Datebook: An artist creates a painted spell for migrant children

"Borderlands No. 2," 2019, by Sandy Rodriguez at Charlie James Gallery.
(Sandy Rodriguez)

Shows that explore the deadly nature of migration and others that fuse the contemporary with the historical. Here are 11 exhibitions and events to check out in the coming week:

Sandy Rodriguez, “You Will Not Be Forgotten,” at Charlie James Gallery. Rodriguez is known for using natural pigments and handmade papers in ways that evoke the codices of ancient Mexico to tell the stories of today — in this case, that of seven Central American child migrants who died in the custody of U.S. Customs and Border Protection over the last two years. The 20 works she has created for this show include portraits of the children in life, as well as a visual recipe for healing “susto” (trauma or fear). Opens Saturday at 6 p.m. and runs through March 7. 969 Chung King Rd., Chinatown,

Betsabeé Romero and José García Moreno, “Caravan,” at the Laband Art Gallery. The two artists deploy traditional craft techniques (such as cut paper) to address the conditions currently faced by immigrants to the United States. Tech plays a role, too — in the form of an animation by Romero. Opens Saturday and runs through March 28. Loyola Marymount University, 1 LMU Dr., Westchester,

"La mira equivocada/The Wrong Lock," 2019, by Betsabeé Romero is going on view in L.A. at the Laband Art Gallery at LMU.
(Betsabeé Romero / Laband Art Gallery)

“The Hilton Als Series: Lynette Yiadom-Boakye,” at the Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens. The Pulitzer Prize-winning critic has organized an exhibition that places the invented figures created by Yiadom-Boakye alongside the highly formal 18th century British portraits found in the museum’s Thornton Portrait Gallery. Opens Friday and runs through May 11. 1151 Oxford Rd., San Marino,

DisGender Euphoria: Nayland Blake’s First International Intergenerational Gender Discard Party, at Zebulon. Blake, whose work frequently picks apart social categories such as gender, race and sexuality, is staging the opposite of a gender reveal party: a gender discard party, in which strict definitions of gender will be done away with. This is in conjunction with their solo show at the ICA LA, which is in its last weekend. The festivities will include music, dance and performances by the likes of Ron Athey, Nao Bustamante, Young Joon Kwak and Marcus Kuiland Nazario. Bring a tote bag of gendered personal items you want to donate or swap. Sunday at 8 p.m., 2478 Fletcher Dr., Elysian Valley,

“In Focus: Platinum Photographs,” at the Getty Museum. Drawn from its collection, the museum is displaying a trove of platinum prints, a type of photo processing technique that gives images a velvety, matte surface. The technique first came into existence in 1873 and was regularly employed until the scarcities of World War I made securing platinum difficult. Since then, however, the process has been regularly revived by artists who seek its wide tonal range. Through May 31. 1200 Getty Center Dr.,

"Breton Onion Seller, London," 1950/67 by Irving Penn, at the Getty Museum.
(Irving Penn Foundation / J. Paul Getty Museum)

Claire Christeron, “Through the Window Up the Stairs,” at AA/LA. Through painting, ceramics and video, this exhibition tracks the emotions of childhood in works that channel whimsy, longing and the search for self. Opens Saturday and runs through March 21. 7313 Melrose Ave., Fairfax,

“The Body, the Object and the Other,” at Craft Contemporary. This is the museum’s second clay biennial, focused on showcasing contemporary works in ceramic — featuring artists who are actively challenging notions of representation. The show includes works by Jenny Hata Blumenfield, Cassils, Cannupa Hanska Luger, Cammie Staros and many others. Opens Saturday and runs through May 10. 5814 Wilshire Blvd.,

Herald Nix, “Paintings,” and Martin Werthmann, “Woodblock Prints,” at Wilding Cran Gallery. The gallery has a two-part show this month, with a series of 30 meditative landscape paintings by Canadian artist Herald Nix that revisit the same location over three years, as well as large-scale abstract wood-block prints by the Berlin-based Werthmann. Opens Saturday at 4 p.m. and runs through March 14. 1700 S. Santa Fe Ave., #460, downtown Los Angeles,

Richard Wiesel, “Objects from the Concentration Camps, at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust. Wiesel, the cousin of Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, takes objects from the archives at a pair of German concentration camps — a key, a child’s stuffed animal — and shoots them on simple black backgrounds. Opens Sunday at 4 p.m. and runs through April 10. 100 S. The Grove Dr., Fairfax,

An image from "Objects From the Concentration Camps" at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust.
An image from “Objects From the Concentration Camps” at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust.
(Richard Wiesel )

“Beyond Embodiment,” at the Brand Library Art Center. Twenty-five female, nonbinary and trans artists — including Sandra de la Loza, Kelly Akashi, Kelly Nipper, Martine Syms, VJ Um and many others — explore the body’s form and function in video, animation, sculpture and virtual and augmented reality. The opening reception will feature a special interactive live performance by Tiffany Trenda. Opens Saturday at 6 p.m. and runs through March 20. 1601 W. Mountain St., Glendale,

“The Twenty-Ninth Bather,” at ltd los angeles. A group show examines what it means to be a spectator of sports, whether it’s observing aestheticized bodies or the architecture of games. This includes work by Lyndon Barrois, William Brickel, Rosie McGinn and Ashley Teamer, among others. Through Feb. 15. 1119 S. La Brea Ave., Mid-Wilshire,

Last Chance

“The Collective Then: An Historical Survey of the Collective,” at Residency Art Gallery. Twenty years ago a group of 20 Inglewood artists came together to form a collective that could help promote work, secure exhibition space and implement public programs — all with a focus on black artists and black-owned galleries or artist-run spaces. Among its ranks, it counted Cecil Ferguson, one of the first African American curators at LACMA, assemblage artist John Outterbridge and the late Vida Brown, who was a curator at CAAM. The show includes art, archival video and other ephemera. Through Saturday. 310 E. Queen St., Inglewood,

Laura Owens, “Books and Tables,” at Matthew Marks Gallery. The Los Angeles painter is displaying a series of works, including handmade artist books, some of which have been a decade in the making. Through Saturday. 1062 N. Orange Grove, West Hollywood,

A detail from Laura Owens' “Books and Tables” at Matthew Marks Gallery.
(Annik Wetter / Laura Owens and Matthew Marks Gallery)

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 Saturday. 4835 W. Jefferson Blvd., West Adams,

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 Sunday. 1717 E. 7th St., downtown Los Angeles,

“No Wrong Holes: Thirty Years of Nayland Blake” at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. The influential artist is known 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 marinating in too. Through Sunday. 1717 E. Seventh St., downtown Los Angeles,

A video still from "Starting Over," 2000, by Nayland Blake at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.
(Nayland Blake)

“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 Sunday. 46 N. Los Robles Ave., Pasadena,


Kathleen Henderson, “Watch Me Make You Disappear,” at Track 16. Thirty-five drawings made over the past year satirize human folly in the face of extinction. Also on view are a series of “outtakes,” or clippings drawn from larger works, which the artist has accumulated over the years. Expect images that read like a cross between political cartooning and the surreal. Through Feb. 1. Bendix Building, 1206 Maple Ave., #1005, downtown Los Angeles,

“Peter Alexander,” by Parrasch Heijnen Gallery. The light and space artist is known for his translucent gradient sculptures that toy with light and the nature of color. This exhibition shows some of his recent sculptures in juxtaposition with some of his sea and landscape paintings, made from 1990 to today. Through Feb. 1. 1326 S. Boyle Ave., Boyle Heights, Los Angeles,

“All Women Are Dangerous II,” at Building Bridges Art Exchange. A group show organized by Marisa Caichiolo brings together art by women photographers exploring questions of identity and gender presentation. Participants include Aline Smithson, Brandy Trigueros, J.K. Lavin and many more. Through Feb. 2. Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., Unit F2, Santa Monica,

Sanlé Sory, “Volta Photo,” at M+B. The multifaceted Sory has worked, over the course of his life, as a reporter, photographer and illustrator for record sleeves. This exhibition gathers his studio portraiture from the ’60s to the ’80s, capturing a period in his native Burkina Faso just after independence — an ebullient moment in the wake of colonial rule. Also on view is an exhibition of new paintings by New York-based artist Clintel Steed. Through Feb. 7. 612 N. Almont Dr., West Hollywood,

"Sory Photographe," 1968, by Sanlé Sory at M+B Art.
(Sanlé Sory / M+B Art)

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 on view at UCI, where it can be heard in full. Through Feb. 8. UC Irvine, 712 Arts Plaza, Irvine,

Christopher Myers, “Drapetomania,” at Fort Gansevoort. In sculptures and textile works, the New York-based artist, illustrator and playwright examines how narratives of freedom are also linked to narratives about bondage. The exhibition takes its title from a bogus theory promoted by 19th century physician Samuel Cartwright that described a mania — an irrational desire or condition — that caused enslaved Africans to want to flee. Among his pieces is a large-scale work that depicts a surge in the removal of Confederate monuments in the United States. Through Feb. 8. 4859 Fountain Ave., East Hollywood,

“Hard Concept, Soft Material,” at Ochi Projects. A group show features artists who take soft materials — literally, fabric, faux fur and nylon — to make works that address difficult issues such as race and gender. Participants include Areli Arellano, Rachel Apthorp and Sean-Kierre Lyons, and was organized by Rakeen Cunningham. Also on view is a series of new paintings by L.A. painter Nick McPhail titled “Windows” that explores those junctures at which nature, light and architecture meet. Through Feb. 15. 3301 W. Washington Blvd., Arlington Heights,

Areli Arellano's fuzzy installation, "Una Oración de Las Voces Marginadas," at Ochi Projects
“Una Oración de Las Voces Marginadas,” 2018-19, by Arelia Arellano at Ochi Projects.
(Arelia Arellano / Ochi Projects)

Jacob Hashimoto, “Histories,” at Mixografía. This new series of prints finds Hashimoto working more improvisationally, arranging his intricate rice paper kites into panoramic compositions on paper that shows them in small groupings or tangled into smaller clusters — their strings functioning as expressive lines. Through Feb. 15. 1419 E. Adams. Blvd., Central-Alameda,

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,

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,

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 mines 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,

Shirin Neshat, “Untitled, From Roja Series,” 2016.
(Shirin Neshat / Gladstone Gallery)

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,

“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,

Carolina Caycedo, “Apariciones / Apparitions,” at the Huntington Library. 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 and filmmaker David de Rozas that was inspired by indigenous and African dance practices and that, in many ways, responds to the issues of colonization raised by the entire Huntington enterprise. Through Feb. 17. 1151 Oxford Rd., San Marino,

John Sonsini, “Cowboy Stories and New Paintings,” at Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects. For decades, the artist has painted portraits of men, including a series devoted to Latino day laborers. This series, which carries the painter’s trademark sensitivity, is focused on Los Angeles men who rock the cowboy look. Also on view are paintings by Whitney Bedford, which infuse landscapes with acid tones. Through Feb. 22. 1700 S. Santa Fe Ave., downtown,

Lezley Saar, “A Conjuring of Conjurers,” at Walter Maciel Gallery. Inspired by a 19th century French novel about a character who builds a fortress devoted to the worship of the senses and arts, Saar has created a series of invented mystic characters with supernatural powers. Her painted conjurers are presented on found fabrics and antique frames, along with sculptures and works of photographic collage. Through Feb. 22. 2642 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City,

"Septime, a collector of breezes...," a mixed media work by Lezley Saar
“Septime, a collector of breezes, hoarder of voices, and gatherer of olfactory ephemera, once changed her lover into a lake to protect him,” 2019, by Lezley Saar.
(August Augustsson)

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,

“Beside the Edge of the World,” at the Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens. Every year, the museum selects a group of artists for a yearlong residency and collaboration. This year, that group includes Nina Katchadourian, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, and Rosten Woo, and writers Dana Johnson and Robin Coste Lewis, poet laureate for the city of Los Angeles. The show features work by each artist. Through Feb. 24. 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino,

George Rodriguez, “Double Vision,” at the Vincent Price Art Museum. For decades, this Los Angeles photographer (whom I profiled in 2018) 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 Whisky 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,

"LAPD arresting a Chicano student protester, Boyle Heights," 1970, by George Rodriguez — from the artist's retrospective on view at the Vincent Price Art Museum.
(George Rodriguez)

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 Drive, Exposition Park,

Kirsten Stoltmann and Jennifer Sullivan, “Female Sensibility,” at Five Car Garage. Inspired by Lynda Benglis’ 1973 video, “Female Sensibility,” which parodied the idea of being labeled a woman artist, this exhibition features work by two young women artists considering the female gaze and body in their work. Through March 1. The gallery is in a private home in Santa Monica and viewings are by appointment; address is released then.

Hank Willis Thomas, “An All Colored Cast,” at Kayne Griffin Corcoran. In his first solo show in Los Angeles, Thomas explores the nature of color while also exploring the nature of representation in Hollywood. The pièce de résistance is a sculpture inspired by the General Lee, the car that appeared in television’s “The Dukes of Hazzard,” the Dodge Charger painted with a Confederate flag that was at the center of the action — an object of television nostalgia that also evokes histories of violence against African Americans. Through March 7. 1201 S. La Brea Ave., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles,

Hank Willis Thomas "An All Colored Cast," 2019, at Kayne Griffin Corcoran.
(Hank Willis Thomas / Kayne Griffin Corcoran)

Christopher Russell, “Cascades,” at Von Lintel. Russell has found new ways to manipulate photographs: creating prints that he uses as backdrops for carvings of patterns and ships. Through March 7. 1206 Maple Ave., downtown,

“Unseen: 35 Years of Collecting Photographs,” at the Getty Museum. In 1984, the museum’s precursor, the J. Paul Getty Trust, began to collect photography. Now the Getty has holdings of more than 148,000 prints, but only a fraction of those have ever been exhibited at the museum. This show gathers a small selection of some of those images, by photographers from all over the world, and puts them on display in thematic groupings that touch on themes related to the body, the city, animals and experimental technique. These include new acquisitions by Laura Aguilar and Osamu Shiihara, as well as images by other figures in the collection, including Anthony Hernandez, Carrie Mae Weems, Mary Ellen Mark, Veronika Kellndorfer and many more. Through March 8. 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood, Los Angeles,

“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,

“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 “nonessential” — 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,

Tom Kiefer Baby Shoe 2018
Baby Shoe, 2018, by Tom Kiefer, at the Skirball Cultural Center.
(Tom Kiefer / Redux Pictures)

“What She Said,” at ace/121 Gallery. The Association of Hysteric Curators, a loose collective of artists who explore feminist ideas in their work, has organized this group show that takes as its point of inspiration the ways in which moments of adversity call for divine speculation of the feminine sort. Among the artists featured in the show are Camilla Taylor, Lili Bernard, Michiko Yao and Carolyn Castaño. Through March 13. 121 N. Kenwood St., Glendale,

Michael Tedja, “The Color Guide Series,” at Chimento Contemporary. The Dutch painter, known for his reuse and recycling of images, is presenting 280 works of paper that are part of a larger project that he gathered in the book “Holarium — Negeren Series.” Through March 14. 4480 W. Adams Blvd., West Adams,

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, who pays tribute to a pair of local rivers in a pair of new commissions, as well as works by 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,

An installation view of Carolina Caycedo's water portraits at the Orange County Museum of Art's temporary space in Santa Ana.
An installation view of Carolina Caycedo’s water portraits at the Orange County Museum of Art’s temporary space in Santa Ana.
(Juliana Paciulli / OCMA)

“Sound Off: Silence + Resistance,” at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions. Part of LACE’s Emerging Curator series, this exhibition, organized by artist Abigail Raphael Collins, explores the idea of silence as a political act. Artists featured include Pauline Boudry, Lawrence Abu Hamdan and Sharon Hayes, among others. Through March 15. 6522 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood,

“Arte, Mujer y Memoria: Arpilleras From Chile,” at the Museum of Latin American Art. Hand-stitched and hand-woven textiles from Chile feature narratives of daily life — often touching on issues of struggle and politics. The show gathers more than 30 arpilleras produced by Chilean artisans between 1976 and 2019. Through March 29. 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach,

Charles Arnoldi, “Four Decades,” at the USC Fisher Museum of Art. This survey of the Venice Beach artist brings together work drawn from the collection of Jordan Schnitzer and his family foundation. The show traces his evolution since he landed in Southern California in the mid-1960s, making assemblages out of sticks, carving up plywood pieces with a chainsaw and more traditional paintings. Through April 4. USC, 823 W. Exposition Blvd., University Park, Los Angeles,

“The Medea Insurrection: Radical Women Artists,” at the Wende Museum of the Cold War. In the years before the fall of the Berlin Wall, artists in Eastern Europe turned to mythology to challenge authority and question the roles of women in society. This show features work by underground women artists working in Eastern Europe alongside their cohorts from Southern California. Through April 5. 10808 Culver Blvd., Culver City,

"Consumer Art 2," 1975, an original color print by Natalia LL, from “The Medea Insurrection: Radical Women Artists."
(Ludwig Museum - Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest)

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,

“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,

Tatsuo Miyajima, at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. This is the Japanese artist’s first museum exhibition in the United States in more than 20 years. Miyajima is known for employing LED lighting in ways that toy with the conventions of lighting generally employed for commercial signage. Here, he uses it to create installations that are luminous and contemplative. Through April 19. 1130 State St., Santa Barbara,

“Julie Mehretu,” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. This mid-career survey by the New York-based painter brings together 35 paintings and nearly 40 works on paper that tackle themes such as architecture, landscape, the flows of capital and the displacement of people in abstract ways. Through May 17. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire,

Julie Mehretu, "Black City," 2007, from the artist's mid-career survey at LACMA.
Julie Mehretu, “Black City,” 2007, from the artist’s mid-career survey at LACMA.
(Julie Mehretu / Tim Thayer / Pinault Collection)

“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. Through May 11. MOCA Grand Ave., 250 S. Grand Ave., downtown Los Angeles,

Rufino Tamayo, “Innovation and Experimentation,” at the LACMA gallery at Charles White Elementary School. An exhibition drawn from LACMA’s collection focuses on the celebrated Mexican painter’s works on paper — where he often worked out formal and technical issues. The show includes 20 works on paper that center on his depictions of the human figure, as well as five Mesoamerican sculptures (Tamayo was an avid collector of ancient indigenous objects). As part of the exhibition, L.A. artist Raul Baltazar will work with students at the school to create a collaborative installation inspired by Tamayo’s work. Through July 11. 2401 Wilshire Blvd., Westlake, Los Angeles,

"Dos personajes atacados por perros,"1983, by Rufino Tamayo, at Charles White Elementary.
(LACMA / Tamayo Heirs, Mexico / VAGA / Artists Rights Society)

“Hostile Terrain 94,” at the Art, Design & Architecture Museum. This participatory work, organized by the Undocumented Migration Project, consists of 20-foot-long map of the U.S.-Mexico border that will be populated with toe tags to commemorate the thousands of immigrants who have died trying to cross into the United States. Through Dec. 6. UC Santa Barbara,

Do Ho Suh, “348 West 22nd St.,” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. A recent gift to the museum, this installation is a 1:1 scale reproduction of an apartment the artist once inhabited in New York City. The piece, made from transparent polyester, gives the architecture a ghostly effect and evokes issues of memory and home. On long-term view. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire,

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.,