Spring arts 2014: Art

Los Angeles Times Art Critic

MARCH 28-AUG. 25

‘In the Land of Snow: Buddhist Art of the Himalayas’

Pasadena’s Norton Simon Museum is well-known for having the most impressive collection of European Old Master and early Modern paintings in Los Angeles. Less familiar is the museum’s exceptional Indian, Nepalese and Tibetan art. This show will chronicle the movement of Buddhism from India to the Himalayas more than a thousand years ago, bringing numerous important loans together with superlative examples of painting, sculpture, ritual and decorative arts from the Simon’s own collection.

Norton Simon Museum, 411 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena; noon-6 p.m.; closed Tuesday; $7-$10; (626) 449-6840;

CHEAT SHEET: Spring arts preview 2014


Mike Kelley

More than 200 works by the wildly inventive artist, born in suburban Detroit but who worked in Los Angeles from 1976 until his untimely death two years ago, arrive from the Museum of Modern Art in an eagerly anticipated traveling exhibition organized by Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum. Kelley’s often scruffy, always acutely insightful sculptures, paintings, installations and performances epitomized much of the complexity, pathos and downright strangeness of post-1960s American life, making him one of the most influential artists of his generation.

MOCA at the Geffen Contemporary, 152 N. Central Ave., Little Tokyo; 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday and Friday; 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday; closed Tuesday-Wednesday; $7-$12; (213) 626-6226;



‘Heaven and Earth: Art of Byzantium From Greek Collections’

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“An aged man is but a paltry thing,” William Butler Yeats wrote in 1926, after passing the age of 60 — especially when compared to “the artifice of eternity” celebrated in the opulent, spiritually giddy art of the holy city of Byzantium. This show will assemble almost 200 icons, mosaics, textiles, sculptures, manuscripts and decorative objects from the ancient Greek city. It would be rechristened Constantinople by the Romans and, just before Yeats picked up his pen, Istanbul. No country for old men, indeed.

Getty Villa, 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Monday, closed Tuesday; parking $15; (310) 440-7300;


John Altoon

Los Angeles artist John Altoon had a reputation as something of a hard-partying wild man in the late 1950s and 1960s. Artistically, he also had a reputation as perhaps the most naturally gifted painter among his peers. Since his tragic death at 43 in 1969, the chromatically luscious, often satirically charged eroticism of Altoon’s abstract paintings has largely fallen below the radar. This survey of 70 works on canvas and paper might prove to be a revelation.

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LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday; 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday-Sunday; closed Wednesday; $10-$15; (323) 857-6000;


‘Expressionism in Germany and France: From Van Gogh to Kandinsky’

The two marquee names in the title are joined by Paul Cézanne, Paul Gauguin, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Henri Matisse, Emile Nolde and more, in what is billed as a highly focused look at exactly what German painters saw during their travels to Paris, artistic capital of 19th century Europe, and in landmark exhibitions and important collections at home. A show about artistic influence and impact, the exhibition design is being handled by Frederick Fisher and Partners Architects.

LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday; 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday-Sunday; closed Wednesday; $10-$15; (323) 857-6000;