Painting infused with the richness of black life. Dance that broke boundaries. And an L.A. artist who pushes painting forward with bits of neon. Plus: The 1992 L.A. riots a quarter century later, a documentary about an experimental composer and sculpture inspired by organic forms. Here are 10 exhibitions and events to check out in the coming week:
Kerry James Marshall, “Mastry,” at the Museum of Contemporary Art. A 35-year retrospective, featuring nearly 80 works, examines the career of a painter who is known for depicting the black figure in ways that are mordant, lordly and defiant — as well as painterly in the most sublime ways. Born in Birmingham, Ala., but raised in L.A. during the civil rights and black power movements, Marshall paints historical events, the city (including bits of Los Angeles) domestic scenes and portraits in ways that counter the invisibility of the black figure in Western art. His figures — rendered in the inkiest shades of black — command notice and authority. Consider this show a must-see. Opens Sunday and runs through July 3. MOCA Grand Avenue, 250 S. Grand Ave., downtown Los Angeles, moca.org.
Trisha Brown Dance Company, “In Plain Site,” at the Getty Center. When Trisha Brown came on the scene in New York in the 1960s, she was part of a generation of choreographers who helped push the boundaries for what sorts of movements define dance. Now the renowned New York dance company that bears her name will be in Los Angeles for one day of performances, during which they will feature existing material with the architecture of the Getty as backdrop. Friday at 2 and 5 p.m. 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles, getty.edu.
“No Justice, No Peace: LA 1992,” at the California African American Museum. A historical exhibition looks at the myriad social and political forces that led to the 1992 riots in the wake of the Rodney King verdict — including a troubled history of police relations in minority communities, a history of housing segregation and the drug war, among other factors. Included in the show are hundreds of images and historic documents, as well as a zoot suit and a ’90s era police cruiser. Opened Wednesday and runs through Aug. 27. 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, Los Angeles, caamuseum.org.
Hammer Projects: Andrea Bowers, at the Hammer Museum. Bowers, an artist known for her activism, regularly broaches the subject in her work. This new installation was inspired by the artist’s involvement in the protests at Standing Rock — charting the connections between the international banking system and the construction of oil pipelines. She ties these to food and water issues at the Los Angeles level, in particular work done by Food & Water Watch and South Central Farm. Opens Saturday and runs through July 16. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood, Los Angeles, hammer.ucla.edu.
Nancy Baker Cahill, “Manifestos,” at Ochi Projects. A new series of small drawings by the Los Angeles-based artist shows puzzling objects in motion. Are they body parts? Are they organ-like appendages? Are they bits of organic matter? Whatever they are, they are mysterious and intriguing. Opens Saturday and runs through April 9. 3301 W. Washington Blvd., Arlington Heights, Los Angeles, ochiprojects.com.
Jenn Berger, “The Blob,” at Elephant. A 12-foot sculpture riffs, in leathery ways, on a blob-like human form — an installation that promises to be viscerally, wonderfully weird. Opens Saturday at 7 p.m. and runs through March 29. 3325 Division St., downtown Los Angeles, elephantartspace.com.
“Tote Your Float: A deconstructed parade of wearable floats,” in locations around Pasadena. Newtown Arts has commissioned a crew of L.A. area artists — including installationist Jim Ovelmen, sculptor Elaine Parks and the duo Beck + Col, known for creating fantastical monsters, among various others — to create parade floats that they wear in a public performance in the streets around Pasadena. The performance takes place on Friday beginning at 6 p.m. (The website has a downloadable float map that features routes.) Plus, the floats will be available for viewing from Friday through Sunday at the Armory Center for the Arts, 145 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena, newtownarts.org and armoryarts.org.
Joshua Abarbanel, “It’s Only Natural,” at TAJ Art. A series of wall-mounted wood sculptures employ organic forms to create bright patterns — some inspired by the artist’s recent trip to the Seed Bank in Svalbard in the Arctic Circle. Opens Saturday at 6 p.m. and runs through April 14. 1492 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock, Los Angeles, tajartinc.com.
Allan Sekula, “Early Works,” at Christopher Grimes Gallery. The gallery has gathered a number of early works by the photographer and theorist, including preliminary versions of some of his documentary pieces, which tackled issues of labor and politics, as well as never-before-exhibited prints. Also on view are well-established works such as “Long Beach Notes” and the video “Reagan Tape,” which mashes up pieces of Reagan’s early films with footage from his political career. Through Saturday. 916 Colorado Ave., Santa Monica, cgrimes.com.
“Unique and Singular,” at Cirrus Gallery. A group show at the venerable print studio features works by the likes of Mark Bradford, Ruben Ochoa, Mary Weatherford and Lita Albuquerque and explores the ways in which artists manipulate multiples to create works that are one of a kind. Through Saturday. 2011 S. Santa Fe Ave., downtown Los Angeles, cirrusgallery.com.
#MyDayinLA at Art Share L.A. A new group show gathers images by Angelenos who photograph every aspect of the city, be it shuttered storefronts on quiet Sundays to vistas of the mountains. Participating artists include Mark Indig, Diane Cockerill, Peter Bennett and Jose “Lalo” Garcia Jr. Through Sunday. 801 E. 4th Place, downtown Los Angeles, artsharela.org.
Kishio Suga, at Blum & Poe. The gallery is hosting a solo exhibition of the influential Japanese sculptor and installation artist, one of the key figures in the Mono-ha movement, a group known for often ephemeral installations that combined natural and industrial materials in mostly unaltered ways. For his show at Blum & Poe, the artist has remade key works from the 1970s to the 1990s. He is also displaying an extensive selection of early works on paper. Through Saturday. 2727 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, blumandpoe.com.
“Echo Location,” at Eastside International. A group show at this Eastside space brings together a disparate group of artists who participated in a series of talks hosted at the Inglewood studio of artist and exhibition curator Lisa Soto. This includes sculpture, painting and video by the likes of Nery Gabriel Lemus, Zeal Harris and Cindy Rehm, among others, as well as an opening performance by Amitis Motevalli. Through March 18. 602 Moulton Ave., Lincoln Heights, eastsideinternational.com.
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.
Chambliss Giobi, “Arcadia,” at 101/Exhibit. Inspired by the Greek region, an icon of the pastoral ideal, this show features a series of works that explore the nostalgic and the idealized in nature — including a large Möbius strip sculpture made from some of these very elements. Through March 25. 668 N. La Peer Dr., Beverly Grove, Los Angeles, 101exhibit.com.
“Ursula Schulz-Dornburg: Bricks and Mortals,” at Gallery Luisotti. The German photographer has long been intrigued by transitory pieces of architecture — from her studies of brutalist, Soviet-era bus stops in Armenia to her images of ruins in Syria. Her first exhibition at the gallery gathers the early bus stop pictures, as well as later series that document a nuclear test site in Kazakhstan, the abandoned Hejaz Railroad in Saudi Arabia and an 8th century chapel in Spain. Through March 25. Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica, galleryluisotti.com.
“Edgar Arceneaux: Library of Black Lies,” at the Main Museum. First exhibited in Paris, this installation by the Los Angeles artist explores themes of African American progress through the selection and modification of books in a library of Arceneaux’s creation. At a time when questions about the fake and the real occupy the media, the piece looks at the complex, in-between stories that shape our current moment. Through March 26. 114 W. 4th St., downtown Los Angeles, themainmuseum.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.
Rachel Lacowicz, “Lay Back and Enjoy It,” at Shoshana Wayne Gallery. The Los Angeles-based artist has created a large-scale installation modeled after structures from Clint Eastwood’s 1973 western “High Plains Drifter” — two of which she has covered in red lipstick. It’s a look at the ways in which male power imbues our society’s governing institutions — not to mention the architecture that represents them. Through April 1. Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., B1, Santa Monica, shoshanawayne.com.
“Hexon/Hexoff,” at Noysky Projects. A group exhibition has magic — and the elements of ritual, iconography and faith that accompany it — as its unifying theme. The show includes a film set in a mythical Haiti by Ilona Berger and Jamson Silgnena, animated GIF pieces by Theo Eliezer and the sculptural, bewitched-looking hair masks created by the artist Ciriza. Through April 1. 6727 7/8 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, noyskyprojects.com.
Jennifer Dalton, “Participation Trophy,” at Charlie James Gallery. A new exhibition by the New York-based artist gathers video, sculpture and drawings that are inspired by the act of overcoming a fear — all brought together by a title that nods to the idea of the unearned accolade. In some of the works, she addresses her own fears — including public speaking and learning how to do a backflip — while in others, she presents her own design for odd unbalanced trophies, inspired by the “Successories” office tchotchkes. Through April 1. 969 Chung King Road, Chinatown, Los Angeles, cjamesgallery.com.d
Frank Uwe Laysiepen, “Ulay the Animist,” at the Depart Foundation. It’s the first West Coast presentation of the performance artist known as Ulay — former collaborator of Marina Abramovic. The show includes works from his early Polaroid works from the ’70s to his large-scale experimental photographic projects from the 1990s, as well as documentation of his various performances. The exhibition’s title refers to the artist’s 1995 film, “The Animist,” which incorporated ritual and other elements, to determine the boundaries of reality. Through April 1. 9105 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, departfoundation.com.
“Escape Attempts: Curated by Kathy Battista,” at Shulamit Nazarian. The gallery is debuting its new Hollywood location with a group show that features artists who are tangling with the legacy of minimalism. This includes figures such as Carmen Argote, Virginia Overton, and Naama Tsabar engaging the clean lines and formal qualities of minimalism, but grounding it in the cultural references of our era. Through April 1. 616 N. La Brea, Hollywood, shulamitnazarian.com.
“Environmental Communications: Contact High,” at LAXArt. In the 1960s, a group of architects, photographers and psychologists began to create extensive slide libraries that they sold to academic and cultural institutions as a way of infiltrating student consciousness. These often contained hundreds of images that recorded the design and other forces that shape the vernacular city, from gas stations to fast-food outlets to the facades of commercial buildings. The show captures the group’s process through images, videotapes and other ephemera. Through April 1. 7000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, laxart.org.
“Forms of Identity: Women Artists in the ’90s,” at the Orange County Museum of Art. A show drawn entirely from OCMA’s permanent collection focuses on works by 16 women whose art in the 1990s underwent a transformation, from overtly political to something more poetic and personal. This includes works by photographer Laura Aguilar, sculptor Jacci Den Hartog, light and space artist Helen Pashgian and installationist Polly Apfelbaum, among others. Through April 2. 850 San Clemente Dr., Newport Beach, ocma.net.
April Bey, “Comply,” at Coagula Curatorial. An installation of art, paintings and multimedia works explore the demands of womanhood — in particular that of black women. Among the objects on view is a series of portraits produced by the artist that features celebrities as well as everyday women she met during a residency in Ghana. Through April 2. 974 Chung King Rd., Chinatown, Los Angeles, coagulacuratorial.com.
Lisa Adams, “Petrichor,” at CB1 Gallery. The L.A. artist has a new show of small paintings inspired by petrichor, the smell of dry earth as it is pelted with rain. The works — all diminutive in scale, and integrating elements of the urban and the abstract — were begun during California’s period of drought and completed after the season’s first rains. Through April 9. 1923 S. Santa Fe Ave., downtown Los Angeles, cb1gallery.com.
“What I Loved: Selected Works From the ‘90s,” at Regen Projects. An economic recession. A war in the Middle East. And the L.A. Riots. The 1990s were a formative period for artists addressing issues of race, sexuality, gender, identity, the AIDS epidemic and globalization. This group exhibition — inspired by the title of Siri Hustvedt’s 2003 novel, “What I Loved” — brings together works by figures such as Matthew Barney, Glenn Ligon, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Catherine Opie, Cindy Sherman, Kara Walker and others in ways that capture the zeitgeist of that tumultuous, transformative period. Through April 14. 6750 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, regenprojects.com.
Arne Quinze, “Jungle Cities,” at Denk Gallery. This is the debut show for the new Los Angeles gallery, which has kicked off its program with an exhibition by the Belgian sculptor known for his wild architectural installations. Quinze has created a new series of metal sculptures and wall hangings that play with the idea of disappearing nature. This includes a standing sculpture that evokes a wild creature and a work that resembles a log — full of growths and other bits of wild nature — but is actually a piece of cast bronze. Through April 15. 749 E. Temple St., downtown Los Angeles, denkgallery.com.
“Breaking News: Turning the Lens on Mass Media,” at the Getty Center. An exhibition that couldn’t be timelier: Curator Arpad Kovcs has put together a show that looks at the ways in which artists have turned bucolic magazine images and fragments of news programming into sharp political statements against events such as the Vietnam War and the so-called war on terror. The show features work by Martha Rosler, Alfredo Jaar, Catherine Opie and Robert Heinecken. Through April 20. 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood, Los Angeles, getty.edu.
“Desert X,” in locations around the Coachella Valley. This biennial crash features a variety of installations and land art pieces installed along the length of the Coachella Valley. (Expect some driving … or Lyfting or cycling.) On the rundown is a high-profile assortment of SoCal and international figures, including Doug Aitken, Tavares Strachan, Gabriel Kuri, Richard Prince, Lita Albuquerque and Claudia Comte — creating site-specific pieces that take advantage of their scenic desert environs. Through April 30. The exhibition is free and takes place in locations around the Coachella Valley, desertx.org.
Jimmie Durham, “At the Center of the World,” at the Hammer Museum. For the last 20 years, Durham, who was born in Arkansas, and who came of age as an artist in New York’s downtown scene in the 1980s, has chosen to show primarily outside the United States. (He is of Cherokee descent.) This makes his first North American retrospective all the more special. Gathering his works from the 1970s to the present, the show features wry assemblages and wall sculptures that combine natural and discarded elements, riffing on classical architecture, the nature of portraiture and colonization. While you’re there, don’t miss the exhibition featuring drawings by French artist Jean Dubuffet, a figure who turned the graffiti-like gesture into high art. Through May 7. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood, Los Angeles, hammer.ucla.edu.
“Picasso and Rivera: Conversations Across Time,” at the L.A. County Museum of Art. This exhibition compares the artistic trajectories of two of the 20th century’s most towering Modernists: Pablo Picasso and Diego Rivera. This covers the period from the 1920s to the ’50s as they explored Cubism, classical forms and ancient cultures in innovative ways. The shows features 150 paintings, etchings and watercolors. Through May 7. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, lacma.org.
Jason Rhoades, “Installations, 1994-2006,” at Hauser Wirth & Schimmel. The Los Angeles artist — known for sprawling, ribald installations made with everything from neon to cardboard to peas — often touched on issues of religion, sex and commerce in his work. This show, his first comprehensive survey in Los Angeles, brings together six of his most significant installations, including a tribute to sculptor Constantin Brancusi and a massive, sexually charged piece that features 240 neon words that describe female genitalia — a temple-like set-up where the viewer is invited to be wildly seduced. Through May 21. 901 E. Third St., downtown Los Angeles, hauserwirthschimmel.com.
Dreamland: A Frank Romero Retrospective, at the Museum of Latin American Art. The first museum retrospective of the storied Los Angeles painter brings together more than 200 works from throughout his career — pieces that frequently contend with various aspects of the urban experience, in particular that of L.A. The show covers all periods of his more than five-decade-long career, including his early works, pieces from his time with the collective Los Four in the 1970s and ’80s, his large-scale paintings and murals, as well as his more recent work in neon and ceramics. Through May 21. 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach, molaa.org.
“Women of Abstract Expressionism” at the Palm Springs Museum of Art. The Abstract Expressionist movement has been widely regarded as a boys club, one bursting with the macho antics of painters such as Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning. But the movement included a healthy number of women, and this groundbreaking exhibition gathers works by some of the key female artists of the era, including Helen Frankenthaler, Jay DeFeo, Elaine de Kooning, Grace Hartigan, Lee Krasner and Joan Mitchell. In other words, it’s a fresh look at a history we think we know so well. Through May 28. 72-567 Highway 111, Palm Desert, psmuseum.org.
“Moholy-Nagy: Future Present,” at the L.A. County Museum of Art. This sprawling exhibition examines the career of the influential Bauhaus artist and teacher, known for stripping art down to fundamentals of color and shape. Moholy-Nagy was a polymath who worked in painting, printmaking, photography and industrial design and the show gathers more than 250 works of his in all formats. Moreover, it will also feature his installation “Room of the Present,” a concept for an exhibition space that was never realized in his lifetime. Through June 18. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, lacma.org.
“In Focus: Jane and Louise Wilson’s Sealander,” at the Getty Museum. For roughly three decades, twin sisters Jane and Louise Wilson have created large-scale photographs inspired by important events in European history — in the process, capturing the nuclear site at Chernobyl and the former headquarters of the East German secret police. In this series, they turn their attention to the brutal concrete bunkers deposited by Adolf Hitler along the French coast during World War II. Through July 2. 1200 Getty Center Dr., Brentwood, Los Angeles, getty.edu.
“Inner Eye: Vision and Transcendence in African Arts,” at LACMA. A display of African art gathers objects that touch on important life transitions: initiation pieces, iconic masks and the reliquary guardians that guide people into the afterlife. The works on view, which include metalwork, sculpture and textiles, date from the 13th to 19th centuries, and cover various African regions, including Mali, Nigeria, Liberia and Congo, among others. Through July 9. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, lacma.org.
“Instructions to All Persons: Reflections on Executive Order 9066,” at the Japanese American National Museum. At a time when executive orders are transforming U.S. society, it’s a good moment in which to study one of the most notorious ones: President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Order 9066, which allowed for the incarceration of more than 120,000 Japanese Americans living along the West Coast during World War II. This exhibition brings together historical ephemera from this dark period in U.S. history, as well as works of art and performance that reflect on the issue of internment. Beginning on March 24, the museum will present “Moving Day,” a nightly public art piece in which exclusion orders will be projected on the side of the building at night. Through Aug. 13. 100 N. Central Ave., downtown Los Angeles, janm.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.