Paintings that explore concepts of love, plus an overdue survey of work by a key L.A. assemblagist. Here are eight exhibitions and events to check out in the coming week:
Alexandra Grant, “Born to Love,” at Lowell Ryan Projects. The title of the show is inspired by a well-known line in Sophocles’ “Antigone,” in which King Creon brings Antigone before him and orders her not to mourn the death of her brother. She responds: “I was born to love, not to hate.” In new works on paper that fuse different types of abstraction, the L.A.-based artist explores ideas of love by creating text rubbings of Antigone’s defiant expression all over the variegated surfaces of her works. Opens Saturday at 7 p.m. and runs through July 6. 4851 W. Adams Blvd., West Adams, Los Angeles, lowellryanprojects.com.
John T. Riddle Jr., “The RIDDLE Effect,” at Craft Contemporary. This the first major exhibition of Riddle’s work in Los Angeles in more than two decades and gathers some of his most significant works — some of which are going on view for the first time. The late L.A. artist was a master of assemblage, known for sculptures that put together found metal in visceral ways — including pieces that employed objects scavenged in the wake of the Watts riots in 1965. Riddle also produced figurative paintings and large-scale ceramic sculptures. Opens Sunday and runs through Sept. 8. 5814 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, cafam.org.
“Sculpture,” at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles. A group show in Vielmetter’s downtown location features a range of sculptural works by the gallery’s stable of artists, including Edgar Arceneaux, Ruben Ochoa, Mary Kelly and Liz Glynn. The show is centered around a piece by Nicole Eisenman that consists of a 28-foot fiberglass flagpole that is shattered into pieces; a helpless baby eagle in a box lays next to it. Opens Saturday at 4 p.m. 1700 S. Santa Fe Ave., #101, Los Angeles, vielmetter.com.
“Making Social Spaces in Museums: Jori Finkel, Shinique Smith and Rikrit Tiravanija,” at the Hammer Museum. Finkel, a Los Angeles correspondent for the Art Newspaper and the New York Times (and a former staffer at the Los Angeles Times), is leading a conversation with artists Smith and Tiravanija about transforming museum galleries into places of exchange. The conversation is tied to the publication of Finkel’s new book, “It Speaks to Me,” in which artists discuss the works that inspire them. Today at 7:30 p.m. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood, Los Angeles, hammer.ucla.edu.
“The Allure of Matter: Material Art From China,” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. A new group exhibition features contemporary Chinese artists who are deeply engaged with their materials, be it wood, fabric or assembled scraps of photography. The show spans four decades and features work by Ai Weiwei, Cai Guo-Chiang, Song Dong and many others. Opens Sunday and runs through Jan. 5, 2020. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, lacma.org.
David Hammons, at Hauser & Wirth. In lieu of a news release, Hammons had the gallery send out a scribbled line drawing that bore the dedication, “This exhibition is dedicated to Ornette Colman, Hemolodic Thinker” — the latter a reference to the late saxophonist’s theories of jazz. The basic concept: “Follow the idea, not the sound.” That is something that has resonated deeply with Hammons, who over the course of a career that has spanned more than half a century, has taken on the emblems of want and privilege in the arenas of race, class and economics and forced us to stare our hypocrisies in the face. Opens Saturday at 3 p.m. and runs through Aug. 11. 901 E. Third St., downtown Los Angeles, hauserwirth.com.
“On the Inside,” at Craft Contemporary. This group exhibition features portrait drawings by LGBTQ artists who are currently incarcerated (a prison population that often faces greater risks of physical and sexual victimization). The show features 110 works made with simple materials such as paper, pencil and ballpoint tubes. (The shell of the pen isn’t allowed in prison, where it is frequently considered dangerous.) Others employ materials devised in the harsh conditions of prison. Opens Sunday and runs through Sept. 8. 5814 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, cafam.org.
Chris Kallmyer, “Ensemble,” at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. The Los Angeles-based artist has created an installation that also functions as a collective musical instrument — a carillon (bell-ringing apparatus) that requires the hands of several participants in order to be fully played. Through Sept. 15. 1130 State St., Santa Barbara, sbma.net.
“Not the territory,” at ltd. Los Angeles. A group show featuring work by Daniel Gaitor-Lomack, Chase Hall, Derrick Maddox, Gabriella Sanchez and Sissón engages the question of landscape and sense of place. This includes sculpture, portraiture and installations crafted from found objects. Through Friday. 1119 S. La Brea Ave., Mid-Wilshire, ltdlosangeles.com.
Mi Kafchin, “Chemtrails,” at Nicodim. An exhibition inspired by chemtrails, the conspiracy theory that long-lasting condensation trails could be evidence of biological or chemical attacks or some other form of control. The show delves into the otherworldly, featuring a series of paintings that explore the making of and colliding of the real and the unreal. Through Saturday. 571 S. Anderson St., Los Angeles, nicodimgallery.com.
Daniel Gerwin, “All Joy and No Fun,” at River. A series of abstract paintings are inspired by the artist’s experiences as a parent of two young children — evoking quotidian moments of daily life, high family dramas and the visual elements of domestic life. Through Saturday. 1086 W. Edgeware Rd., Echo Park, Los Angeles, arivergallery.com.
Michael Rakowitz, “Dispute Between the Tamarisk and the Date Palm,” at REDCAT. Rakowitz recently made headlines for declining to participate in the Whitney Biennial in protest of a trustee whose company produces tear gas that was deployed on immigrants at the border. Now he is having his first exhibition in Los Angeles, a politically minded installation that explores the history of Iraq. The show takes its title from a Sumerian tale in which a king plants a tamarisk and a date palm in his courtyard and the two trees argue their merits with each other. Through Sunday. 631 W. 2nd St., downtown Los Angeles, redcat.org.
Deborah Roberts, “Native Sons: Many thousands gone,” at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects Downtown. Vielmetter’s new downtown space is showcasing 14 works of collage that take black boys as their subject. Drawing from the shootings that have seized headlines — including those of Trayvon Martin and Tamir Rice — she explores the ways in which these young men are robbed of their lives and their childhoods simply for being perceived as a threat. Through June 8. 1700 S. Santa Fe., #101, downtown Los Angeles, vielmetter.com.
Roy Dowell, “New and Recent Paintings (and a Sculpture),” at as-is.la. The Los Angeles-based painter whose pattern-filled works buzz with an almost spiritual quality is displaying 17 paintings and one of his painted cardboard sculptures in a solo show. These works, as with others, toy with rhythmic pattern and folk motifs to create something larger than the sum of its parts. Through June 8. 1133 Venice Blvd., Pico-Union, as-is.la.
Nick Doyle, “The Great Escape,” at Steve Turner. In large, dryly humorous works, Doyle takes on the everyday ephemera of masculine life, including old kicks, a crushed cigarette box and some oversize car air fresheners. Through June 8. 6830 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, steveturner.la.
Mark di Suvero, “Painting and Sculpture,” at L.A. Louver. The artist, known for his monumental sculptures and public works crafted from massive steel beams (forms that he has a knack for making buoyant), has a show of smaller-scale works on view at the gallery, all made between 1990 and 2019. Also on view are a series of new abstract paintings. While you’re in Venice, be sure to check out his long-time public work, “Declaration,” which may not be around for much longer. Through June 8. 45 N. Venice Blvd., Venice, lalouver.com.
Rauschenberg: The 1/4 Mile, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The print maker Robert Rauschenberg was known for making obsessive works, including a monumental 190-panel installation that when assembled reaches approximately a quarter-mile in length. The show includes ambient sound and other additional elements. Through June 9. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, lacma.org.
“Charles White: A Retrospective,” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Over the course of a more than four-decade career, this influential artist, teacher and activist produced work that celebrated African American history and black pride and condemned institutional racism. The show, organized by LACMA in collaboration with the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, brings together more than 100 paintings, drawings, prints and photographs from throughout the span of White’s life as he moved between Chicago, New York and Los Angeles. The presentation will include 13 additional works from LACMA’s permanent collection. Through June 9. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, lacma.org.
“Encore: Reenactment Photography,” at the Getty Center. A group show brings together works by a range of contemporary photographers who explore the idea of the reenactment: the restaging of historical or other events for the camera. This includes works by Christina Fernandez, in which she stages scenes from her family’s history; Yasumasa Morimora, who employs himself to re-create famous works of art; and Gillian Wearing, who takes on the guise of historical and quotidian figures. Through June 9. 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood, Los Angeles, getty.edu.
Urs Fischer, “Play,” at Deitch. Chairs. That are choreographed. With artificial intelligence. This could be delightfully weird or totally apocalyptic or a bunch of chairs in a room. But call my curiosity piqued. Through June 15. 925 N. Orange Drive, Hollywood, Deitch.com.
June Edmonds, “Allegiances and Convictions,” at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles. An exhibition by the L.A.-based artist dwells on the significance of flags — both as visual statements and tokens of identity. In this case, each of her flags pays tribute to African American history past and present. Through June 15. 2685 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, luisdejesus.com.
Ruby Neri, at David Kordansky Gallery. Neri’s ceramic figures take feminism and make it just a little bawdy. The women she depicts in her pieces bear a wild assortment of influences, such as ancient fertility figures and street art. This exhibition will feature some of her most complex works to date. Also on view will be work by painter Zach Harris.Through June 15. 5130 W. Edgewood Place, Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, davidkordanskygallery.com.
Daniel B. Dias, “The Influencers Mean No Harm,” at Zevitas Marcus. The São Paulo-born artist is known for producing figurative canvases that warp reality with small touches of the surreal. The show is a play on the cultural and spiritual “influencers” who helped shape the artist’s life. Through June 15. 2754 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, ZevitasMarcus.com.
Jil Weinstock, “False Truth: Uprooted,” at Walter Maciel Gallery. In works made of rubber and other materials, Weinstock pays tribute to the hardscrabble nature of weeds and the ways in which they can serve as metaphor for the condition of immigrants: taking root in difficult places and thriving in hostile environments. Through June 22. 2642 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, WalterMacielGallery.com.
Melissa Casey, “New Work,” at Kopeikin Gallery. Casey produces paintings on paper that dwell on color, layering and pattern in ways that evoke the meditative threads and lines of the watercolor studies and textiles of artists such as Agnes Martin and Anni Albers. Through June 22. 2766 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, kopeikingallery.com.
Arnold Newman, “Artist Portraits,” at Fahey / Klein Gallery. Over the course of a long career that spanned much of the 20th century, Newman captured, on film, some of the renowned artists of the era: Marcel Duchamp, Martha Graham, Isamu Noguchi, Louise Nevelson and many more — all rendered in ways that not only captured the person, but the environment in which they worked. This show captures a selection of his most striking works from the 1940s through the ’70s. Through June 22. 148 N. La Brea, Hancock Park, faheykleingallery.com.
Fahamu Pecou, “Trapademia,” at Kopeikin Gallery. A show of paintings and drawings by Pecou, rendered in a bright color palette, explore the signifiers of trap music, including lyrics, fashion and attitude, all mixed with elements of African spirituality. Through June 22. 2766 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, kopeikingallery.com.
“The Jeweled Isle: Art from Sri Lanka,” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The first comprehensive survey of historic Sri Lankan art organized by a U.S. museum is featuring 240 works of art drawn from nearly 2,000 years of the country’s history. This includes decorative objects crafted in gold, silver and ivory, furnishings, historic photographs and relics from sacred Buddhist sites. Through June 23. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, lacma.org.
Roy DeCarava, “The Work of Art,” at the Underground Museum. The Harlem photographer known for his artful chronicles of black life is the subject of a solo exhibition that pairs well with the Broad’s “Soul of a Nation,” which features a number of his works. Through June 30. 3508 W. Washington Blvd., Arlington Heights, TheUnderground-Museum.org.
“Auto-Didact: The Juxtapoz School,” at the Petersen Automotive Museum. Custom car culture has had a far-reaching influence on American culture in general, including art, where representation, design and finishes have all had an influence. The show features works by Von Dutch, Sandow Birk, Gary Panter, Mister Cartoon, Robert Williams, Suzanne Williams and many others. Through June. 6060 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, petersen.org.
“Tsuruya Kōkei: Modern Kabuki Prints Revised & Revisited,” at the USC Pacific Asia Museum. Kōkei, a key postwar artist, is known for his 20th century take on the Kabuki print, rendering historic leading actors and important stage works in ways that employ intense color and motion. This exhibition gathers 77 prints from the ’80s and ’90s and also explores how Kabuki imagery has inspired Pop and other forms of contemporary art. Through July 14. 46 N. Los Robles Ave., Pasadena, pacificasiamuseum.usc.edu.
York Chang, “The Signal and the Noise,” and Edgar Fabián Frías, “Perpetual Flowering,” at the Vincent Price Art Museum. The museum has two solo shows on view. The first features mixed-media works by Chang that combine text and image to explore the ways in which individuals navigate mass media, public spectacle and the nature of propaganda. A second installation, by Frías, transforms the gallery into a mystical sanctuary/portal. Through July 20. East Los Angeles College, 1301 Cesar Chavez Ave., Monterey Park, vincentpriceartmuseum.org.
Kudzanai Chiurai, Zina Saro-Wiwa and Mikhael Subotzky, “Inheritance: Recent Video from Africa,” at the Fowler Museum. A group show features recent video work by three contemporary African artists who address issues of environment, social issues and historical realities in their work. Through July 28. UCLA, 308 Charles E. Young Dr., Westwood, fowler.ucla.edu.
Patty Chang, “The Wandering Lake, 2009-2017,” at the Institute of Contemporary Art Los Angeles. Inspired by a turn-of-the-20th-century travelogue about a migrating body of water in the Chinese desert, this installation, produced over several years, explores stories of landscape, politics, family and mourning. Through Aug. 3. 1717 E. 7th St., downtown Los Angeles, theicala.org.
“Women at the Frontlines of Mass Violence Worldwide,” at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust. A photographic exhibition is inspired by the female survivors of mass violence from countries around the world, including indigenous women from Guatemala, Yazidi women in Iraq and survivors of the Holocaust. Through Aug. 11. 100 S. The Grove Dr., Fairfax, Los Angeles, lamoth.org.
“Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop,” at the Annenberg Space for Photography. A group show organized by author Vikki Tobak looks at the work of photographers who chronicled the rise of hip-hop, with famous prints (like the iconic portrait of Biggie Smalls in a crown by Barron Claiborne) as well as unedited contact sheets and other images of key musical figures from the genre, including Eazy-E, Jay-Z and Salt-N-Pepa. Tobak is the author of the bestselling book on which the exhibit is based. Through Aug. 18. 2000 Avenue of the Stars, Century City, AnnenbergPhotoSpace.org.
Adia Millett, “Breaking Patterns,” at the California African American Museum. Millett creates work inspired by the nature of quilts — pieces in which disparate pieces come together to form a cohesive, sheltering whole. Through Aug. 25. 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, caamuseum.org.
“Plumb Line: Charles White and the Contemporary,” at the California African American Museum. A show of work by contemporary artists reflects on the ongoing influence of painter and teacher Charles White, known for his depiction of the black figure, frequently rendered in mystical ways. The show includes works by Sadie Barnette, Diedrick Brackens, Kenturah Davis and Toyin Ojih Odutula, among many others. Through Aug. 26. 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, Los Angeles, caamuseum.org.
“Black is Beautiful: The Photography of Kwame Brathwaite,” at the Skirball Cultural Center. In the ’60s, in an era in which segregation still prevailed, Brathwaite made images that reveled in blackness. He teamed up with his brother for the establishment of the artistic collective known as the African Jazz-Art Society and Studios, as well as the Grandassa Models, a modeling group for black women. Both groups fed and inspired Brathwaite’s imagery, which consisted of elegant fashion shots and portraiture that celebrated the best of black beauty. Through Sept. 1. 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Brentwood, skirball.org.
“Gráfica América,” at the Museum of Latin American Art. An exhibition looks at printmaking in its various manifestations, featuring work by more than 100 artists and master printers, including Mexico’s Taller de Gráfica Popular and L.A.’s own Mixografía, known for the prints that extend into three dimensions. Participating artists include Pepe Coronado, Sandra C. Fernández and Fernando De León. Through Sept. 1. 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach, molaa.or
“Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-83,” at the Broad museum. Originally organized by the Tate Modern in London, this group exhibition focus on art by African Americans features pieces by more than 60 influential artists who worked during a period of civil rights tumult and moments in which questions of identity were thrown into stark relief in the United States. The show includes a wide range of artistic categories — art photography, abstract expressionist painting, political posters — that explore facets of black history and black identity at a formative time. It contains work by key L.A. artists or influential figures who spent formative years in Los Angeles, including Betye Saar, Senga Nengudi, David Hammons, Noah Purifoy and Daniel LaRue Johnson. Not to be missed. Through Sept. 1. 221 S. Grand Ave., downtown Los Angeles, TheBroad.org.
New exhibitions at OCMA Expand. While their new Thom Mayne-design building is under construction in Costa Mesa, the Orange County Museum of Art has been occupying a temporary site inside an old furniture showroom near South Coast Plaza, and I seriously dig. (More museums in easy-to-access strip malls, please.) For their round of exhibitions they are putting on a series of installations by Diego Berruecos, York Chang, Victoria Fu, Matt Rich, Fritzia Irizar, UuDam Tran Nguyen and Hiromi Takizawa that touch on issues of control, power, truth and reality. Through Sept. 1. South Coast Plaza Village, 1661 W. Sunflower Ave., Costa Mesa, ocma.net.
“Aspects of Nude: Selections From the Permanent Collection,” at the California African American Museum. This exhibition, drawn from the museum’s permanent collection, explores how the nude has been employed in ways both sensual and political by a range of artists, including Romare Bearden, Charles Dickson, Alison Saar, John Outterbridge and many others. Through Sept. 8. 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, Los Angeles, CAAmuseum.org.
“Ernie Barnes: A Retrospective,” at the California African American Museum.” It is, by now, an established symbol of American culture: Barnes’ 1976 canvas, “Sugar Shack,” which captured a black dance hall in mid-groove. It served as the cover of Marvin Gaye’s album “I Want You” (also released in ’76), and was a visual staple on the 1970s sitcom “Good Times.” This retrospective captures the full scope of Barnes’ life and work — which included serving as the official artist of the ’84 Olympics and a stint playing pro football. Through Sept. 8. 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, Los Angeles, caamuseum.org.
“Life Model: Charles White and his Students,” at Charles White Elementary School. In conjunction with the Charles White retrospective at LACMA, the museum is organizing this exhibition that looks at the late artist’s impact on the art world as a teacher. The exhibition features work by many of his students, including David Hammons, Judithe Hernández, Kerry James Marshall and Kent Twitchell. Through Sept. 15. 2401 Wilshire Blvd., Westlake, Los Angeles, lacma.org
Jennifer Levonian, “Lost Islands of Philadelphia,” and Jon Haddock, “The Things (that do not spark joy),” at Grand Central Art Center. Grand Central Art Center is marking two decades with several shows, including paintings by Levonian (inspired by some long-gone riverine islands in Philadelphia) and a wall mural by Haddock. Other works — including paintings by Yevgeniya Mikhailik and an installation by Angel Nevarez and Valerie Tevere exploring development and gentrification — are also on view. Through Sept. 15. 125 N. Broadway, Santa Ana, grandcentralartcenter.com.
“Guatemalan Masks: Selections from the Jim and Jeanne Pieper Collection,” at the Fowler Museum. This collection of 80 masks depicts Guatemalan historical and cultural figures, as well as sprightly animals and popular deities — all connected with a range of folkloric festivals and events that are also chronicled in the show. This includes masks employed in dances that illustrate the conquest and the story of San Simón, or Maximón, a popular folk saint inspired by a blend of Spanish and Maya lore. Through Oct. 6. 308 Charles E. Young Drive N., Westwood, Los Angeles, fowler.ucla.edu.
“Gifted: Collecting the Art of California at Gardena High School 1919-1956,” at the Hilbert Museum of California Art. For almost four decades, the senior class at Gardena High School would come together to gift a work of art to their school — including pieces by notable California painters such as Edgar Payne and Maynard Dixon. Now that collection, which includes more than 70 paintings and an extensive archive of related material, is going on view at the Hilbert — the most expansive display of the collection since the 1950s. Through Oct. 19. 167 N. Atchison St., Orange, hilbertmuseum.com.
“The Archival Impulse: 40 Years at LACE,” at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions. LACE, the historic Los Angeles art spot that gave key shows to Mike Kelley and groups such as Survival Research Laboratories in the ’80s, is turning 40 — and to mark the occasion, the organization has been poking around its metaphorical attic (aka its archive) to see what it might turn up. This show gathers elements from that archive as well as video works by a range of Los Angeles artists, including Jim Shaw, Susan Mogul and Reza Abdoh. Through Dec. 31. 6522 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, welcometolace.org.
“Indian Country: The Art of David Bradley,” at the Autry Museum of the American West. This survey exhibition examines the four-decade career of Bradley (Chippewa), who is known for producing vibrant, figurative paintings inspired by the Native experience — while also wryly poking at stereotype and Hollywood tropes. Through Jan. 5. 4700 Western Heritage Way, Griffith Park, Los Angeles, TheAutry.org.
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., desertlighthouse.org.