The best L.A. and O.C. museum exhibitions to see in September

Pipilotti Rist surrounded by lighted shapes hanging from above.
Pipilotti Rist inside one of her installations at the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Geffen Contemporary in Los Angeles.
(Madeleine Hordinski / Los Angeles Times)

Rare prints by Pablo Picasso at the Norton Simon Museum, a sensory explosion by Swiss multimedia artist Pipilotti Rist at MOCA’s Geffen Contemporary and the highly anticipated opening of the new Academy Museum lead our September list of exhibitions across Southern California.

Check back here for weekly updates. And before you go, call or check online for reservation requirements and other COVID-19 protocols. The shows that have our attention:

New and upcoming

“Wave — New Currents in Japanese Graphic Arts”
This touring exhibit, a survey of works by 55 contemporary Japanese illustrators and graphic artists, is on view from Sept. 18 through Nov. 28. Japan House Los Angeles, Hollywood & Highland, Level 2 Gallery, 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood. Open daily. Free.


“Eugene Daub: Monumental”
A retrospective exploring the sculptor’s process for crafting large-scale public works will be on display from Sept. 25 through Nov. 13. Also on view: Paintings inspired by random titles hidden in fortune cookies as part of an artist challenge; they’re in the group exhibition “Are You Thinking What I’m Thinking?” running Sept. 25 through Nov. 13. Palos Verdes Art Center, 5504 Crestridge Road, Rancho Palos Verdes. Closed Sundays. Free.

“Lynne Marsh: Who Raised It Up So Many Times?”
The first-ever comprehensive U.S. solo exhibition of video installations by the Canadian artist will be on view Sept. 25 though Jan. 9. UCR Arts (California Museum of Photography, Culver Center of the Arts), 3824-34 Main St., Riverside. Open Thursdays-Sundays. Free; advance timed-entry tickets required.

“Environmental Reflections: Contemporary Art From the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation”
Humankind’s relationship with the natural world is explored in paintings, photographs and other work on view through Dec. 5. Weisman Museum, Pepperdine University, 24255 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu. Open Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays. Free; advance timed-entry tickets required.

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures
Set to open Sept. 30, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ shrine to all things cinema will have exhibits exploring the art and craft of filmmaking, historic memorabilia including props and costumes, plus regular screenings and film series and artist talks. 6067 Wilshire Blvd., L.A. Open daily. $15-$25; ages 17 and younger, free. (323) 930-3000.

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures has opened as the ultimate celebration of Hollywood history, Oscar lore and today’s movie makers.

Oct. 2, 2021

“Nicole Seisler: Holding Patterns”
Works by the L.A. ceramicist will be on view through Dec. 19. American Museum of Ceramic Art, 399 N. Garey Ave., Pomona. Open Wednesdays-Sundays. $5, $7; 12 and younger, free. (909) 865-3146.

“Kim Abeles: Smog Collectors, 1987-2020”
This decades-spanning survey of the L.A. artist’s mixed-media works demonstrating the effects of air pollution will be on view Sept. 18 through Dec. 18. Begovich Gallery, Cal State Fullerton, 800 N. State College Blvd. Closed Fridays and Sundays. Free.


“LaToya Ruby Frazier: The Last Cruze”
The artist documents the 2019 shuttering of an auto plant in Ohio, and the impact on the local working-class community, in photographs, video and an architectural installation in this exhibit that will be on view through March 20. California African American Museum, 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, L.A. Closed Mondays. Free. (213) 744-7432.

“Gifted: Collecting the Art of California at Gardena High School, 1919-1956”
Examples of early 20th century California Impressionist paintings by noteworthy artists will be on view through Jan. 9. California Museum of Art Thousand Oaks at the Oaks, 350 W. Hillcrest Drive. Open Friday-Sunday. Free. (805) 405-5240.

“Fluxus Means Change: Jean Brown’s Avant-Garde Archive”
Highlights from the Getty’s vast treasure trove of artworks and ephemera tied to the 1960s-era experimental art movement Fluxus will be on display through Jan. 2. Also on view: “Paolo Veneziano: Art and Devotion in 14th-Century Venice,” works by the medieval painter regarded as the founder of the Venetian school (through Oct. 3). Getty Center, Sepulveda Boulevard and Getty Center Drive, L.A. Closed Mondays. Free; advance timed-entry tickets required. (310) 440-7300.

“Pipilotti Rist: Big Heartedness, Be My Neighbor”
This survey of videos, installations and sculptures by the Swiss multimedia artist will be on display Sept. 12 through June 6. The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, 152 N. Central Ave., Little Tokyo, downtown L.A. Open Wednesdays-Mondays. Special ticketed exhibition costs $10-$18 (advance purchase required; each ticket is good for a free second visit); children younger than 12, free. (213) 626-6222.

“William Basinski: DLP 1:1”
A segment of the avant-garde composer’s 2002-03 work “The Disintegration Loops” is paired with footage of the collapse of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, in this sound and video installation on view through Oct. 3. Long Beach Museum of Art, 2300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach. Open Thursdays-Sundays. Free; advance timed-entry tickets required.

“Ink Dreams: Selections From the Fondation INK Collection”
Examples of contemporary painting, sculpture, video, etc., inspired by traditional East Asian ink art will be on display Sept. 19 through Dec. 12. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., L.A. Closed Wednesdays. $10-$25; kids 12 and younger are free; discounts available to L.A. County residents. (323) 857-6010.


“Unseen Picasso”
A selection of rarely exhibited prints by the Spanish artist will be on display through Jan. 10. Norton Simon Museum, 411 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena. Closed Tuesdays-Wednesdays. $12-$15; students, active military and kids 18 and younger are free. (626) 449-6840.

Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881–1973) Two Nude Women
Pablo Picasso’s “Two Nude Women,” lithograph, eighth state, 10 inches by 13 inches
(Norton Simon Museum/Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society, New York

“Time and Transformation”
Drawings, paintings and sculpture by Bill Hayner and Linda Southwell, on view through Sept. 25. Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, 117 N. Sycamore St., Santa Ana. Open Fridays-Saturdays; open other days by appointment. Free.

“The Modern Chair”
Examples of cutting-edge chair design from the early 20th century to the present day will be on display through April 3. Palm Springs Art Museum Architecture and Design Center, 300 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs. Closed Mondays-Wednesdays. $5.

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Aug. 27, 2021

“Bond in Motion”
Cars, motorcycles, boats and other vehicles used in James Bond movies though the decades will be on display in this new exhibit, on view from Sept. 25 through Oct. 30, 2022, marking the 60th anniversary of the action-film franchise. Petersen Automotive Museum, 6060 Wilshire Blvd., L.A. Open Wednesdays-Sundays. Special exhibition fee is $40-$65 (includes admission to the rest of the museum); advance purchase required. (323) 930-2277.

Noah’s Ark
This popular play space for children has reopened, with reservations required and new coronavirus safety protocols and environmental improvements in place. Also on view: “Sustain: From Loss to Renewal,” a project created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, with images by local artist Stephanie Mercado in salute to L.A.’s diverse workforce. Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., L.A. Closed Mondays. $7-$12; admission is free for all on Thursdays and for children younger than 2 every day. (310) 440-4500.


“Art and Hope at the End of the Tunnel”
This group show curated by art critic Edward Goldman and featuring new works by 35 L.A.-based artists will be on view through Dec. 4. USC Fisher Museum of Art, 823 W. Exposition Blvd., L.A. Closed Sundays-Mondays. Free. (213) 740-4561.

“Memory Structure, Scaffold Series”
L.A.-based artist Sichong Xie interrogates the hidden contributions of labor in this new installation, on view through March 20. . Wende Museum, 10808 Culver Blvd., Culver City. Open Friday-Sunday. Free; reservations required. (310) 216-1600.


“Alison Saar: Of Aether and Earthe”
This large survey of the acclaimed artist’s works is spread over two venues. Through Dec. 19 at the Benton Museum of Art at Pomona College, 120 W. Bonita Ave., Claremont; open Tuesdays-Saturdays; free; reservations required; The other half of the exhibition is on view through Dec. 12 at the Armory Center for the Arts, 145 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena; open by appointment only Friday-Sunday; free;

A sculpture survey shared by two Los Angeles art museums

July 28, 2021

“A Garden of Words: The Calligraphy of Liu Fang Yuan”
This two-part exhibition showcasing contemporary Chinese calligraphy is on view through Dec. 13 (Part 2: Jan. 29 through May 26). Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens, 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino. Closed Tuesdays. $13-$29; children younger than 4 are free; advance timed-entry tickets required. (626) 405-2100.

“Miné Okubo’s Masterpiece: The Art of Citizen 13660”
Illustrations from Okubo’s groundbreaking 1946 graphic memoir, depicting the harsh conditions that she and her fellow Japanese American citizens endured in a U.S. government-run incarceration center during World War II, will be on view through Feb. 20. Japanese American National Museum, 100 N. Central Ave., downtown L.A. Open Tuesdays-Sundays. $7, $16; reservations recommended, walk-ups available. (213) 625-0414.

“Gabriella Sanchez: Partial Pictures”
Works by the L.A.-based painter and graphic designer, on view through January. Museum of Latin American Art, 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach. Open Tuesdays-Fridays. $7, $10; younger than 12, free; advance purchase suggested.


“Discovery From the Deep”
A rare specimen of a Pacific footballfish is exhibited alongside a traditional Japanese print of the specimen crafted by artists Dwight and Hazel Hwang, through Nov. 29. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, 900 Exposition Blvd., L.A. Closed Tuesday. $8-$17; kids 2 and younger are free; walk-ups welcome; reservations recommended. (213) 763-DINO.

“Armand Hammer Collection”
European and American paintings and drawings collected by the museum’s founder, Armand Hammer, are once again on view. UCLA Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood. Closed Mondays. Free; reservations required. (310) 443-7000.

“Artistic Legacy: The Ann and Bill Cullen Collection”
Paintings and drawings from the estate of actress, model and artist Ann Macomber Cullen, wife of the late game-show host Bill Cullen, through Dec. 19. Bowers Museum, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana. Closed Mondays. $10-$15; children younger than 12, free; advance purchase recommended. (714) 567-3600.

“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 are free; reservations available online; walk-ups allowed at box office. (323) 667-2000.

“Invisible Sun”
Works by Julie Mehretu, Keith Haring and others from the Broad museum’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.

“Life Beginnings”
This immersive and interactive exhibit explores procreation in the human and animal worlds. California Science Center, 700 Exposition Park Drive, L.A. Open daily. Permanent exhibits are free; special exhibits, including the current Lego art show and IMAX films, vary in price. Reservations required. (323) 724-3623.


“Titanic: Real Artifacts, Real People, Real Stories”
The maritime disaster is revisited through photographs and personal effects, through Feb. 13. Also on view: “Soot and Water: Gyotaku Records of Catalina,” prints crafted by contemporary artist Dwight Hwang using traditional Japanese methods (through Sept. 30). Catalina Island Museum, 217 Metropole Ave., Avalon. Open Wednesdays-Sundays. $15, $17; kids 15 and younger are free with a paying adult; advance purchase recommended.

“Cauleen Smith: Stars in My Pocket and the Rent Is Due”
LACMA also presents this companion exhibition of pandemic-themed works by the L.A.-based artist, on view through Sept. 25. Charles White Elementary School, 2401 Wilshire Blvd., L.A. Open Saturdays only, 1-4 p.m. Free.

“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.

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

“Dimensions in Testimony”
This new permanent interactive holographic exhibit from the USC Shoah Foundation allows visitors to ask questions of 97-year-old Holocaust survivor Renée Firestone. Holocaust Museum LA, 100 The Grove Drive, L.A. Open Thursdays-Sundays. $10, $15; students and California residents with valid ID, free; advance timed-entry tickets required.

A compelling survey of the L.A. performance artist who riled up Jesse Helms in the 1990s culture war opens at ICA LA

July 9, 2021

“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 (through Jan. 9). LA Plaza de Cultural y Artes, 501 N. Main St., downtown L.A. Thursday-Sundays. Free; reservations suggested. (213) 542-6200.


“Matthew Rolston, Art People: The Pageant Portraits”
The photographer presents his 2016 series of large-scale, high-resolution images inspired by the tableaux vivant presentations at Laguna Beach’s annual Pageant of the Masters; on view through Sept. 19. Laguna Art Museum, 307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach. Closed Wednesdays. $5, $7; 17 and younger are free. (949) 494-8971.

“Evidence: Selections from the Permanent Collection”
A survey of the Museum of Contemporary Art’s holdings; through Feb. 21. MoCA, 250 S. Grand Ave., downtown L.A. Open Thursdays-Sundays. Free; special exhibitions, $10, $18. (213) 626-6222.

“50 Faces”
Contemporary mosaic artwork from Italy’s Scuola Mosaicisti del Friuli, on view through Oct. 7. Muckenthaler Cultural Center, 1201 W. Malvern Ave., Fullerton. Open Monday-Thursday. $5 per group of up to four people.

“L’Epoque des Carrossiers: The Art and Times of the French Coach Builders”
Also on view: “The Lady of the Lake,” “Le Mans,” “Schlumpf Reserve Collection.” 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.

“The Map and the Territory: 100 Years of Collecting at UCLA”
UCLA’s Fowler and Hammer museums and the UCLA Library co-organized this survey of paintings, drawings, prints, rare books, ceramics, musical instruments and more, on view through Oct. 24. UCLA Fowler Museum, 308 Charles E. Young Drive North, Westwood. Open Wednesdays-Sundays. Free. (310) 825-4361.

“Deep Connections”
Black-and-white images by photographer Ken Karagozian chronicle three decades of subway construction in Los Angeles; on view through 2021. Union Station’s Passageway Art Gallery, 800 N. Alameda St., downtown L.A. Available anytime.

“Divine Immersion: The Experiential Art of Nick Dong”
Modern technology and ancient Buddhist traditions inspired this exhibit of five experiential sculptures, on view through Oct. 3. USC Pacific Asia Museum, 46 N. Los Robles Ave., Pasadena. Open Wednesdays-Sundays. $7, $10; free for ages 17 and younger, and every second Sunday of the month; advance tickets recommended. (626) 787-2680.