29 L.A. and O.C. museum exhibitions you can see right now

A boxer as tall as a skyscraper punches a building in "Support Systems," a 1984 mixed-media work by Todd Gray.
“Support Systems,” a 1984 mixed-media work by Todd Gray, is among images on display in the exhibition “Photo Flux: Unshuttering L.A.” at the Getty Center.
(Todd Gray)

It took a while, but some of L.A.’s biggest museums are back: The Getty Center in Brentwood and the Broad downtown are among the latest Southern California culture destinations to welcome visitors again after the long pandemic closure. It’s a growing list of May museum options that also includes the Ai Weiwei show at the Skirball Cultural Center, the Carlos Almaraz show at LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes and the “Made in L.A.” biennial at the Hammer Museum and the Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens.

This is our last update of our May list. Look for a new June museums list next week. And remember: Before you head out to any of these shows, call or check online for reservation requirements and other COVID-19 protocols.

The shows that have our attention:

“Photo Flux: Unshuttering L.A.”
Photographs by 35 L.A.-based artists interrogate concepts such as culture, objectivity and representation, on view through Oct. 10

The Getty Center, Sepulveda Boulevard and Getty Center Drive, L.A. Closed Mondays. Free; advance timed-entry tickets required. (310) 440-7300.


Also on view: “Power, Justice, and Tyranny in the Middle Ages” (through Aug. 15); “Silk & Swan Feathers: A Luxurious 18th-Century Armchair” (through July 31); “Artists as Collectors” (through Sept. 12)

The Getty Center, which has been closed since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, reopens to the public.

May 26, 2021

“Invisible Sun”
Works by Julie Mehretu, Keith Haring and others from the Broad’s collection explore social justice, on view through Oct. 3

The Broad, 221 S. Grand Ave., downtown L.A. Open Wednesday-Sunday. Free; advance timed-entry tickets required; no on-site standby line. (213) 232-6200.

“Our House: Selections From MOCA’s Collection”
Works by Mark Rothko and others, from the 1950s to the present, on view to members now, to the public June 3

Museum of Contemporary Art, 250 S. Grand Ave., downtown L.A. Open daily. Free; special exhibitions, $10, $18. Also reopened on the same timeline: Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, 152 N. Central Ave., Little Tokyo. (213) 626-6222.


“The Swineherd”
This 1888 painting by Paul Gauguin on loan from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is exhibited with related post-Impressionist works in the museum’s 19th century art gallery, through Nov. 18

Norton Simon Museum, 411 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. Closed Tuesday-Wednesday. $12, $15; students, active military and ages 18 and younger are free. (626) 449-6840.

Also on view: “Beyond the World We Know: Abstraction in Photography” (through Aug. 12)

“HERland: Women Artists in the MOLAA Collection”
Works by Latina and Latin American artists including Leonora Carrington, Ofelia Rodriguez, Verónica Riedel and Carmen Argote, on view to members now, reopening to the public in July

Museum of Latin American Art, 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach. Open Tuesdays-Fridays. (562) 437-1689.

“Dan McCleary: Oaxaca”
Prints created over 20 years and inspired by the L.A.-based artist’s time in Mexico, through July 24

USC Fisher Museum of Art, 823 W. Exposition Blvd., L.A. Closed Sunday-Monday. Free; advance reservations required. (213) 740-4561.

“We Are Here: Contemporary Art and Asian Voices in Los Angeles”
Works by seven local female artists of Asian Pacific heritage, through May 30

USC Pacific Asia Museum, 46 N. Los Robles Ave., Pasadena. Open Wednesday-Sunday. Pay what you wish through June 6. After that it’s $7-$10; ages 17 and younger are free. (626) 787-2680.

“Enunciated Life”
Contemporary works exploring Black spirituality, on view through Aug. 15
California African American Museum, 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, L.A. Closed Mondays. Free; reservations required. (213) 744-7432.

Also on view: “April Bey: Atlantica, The Gilda Region” (through Jan. 17); “Rights and Rituals: The Making of African American Debutante Culture” (through Feb. 27); “Men of Change: Power. Triumph. Truth.” (through May 30); “Sanctuary: Recent Acquisitions to the Permanent Collection” (through July 11).

“Ai Weiwei: Trace”
This installation created by the Chinese artist features portraits, crafted from Lego bricks, of dissidents, prisoners of conscience and free-speech advocates. On view through Aug. 1.
Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., L.A. Open Tuesday-Sunday. $7-$12; kids under 2 are free; advance timed-entry tickets required. Partial reopening does not include the Noah’s Ark children’s area.

Skirball Cultural Center reopens with Ai Weiwei portraits of political dissidents, and the L.A. Phil streams its return to the Hollywood Bowl.

May 13, 2021

“Analogues: Travon Free”
Photographs by the comedian and Oscar-winning filmmaker capture last summer’s street demonstrations in L.A. in response to the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, on view through Jan. 16.
UCR Arts (California Museum of Photography, Culver Center of the Arts), 3824 Main St., Riverside. Open Thursday-Sunday. Free; advance timed-entry tickets required.

Also on view: “Lift Your Head: Bruce Davidson and the Evolution of Seeing,” a survey of documentary-style images by the veteran photographer, through Jan. 16; “Facing Fire: Art, Wildfire, and the End of Nature in the New West,” through Aug. 15; “Scenes From the Collection: Trees,” nature photography, through July 4.

“Carlos Almaraz: Evolution of Form”
Times columnist Carolina A. Miranda called the work of this late painter, subject of a 2017 LACMA retrospective, “vital to the ways in which Los Angeles sees itself.” This exhibition explores the Chicano artist’s early life to reveal influences on his style and form.
LA Plaza de Cultural y Artes, 501 N. Main St., L.A. Thursday-Sundays. Free; reservations suggested. (213) 542-6200,

Also on view: “Only Light Can Do That,” Patrick Martinez’s neon mural installation with messages of inspiration for essential workers, part of the Art Rise initiative for Mental Health Awareness Month (through Sept. 7).

“Making Time”
Works by L.A.-based artists that explore the concept of time, on view through Sept. 12
Craft Contemporary, 5814 Wilshire Blvd., L.A. Open Thursday-Sunday. $7, $9; Sundays are pay what you can; reservations required.

Also on view: “Tomoshibi: Glass Works by Kazuki Takizawa,” works by the L.A.-based artist (through Sept. 12); “Cathy Cooper: Dramatis Personae,” pieces by the L.A.-based artist, performer and costume designer (through Sept. 12).

“See Thy Neighbor: Stern Photographers Thomas Hoepker and Harald Schmitt in the GDR”
Two photographers with very different points of view on East German life in the 1970s and ’80s. On view through Oct. 24
Wende Museum, 10808 Culver Blvd., Culver City. Open Friday-Sunday. Free; advance reservations required. (310) 216-1600.

Also on view: “Common Fantasy” (through Sept. 2); “Transformations: Living Room -> Flea Market -> Museum -> Art” and “Relics of the Cold War: Photographs by Martin Roemers” (through Oct. 24)

“Made in L.A. 2020: a version”
The Hammer’s pandemic-delayed fifth biennial, presented this year with the Huntington, is on view through Aug. 1 | TIMES FEATURE | REVIEW
Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood. Closed Mondays. Free; reservations required. (310) 443-7000. Also at the Huntington, 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino. Closed Tuesdays. $13-$29; children younger than 4, free; advance purchase required. (626) 405-2100.

“Mesopotamia: Civilization Begins”
Statuary, pottery, wall paintings and other antiquities from the Louvre, on view through Aug. 16 | TIMES REVIEW
The Getty Villa, 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades. Closed Tuesdays. Free; advanced tickets required. (310) 440-7300.

Also on view: “Assyria: Palace Art of Ancient Iraq” (through Sept. 5)

“Under a Mushroom Cloud: Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and the Atomic Bomb”
Personal effects of atomic bomb victims, on view through June 13
Japanese American National Museum, 100 N. Central Ave., Little Tokyo, L.A. Closed Mondays. Free; advance tickets required. (213) 625-0414.

Also on view: “Transcendients: Heroes at Borders” and “Transcendients: 100 Days of COVID-19 and Memorial to Healthcare Workers,” multimedia exhibits by Taiji Terasaki that salute social justice advocates and frontline medical personnel.

“Inside the Walt Disney Archives: 50 Years of Preserving the Magic”
On view through June 20 | TIMES FEATURE
Bowers Museum, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana. Closed Mondays. $10-$15; children younger than 12 free; advance purchase recommended. (714) 567-3600.

Also on view: “Test of Medal: Charles J. Shaw and the Montford Point Marines” (through June 27); “Treasures in Gold & Jade: Masterworks From Taiwan” (through Sept. 5); “Artistic Legacy: The Ann and Bill Cullen Collection” (Aug. 28 through winter 2022)

“Yoshitomo Nara”
A three-decade survey of works by the Japanese artist, on view through July 5. | TIMES REVIEW
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., L.A. Closed Wednesdays. $10-$25; ages 12 and younger are free; advance timed-entry tickets required. (323) 857-6010.

Also on view: “Not I: Throwing Voices (1500 BCE–2020 CE),” exploring ventriloquism in art (through July 25); “Cauleen Smith: Give It or Leave It,” multimedia works by the L.A.-based artist (through Oct. 31); “Bill Viola: Slowly Turning Narrative,” room-sized video installation (through June 27); “Vera Lutter: Museum in the Camera,” images of the LACMA campus (through Sept. 12).

“The Art of the Brick”
Artworks made from Legos.
California Science Center, 700 Exposition Park Drive, L.A. Open daily. Permanent exhibits are free; special exhibits (including “The Art of the Brick”) and IMAX films vary in price. Advance reservations required. (323) 724-3623.

Also on view: “Mission 26: The Big Endeavour,” exploring the relocation of the space shuttle to Southern California.

“Free State”
Exploration of human rights, democracy, the environment on view through Sept. 18.
ESMoA (El Segundo Museum of Art), 208 Main St., El Segundo. Open Fridays and Saturdays. Free; advance timed-entry tickets required. (424) 277-1020.

“Butterfly Season”
While its indoor galleries remain closed, the Kidspace Children’s Museum is presenting a 25th-anniversary edition of this family-friendly festival with outdoor activities.
480 N. Arroyo Blvd., Pasadena. Open Wednesday-Sunday. $12.95, $14.95; infants are free; advance timed-entry tickets required.

“Motown: The Sound of Young America”
This exhibit celebrating the storied record label includes stage costumes and musical instruments. On view though January.
Grammy Museum, 800 W. Olympic Blvd., L.A. Open Friday-Sunday. $13, $15; ages 5 and under, free; advance timed-entry tickets required. (213) 765-6800.

Also on view: “This Is Nat King Cole” and “Dave Matthews Band: Inside and Out” (through December); “Y Para Siempre ... Marco Antonio Solís” (through April)

“Wayne Thiebaud: Clowns”
Paintings, drawings and etchings on view through Oct. 24.
Laguna Art Museum, 307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach. Closed Wednesdays. $5, $7; 17 and younger are free. (949) 494-8971.

Also on view: “Hymns to the Silence,” black-and-white images of architectural structures by Jacques Garnier (through Oct. 24).

“When I Remember I See Red: American Indian Art and Activism in California”
On view through Nov. 14 .
Autry Museum of the American West, 4700 Western Heritage Way, Griffith Park, L.A. Closed Mondays. $6-$14; children younger than 3 free; reservations required. (323) 667-2000.
Also on view: “What’s Her Story: Women in the Archives,” “California Road Trip,” “The Colt Revolver in the American West” and “Investigating Griffith Park”

“L’Epoque des Carrossiers: The Art and Times of the French Coach Builders”
Mullin Automotive Museum, 1421 Emerson Ave., Oxnard. Open Fridays-Sundays. $10-$16; ages 2 and younger and active-duty military are free; advance purchase required. (805) 385-5400.

Also on view: “The Lady of the Lake,” “Le Mans,” “Schlumpf Reserve Collection”

Butterfly Pavilion
Open through Sept. 6 | TIMES FEATURE
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, 900 Exposition Blvd., L.A. Open Thursdays-Sundays. $8-$17; 2 and younger are free; advance timed-entry tickets required. (213) 763-DINO.

Also on view: “Rise Up L.A.: A Century of Votes for Women” (through Oct. 10); “Spiky, Hairy, Shiny: Insects of L.A.” (through April 2022)

“Supercars: A Century of Spectacle and Speed”
Petersen Automotive Museum, 6060 Wilshire Blvd., L.A. Closed Mondays-Tuesdays. $11-$16; active-duty military and children younger than 4 are free; advance purchase required. (323) 930-2277.

Also on view: “Hollywood Dream Machines: Vehicles of Science Fiction and Fantasy,” “The Aesthetic of Motoring: 90 Years of Pininfarina,” “Alternating Currents: Building an Electric Future,” “Extreme Conditions: Modified for Offroad,” “Porsche: Redefining Performance,” “Silver Shotgun: Italian Motorcycle Design of the 1960s and 1970s.”

“The Inconstant World”
Works by international artists exploring perception and abstraction, on view through May 30.
Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 1717 E. 7th St., L.A. By appointment. Free. (213) 928-0833.

Also on view: “Paul Pescador: PSA,” 12 short public service announcement-style videos by the L.A.-based artist and filmmaker, on view through May 30

“Defining Beauty”
International juried exhibition.
California Museum of Art Thousand Oaks at the Oaks, 350 W. Hillcrest Drive. Open Friday-Sunday. Free. (805) 405-5240.

Timeline of a comeback: historic cancellation of an entire season, painful layoffs, transformation into a recording studio, a whirlwind race to reopen.

May 15, 2021