The week ahead at SoCal museums, Sept. 9-16: ‘Kaiju vs Heroes’ at JANM and more

The Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo presents the new exhibition "Kaiju vs Heroes: Mark Nagata's Journey through the World of Japanese Toys."
(Brian McCarty)

Reviews by Leah Ollman (L.O.).


Robert Pruitt: Devotion Drawings, sculptures, etc., by the New York-based multimedia artist explore black identity, religion, etc. California African American Museum, 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, L.A. Opens Wed.; ends Feb. 17. Closed Mon. Free. (213) 744-7432.

Guadalupe Rosales: Echoes of a Collective Memory Immersive, multimedia installation investigates shared histories of Latinx youth culture in L.A. Vincent Price Art Museum, East Los Angeles College, 1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez, Monterey Park. Opens Sat.; ends Jan. 19. Closed Sun.-Mon. Free. (323) 265-8841.

Hammer Projects: Petrit Halilaj Installation features the artist’s giant moth costumes illuminated by custom flickering lights. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood. Opens Sat.; ends Jan. 20. Closed Mon. Free. (310) 443-7000.

Kaiju vs Heroes: Mark Nagata’s Journey through the World of Japanese Toys Exhibition features hundreds of contemporary and vintage Japanese vinyl toys. Japanese American National Museum, 100 N. Central Ave., Little Tokyo, downtown L.A. Opens Sat.; ends March 24. Closed Mon. $6, $12; members and children 5 and under, free. (213) 625-0414.


On Fire: Transcendent Landscapes by Michael Scott A selection of the artist’s recent works. Autry Museum of the American West, Griffith Park, 4700 Western Heritage Way, L.A. Opens Sat.; ends July 28. Closed Mon. $6-$14; children under 3, free. (323) 667-2000.

Portfolio Series: Cecilia Paredes A sampling of works by the Peruvian photographer. Museum of Latin American Art, 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach. Opens Sat.; ends Dec. 30. Closed Mon.-Tue. $7, $10; under 12, free. (562) 437-1689.

Summoning the Ancestors: Southern Nigerian Bronzes Bells and other ceremonial objects from Afirca. Fowler Museum, UCLA, 308 Charles E. Young Drive, North, Westwood. Opens next Sun.; ends March 10. Closed Mon.-Tue. Free. (310) 825-4361.

The War of Nerves: Psychological Landscapes of the Cold War Contemporary artworks and everyday artifacts illuminate the decades-long struggle between East and West. Also on display: “Red Shoes: Love, Politics, and Dance During the Cold War,” exploring how the conflict impacted the world of ballet. The Wende Museum, 10808 Culver Blvd., Culver City. Opens next Sun.; ends Jan. 13. Free. (310) 216-1600.


Critics’ Choices

Shinique Smith: Refuge Smith works across media, typically in combinations of painting, sculpture, collage and installation. Fabric is the constant throughout, and much of the material she uses has already played a role in the world, sheltering or adorning a body. Here, the memory of its prior purpose merges with the promise, mostly metaphorical, of a new function, in support of this stirring show’s assertion that acts of nurture and nationhood, art and humanity are profoundly linked. (L.O.) California African American Museum, 600 State St., Exposition Park, L.A. Ends Sun. Closed Mon. Free. (213) 744-7432.

Also recommended

The Incongruous Body Humor and the human body serve as brackets loosely containing the sculptural work in this 14-person show. Not all here is comic, and not everything manages to muster heat from the rub of expectation against direct experience — curator Tim Berg’s organizing principle — but the show has enough radiant moments to redeem the whole. Standouts include works by Kim Tucker, Kristen Morgin, Jeremy Brooks, Elana Mann and Robert Arneson. AMOCA, 399 N. Garey Ave., Pomona. Open Wed.-Sat. Ends Jan. 20. (909) 865-3146.