexico border. I wrote about my experience of the piece in June. It’s not cheap (a $30 special admission, in addition to regular museum fees) but it’s worth every penny. On long-term view; no closing date set. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, lacma.org.

Daniel Hawkins, “Desert Lighthouse.” The Los Angeles-based artist is obsessed with producing works that toy with ideas of grandiosity, failure and gestures that border on the Sisyphean. (One of his goals as an artist is to ultimately build a scale replica of the Hoover Dam.) Now Hawkins has installed a 50-foot tall, fully functioning lighthouse in the Mojave Desert in the vicinity of Barstow. The piece even features a light to guide travelers through this rugged landscape. Directions and coordinates can be found on the website. On long-term view, Hinkley, Calif., desertlighthouse.org.

carolina.miranda@latimes.com

Twitter: @cmonstah

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