It’s Labor Day weekend, so the art scene is quiet. (Thankfully my colleague Matt Cooper has a roundup of free shows and festivals.) But here are four exhibitions and events you can check out over the holiday weekend.
The Winter Office, “#SYNCHRONICITY,” at the 18th Street Arts Center Airport Campus. An installation by the working group known as the Winter Office (founded by artist Hugo Hopping and Danish architect and urban planner Johanna Ferrer Guldager) is the first show at 18th Street’s new gallery space at the Santa Monica Airport. The installation is as much a work of social practice as it is an urban study of the Santa Monica Airport area, offering suggestions for the ways in which this industrial site can be used and connected with the city beyond it. As part of the installation, they have included a temporary recording studio that will serve as a site of public conversations. The installation is connected with a related show at the Armory Center in Pasadena titled “Non-Perfect Dwelling” that explores issues of housing and equity. Through Sept. 14. 3026 Airport Ave., Santa Monica, 18thstreet.org.
Christopher Wawrinofsky, “Everything Must Go,” at 123 Astronaut. This gallery in a vending kiosk at Weller Court in Little Tokyo is being transformed into an ever-evolving installation composed of keepsakes, found objects and other ephemera by Wawrinofksy. Passersby will be invited to barter with the artist as part of the work. Through Sept. 26. 123 Astronaut Ellison S. Onizuka St., downtown Los Angeles, 123astronaut.la.
Sunday Concert in the Dome, at Mt. Wilson Observatory. There is nothing quite like to listening to music in an astronomical observatory (as noted in a recent piece by Times classical music critic Mark Swed) — and the Mt. Wilson observatory regularly accommodates that interest with concerts held inside the observatory’s dome. This Sunday’s program includes performances of Mozart’s Sonata, Bach’s Chaconne and an Offenbach duet. Concerts on Sunday at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. Mt. Wilson, Los Angeles, mtwilson.edu.
Matías Duville, “desert means ocean,” at the Museum of Latin American Art. The Argentine artist has spent two months in residency at the museum working on a suite of drawings that parallel the brutal similarities between desert and ocean. Through Dec. 1. 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach, molaa.org.
“Automatic Door,” at Park View / Paul Soto. This exhibition marks the fifth anniversary of Park View Paul Soto, which began life as a diminutive space inside Paul Soto’s apartment. It has since graduated to a real deal commercial storefront in Harvard Heights, But it’s still bursting with experimental ideas. Soto describes it as a space with which he would “like to create and support poetry.” The show will display new and recent works by Aidan Koch, Dylan Mira, Mark A. Rodriguez, Kate Spencer Stewart and various others. Through Friday. 2271 W. Washington Blvd., Harvard Heights, Los Angeles, paulsoto.net.
Rashell George, “Sunsets, Surf Spots and Small Disasters,” and Deborah Davidson, “Equilibrium,” at Lora Schlesinger Gallery. George, in her fourth solo show at the gallery, has a series of paintings in which serene renderings of sunsets and surf spots are paired with ones of natural disaster — juxtapositions of Mother Nature at her most tame and her most fiery. Davidson, in the meantime, is exhibiting paintings that pair animals and objects for curious portraits that also function as allegories. Through Saturday. Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica, loraschlesinger.com.
Anthony Hernandez, “Screened Pictures,” at Kayne Griffin Corcoran. Hernandez is renowned for capturing Los Angeles street life in ways that feel very Los Angeles. In his latest series of images, he records the city through the screen bus stops that dot the city, creating filtered, geometric portraits of L.A. as seen from city sidewalks. Through Saturday. 1201 S. La Brea Ave., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, kaynegriffincorcoran.com.
“Dreamin’ of a …,” at Charlie James Gallery. Art historian and curator Segi Refael has organized a group show that explores fragments of Los Angeles as microcosms for larger themes of image, architecture, class and more. A tight, engaging little show. Through Saturday. 969 Chung King Road, Chinatown, Los Angeles, cjamesgallery.com.
“Black Is Beautiful: The Photography of Kwame Brathwaite,” at the Skirball Cultural Center. In the ’60s, an era in which segregation still prevailed, Brathwaite made images that reveled in blackness. He teamed up with his brother for the establishment of the artistic collective known as the African Jazz-Art Society and Studios, as well as the Grandassa Models, a modeling group for black women. Both groups fed and inspired Brathwaite’s imagery, which consisted of elegant fashion shots and portraiture that celebrated the best of black beauty. Through Sunday. 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Brentwood, skirball.org.
“Gráfica América,” at the Museum of Latin American Art. An exhibition looks at printmaking in its various manifestations, featuring work by more than 100 artists and master printers, including Mexico’s Taller de Gráfica Popular and L.A.’s own Mixografía, known for the prints that extend into three dimensions. Participating artists include Pepe Coronado, Sandra C. Fernández and Fernando De León. Through Sunday. 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach, molaa.org.
“Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-83,” at the Broad museum. Originally organized by the Tate Modern in London, this group exhibition focusing on art by African Americans features pieces by more than 60 influential artists who worked during a period of civil rights tumult and moments in which questions of identity were thrown into stark relief in the United States. The show includes a wide range of artistic categories — art photography, abstract expressionist painting, political posters — that explore facets of black history and black identity at a formative time. It contains work by key L.A. artists or influential figures who spent formative years in Los Angeles, including Betye Saar, Senga Nengudi, David Hammons, Noah Purifoy and Daniel LaRue Johnson. Not to be missed. Through Sunday. 221 S. Grand Ave., downtown Los Angeles, thebroad.org.
Sarah Lucas, “Au Naturel,” at the Hammer Museum. In ways that are visceral, pointed and absurd, British artist Sarah Lucas has long tackled issues of gender, sexuality and identity in ways that are both confrontational and humorous. (Imagine a sculpture of a phallus made out of wire and matchsticks.) This survey features 130 objects the artist has produced throughout her career, including works of photography, collage, installation and sculpture. Through Sunday. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood, Los Angeles, hammer.ucla.edu.
Seven exhibitions at OCMA Expand. While its new Thom Mayne-designed building is under construction in Costa Mesa, the Orange County Museum of Art has been occupying a temporary site inside an old furniture showroom near South Coast Plaza, and I seriously dig. (More museums in easy-to-access strip malls, please.) For their round of exhibitions they are putting on a series of installations by Diego Berruecos, York Chang, Victoria Fu, Matt Rich, Fritzia Irizar, UuDam Tran Nguyen and Hiromi Takizawa that touch on issues of control, power, truth and reality. Through Sunday. South Coast Plaza Village, 1661 W. Sunflower Ave., Costa Mesa, ocma.net.
“Desert Painters of Australia Part II,” at Gagosian. The forced displacement and resettlement of Australia’s indigenous communities in the 20th century resulted in a shift in the ways in which those populations made art: Forms such as sand drawing and tree carving were reborn on paper and canvas. This show looks at some of that output, featuring works by important 20th century artists such as George Tjungurrayi, Warlimpirrnga Tjapaltjarri and Yukultji Napangati — among other artists who employed pattern in ways both expressive and geometric. This show is a follow-up to an earlier exhibition of indigenous Australian art held at one of Gagosian’s New York locations in the spring and is drawn from the collection of actor Steve Martin and his wife, Anne Stringfield. Through Sept. 6. 456 N. Camden Drive, Beverly Hills, gagosian.com.
“On the Inside,” at Craft Contemporary. This group exhibition features portrait drawings by LGBTQ artists who are currently incarcerated (a prison population that often faces greater risks of physical and sexual victimization). The show features 110 works made with simple materials such as paper, pencil and ballpoint tubes. (The shell of the pen isn’t allowed in prison, where it is frequently considered dangerous.) Others employ materials devised in the harsh conditions of prison. Through Sept. 8. 5814 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, cafam.org.
John T. Riddle Jr., “The RIDDLE Effect,” at Craft Contemporary. This is the first major exhibition of Riddle’s work in Los Angeles in more than two decades and gathers some of his most significant works — some of which are going on view for the first time. The late L.A. artist was a master of assemblage, known for sculptures that put together found metal in visceral ways — including pieces that employed objects scavenged in the wake of the Watts riots in 1965. Riddle also produced figurative paintings and large-scale ceramic sculptures. Through Sept. 8. 5814 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, cafam.org.
“Aspects of Nude: Selections From the Permanent Collection,” at the California African American Museum. This exhibition, drawn from the museum’s permanent collection, explores how the nude has been employed in ways both sensual and political by a range of artists, including Romare Bearden, Charles Dickson, Alison Saar, John Outterbridge and many others. Through Sept. 8. 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, Los Angeles, CAAmuseum.org.
John Divola, “STRATUM / Clive’s Wearing Dilemma,” at the California Museum of Photography. For “Stratum,” the conceptual photographer presents a selection of historical photos from his personal collection — namely, “banquet” photos, snapped between 1920 and 1950, that show gatherings of businessmen and the sundry members of civic groups in the midst of banquet events. In a related show, Divola is showing 12 large black-and-white prints from his series “Clive’s Wearing Dilemma,” works that play on the cosmic in both physical and psychological ways. Through Sept. 8. 3824 + 3834 Main St., Riverside, artsblock.ucr.edu.
“Ernie Barnes: A Retrospective,” at the California African American Museum. It is, by now, an established symbol of American culture: Barnes’ 1976 canvas “Sugar Shack,” which captured a black dance hall in mid-groove. It served as the cover of Marvin Gaye’s album “I Want You” (also released in ’76), and was a visual staple on the 1970s sitcom “Good Times.” This retrospective captures the full scope of Barnes’ life and work — which included serving as the official artist of the ’84 Olympics and a stint playing pro football. Through Sept. 8. 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, Los Angeles, caamuseum.org.
“Robert Rauschenberg at Gemini G.E.L.: Selected Works, 1969-2000,” at Gemini G.E.L. The venerable printmaking studio on the Westside was where Rauschenberg once made a rather legendary 6-feet-tall print titled “Booster.” It was the beginning of a long relationship: The artist worked with Gemini over the course of his career, and this exhibition gathers prints from those fruitful collaborations (including a few that pay tribute to the 50th anniversary of the moon landing). Through Sept. 13. 8365 Melrose Ave., Beverly Grove, geminigel.com.
Jennifer Levonian, “Lost Islands of Philadelphia,” and Jon Haddock, “The Things (that do not spark joy),” at Grand Central Art Center. Grand Central Art Center is marking two decades with several shows, including paintings by Levonian (inspired by some long-gone riverine islands in Philadelphia) and a wall mural by Haddock. Other works — including paintings by Yevgeniya Mikhailik and an installation by Angel Nevarez and Valerie Tevere exploring development and gentrification — are also on view. Through Sept. 15. 125 N. Broadway, Santa Ana, grandcentralartcenter.com.
“Life Model: Charles White and his Students,” at Charles White Elementary School. In conjunction with the Charles White retrospective at LACMA, the museum is organizing this exhibition that looks at the late artist’s impact on the art world as a teacher. The exhibition features work by many of his students, including David Hammons, Judithe Hernández, Kerry James Marshall and Kent Twitchell. Through Sept. 15. 2401 Wilshire Blvd., Westlake, Los Angeles, lacma.org.
Chris Kallmyer, “Ensemble,” at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. The Los Angeles-based artist has created an installation that also functions as a collective musical instrument — a carillon (bell-ringing apparatus) that requires the hands of several participants in order to be fully played. Through Sept. 15. 1130 State St., Santa Barbara, sbma.net.
“Black, Brown and Beige,” at Self Help Graphics & Art. This group show, organized by artist Nery Gabriel Lemus and curator Jimmy O’Balles, takes its name from a symphony Duke Ellington first performed in 1943 — a work he described as “a parallel to the history of the American Negro.” The show touches on the range of differences among groups bound by a single label — say, African American or Latino. Participating artists include Todd Gray, Mario Ybarra Jr., April Bey, Mark Steven Greenfield, Ken Gonzales-Day, Margaret Garcia and many others. Through Sept. 26. 1300 E. First St., Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, selfhelpgraphics.com.
“Terry Allen: The Exact Moment It Happens in the West,” at L.A. Louver. In the work of Terry Allen, various mediums intersect: theater, painting, drawing and music. This exhibition gathers works on paper by the artist produced during a long career that dates to the ’60s. Through Sept. 28. 45 N. Venice Blvd., Venice, lalouver.com.
“Beyond Line: Art of Korean Writing,” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In Korea, calligraphy is considered one of the highest forms of art — and this show gathers some of the highest examples of written pieces produced on the peninsula over two millennia, including works written in Chinese ideographic characters (hanja), as well as the phonetic Korean script (hangeul). This is the first exhibition outside Asia to focus on the history of writing and calligraphy in that country. Through Sept. 29. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, lacma.org.
“Offal,” at the Municipal Art Gallery. A group show considers the viscera of which we are made — but which also nourish. The show touches on the consumption of animal offal (which can bring with it judgments about socioeconomic status) and offers depictions of the the guts (quite literally) that make us human. Artists in the show include Jim Shaw, Danial Nord and Victoria Reynolds, among many others. Through Sept. 29. 4800 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, lamag.org.
“Guatemalan Masks: Selections from the Jim and Jeanne Pieper Collection,” at the Fowler Museum. This collection of 80 masks depicts Guatemalan historical and cultural figures, as well as sprightly animals and popular deities — all connected with a range of folkloric festivals and events that are also chronicled in the show. This includes masks employed in dances that illustrate the conquest and the story of San Simón, or Maximón, a popular folk saint inspired by a blend of Spanish and Maya lore. Through Oct. 6. 308 Charles E. Young Drive N., Westwood, Los Angeles, fowler.ucla.edu.
“Bakeru: Transforming Spirits,” at Japan House. If you are looking for a kid-friendly exhibition that also offers lessons about folk traditions, this is it. In this interactive display, participants don masks that allow digital technology to render them as figures from Japanese folklore on a large screen. These are inspired by tales from the northern region of Tohoku, such as the story of Namahage, a deity that frightens misbehaving children, or Shishi-Odori, a dance in which participants mimic beasts as part of beckoning a good harvest. The show also features paper and 3-D printed masks inspired by these legends. Mask-making workshops for kids will be held throughout the run of the show. Check the website for a full schedule. Through Oct. 6. Hollywood & Highland Center, Level 2, 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, japanhouse.jp.
“Where the Sea Remembers,” at the Mistake Room. This project, devoted to contemporary art made in and about Vietnam, takes several forms, including an exhibition, a program series and a related website. It also marks a new series of collaborations between the Mistake Room and art spaces in that country. The project’s title is inspired by the name of a song that was known widely among people who fled Vietnam after the end of the war in 1975 and will feature works and events by artists with connections to Los Angeles — such as Thinh Nguyen, Truc-Anh and Tuan Andrew Nguyen — as well as many artists who are based exclusively in Vietnam. Through Oct. 12. 1811 E. 20th St., downtown Los Angeles, tmr.la.
“Bauhaus Beginnings,” at the Getty Research Institute. It has been the year of Bauhaus — marking the 100th anniversary of the globally influential art and design school that occupied locations in Berlin, Weimar and Dessau and then famously closed under pressure by the Nazis. This exhibition brings together more than 250 objects, primarily drawn from the Getty’s collections, that look at the school’s founding principles, which are rooted in spiritual expression and the development of a curriculum that touched all forms of artistic practice. Through Oct. 13. 1200 Getty Center Dr., Brentwood, Los Angeles, getty.edu.
“Gifted: Collecting the Art of California at Gardena High School 1919-1956,” at the Hilbert Museum of California Art. For almost four decades, the senior class at Gardena High School would come together to gift a work of art to their school — including pieces by notable California painters such as Edgar Payne and Maynard Dixon. Now that collection, which includes more than 70 paintings and an extensive archive of related material, is going on view at the Hilbert — the most expansive display of the collection since the 1950s. Through Oct. 19. 167 N. Atchison St., Orange, hilbertmuseum.com.
“Watching Socialism: The Television Revolution in Eastern Europe,” at the Wende Museum. It might be easy to think that television programming screened in the former Soviet bloc would have been an endless stream of propaganda. But reality was more complicated. Residents in border areas often received Western TV signals, complicating the picture of Soviet politics. And in the latter years under communist rule, TV networks introduced advertising — a capitalist conceit that was molded to socialist need. This exhibition looks at the television panorama in Eastern Europe during the Cold War. Through Oct. 20. 10808 Culver Blvd., Culver City, wendemuseum.org.
“Buried by Vesuvius: Treasures From the Villa dei Papiri,” at the Getty Villa. When J. Paul Getty built a museum on his Malibu property in the late 1960s, he chose to model it after the Villa dei Papiri in southern Italy, the luxurious Roman estate from AD 79 uncovered in 1750. This exhibition presents some of the most spectacular archeological finds from the site — including bronzes, marble statuary and objects from the library of papyrus scrolls that give the villa its name. Through Oct. 27. 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades, getty.edu.
Zak Ové, “The Invisible Man and the Masque of Blackness,” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The museum’s Cantor Sculpture Garden will be more than just Rodin works this summer as it becomes the installation site for the Trinidadian artist’s platoon of graphite figures evoking traditional African sculpture. The piece nods to histories of racial objectification and key works related to those issues — including Ben Jonson’s 1605 play, “The Masque of Blaqueness,” and Ralph Ellison’s 1952 novel, “Invisible Man.” Through Nov. 3. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, lacma.org.
“Air Land Sea: A Lithographic Suite by William Crutchfield,” at the Norton Simon Museum. The late artist was born in Indianapolis but settled in Los Angeles in the ‘60s, near the port of San Pedro. This provided plenty of inspiration for drawings and prints that dwell on the architectural and the industrial, images of trains, planes and buildings that were all reimagined as hybrids of each other. This show consists of a suite of 13 lithographs printed at the Tamarind Lithography Workshop in 1970. Through Nov. 4. 411 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, nortonsimon.org.
Gordon Parks, “The Flávio Story,” at the Getty Center. In the early 1960s, photographer Gordon Parks traveled to Brazil and photographed a poignant story about a young favela dweller named Flávio da Silva that highlighted issues of poverty and inequity in that country. But the pictures generated controversy there, where Parks was criticized for creating poverty porn. This led various Brazilian photographers to travel to the U.S. to photograph poverty here. The Getty Museum is showing Parks’ images, along with images by the Brazilian photographers who responded to Parks’ work. Through Nov. 10. 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood, Los Angeles, getty.edu.
Mary Corse, “A Survey in Light,” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. This is an overdue survey of one of the few women associated with SoCal’s Light and Space movement, an artist who has long toyed with light and the emotional states it can induce. The show highlights critical moments in Corse’s career: her experiments with shaped canvases, light boxes powered by Tesla coils (that she builds herself) and glass microbeads that make her work shimmer in hallucinatory ways. Through Nov. 11. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, lacma.org.
“Visualizing the People’s History: Richard Cross’s Images of the Central American Liberation Wars,” at the Museum of Social Justice. Photojournalist Richard Cross was only 33 years old when his car struck a landmine in Honduras and both he and a fellow journalist — Dial Torgerson, then Mexico bureau chief of the Los Angeles Times — were instantly killed. This exhibition gathers work from 1979 until his death in 1983, during which time Cross covered a range of liberation conflicts in Central America. The show is part of an ongoing effort at the Tom & Ethel Bradley Center at Cal State Northridge to digitize their photographic collection, which places an emphasis on underrepresented communities. Through Nov. 24. 115 Paseo de la Plaza, basement of the La Plaza Methodist Church, downtown Los Angeles, museumofsocialjustice.org.
Umar Rashid (Frohawk Two Feathers), “The World You Know is a Fiction…” at the Vincent Price Art Museum. Rashid takes American historical narratives, scrambles them, then reimagines them in paintings that take on issues such as colonization, war and the building of empires. Produced over several years, the work on view at the museum explores the vicissitudes of power and centers on figures that occupy his so-called “Frenglish Empire,” a fusion of the French and British colonial enterprises. Expect to see battalions of militiamen, freed slaves, indigenous nobility, all drawing on the visual and material traditions of colonial art. Through Dec. 21. 1301 Cesar Chavez Ave., Monterey Park, vincentpriceartmuseum.org.
Carolina Caycedo, “Apariciones / Apparitions,” at the Vincent Price Art Museum. As part of a project that was jointly curated by VPAM and the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, Caycedo spent time at the Huntington making a work that responded to the museum collection: a collaborative dance piece with choreographer Marina Magalhães that was inspired by indigenous and African dance practices and which, in many ways, responds to the issues of colonization raised by the entire Huntington enterprise. VPAM is now showing the video from that work, which it has acquired as part of its permanent collection. Through Dec. 21. 1301 Cesar Chavez Ave., Monterey Park, vincentpriceartmuseum.org.
“The Archival Impulse: 40 Years at LACE,” at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions. LACE, the historic Los Angeles art spot that gave key shows to Mike Kelley and groups such as Survival Research Laboratories in the ’80s, is turning 40 — and to mark the occasion, the organization has been poking around its metaphorical attic (aka its archive) to see what it might turn up. This show gathers elements from that archive as well as video works by a range of Los Angeles artists, including Jim Shaw, Susan Mogul and Reza Abdoh. Through Dec. 31. 6522 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, welcometolace.org.
Harry Fonseca, “Coyote Leaves the Res,” at the Autry Museum. The museum acquired the estate of the Sacramento-born painter and is now presenting works from his archive. Fonseca was known for his depictions of Coyote, a canine trickster who materializes in all manner of very human settings. It’s work that nods at the artist’s indigenous heritage without ever getting caught up in cliches. Through Jan. 5. 4700 Western Heritage Way, Griffith Park, Los Angeles, theautry.org.
“The Allure of Matter: Material Art From China,” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. A group exhibition features contemporary Chinese artists who are deeply engaged with their materials, be it wood, fabric or assembled scraps of photography. The show spans four decades and features work by Ai Weiwei, Cai Guo-Chiang, Song Dong and many others. Through Jan. 5. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, lacma.org.
“Indian Country: The Art of David Bradley,” at the Autry Museum of the American West. This survey exhibition examines the four-decade career of Bradley (Chippewa), who is known for producing vibrant, figurative paintings inspired by the Native experience — while also wryly poking at stereotypes and Hollywood tropes. Through Jan. 5. 4700 Western Heritage Way, Griffith Park, Los Angeles, TheAutry.org.
“The Foundation of the Museum,” at the Museum of Contemporary Art. This permanent collection exhibition marks the museum’s 40th anniversary with a display of history-making works, including Chris Burden’s “Exposing the Foundation of the Museum,” 1986, in which the artist dug up a portion of the museum’s floor, revealing its concrete foundations. Through Jan. 27. 152 N. Central Ave., downtown Los Angeles, moca.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.