An artist’s dramatic stage renderings. An arts festival involving desert walks and tightrope walking. And a show in San Diego takes a look at the border as depicted in photography. Here are five exhibitions and events to check out in the coming week:
“Chagall: Fantasies for the Stage,” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Marc Chagall frequently depicted musicians and dancers in his paintings. He also painted the sets and costumes in which they performed. This new exhibition at LACMA, organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in Canada, gathers Chagall’s costumes, set designs and other ephemera from four productions: the ballet “Aleko,” Stravinsky’s “The Firebird,” Maurice Ravel’s “Daphnis and Chloé” and Mozart’s opera “The Magic Flute.” Expect pure, wondrous theater. Opens Monday and runs through Jan. 7. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, lacma.org.
“Pandora’s Box,” at the Box. This month, the downtown gallery has been hosting weekend events that have included a reading room, a dance workshop and a screening. On Saturday, an informal market and exchange organized by artist Corazon del Sol will pop up in the gallery. A meditation and a pot-luck dinner will follow the event. Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 805 Traction Ave., downtown Los Angeles, theboxla.com.
“We Are Here/Estamos Aquí,” at SDSU’s Downtown Gallery. A group exhibition looks at the ways in which artists have tackled the question of the U.S.-Mexico border in photography — be it installation, landscape portraiture or still life. The show includes work from both sides of the border, including pieces by Ingrid Hernandez, Stefan Falke, Tom Kiefer, Pieter Wisse and the group Borderclick. Opens today and runs through Oct. 29. 725 W. Broadway, San Diego, art.sdsu.edu.
“The Fabulous Six,” at Feral Projects. The debut show at this new project space devoted to exhibiting women of color will feature work by April Bey, Audry Chan, Farrah Karapetian, Holly Tempo, Mary Anna Pomonis/Allison Stewart and Sandy Rodriguez. Open by appointment only (email firstname.lastname@example.org). Through Saturday. 4107 S. Hobart Blvd., Vermont Square, Los Angeles, facebook.com.
“Spiral Play: Loving in the ’80s,” at Art + Practice. Al Loving was an artist who drew on sources as varied as free jazz, his family’s quilting traditions and the history of Modern painting when creating abstracted works that riffed on color, form and flatness. But later in life, he turned his attention to depth, using heavy rag paper and other elements to create multidimensional collages infused with bold lines and bright color. This show, organized by Christopher Bedford, the new director of the Baltimore Museum of Art (formerly of LACMA), features 12 of these late monumental collages. Through Saturday. 3401 W. 43rd Place, Leimert Park, Los Angeles, artandpractice.org.
“Concrete Poetry: Words and Sounds in Graphic Space,” at the Getty Research Institute. This is an exhibition where words are about words, but also form. Starting in the mid-1950s, the movement known as concrete poetry sought to explore the space between poetry and visual art, creating works that were visual (words in shapes and 3-D form) but also played with the sound and cadence of language. This show features more than 100 works from the lead poets of the era, including Scotsman Ian Hamilton Finlay, the Brazilian Augusto de Campos and U.S. poets Mary Ellen Solt and Emmett Williams. Through Sunday. 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood, Los Angeles, getty.edu.
“Eyewitness News: Making History in Eighteenth-Century Europe,” at the Getty Museum. In the days before smartphones and cameras and even the daguerreotype, important public events were recorded through painting. This newly opened show at the Getty has gathered works by the likes of Antonio Canaletto, Bernardo Bellotto, Giovanni Paolo Panini and others that record the important events of the era: a state visit between a king and a pope, the first hot air balloon flight ever recorded in Venice, Italy, and the damage suffered by the German city of Dresden after the Seven Years’ War of the 18th century. A new — or perhaps old? — way of looking at the news. Through Sunday. 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood, Los Angeles, getty.edu.
“Black Velvet Punks: Pistols to Plasmatics,” at Velveteria. The esteemed velvet painting museum has a show up dedicated to the pioneers of punk. Rendered on seductive black velvet are important musicians such as Johnny Rotten, Henry Rollins, Wendy O. Williams and GG Allin. Plus a more recent portrait honors Rodney Bingenheimer, a.k.a. “Rodney on the ROQ,” the influential DJ who left KROQ after 40 years of giving key acts their radio breaks. Through Monday. 711 New High St., Chinatown, Los Angeles, velveteria.com.
“Nut Art,” at Parker Gallery. This group show harks back to a movement called Nut Art that was founded in the late ’60s by a group of Northern California artists that included painter Roy De Forest, writer David Zack and ceramicist and printmaker David Gilhooly. (The concept took off at Gilhooly’s house in Port Costa as the group was drinking beer.) A number of exhibitions brought together by these artists, whose bright, multihued pieces riffed on the humorous and the slightly surreal. The show at this new apartment gallery brings together exhibitions from a 1972 show, as well as related works by those artists. Through Aug. 5. Email email@example.com for location and hours, Los Feliz, parkergallery.com.
Joe Ray, “Complexion Constellation,” at Diane Rosenstein Gallery. An exhibition by the L.A.-based artist brings together works from throughout his five-decade career exploring “inner and outer space.” This includes works made from resin and plastic about issues of depth and perception (he was connected to important light and space figures such as Larry Bell), as well as canvases that depict aspects of outer space and, with wryly written words, connect with issues of race. Other ephemera — such as photographs from early performances — are included. Through Aug. 5. 831 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood, dianerosenstein.com.
“Flaming June VII (Flaming Creatures),” at Gavlak Gallery. Part of a series of shows that Sarah Gavlak has organized since 1997, this group exhibition, featuring work by Lisa Anne Auerbach, Marnie Weber, Betty Tompkins and Lecia Dole-Recio, takes its inspiration from the 19th century English painter Frederic Leighton’s “Flaming June,” an 1895 canvas of a sleeping woman in a brilliant orange gown. Through Aug. 5. 1034 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood, gavlakgallery.com.
“Octavia E. Butler: Telling My Stories,” at the Huntington. Butler, the pioneering Los Angeles science fiction writer (the first to receive a MacArthur Fellowship, the so-called genius grant) and a writer whose narratives seamlessly blended issues of race and gender with elements of the magical, is the subject of a new exhibition on her life and work. This show at the Huntington (where her archive is kept) gathers roughly 100 items, including notebooks, photographs, journals and first editions of some of her novels, including “Kindred,” one of her best, most riveting works. Through Aug. 7. 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, huntington.org.
Razvan Boar, “EZ Valley,” at Nicodim. Sketchy paintings by the Romanian artist riff on pop, landscape and the human figure with splotches of color or layers of transparent paper that produce a collage-like effect. The subjects — cute animals, lounging women — bear a sweet innocence, but a certain knowing quality, too. Through Aug. 12. 571 S. Anderson St., Ste. 2, Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, nicodimgallery.com.
“Cabin Pressure,” at BBQLA. A group show brings together artists from New York, Miami and Los Angeles, including painter Janiva Ellis, known for wickedly surreal depiction of people, Dominican artist Manuel Arturo Abreu, who plays with literary tropes, and Purvis Young, the late artist who hailed from the Overtown section of Miami, and frequently portrayed the black experience in paintings and mixed media works. Through Aug. 12. 2315 Jesse St., Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, bbqla.net.
Andrea Zittel, at Regen Projects. Zittel is perhaps best known for creating the High Desert Sites in Joshua Tree, an arts compound that is as much a gathering space as it is an ever-evolving work of art that she also inhabits. This show continues her investigations into the ways in which environment can be shaped and molded in ways that are both industrial and domestic. It also marks the inauguration of a new sculptural work in the desert. Through Aug. 12. 6750 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, regenprojects.com.
“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. Along with this, the museum is presenting “Moving Day,” a nightly public art piece in which exclusion orders are projected on the side of the building. Through Aug. 13. 100 N. Central Ave., downtown Los Angeles, janm.org.
Jimena Sarno, “home away from,” at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions. Employing a series of Hollywood flats — the flat wooden architectural backdrops used on film and television sets — Sarno has constructed an installation that riffs on issues of borders and displacement. Throughout the exhibition, the space will host a series of artist collaborations, including performances and workshops. Through Aug. 13. 6522 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, welcometolace.org.
“Now Then: Chris Killip and the Making of In Flagrante,” at the Getty Museum. This exhibition features work from Killip’s groundbreaking book, “In Flagrante,” which documented the impact of deindustrialization on working-class communities in northern England in the 1970s and ’80s. The show includes maquettes, contact sheets and work prints, as well as images form a pair of related projects. A moving ode to industrial towns in decline. Through Aug. 13. 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood, Los Angeles, getty.edu.
Lucio Muniain, “Are You Skeptical?” at the Grand Central Art Center. The Mexico City artist takes everyday images of brutality that saturate the media and uses them to create works on paper that record, in a more methodical fashion, the issues of violence plaguing the poor, migrants and marginalized communities — a way of re-sensitizing viewers who might be numb to the daily drumbeat of bad news. As part of the exhibition, which will feature dozens of the artist’s drawings, Muniain has also created a large-scale mural. Through Aug. 13. 125 N. Broadway, Santa Ana, grandcentralartcenter.com.
Marisa Merz, “The Sky is a Great Space,” at the Hammer Museum. This is the first traveling U.S. retrospective of the Italian painter, sculptor and installation artist, covering five decades of innovative work — from her early experiments with Arte Povera (the only female member of the movement) to the enigmatic heads she created in the 1980s and ’90s. The show will include some of her trademark installations from the ’70s too — including pieces made from delicate copper wire, bowls of saltwater and knitting needles. This is the exhibition’s West Coast debut after its display at the Met Breuer in New York City. Through Aug. 13. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood, hammer.ucla.edu.
“Impermanence,” with Barbara T. Smith, John Coplans & Hannah Wilke, at Cirrus Gallery. The trio of artists in this show will probe issues of change and transformation as reflected by the human body. Smith presents her aged hands in images inspired by her Xerox portraits, Coplans captures the evolution of his own body as it ages in photographs captured over a 20-year time span, and Wilke’s full-color images record the changes her body underwent during cancer treatment. Through Aug. 19. 2011 S. Santa Fe Ave., downtown Los Angeles, cirrusgallery.com.
Jim Shaw at Blum & Poe. Shaw, who currently has a massive installation on view at the Marciano Art Foundation, is also showcasing a series of works at his Culver City gallery space. This includes drawings on paper, as well as paintings on old theater backdrops that riff on the dark side of politics and popular culture. Through Aug. 19. 2727 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, blumandpoe.com.
“Mutual Admiration Society,” at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects. The Culver City gallery is doing an exchange with Corbett vs. Dempsey, a Chicago-based gallery, that will bring the Chicago gallery’s artists to L.A. and send the L.A. gallery’s artists to Chicago. On view at Vielmetter will be works by painter Margot Berman, who will be showing a series of head shot-style paintings of women that combine expressive brushstrokes with fine detail; sculptor Arlene Schechet, whose objects feature a mix of ceramic, wood, painted metal and found bits; and John Sparagana, whose work explores the ways in which images are employed in contemporary media. Through Aug. 19. 6006 Washington Blvd., Culver City, vielmetter.com.
Amy Park, “Ed Ruscha’s Nine Swimming Pools and a Broken Glass,” at Kopeikin Gallery. In her previous show at Kopeikin, Park transformed Ed Ruscha’s famous photographic chronicle, “Every Building on the Sunset Strip,” into a sequence of poignant watercolors that rendered that cold photographic document in a human hand. In this series, she takes on the L.A. artist’s book “Nine Swimming Pools and a Broken Glass,” turning Ruscha’s deadpan images of pools into remarkable studies of color, light and design. Through Aug. 19. 2766 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, kopeikingallery.com.
Polly Borland, “Babies and the Queen,” at Mier. In the series “The Babies,” the photographer casts her lens on the world of infantilists — adults who like to role-play as babies, dressing in diapers and using pacifiers. This is the first time in more than 15 years that the series is being shown in its entirety. The second half of the show consists of Borland’s photographs of weavings made by prisoners in an arts advocacy program that are interpretations of a popular portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. Through Aug. 19. 1107 Greenacre Ave., West Hollywood, miergallery.com.
Betye Saar, “Keepin’ It Clean,” at the Craft & Folk Art Museum. A new exhibition by the renowned Los Angeles assemblage artist gathers the washboard pieces that she has made over the course of her career — pieces that reflect on issues of American race and inequity. Also on view is the exhibition “Material as Metaphor,” which features nearly a dozen artists exploring contemporary iterations of fiber art using materials such as vinyl, industrial felt and wire. Through Aug. 20. 5814 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, cafam.org.
“Chalk Circles,” at REDCAT. A combination of art and performance explores the connection between the two — including the ways in which these forms address movement and gesture and the presence of bodies. The show is organized by REDCAT gallery director Ruth Estevez and LACMA curator José Luis Blondet, and its title is inspired by a 1944 play written by Bertolt Brecht in Los Angeles called “The Caucasian Chalk Circle.” The show includes work by Pilar Aranda, Peio Aguirre, Dora García, Silke Otto-Knapp and Kerry Tribe. Emily Mast performs “Hold Your Tension” in collaboration with Mikaal Sulaiman this Sunday at 5 p.m.The show runs through Aug. 20. Check the website for a full list of performances. 631 W. 2nd St., downtown Los Angeles, redcat.org.
John Mason, “Sculpture: 1958-1969,” at Kayne Griffin Corcoran. An exhibition of key works by the Los Angeles sculptor (who showed at Ferus Gallery back in the day) gathers works from 1958 to 1969 — monumental pieces that often explored the limits of his materials. Included in the show, organized by former L.A. gallerist Frank Lloyd, will be a pair of early vertical sculptures that bear totemic qualities. Through Aug. 26. 1201 S. La Brea Ave., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, kaynegriffincorcoran.com.
“Figurative Futures,” at 101/Exhibit. A group show organized by curator Mark Murphy features work by 24 contemporary artists working in a wide range of media — including painting, fiber arts, sculpture and mixed media. All were chosen for the fresh ways in which they approach the human figures. Featured artists include Hugo Crosthwaite, Richard Downs, Trenton Doyle Hancock, Marco Zamora and Sophia Narrett. Through Aug. 26. 668 N. La Peer Drive, West Hollywood, 101exhibit.com.
“From the Desert to the Sea: The Desolation Center Experience,” at Cornelius Projects. Today, we have Coachella. In the early ’80s, there was Desolation Center, a series of site-specific concerts held in the desert that were a little bit DIY and a lot of punk. (Audiences would arrive by rented school bus. No one Instagrammed.) Key musicians included Sonic Youth, Meat Puppets and Einstürzende Neubauten, and on-site art was provided by the likes of Survival Research Laboratories. This exhibition at Cornelius Projects features painting, photography, sculpture and other ephemera related to the shows. Through Aug. 27. Co-curators Stuart Swezey and Mariska Leyssius will lead a walk-through of the exhibition on July 29 at 4 p.m. 1417 S. Pacific Ave., San Pedro, corneliusprojects.com.
“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. Through Aug. 27. 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, Los Angeles, caamuseum.org.
“Summery Appeal,” at the Good Luck Gallery. Curator Doug Harvey has organized a group exhibition that brings together pieces from several Southern California Progressive Art Studios, nonprofit programs geared to artists with developmental disabilities. Taking the theme of summer — and ideas of warmth and leisure — the show features 50 artists, including figures such as Dru McKenzie, Jackie Marsh and Lupe Carbajal. Through Aug. 27. 945 Chung King Rd., Chinatown, Los Angeles, thegoodluckgallery.com.
“NOEMA,” at the El Segundo Museum of Art. A show about diagramming features at its heart an epic 27-foot piece by Matthew Ritchie that was created in collaboration with the Getty Research Institute and charts the entire history of human diagrams. This was obviously designed for a geek like me. Through Aug. 27. 208 Main St., El Segundo, esmoa.org.
“Living Apart Together: Recent Acquisitions,” at the Hammer Museum. A new installation gathers recent additions to the museum’s permanent collection — gifts from donors and artists, as well as museum acquisitions — with an emphasis on art made over the last decade in Los Angeles. A good opportunity to see what’s been cooking in the old hometown. Through Aug. 27. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood, Los Angeles, hammer.ucla.edu.
Elizabeth Axtman, “The Ride to Back to Black,” at Residency. A solo show by the Oakland-based artist examines the journey of black public figures who minimize their race in order to be accepted by the majority. (Think: O.J. Simpson’s declaration, “I’m not black, I’m O.J.”) The works in the show look at the idea of wanting to belong — and what happens when some of these high-profile entertainers and athletes discover that they have not been able to transcend race at all. Through Aug. 31. 310 E. Queen St., Inglewood, residencyart.com.
Dennis Hopper, “The Lost Album,” at Kohn Gallery. In addition to being an actor, Hopper was a devoted photographer, who, for a period of 10 years, principally in the ‘60s, carried his camera with him wherever he went. In the process, he captured scenes on the street, celebrities at rest and his artist friends (figures such as Ed Ruscha and Billy Al Bengston). The exhibition is drawn from an archive of more than 400 photographs that sat untouched in a box until after the artist’s death in 2010. An adjacent space is showing works by Hopper contemporaries John Altoon, Wallace Berman, Bruce Conner and others. Through Sept. 1. 1227 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood, kohngallery.com.
“Prison Art Collective: Beyond the Blue,” at CB1 Gallery. This exhibition will feature paintings, drawings and other handmade by artists participating in the California University San Bernardino Community-based Art prison Arts Collective project. These will explore various subject areas, including the experience of incarceration. While you are there, stick around for the summer group show, “Hot Time, Summer in the City,” featuring works by the gallery’s stable of artist. Through Sept. 2. 1923 S. Santa Fe Ave., downtown Los Angeles, cb1gallery.com.
2017 California Pacific Triennial, at the Orange County Museum of Art. The latest iteration of OCMA’s biennial looks at issues of architecture and urban design and their ever evolving features. This includes installations by 25 artists from throughout the Pacific Rim, including L.A.-based artist Olga Koumoundouros, known for working with fallow structures; Nancy Popp, who has studied issues of displacement related to the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro; Korea-born artist Haegue Yang, who employs elements of domestic architecture in elaborate installations; and Teddy Cruz, of Estudio Teddy Cruz, in collaboration with Fonna Forman, both of whom run the Cross-Border Initiative at UC San Diego. At a time in which space in cities is growing increasingly contested, it is an ideal time for a show of this nature. Through Sept. 3. 850 San Clemente Drive, Newport Beach, ocma.net.
John Divola, “Physical Evidence,” at Gallery Luisotti. The long-time SoCal artist, who was featured in the most recent Whitney Biennial, is known for his stark pictures of abandoned domestic spaces that often bear wry bits of his own alterations. The show brings together two major bodies of work: the “Five Prints Portfolio” from the 1980s and “Untitled, 1990,” from the following decade — which though seemingly opposite in nature (one bursts with color and objects, the other is abstracted black and white) are both about the thin line between the real and the artificial. Through Sept. 9. An artist’s reception will be held Aug. 5 at 6 p.m. Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., No. A2, Santa Monica, galleryluisotti.com.
“Los Angeles to New York: Dwan Gallery, 1959-1971,” at the L.A. County Museum of Art. Previously on view at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, this exhibition tracks the legacy of one of the most important postwar galleries in the United States — a space that, for a time, operated in Los Angeles. Its proprietor, Virginia Dwan, wasn’t simply a run-of-the-mill gallerist, she was a patron, supporting artists with stipends and studios. She staged one of the earliest pop art exhibitions and she was an important supporter of minimalism. Plus, she was key in helping artists execute the most outrageous works — including important land art pieces such as Robert Smithson’s “Spiral Jetty.” Talk about thinking big. Through Sept. 10. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, www.lacma.org.
“Illuminating Women in the Medieval World” at the Getty Museum. Drawn from the museum’s collection of medieval illuminations, this exhibition pulls together images that represent the medieval woman in various guises: as biblical heroines, saints and nuns. The show also explores the ways in which women contributed to the production of manuscripts during that era. Through Sept. 17. 1200 Getty Center Dr., Brentwood, Los Angeles, getty.edu.
Paul McCarthy, “Spinoffs, Wood Statues, Brown Rothkos,” at Hauser & Wirth. McCarthy is known for tackling the grotesque and the excessive in American culture. This show features nine monumental carved black walnut sculptures that are part of his continuing examination of the 19th century German fairy tale “Snow White,” along with Disney’s more Modern interpretation — but in ways that are hardly about happy endings. Through Sept. 17. 901 E. 3rd St., downtown Los Angeles, hauserwirthlosangeles.com.
Jim Shaw, “The Wig Museum,” at Marciano Art Foundation. Shaw is a Los Angeles artist who has long been obsessed with marginal religious movements and secretive social orders. Which makes him the perfect artist to take over the cavernous theater at the Marciano Art Foundation, which once served as a masonic temple. (Among the various collections in his studio, Shaw maintains a box of masonic wigs.) For this installation, he has employed vintage masonic theater backdrops that were found at the space for a sprawling diorama that riffs on the themes that preoccupy him most: capitalism and its discontents. Also on view is an exhibition of works from Marciano’s private collection. Through Sept. 17. Admission is free but advance reservations are required. 4357 Wilshire Blvd., Windsor Square, Los Angeles, marcianoartfoundation.org.
“Down and to the Left: Reflections of Mexico in the NAFTA Era,” at Armory Center for the Arts. A group exhibition featuring work by a range of Mexico and U.S-based artists takes as its point of departure the ’90s NAFTA years, a period of great change, when Mexico came out of a relative period of isolation, and when the local and the global became one. It was also a time when the Zapatista rebellion against the government had galvanized indigenous people and international audiences. Many of the works on view by artists such as Javier Téllez, Nao Bustamante, Lourdes Grobet and Pedro Mayer deal with this climate of economic and political unrest. Through Sept. 17. 145 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena, armoryarts.org.
Phil Dike, “At the Edge of the Sea,” at the Laguna Art Museum. Raised in Redlands in the early part of the 20th century, Dike was a story designer for Walt Disney (working on animated classics such as “Fantasia”) and also taught at Chouinard (which ultimately became CalArts), and later, Scripps College. But he also painted — watercolor sketches that captured wind, sand and sea. At first, he did this in literal ways. Later in his career, he reached toward the purely abstract. This show gathers 40 years of works from the California regionalist, featuring more than 60 paintings, including many that have never before been seen. Through Sept. 24. 307 Cliff Dr., Laguna Beach, lagunaartmuseum.org.
Star Montana, “I Dream of Los Angeles,” at the Main Museum. Montana is an artist known for her stark, formally posed photographic portraits — a style she employs on the everyday denizens of Los Angeles, including people she meets on the streets in her native Boyle Heights as well as others that she has met through open calls. This show gathers various new works. The museum will also have an exhibition devoted to Alice Könitz’s prototypes for new types of museum seating. Through September 24. This Saturday from 1-3 p.m., the artist will bring together a group of women-of-color photographers to talk about their craft, including Valerie J. Bower, Arelen Mejorado and Desilu Muñoz. 114 W. 4th St., downtown Los Angeles, themainmuseum.org.
“Maven of Modernism: Galka Scheyer in California,” at the Norton Simon Museum. This exhibition examines the life of a key art dealer: Galka Scheyer, who embraced Modern work early in the 20th century and was partly responsible for bringing the artists known as the “Blue Four” to prominence in the United States. (They were Lyonel Feininger, Alexei Jawlensky, Paul Klee and Vasily Kandinsky.) Born in Germany in the late 19th century, she ultimately settled in California, where she lived in San Francisco and later in Hollywood, where she found an audience that was open to the work and its ideas. The exhibition contains work by the Blue Four, but also objects and other artworks that connect to Scheyer’s personal and professional life. Through Sept. 25. 411 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, nortonsimon.org.
Robert Grosvenor, at Maccarone. The gallery is showing three large-scale sculptures by the New York City artist, known for producing works that often seem to defy gravity. (Times art critic Christopher Knight notes the power of the piece he currently has on view at LACMA as part of the group exhibition “Los Angeles to New York: Dwan Gallery, 1959-1971.”) These more recent works see him mixing his signature industrial materials with found and other objects in ways that riff on materials and balance. Through Sept. 30. 300 S. Mission Road, Boyle Heights, maccarone.net.
“Sea Sick in Paradise,” at the Depart Foundation Malibu Village. A group show organized by Amy Yao looks at that righteous point where art and surfing intersect — touching on surf culture and history, as well as environmental concerns. This include a mix of pieces by Billy Al Bengston, Jeff Ho, Stanya Kahn, Margaret Kilgallen, Barry McGee, Roe Etheridge and Tin Ojeda — among many others — at a pop-up space in Malibu. Through Sept. 30. 3822 Cross Creek Road, Malibu, departfoundation.com.
“Gary Simmons: Fade to Black,” at the California African American Museum. In a new lobby installation — one that takes full advantage of the 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, over time, have been forgotten. The installation offers a good point of connection with the new exhibition “Center Stage: African American Women in Silent Race Films,” which features posters and screenings of pioneering films. Also on view is a pretty terrific exhibition of portraiture called “Face to Face,” featuring standout works by Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Titus Kaphar and Mequitta Ahuja. The Simmons installation is on view through July 2018; “Face to Face” is up through Oct. 8 and “Center Stage” through Oct. 15. 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, Los Angeles, caamuseum.org.
“Home — So Different, So Appealing,” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. This is the first of the Getty-funded Pacific Standard Time: Los Angeles / Latin America series — and it couldn’t land at a better social and political moment. The show, a collaborative effort between LACMA, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and UCLA’s Chicano Studies Research Center, thoughtfully explores the way in which Latino and Latin American artists have used elements of the domestic to comment on issues of the personal and the political in art. The assembled works — by figures such as Felix Gonzalez Torres, Luis Camnitzer and Leyla Cardenas — include installations that ruminate on immigration, urban architecture, control and subtle resistance. The conversation piece? Perhaps Daniel Joseph Martinez’s recreation of a spliced Unabomber cabin painted in Martha Stewart shades. Through Oct. 15. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, lacma.org.
“¡Mírame! Expressions of Queer Latinx Art,” at La Plaza de Cultura y Artes. A group show brings together artists from various Latino backgrounds who explore issues of sexuality and identity in their art, including Xandra Ibarra, Alma Lopez, Julio Salgado and noted photographer Laura Aguilar, known for the striking portraits she creates of herself and others. Through Dec. 9. 501 N. Main St., downtown Los Angeles, lapca.org.
“Neo Native: Toward New Mythologies,” at the Maloof Foundation. This exhibition features more than 40 works by 11 contemporary U.S. artists with Native American roots — including painting, photography, ceramics and more. This includes works by painter Gerald Clarke Jr., ceramicist Diego Romero, conceptual artist Cannupa Hanska Luger and photographer Cara Romero. Opens Sunday and runs through Jan. 7. 5131 Carnelian St., Alta Loma, malooffoundation.org.
Standing Rock: Art and Solidarity, at The Autry. The Standing Rock protest in North Dakota attracted an unprecedented protest that brought together native and non-native cultures in a unified front against the proposed Dakota Access pipeline. This exhibition gathers ephemera from that action, including poster art, clothing and photographs. Through Feb. 18. 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.
Fran Siegel, “Lineage Through Landscape: Tracing Egun in Brazil,” at the Fowler Museum. A large-scale drawing project by the Long Beach-based artist was inspired by a recent residency in Brazil, where she conducted research in, among other places, the Island of Itaparica, an important center of Afro-Brazilian religious practice. Her 40-foot-long piece consists of a weaving that brings together strips of fabric and drawings of sacred plants on translucent film — a record of the landscapes she inhabited, and the troubled histories some of those represent. Through Dec. 10. An artist talk will be held on Aug. 27 at 3 p.m. UCLA, 308 Charles E. Young Drive North, Westwood, Los Angeles, fowler.ucla.edu.
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. Iñarritu has considered all of 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 (it’s a $30 special admission, in addition to regular museum fees) but it’s worth every penny. On view indefinitely.5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, lacma.org.
“Pow! Wow!” in Long Beach. The public mural series held in Long Beach every year is back with a series of nearly two dozen new murals in locations around the city, including parking garages and underpasses. Murals will be on view indefinitely in locations around Long Beach,powwowlongbeach.com.
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 Sisiphyean. (One of his goals as an artist is to ultimately build a scale replica of 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 view indefinitely, Hinkley, Calif., desertlighthouse.org.