Datebook: MOCA explores an art movement inspired by feminine and domestic traditions
Paintings that draw from the feminine and the domestic, a Day of the Dead celebration in three languages and an artist-made carousel in Venice. Here are a dozen exhibitions and events to check out in the coming week:
“With Pleasure: Pattern and Decoration in American Art 1972-1985,” at the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles. In the 1970s, artists across the United States began to embrace forms of artistic production frequently described as feminine or domestic, traditions such as quilting, embroidery, weaving and interior design (such as wallpaper patterns). Artists took those ideas and media and pumped up the volume. This show, the first comprehensive, scholarly survey of this American art movement, will feature works by figures such as Merion Estes, Kendall Shaw and Takako Yamaguchi, as well as artists who aren’t directly associated with Pattern and Decoration but whose work bears tangential or indirect links. Opens Sunday and runs through May 11. MOCA Grand Ave., 250 S. Grand Ave., downtown Los Angeles, moca.org.
Edward and Nancy Kienholz, “The Merry-Go-World or Begat by Chance and the Wonder Horse Trigger,” at L.A. Louver. In the 1990s, the artist pair, known for their assemblages and narrative tableaux, created a large-scale merry-go-round installation inspired by accidents of birth. Using old bits of furniture, toys and taxidermied animals, they created individual mounts inspired by people in different places and different stations: a chairmaker in Egypt, a street barber in Bombay, a girl in a Rio favela, a wealthy woman in Paris — all demonstrating that the life we are born to is pure chance. It is the first time the work will be seen in L.A. since it debuted in 1992. Through Jan. 18. 45 N. Venice Blvd., Venice, lalouver.com.
Joe Rudko, “Tiny Mirrors,” at Von Lintel Gallery. From a distance, they appear to be pixelated images; get up close and you’ll see parts of vintage photographs all spliced together to create fragmented realities. This is the first exhibition at the gallery for the Seattle-based artist. Opens Saturday at 5 p.m. and runs through Dec. 21. Bendix Building, 1206 Maple Ave., #212, downtown Los Angeles, vonlintel.com.
Laura Owens, “Books and Tables,” at Matthew Marks Gallery. The Los Angeles painter is displaying a series of brand-new works, including handmade artist books, some of which have been a decade in the making. Opens Saturday at 5 p.m. and runs through Jan. 25. 1062 N. Orange Grove, West Hollywood, matthewmarks.com.
Laura Karetzky, “Ratio: Poems,” at Lora Schlesinger Gallery. Karetzky takes an old form (painting) and uses it to explore a new medium (digital life). The current works, are part of a series titled “embedded” that explore the ways in which people communicate across digital channels, especially over platforms such as FaceTime, in which one window might be embedded in another. Opens Saturday at 4 p.m. and runs through Dec. 7. Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., #B5b, Santa Monica, loraschlesinger.com.
Breyer P-Orridge, “Pandrogeny 1 & II,” at the Tom of Finland Foundation and Lethal Amounts. A two-part exhibition features paintings, photos, sculptures and installations by the gender-bending artist and pioneering musician (they were once part of the British industrial band Throbbing Gristle). P-Orridge has long explored issues of gender, the body and body modification, including a long-running effort to surgically transform themselves into their late romantic partner, Jacqueline “Lady Jaye” Breyer. Opens Friday and runs through Nov. 24 at both locations. An artist’s reception (including a special performance by Christeene) will take place at Lethal Amounts (1226 W. 7th St., Westlake, Los Angeles) this evening at 6 p.m.; advance tickets required for the opening. Tom of Finland Foundation, 1421 Laveta Terrace, Echo Park, Los Angeles and Lethal Amounts, 1226 W. 7th St., Westlake, Los Angeles, tomoffinlandfoundation.org and lethalamounts.com.
Tadashi Moriyama and Rachael Pease, “Frontiers,” at Jason Vass. Moriyama and Pease are two artists with overlapping interests: both students from the University of Pennsylvania who create intricate, meditative works in ink, two artists who also happen to be married and have children. New works by the pair explore notions of boundaries, both internal and external. Opens Saturday at 5 p.m. and runs through Dec. 7. 1452 E. 6th St., downtown Los Angeles, jasonvass.com.
“Some Among Others: Mexican Sound & Video Art,” at Now Instant. Artist and writer Nick Herman is presenting a screening of historic and contemporary sound works in Mexican art. Today at 8 p.m. 5319 York Blvd., Highland Park, Los Angeles, now-instant.la and x-traonline.org.
“Loitering is delightful,” at Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery. In his essay “Loitering is Delightful,” writer Ross Gay explores the meaning of the word and the ways it is employed as a tag of criminality when used to describe people of color. This group show, featuring work by artists such as Cauleen Smith, Milano Chow, Lauren Davis Fisher and many others, invites dawdling and other forms of “non-productive” activity. Opens Sunday at 2 p.m. and runs through Jan. 12. 4800 Hollywood Blvd., East Hollywood, lamag.org.
Día de los Muertos, at SPARC. The art center is hosting its 17th annual Day of the Dead celebration in collaboration with Martha Ramirez-Oropeza, a professor at UCLA. She and more than 100 students have built intricate altars in honor of the dead. Ramirez-Oropeza will lead invocations in Nahuatl, English and Spanish. Visitors are invited to bring a photograph of a loved one for the community altar. Sunday at 5:30 p.m.; doors open at 4:30 p.m. 785 Venice Blvd., Venice, sparcinla.org.
Jonathan Harkham, “City of Mysteries,” at Werkärtz. The Australia-born artist is showing a selection of recent paintings made in his downtown Los Angeles studio, works that serve as an informal record of the city and its inhabitants. Opens Saturday and runs through Dec. 7. 1013 S. Los Angeles St., downtown Los Angeles, werkartz.com.
Foodscapes Festival, at Reseda Recreation Center. Part of the citywide “Current:LA Food” triennial, this afternoon-long event organized by Big City Forum and Across Our Kitchen Tables features a pop-up mercado, as well as cooking demonstrations, art workshops and dance. Saturday 12 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. 1841 Victory Blvd., Reseda, facebook.com/big-city-forum-95125138032.
Robin F. Williams, “With Pleasure,” at Various Small Fires. The New York artist takes tropes of femininity and picks them apart on canvas, reimagining the sensual poses of advertising and imagining the physical embodiments of virtual assistants such as Siri and Alexa. Through Saturday. 812 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood, vsf.la.
Laura Krifka, “The Game of Patience,” at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles. Situations that are kind of weird (a nude couple sucking on lemons) and backdrops that are slightly oversaturated (patterned wallpaper straight out of the ’70s) — those are some of the settings for Krifka’s stylized figures. Through Saturday. 2685 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, luisdejesus.com.
“Worlds of Homelessness,” in locations around Los Angeles. It is estimated that 60,000 people experience homelessness in L.A. on any given night. This project, organized by the Goethe-Institut, looks at the issue of homelessness from an interdisciplinary perspective, through presentations by artists, architects and urbanism experts — as well as respected organizations such as the Los Angeles Poverty Department, a skid row art and performance group. Concludes Saturday and Sunday with the 10th Festival for All Skid Row Artists (Gladys Park, 808 E. 6th St., downtown Los Angeles), goethe.de.
“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 Sunday. 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades, getty.edu.
Dan Barry, “The flowers must all fade fruits must decay,” at Luz de Jesus Gallery. Collages with a retro feel incorporate bits of found imagery, drawing, needlepoint and drawing. Through Sunday. 4633 Hollywood Blvd., Los Feliz, laluzdejesus.com.
Elyse Pignolet, “You Should Calm Down,” at Track 16 Gallery. Pignolet takes quotidian aspects of women’s lives — cosmetics, tampons, the crude catcalls that men toss at women on the street — and renders them in Mediterranean-style ceramics, including tiles and vases. This new series takes misogynist expression and renders it in wry, decorative ways. Through Nov. 2. Bendix Building, 1206 Maple Ave., #1005, downtown Los Angeles, track16.com.
Judy Chicago, “Los Angeles,” at Jeffrey Deitch. In the 1960s, before she was known as the artist of high-profile feminist works such as “The Dinner Party,” Chicago was producing painting and sculpture in a much more minimal vein. This show at Deitch explores her early years in Los Angeles and Fresno, when Chicago was mastering the art of color and form. Through Nov. 2. 925 N. Orange Ave., Hollywood, deitch.com.
Theaster Gates, “Line Drawing for Shirt and Cloak,” at Regen Projects. In his second solo exhibition at Regen, Gates is taking his own wardrobe as a point of inspiration for a series of works that will come together to form a large-scale sculpture. The installation, which will feature a new vocal work by the artist, will also employ the storefront areas in ways that comment on questions of consumption and desire. Through Nov. 2. 6750 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, regenprojects.com.
Shana Lutker, “An Analphabet,” at Vielmetter Los Angeles. The title of the exhibition refers to, among other things, the title of a 1947 book of drawings by Man Ray, a book that explored the nature of symbols and letters. This premise serves as the basis of Lutker’s show, which presents a series of sculptures in reflective cut steel inspired by shapes from the artist’s archive of surrealist ephemera. Through Nov. 2. 1700 S. Santa Fe Ave., downtown Los Angeles, vielmetter.com.
Ernesto Neto, “Children of the Earth,” at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery. The Brazilian artist is known for creating immersive environments from hand-dyed fabrics, spices and shells. These interactive spaces — which participants can often fully inhabit — are inspired by craft and the natural world. Through Nov. 2. 1010 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood, tanyabonakdargallery.com.
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.
“Current:LA Food,” in locations around Los Angeles. Food is the sort of topic that can be linked to bounty, to desire and to literal hunger. It is the mannerist object on Instagram. It is the grain that shrivels in a year of drought. And it is the subject of this year’s public art triennial, organized by the City of L.A.’s Department of Cultural Affairs in collaboration with the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. This includes major public art commissions in neighborhoods around the city, including sites such as Pan Pacific Park, Leimert Plaza Park, the Venice Beach Recreation Center and Barnsdall Park, among many others, featuring works by artists such as Nari Ward, Jazmin Urrea, Michael Rakowitz, Julio César Morales and Max La Rivière-Hedrick. Check the website for locations and for the many related events and programming. Through Nov. 3. In locations around Los Angeles, currentla.org.
Ari Benjamin Meyers, “Kunsthalle for Music,” at the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara. Meyers, who is based in Berlin, is turning the museum into a stage in which an ensemble performs a repertoire of musical works composed by the artist and others. Through Nov. 3. 653 Paseo Nuevo, Santa Barbara, mcasantabara.org.
“Paroxysm of Sublime,” at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions. A group show explores the notion of “solastalgia” (a blend of the words “solace” and “nostalgia”), the feelings of distress that occur with changes in a person’s natural environment. The show, organized in collaboration with France Los Angeles Exchange, includes works by Carmen Argote, Beatriz Cortez, Candice Lin, Eddie Aparicio and many others. Through Nov. 3. 6522 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, welcometolace.org.
Sayre Gomez, “X-Scapes,” at François Ghebaly. Inspired by trompe l’oeil and filmic set painting, Gomez uses a multitude of techniques to stitch together disparate aspects of the Los Angeles landscape in ways that channel the hyperreal. Themes include the more quotidian aspects of the landscape: strip mall signage and cell towers. Also on view will be sculptures that evoke elements of the urban environment. Through Nov. 3. 2245 E. Washington Blvd., downtown Los Angeles, ghebaly.com.
“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.
Chris Hood, “Para,” at Praz Delavallade. Hood, an L.A. painter, is making his gallery debut with a series of canvases that layer landscapes, objects and figures — images that the artist harvests from his collection of personal photographs. Through Nov. 9. 6150 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, praz-delavallade.com.
Analia Saban, “Dry Clean Only,” at Mixografia. The artist is releasing a suite of eight prints inspired by garment labels with the L.A. print-making studio known for producing highly textured, practically three-dimensional works on paper. Their large scale highlights the labels’ aesthetic and utilitarian elements — from font design to the hurried nature in which they are produced. Through Nov. 9. 1419 E. Adams Blvd, Central-Alameda, Los Angeles, mixografia.com.
Hugh Holland, “Silver. Skate. Seventies.” at M+B. Since the 1970s, the photographer has captured the culture of skateboarding in drainage ditches, empty pools and asphalt streets. This exhibition of black and white images accompanies the release of the artist’s latest monograph, published by Chronicle Chroma Books. Through Nov. 9. 612 N. Almont St., West Hollywood, mbart.com.
Tanya Brodsky, “Tongue Tied,” at Ochi Projects. Brodsky is known for creating installations that take the objects of the everyday (say, handrails) and deploying them in absurdist ways (placing that handrail in a corner to nowhere). For this installation she looks at the ways in which words and images are used to convey meaning — imagine the missives of stock images and upbeat wellness texts distributed by her health insurance company — and how meaning often has a way of slipping between the cracks. Through Nov. 9. 3301 W. Washington Blvd., Arlington Heights, Los Angeles, ochiprojects.com.
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,.
“B.A.T. State III: Women Artists in Conversation With El Nopal Press,” at the Kleefeld Contemporary Art Museum. A group exhibition gathers works by 37 women artists who, over a span of 30 years, made prints at Francisco X. Siqueiros’ print-making studio, El Nopal Press in downtown Los Angeles. This includes lithographs, relief prints, monoprints and other works produced by artists such as Judith F. Baca, Lisa Adams, Carolyn Castaño, Diane Gamboa, Emily Cheng, Anita Bunn and many others. Through Nov. 14. Cal State Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach, csulb.edu.
“On the Surface: Wallpaper From 1797 to the Present,” at Palos Verdes Art Center. This broad survey brings together a wide sample of European, English and American wallpapers dating back to the late 18th century — including loaned samples from Zuber & Cie in France, the oldest extant manufacturer of wallpaper in the world. Through Nov. 16. 5504 Crestridge Road, Rancho Palos Verdes, pvartcenter.org or onthesurface.design.
“Night in the City: L.A. After Dark,” at the Natural History Museum. A series of public programs devised by the museum, in collaboration with the Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West, as well as KCET and Artifact Nonfiction, consider the city at night. The series kicked off with a film and discussion about working the night shift. Upcoming events include conversations about the history of electricity in L.A. (on Oct. 29) and a full-day symposium that will touch on everything from noir novels to the science of evening skies (Nov. 16). 900 Exposition Blvd., Exposition Park, Los Angeles, nhm.org.
Ardeshir Tabrizi, “Masjid,” at Roberts Projects. Tabrizi creates large-scale, hand embroidered paintings that blend historic Iranian symbols and imagery with more contemporary events. The exhibition also features a series of works on paper that employ pages from the Quran and are woven together with thread and graphite images. Through Nov. 16. 5801 Washington Blvd., Culver City, robertsprojectsla.com.
Mark Cottle, “The Cost of Money,” at Neutra VDL. Cottle has created a series of architectonic interventions that will inhabit the 1930s-designed home by architect Richard Neutra in Silver Lake. These are made from recycled shopping bags that he assembles into large geometric works that also serve as charts of exchanges, transactions and goods consumed. Through Nov. 23. 2300 Silver Lake Blvd., Silver Lake, Los Angeles, neutra-vdl.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.
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.
Amir Zaki, “Empty Vessel,” at the Frank M. Doyle Arts Pavilion. This exhibition creates pairings of two types of vessels: broken ceramic containers and the undulating concrete skateparks that dot the California landscape. But rather than present these as objects of utility, Zaki is interested, primarily, in their sculptural qualities. Through Dec. 5. Orange Coast College, 2701 Fairview Rd. Costa Mesa, orangecoastcollege.edu.
“Salt & Silver: Early Photography, 1840-1860,” at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Drawn from the archives of the Wilson Centre for Photography in London, this exhibition features more than 100 seldom-displayed salt prints that hark back to the earliest days of photography. Through Dec. 8. 1130 State St., Santa Barbara, sbma.net.
“Every Living Thing: Animals in Japanese Art,” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Lions, dogs, horses, fish and more — this survey looks at the broad representation of animals in Japanese art from the 5th century to the present. The show, which features more than 200 objects, many drawn from LACMA’s collection, examines the use of animals as zodiac symbols, in folklore and the natural world. Through Dec. 8. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, lacma.org.
Brooks + Scarpa, “Dense-city: Housing for Quality of Life,” at the 18th Street Art Center’s Airport Gallery. This exhibition brings together projects by the L.A. architecture studio whose designs have regularly touched on the burning issues in design today: equity, public space, housing. (They recently released a toolkit of design pieces that can be adapted to a variety of urban lots, allowing cities to speed up construction for the homeless.) This exhibition features two decades of projects intended to address sustainable housing and communities. Through Dec. 14. Airport Campus, 3026 Airport Ave., Santa Monica, 18thstreet.org.
Russell Crotty, “Paintings Distant and Perilous,” at Shoshana Wayne. In his fifth solo show at the gallery, the artist, who has long had a fascination with space, is presenting about two dozen new paintings influenced by astronomy and lunar exploration — inspired, in part, by a 2015-16 residency at the Lick Observatory, part of the Institute of Arts & Sciences at UC Santa Cruz. The series fuses an array of celestial phenomena with more earthly landscapes, among other imagery. Through Dec. 21. 4835 W. Jefferson Blvd., West Adams, Los Angeles, shoshanawayne.com.
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.
“W|alls: Defend, Divide and the Divine” at the Annenberg Space for Photography. An exhibition takes a broad look at the ways in which humans have constructed barriers and the myriad purposes they have served — and continue to serve — be they political, spiritual or aesthetic. Through Dec. 29. 2000 Avenue of the Stars, Century City, Los Angeles, annenbergphotospace.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.
Oscar Castillo, “L@s Tarahumaras: Life, Culture and Challenges,” at Jean Deleage Gallery. In 1972, the photographer reported a story about the Tarahumara runners of the High Sierras of Chihuahua. This exhibition showcases some of that work. Through December. Casa 0101 Theater, 2102 1st Street, Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, casa0101.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.
“Lari Pittman: Declaration of Independence,” at the Hammer Museum. This is the most comprehensive retrospective of the Los Angeles painter, known for producing deeply layered, wildly ornate canvases that draw from an array of historical painting, textile and graphic traditions to address a range of social and historical conditions. In his work, he touches on queer sexuality, colonialism and the deadly ravages of the AIDS crisis — and all the in-between pieces of life that have to do with love, sex and death. Through Jan. 5. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood, Los Angeles, hammer.ucla.edu.
“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.
Charles Gaines, “Palm Trees and Other Works,” and Philip Guston, “Resilience in 1971,” at Hauser & Wirth. The L.A. conceptual artist is known for using numbered grid systems to generate patterns and images — most famously, of trees. His new series is inspired by native California palms from Palm Canyon near Palm Springs. Also on view are works by the late Abstract Expressionist Philip Guston, who in his later years, became known for delving into figuration and the grotesque. The show focuses specifically on works from 1971, a pivotal year for the artist, including his Roma paintings and Richard Nixon drawings. Through Jan. 5. 901 E. 3rd St., downtown Los Angeles, hauserwirth.com.
“Mexicali Biennial: Calafia — Manifesting the Terrestrial Paradise” at the Armory Center for the Arts. The latest iteration of this roving, cross-border biennial is landing in Pasadena and the theme on this go-around are the literary origins of our state: Calafia, the black queen and her Amazon warriors who figure in Garci Rodríguez de Montalvo’s 16th century novel “Las Sergas de Esplandian,” the figure from which California gets its name. Featured in the show are artists such as Sandy Rodriguez, Mely Barragán, Chelle Barbour, Noé Olivas, Chinwe Okona, Cog*nate Collective, Invasorix and many others. As in other iterations of the biennial, there will be more to the show than the exhibition at the Armory Center, with satellite programming in Calexico, Mexicali and Tijuana. Through Jan. 12. 145 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena, armoryarts.org.
“Manet and Modern Beauty,” at the Getty Museum. Painter Edouard Manet was notorious for large, confrontational nudes that unabashedly challenged convention in their day (such as his infamous “Olympia,” from 1863) and for being part of an upstart group of artists that turned their rejections from the French Academy into the now famous Salon des Refusés. But toward the end of his life, he painted smaller, more intimate works that depicted Paris street life, stylish women and café society. The exhibition will display more than 90 paintings and drawings from the final years of his life. Through Jan. 12. 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood, Los Angeles, getty.edu.
Martin Durazo, “Monolith(ic),” and Chris Kallmyer, “Sundown Shelter,” at the Grand Central Art Center. The Santa Ana arts center has several exhibitions on view. This includes a new installation by Durazo consisting of a Lamassu, the winged Assyrian deity (a symbol of power and protection), which will anchor a structure that will serve as a site of performance and lectures and other public events. Also on view is a new video work by Kallmyer that features Slavic pagan performers in Warsaw. Through Jan.12. 125 N. Broadway, Santa Ana, grandcentralartcenter.com.
Sadie Barnette, “The New Eagle Creek Saloon,” at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. The Oakland-based artist has created an installation that reimagines the Eagle Creek Saloon, the first black-owned gay bar in San Francisco — which happened to be owned by her father, Rodney Barnette (also a founder of the Compton chapter of the Black Panther Party). One part monument, one part sculpture and one part social space, the installation is meant to be the site of regular events. Through Jan. 16. 1717 E. 7th St., downtown Los Angeles, theicala.org.
“Nineteen Nineteen” at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens. Exactly a century ago, Henry and Arabella Huntington signed the trust document that established the Huntington Library in San Marino. This exhibition marks that momentous occasion by looking at the era in which the museum was established, the roiling years after World War I. Featured in the show are photographs, paintings, sculpture, maps, posters, rare books and other objects that define that historical moment. Through Jan. 20. 1150 Oxford Rd., San Marino, huntington.org.
“Following the Box,” at the USC Pacific Asia Museum. A show inspired by found photographs links past and present: 12 contemporary artists — two American and 10 Indian — have created works based on images snapped by an unknown U.S. serviceman in India at the end of World War II. The new pieces encompass a wide variety of media, including painting, installation and artist books. Through Jan. 26. 46 N. Los Robles Ave., Pasadena, pacificasiamuseum.usc.edu.
“No Wrong Holes: Thirty Years of Nayland Blake” at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. The influential artist is know for creating works out of modest materials — old shoes, racks of books, old bottles — that touch on heady topics: the vagaries of race, sexuality, gender and dominance. The artist’s adult-sized gingerbread house in one of the galleries will likely generate all manner of chatter, but the poignant works of video, assemblage and drawing will be worth marinading in too. Through Jan. 26. 1717 E. Seventh St., downtown Los Angeles, theicala.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.
lauren woods, “American Monument,” at the Beall Center for Art + Technology. In this timely exhibition, the artist explores the ways in which African Americans have lost their lives due to police violence. Painstakingly compiled through government records requests, the central work is a sound installation in which viewers can employ the installed turntables to play audio from police killings. The audio is broadcast within the gallery space and to other exterior locations too. The installation generated headlines last year after the director of the University Art Museum at Cal State Long Beach, where it was supposed to be shown, was fired — and woods silenced the work. Now “American Monument” is back on view at UCI, ready to be seen and heard in full. Through Feb. 8. UC Irvine, 712 Arts Plaza, Irvine, beallcenter.uci.edu.
Gabriela Ruiz, “Full of Tears,” at the Vincent Price Art Museum. In her first solo museum show, the Los Angeles artist also known as “Leather Papi” employs a mix of media — video, 3-D mapping, sculptural installation — to examine identity and the self. Expect a full, wild immersion. Through Feb. 15. East Los Angeles College, 1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez, Monterey Park, vincentpriceartmuseum.org.
Rodney McMillian, “Brown: Videos from the Black Show,” at the Underground Museum. This exhibition consists of a suite of video works previously shown as part of an installation at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia that serve as meditations on class, race, gender and economic status around a central axis of blackness. Through Feb. 16. 3508 W. Washington Blvd., Arlington Heights, theunderground-museum.org.
Shirin Neshat, “I Will Greet the Sun Again,” at the Broad Museum. This is the most extensive exhibition to date of work by the New York-based artist, who is known for her elegant photographs and videos, each of which mine an intersecting array of topics, including exile, justice, politics and gender. Though widely known for installations that explore the vagaries of Iranian culture and history, the exhibition shows Neshat turning to other subjects, too: Azerbaijan, the Arab Spring, and a series of surreal stories that she uncovers in the desert of New Mexico. Through Feb. 16. 221 S. Grand Ave, downtown Los Angeles, thebroad.org.
Phillip K. Smith III, “10 Columns,” at Bridge Projects. Smith is known for his large-scale architectural installation projects, such as the mirrored structure he created for the 2017 iteration of Desert X in the Coachella Valley, and the defunct Detroit skybridge he turned into a beacon of colorful light. For the debut of this Hollywood gallery, the artist has created an immersive light installation for the 7,000-square-foot space that is inspired by the shifting nature of light in Los Angeles over the course of a day. Through Feb. 16. 6820 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, bridgeprojects.com.
“Soft Schindler,” at the Mak Center. In 1949, Pauline Schindler, estranged from her husband, R.M. Schindler, painted half of the interior of the Modernist home they shared on Kings Road in West Hollywood a shade of salmon pink. For the architect, the paint job breached a design ethos that was all about natural materials. This exhibition explores that idea — how the various inhabitants of the Schindler House have over time softened its hard “masculine” edges with so-called “feminine” design flourishes: pillows, flower pots and curtains. These design binaries inspired the works on view in the show, which include installations by artists such as Tanya Aguiñiga, Bettina Hubby and Alice Lang, among others. Through Feb. 16. 835 N. Kings Road, West Hollywood, makcenter.org.
Julie Green, “Flown Blue,” at the American Museum of Ceramic Art. Green is known for recycling secondhand porcelain to create original works in shades of cobalt blue — among them “The Last Supper,” a large-scale installation of more than 800 plates that features last meal requests from inmates on death row. Through Feb. 23. 399 N. Garey Ave., Pomona, amoca.org.
George Rodriguez, “Double Vision,” at the Vincent Price Art Museum. For decades, this Los Angeles photographer (whom I profiled last year) captured every aspect of life in Los Angeles: the Eastside blowouts, the rise of rap (he made some of the earliest professional portraits of N.W.A), farm labor activism, the Chicano moratorium, Hollywood dinners, a gig by the Doors at the Whiskey a Go Go, prizefighters in the moments before they climb into the ring and shoeshine boys in downtown. Now the Vincent Price has put together the photographer’s first career retrospective, featuring a range of his images from the 1950s to the early ‘90s. Through Feb. 29. East Los Angeles College, 1301 Cesar Chavez Ave., Monterey Park, vincentpriceartmuseum.org.
Timothy Washington, “Citizen/Ship,” at the California African American Museum. The Los Angeles artist is known for assemblages he crafts from found objects that he embeds into large-scale armatures often dipped in cotton and white glue. For this show, he is displaying his first installation project, “Citizen/Ship,” a work that fuses Afrofuturism and rah-rah patriotism. Through March 1. 600 State Dr., Exposition Park, caamuseum.org.
“Through a Different Lens: Stanley Kubrick Photographs,” at the Skirball Cultural Center. Before he was a film director he was a photographer, taking pictures for Look magazine in the 1940s. This exhibition gathers images from the Look archive and maps the early aesthetic talents of one of cinema’s great eyes. Through March 8. 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Brentwood, Los Angeles, skirball.org.
“El Sueño Americano: The American Dream, Photographs by Tom Kiefer,” at the Skirball Cultural Center. Kiefer gathers objects seized by officials on the U.S. border — objects often deemed “potentially lethal” or “non-essential” — and creates tidy arrangements that he then photographs. The images serve as searing catalogs of the ways in which immigrants are treated upon arrival in the U.S. Kiefer came upon many of these items while working as a janitor at a Customs and Border Protection station in Arizona. Through March 8. 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Brentwood, Los Angeles, skirball.org.
OCMAEXPAND: Six new artist installations at the Orange County Museum of Art. The museum, still in its temporary space in an old furniture showroom near South Coast Plaza (do visit — this is a great space), has a whole new rack of installations by six artists working on the Pacific Rim, all of which are inspired by the environment and the natural world. This includes installations by Carolina Caycedo, Daniel Duford, Ximena Garrido-Lecca, Mulyana, Robert Zhao Renhui and Yang Yongliang. Through March 15. South Coast Plaza Village, 1661 W. Sunflower Ave., Santa Ana, ocmaexpand.org.
Betye Saar: “Call and Response,” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Saar is one of the icons of the Black Arts Movements, a Los Angeles assemblagist known for taking some of the ugliest pieces of our culture’s detritus and making out of them things that are stirring and beautiful. This solo show examines the arc of her practice, pairing early schematic sketches with finished versions of her work from throughout her career. Through April 5. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, lacma.org.
“Natural History of Horror,” at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County. This exhibition explores our fascination with movie monsters with a display that includes film posters and props but also elements of the natural world that inspired their narratives. This includes a coelacanth fish, which served as the basis for the design of “The Creature From the Black Lagoon.” Through April 19. 900 Exposition Blvd., Exposition Park, Los Angeles, nhm.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.
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