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The week ahead in SoCal galleries and museums: ‘Fiji: Art & Life in the Pacific’ at LACMA and more

Constance Gordon Cumming's "Levuka in Ovalau, Fiji, 19th September 1875"
Constance Gordon Cumming’s “Levuka in Ovalau, Fiji” is among the works on display in a new exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
(University of Cambridge / Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology)

Here is a list of museum and gallery shows in L.A. for Dec. 15-22. Capsule reviews by Leah Ollman (L.O.).

Openings

Fiji: Art & Life in the Pacific Large-scale exhibition of works from the South Pacific island nation include figurative sculpture, ritual and decorative pieces, weapons, watercolors, paintings, historic photographs and more, plus a traditional double-hull sailing canoe. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., L.A. Starts Sun.; ends July 19. Closed Wed. $10-$25; 17 and under, free. (323) 857-6010. lacma.org

Unseen: 35 Years of Collecting Photographs The Getty celebrates the 35th anniversary of its photo department with this exhibit of 200 never-before-seen images by leading photographers dating from the birth of the medium to the present day. The Getty Center, N. Sepulveda Blvd. & Getty Center Drive, L.A. Starts Tue.; ends March 8. Closed Mon. Free. (310) 440-7300. getty.edu

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Rufino Tamayo: Innovation and Experimentation LACMA pairs works by the late Mexican painter, printmaker and muralist with Mesoamerican sculpture from the museum’s collection. Charles White Elementary School, 2401 Wilshire Blvd., L.A. Starts Sat.; ends July 11. Open Saturdays only, 1 to 4 p.m. Free. (323) 857-6010. lacma.org

Critic’s Choices

Max Hooper Schneider For his spectacular Hammer Projects show, Schneider has built a dystopian extravaganza of trash and downscale treasure, fascinating in its alienness, disturbing in its familiarity. Is this an alternate world or the underbelly of our own? A portent of the future or a mirror to the present? The L.A.-based artist’s first solo museum show reads as many things, including as a model — outrageous and incisive — of the beset planetary island we call our own. (L.O.) UCLA Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood. Ends Feb. 2. Closed Mon. Free. (310) 443-7000. hammer.ucla.edu

Edward & Nancy Kienholz: The Merry-Go-World or Begat by Chance and The Wonder Horse Trigger Kienholz installations, at their best, collapse the distance between life and its interpretation. This one, both immersive and performative, has that no-degree-of-separation visceral impact. The artists collected materials, textures and visuals from around the world to give the work its darkly honest naturalism, to best make the point that fortune and misfortune are largely accidents of birth. L.A. Louver, 45 N. Venice Blvd., Venice. Ends Feb. 22. Closed Sun.-Mon. (310) 822-4955. lalouver.com

Takako Yamaguchi: New Paintings The L.A. painter’s new works leave a first impression of extreme restraint. The canvases are all of the same modest size and hushed palette. As calm as these pared performances seem, however, they still generate a wild whir of challenge and gratification. As Is, 1133 Venice Blvd., L.A. Ends Sat. Closed Sun.-Mon. (213) 610-4110. as-is.la

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Tania Franco Klein: Proceed to the Route The Mexican-born photographer has assimilated an assortment of familiar aesthetic stances, among them retro styling, cinematic staging and use of the still picture as a narrative spur. She also has adopted now-common tropes relating to female isolation, longing and the elusive definition of identity. She builds on these foundations and tweaks the recipes just enough to give her work its own piquant flavor. Rose Gallery, Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica. Ends Jan. 18. Closed Sun.-Mon. (310) 264-8440. rosegallery.net

Tatiana Trouvé: On the Eve of Never Leaving In her first L.A. show, the Paris-based Trouvé stages architectural interventions in both of Gagosian’s large galleries. One leans dystopian, the other utopian. Both are ambitious, immersive environments that insinuate themselves into the psychic realm via the physical. Both rely on high production values and impressive scale to effect, as in good theater, subtle interior shifts. Gagosian, 456 N. Camden Drive, Beverly Hills. Ends Jan. 11. Closed Sun. (310) 271-9400. gagosian.com


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