Datebook: Avant-garde graphic design, untold stories of California slavery and poetry in the sky
It’s another busy weekend of art openings around Los Angeles, with shows on design, activism, abstraction, the grotesque and dark episodes in California history. Plus: an 8-mile-long street party, a musical happening and storytelling event. Here are more than a dozen exhibitions and events to check out in the coming week:
“West of Modernism: California Graphic Design, 1975-1995,” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. A show drawn from LACMA’s growing collection of design objects looks at a transformative moment in graphic design, when individual designers were becoming more high-profile, the home computer was shaking up the ways in which design could be produced and images were becoming increasingly fragmented and layered. Opens Sunday and runs through April 21. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, lacma.org.
“California Bound: Slavery on the New Frontier, 1848-1865,” at the California African American Museum. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 required that escaped slaves be returned to their masters — even if those slaves were in states in which slavery was not legal. In that same year, California joined the union. California was not a slave state, but it enforced the law — albeit erratically. Employing photographs, historical documents and other ephemera, this exhibition examines California’s history in connection with slavery. Through January 21. 600 State Dr., Exposition Park, Los Angeles, caamuseum.org.
David Antin, “Talking, Always Talking,” in the skies over the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In the late ‘80s, the late artist and poet David Antin used skywriting planes to produce a pair of “poems” in the skies over California. On Saturday, this special piece will be re-staged over the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at MCASD, Coast Boulevard at Culver Street, La Jolla, mcasd.org and at 4 p.m. at LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, lacma.org.
“Regeneración: Three Generations of Revolutionary Ideology,” at the Vincent Price Art Museum. A group exhibition examines three movements, from three different eras, that served as key moments for the exchange of activist and revolutionary ideas between the U.S. and Mexico. All of this is centered on “regeneración” — or regeneration — a term first employed by the Flores Magon brothers during the era of the Mexican Revolution. It was adopted by Chicano activist circles in the 1970s, for the magazine “Regeneración,” and the ‘90s experimental space Regeneración/Popular Resource Center of Highland Park. Opens Saturday at 5 p.m. and runs through Feb. 16. 1301 Cesar Chavez Ave. Monterey Park, vincentpriceartmuseum.org.
“Summer Happenings: A Journey That Wasn’t, Part 2,” at the Broad Museum. It’s the last of the Broad’s buzzy summer happenings, and it promises to be one of the best, with an improvised performance by Kim Gordon and YoshimO, a site-specific piece by Arto Lindsay and a Vogue Opera organized by Banjee Ball. Saturday at 8 p.m. Admission: $30. 221 S. Grand Ave., downtown Los Angeles, thebroad.org.
“Pop Up Magazine: Fall Issue,” at the Theatre at the Ace Hotel. The storytelling event is back in town with a new lineup of stories and performances, including segments by Rebecca Skloot, the bestselling author of “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” Hrishikesh Hirway, host of “Song Exploder,” and Ann Friedman, a well-known journalist, as well as the L.A. half of the popular podcast “Call Your Girlfriend.” Saturday at 7:30 p.m. 929 S. Broadway, downtown Los Angeles, popupmagazine.com.
Ai Weiwei, “Life Cycle,” at the Marciano Art Foundation. This represents the first significant institutional exhibition for the Chinese dissident artist in Los Angeles and will include iconic works such as “Sunflower Seeds,” Ai’s 2010 installation of thousands of ceramic pieces meticulously hand-painted to resemble seeds, as well as new works that contend with Europe’s ongoing refugee crisis. Opens Friday and runs through March 3. 4357 Wilshire Blvd., Windsor Square, Los Angeles, marcianoartfoundation.org.
Celebrate LA, in locations around Los Angeles. It’s the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s 100th birthday and the city is marking it with a one-day, 8-mile street party. Streets throughout the city will be shut down and parties will take place in special hubs, including Koreatown, Hollywood and, of course, Walt Disney Concert Hall. The best way to get from one spot to the next? Bicycle, of course. And, naturally, there will be music, art and plenty of food trucks. Things get rolling Sunday at 9 a.m., in locations around Los Angeles. Check the website for exact times and locations. laphil.com.
Celeste Dupuy-Spencer, at Nino Mier Gallery. Through religious scenes, landscapes, portraits and epic scenes that toy with the grotesque, Dupuy-Spencer explores the current American moment in all of its tumult and its darkness. Through Nov. 3. 7277 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, miergallery.com.
Paolo Colombo at Baert Gallery. Colombo is a curator, but over the course of his life, he has made delicate watercolors and drawings that play with pattern and tone. The exhibition features new works as well as a pair of pieces that date to the early ‘70s. Opens Saturday at 6 p.m. and runs through Nov. 3. 2441 Hunter St., downtown Los Angeles, baertgallery.com.
Watts Towers festivals, at the Watts Towers. This weekend marks the 37th annual cultural event in honor of one of L.A.’s most iconic landmarks. On Saturday, the site will be home to a day long drum festival; on Sunday, expect jazz. Either way, come ready to hear something good. Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 1727 E. 107th St., Watts, Los Angeles, wattstowers.org.
“Akunnittinni: Akinngait Family Portrait,” at the Armory Center for the Arts. A stirring group show chronicles art by three generations of one Inuit family: Pitseolak Ashoona (1904-1983), her daughter Napachie Pootoogook (1938-2002) and granddaughter Annie Pootoogook (1969-2016), which captures elements of daily life and the shifting landscape beyond. Also on view is a show of paintings by Marta Chaffee that chronicles the California landscape. Through Dec. 16.145 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena, armoryarts.org.
“My Most Striking Feature is My Fist,” at Karma International. Jenny Holzer, Linda Stark, Alake Shilling, Bri Williams and Chloe Seibert. A group show gathers work by women on two coasts. Its title couldn’t be more appropriate to the political moment. Through Nov. 3. 4619 W. Washington Blvd., Mid-City, Los Angeles, karmainternational.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. Opens Saturday and runs through June 2019. 6060 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, petersen.org.
“Dennis Reed: Police Culture, 2016-18” at as-is.la. Reed captures fragments of imagery from police body cameras and surveillance footage and uses them to reflect on state violence, militarization and other issues related to law enforcement. Opens Sunday at 2 p.m. and runs through Nov. 3. 1133 Venice Blvd., Pico-Union, Los Angeles, as-is-la.
“Fool’s Gold: Challenging Myth in the Era of Misinformation,” at Noysky Projects. A show that looks at the fine divide between illusion and reality could not be more suited to this moment or to this gallery’s location — just off of Hollywood Boulevard. This includes paintings by Jessica Williams, photos by Ryan Harrison Gould and sculpture by Camille Schefter. Through Oct. 14. 6727 7/8 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, noyskyprojects.com.
“Life in this Ocean,” at the Annenberg Community Beach House. A four-woman show featuring Donna Bates, Deirdre Sullivan Beeman, Lena Rushing and Kathy Taslitz explores archetypes of the female. Opens Saturday at 2 p.m. and runs through Jan. 7. 415 Pacific Coast Highway, Santa Monica, lifeinthisocean.com and annenbergbeachhouse.com.
“Finding a Line,” at the Ford Theatres. The Ford Theatres is turning over their proscenium to the topic of skateboarding — as well as real-deal skateboarding. This Saturday night will feature skaters taking over the stage as pianist Jason Moran and the Bandwagon deliver some tunes. Saturday at 8 p.m. 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East., Hollywood, fordtheatres.org.
“Entre Tinta y Lucha: 45 Years of Self Help Graphics & Art,” at the Fine Arts Gallery at Cal State L.A. For 45 years, the community arts organization based in Boyle Heights (previously in East L.A.), founded by Sister Karen Boccalero and artists Carlos Bueno, Antonio Ibañez and Frank Hernandez, has supported the work of Chicano printmakers. Since 1973, the print workshop there has produced more than 1,000 art print editions and countless exhibitions. This show presents the work of some of the voices the space has nurtured over the years, including Barbara Carrasco, Enik One, El Mac, Gronk, Delilah Montoya, Judy Baca, John Valadez, Patssi Valdes, Ernesto Yerena and many more. Through Saturday. Cal State L.A., Fine Arts building, 5151 State University Drive, Los Angeles, selfhelpgraphics.com and calstatela.edu.
“Pairings: Painters & Sculptors,” at Denk Gallery. A new exhibition pairs the works of a variety of sculptors and painters, such Martin Durazo and Jenn Berger and HK Zamani and Lana Duong, among others. Through Saturday. 749 E. Temple St., downtown Los Angeles, denkgallery.com.
Tom Knechtel, at Proxy Gallery. The gallery in a box will have on display a handmade book by the artist, comprised of a series of glassine sheets that represent different modes of artistic production, including watercolor, woodcut, pencil and ink sketches. An opportunity to see something beautifully delicate. Through Saturday. Otis Graduate Studios, 10455 Jefferson Blvd., Culver City, ospace.otis.edu/proxy_gallery.
Irving Penn, “Worlds in a Small Room, Seen & Unseen,” at Fahey / Klein Gallery. A solo exhibition of the influential photographer’s work brings together ethnographic studies undertaken during journeys to Peru, Morocco and New Guinea, among other locations. This will include a mix of well-known and previously unexhibited works. Through Oct. 6. 148 N. La Brea, Hancock Park, Los Angeles, faheykleingallery.com.
Kiff Slemmons, “Collective Presence,” at Craft in America Center. Slemmons is a jewelry-maker who is known for her fabrications in metal but who turned to paper as a material after a stint at the Taller Arte Papel of Oaxaca, a paper studio founded by Mexican artist Francisco Toledo. She has worked with the material ever since, creating one-of-a-kind pieces that employ paper in striking and innovative ways. Through Oct. 6. 8415 W. 3rd St., Beverly Grove, craftinamerica.org.
Sarah Awad, “Double Field,” at Night Gallery. In a series of large-scale paintings, the Los Angeles-based artist takes on the human form in abstract and dreamlike ways. Through Oct. 6. 2276 E. 16th St., downtown Los Angeles, nightgallery.ca.
“In Focus: Expressions,” at the Getty Center. An exhibition drawn from the museum’s permanent collection brings together portraits, figure studies and anonymous snapshots for a keen show exploring the wildly expressive nature of the human face. Through Oct. 7. 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood, Los Angeles, getty.edu.
Paul Anthony Smith, “Containment,” at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles. Smith collages bits of photographs of people taken throughout the African diaspora (Jamaica, Brooklyn, Puerto Rico) and then carves into these to create patterns that mask and mute the original image. Afterwards, he scans, manipulates and silkscreens the result, creating yet another layer of distortion. Through Oct. 13. 2685 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, luisdejesus.com.
Chelle Barbour, “You Is Pretty!,” at Band of Vices. A series of collages employs found images from books and magazines to render the black female form in ways that convey beauty and strength. Through Oct. 13. 5376 W. Adams. Blvd., Los Angeles, bandofvices.com.
Barry McGee, “SB Mid Summer Intensive,” at the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara. A show of the Bay Area artist’s work gathers drawings, paintings and sculptural objects inspired by graffiti, sign painting, hobo markings and other aspects of contemporary urban culture. Plus, it will include a nod to the nearby Reagan Ranch Center. Through Oct. 14. 653 Paseo Nuevo, Santa Barbara, mcasantabarbara.org.
“Robert Yarber: Return of the Repressed,” at Nicodim. Falling figures set against illuminated cityscapes painted in acid colors. That’s what you’ll see in Yarber’s latest exhibition, which brings together paintings old and new — and which the news release touts as the kind of experience that will be like “the most meaningful conversation you’ve had while blackout drunk, the best sex you’ve almost had, and every unforgettable moment that you can’t quite remember.” I’ll take that. Through October 20. 571 S. Anderson St., Suite 2, Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, nicodimgallery.com.
David Ratcliff, “Basement Psychedelia,” at Team Bungalow. In paintings that digest visual influences such as comic books, illustration, pulp novels and elements of graphic design, Ratcliff ruminates on moments of dread and anxiety. Through Oct. 21st. 306 Windward Ave., Venice, teamgal.com.
“Icons of Style: A Century of Fashion Photography, 1911-2011,” at the Getty Museum. This exhibition gathers a century’s worth of fashion photography, beginning with images from the early 1900s by Edward Steichen that captured fashion in an “artistic” manner. The survey then goes on to include work by some of the most iconic photographers of the 20th century, such as Man Ray, Richard Avedon, Herb Rittz and Corinne Day. It’s a striking look at fashion, photography and the stories these media can tell. Through Oct. 21. 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood, Los Angeles, getty.edu.
Lari Pittman, “Portraits of Textiles & Portraits of Humans,” at Regen Projects. In his latest show at Regen Projects, Pittman, whose work is often inspired by pattern and applied arts, uses painting to render likenesses of different kinds of fabrics — brocade, taffeta, silk and toile. Elements of those works, such as the color palette, are then employed to create portraits of individuals that pair with the textiles — all of it an experiment in capturing lives, still and not. Through Oct. 25. 6750 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, regenprojects.com.
Havy Kahmaran, “Silence Is Gold,” at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects. In 1991, Kahmaran was part of an exodus of Kurds from Iraq. Her work is inspired partly by that experience of fleeing — and the ways in which women are subjected to sexual and other exploitation by the forces they flee, but also by the humanitarian organizations that often demand a thorough accounting of all they have suffered. Through Oct. 27. 6006 Washington Blvd., Culver City, vielmetter.com.
Tomoo Gokita, at Blum & Poe. Ambiguous figures, often with faces or other parts of their bodies obscured, inhabit the monochrome worlds of Gokita’s paintings. This show will gather new works, some of which echo paintings by 19th century masters. Through Oct. 27. 2727 La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, blumandpoe.com.
Sharon Ellis, “Blue Hour,” at Christopher Grimes Gallery. In intimately scaled works-on-paper, Ellis renders natural phenomena — trees, plants and brilliant skies — in ways that capture circles of decay and inevitable renewal. Through Oct. 27. 916 Colorado Ave., Santa Monica, cgrimes.com.
“69: Déjà Vu,” at the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles. This exhibition explores the work of 69, an anonymous Los Angeles fashion designer who frequently works with denim to create garments that could function as movable sculpture, articles that frequently disregard gender, size and race in the way they are constructed and presented. In addition to 69’s designs, the gallery will also be showing the videos and photographs that are used to promote the work — frequently executed in artful ways. Through Oct. 28. Pacific Design Center, 8687 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, moca.org.
“Line & Color: The Nature of Ellsworth Kelly,” at the Norton Simon Museum. The museum is featuring a suite of 27 color lithographs made by the artist in the mid-1960s, when he was just beginning to experiment with the medium — a challenging one for an artist whose work was based on the seamless, solid expression of color. Accompanying the exhibit are two large-scale paintings from the museum’s collection, as well as preliminary sketches that reveal his working process. Through Oct. 29. 411 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, nortonsimon.org.
Nikita Gale, “Descent,” and Jemima Wyman, “At the Fray,” at Commonwealth and Council. The gallery has a pair of intriguing artist installations for the fall season: Gale’s sculptures, which play on postwar industrial architecture and design, and Wyman’s multimedia works, which employ textile patterns — such as camouflage — as a point of inquiry into the ways in which groups employ symbols of clothing and costuming. Through Nov. 2. 3006 W. 7th St., Suite 220, Koreatown, Los Angeles, commonwealthandcouncil.com.
David Lynch, “I was a Teenage Insect,” at Kayne Griffin Corcoran. The famed film director is also an artist. A new exhibition at Kayne Griffine Corcoran gathers recent paintings, drawings and watercolors — wryly dark pieces that blend materials and text. Also on view in the gallery will be a series of geometric abstract paintings by Mary Obering. Through Nov. 3. 1201 S. La Brea Ave., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, kaynegriffincorcoran.com.
Andrew Moore, “Dirt Meridian,” at Kopeikin Gallery. The 100th meridian neatly bisects the United States in two. Moore traveled the path of that line and chronicled landscapes both natural and man-made, capturing migration, settlement and a range of natural phenomena. Through Nov. 3. 2766 S. La Cienega, Culver City, kopeikingallery.com.
R. Buckminster Fuller, “Inventions and Models,” at Edward Cella Art & Architecture. The engineer and architect who devised the geodesic dome was also known for his inventive designs (most of which were never commercially produced). The show at Edward Cella surveys some of his key inventions and features drawings, models and prints — many of which make economic uses of energy and materials. Through Nov. 3. 2754 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, edwardcella.com.
“Plain Sight,” at Residency Gallery. Paintings and photography by a mix of artists, including Ken Gonzales-Day and Devon Tsuno, examine and interpret aspects of the natural world in Southern California. Through Nov. 3. 310 E. Queen St., Inglewood, residencyart.com.
Eugenia P. Butler, “That Which Emerges,” at the Box. Butler (daughter of gallerist and collector Eugenia Butler) had a long-running career as a conceptual artist. She made drawings that mapped the nature of interior space, and staged actions, such as interviewing other artists, which she preserved on video. This show brings together various aspects of her work. Through Nov. 3. 805 Traction Ave., downtown Los Angeles, theboxla.com.
Armando Lerma, “Rio Xanta,” at Eastern Projects. Lerma is perhaps best known for his work with the Date Farmers collective. In this exhibition, he is showing paintings that display his signature style, which blends appropriated images and signage with other elements of painting. Through Nov. 3. 900 N. Broadway, Suite 1090, Chinatown, Los Angeles, easternprojectsgallery.com.
Ken Nack / Michael Arntz, at the Landing. Nack was featured in Life magazine in a list of noteworthy young painters in 1950, and was included in important exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, while Arntz took ceramics in deeply experimental directions. Both artists chose to make their home in Santa Barbara, at a remove from the art world, leaving them free to experiment in unanticipated ways. An important look back at artists who helped shape the art of California. Through Nov. 3. 5118 W. Jefferson Blvd., West Adams, Los Angeles, thelandinggallery.com.
Danial Nord, “Cloud Nine,” at Torrance Art Museum. In a dystopic, solo installation, Nord has created a series of translucent human-ish figures, each of which is lit by feeds of online video and social media: figures illuminated by the narrow light cast by our digital networks. Through Nov. 10. 3320 Civic Center Drive, Torrance, torranceartmuseum.com.
Enrique Ramirez, “Un hombre que camina,” at the Grand Central Art Center. The Chilean-born artist is showing a single-channel video that dwells, in rather magical ways, on issues related to migration and the ways in which globalism and digital life have connected once-disparate realms. Through Nov. 11. 125 N. Broadway, Santa Ana, grandcentralartcenter.com.
Jo Ann Callis, “Now and Then,” at Rose Gallery. Callis is known for her constructed photographic scenes, often rendering fragments of bodies at odd and twisted angles, in ways that harken to playful and moody sexual scenarios or their immediate aftermath. Through Nov. 24. Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., #D4, Santa Monica, rosegallery.net.
“Anatomy of Oil,” at Gas Gallery. Los Angeles had stretches that were once covered in oil extraction infrastructure such as pumpjacks, a few of which still dot the city as vestige. This group show looks at the history of oil production in our city and the ways in which it has shaped the landscape. Through Nov. 24. The truck will be parked at Odd Ark L.A. (7101 N. Figueroa St., Unit E), among other locations. Check the website for the full schedule, gas.gallery.
“Wireframes: The Visualization of Architecture,” at the A+D Museum. An exhibition gathers work by 30 artists and architects that examine the ways in which buildings are presented in renderings. Through Nov. 25. 900 E. 4th St., downtown Los Angeles, aplusd.org.
“All that Glitters: Life at the Renaissance Court,” at the Getty Museum. No group in history has quite done bling like the Renaissance elite: there was gleaming armor, rich textiles, monarchs draped in brocaded everything — not to mention architecture studded with gleaming stained glass and other luxuriant details. This exhibition gathers illuminated manuscripts, paintings, drawings, household articles and accessories that convey the richness of life in a Renaissance court. Get ready for some serious shine! Through Dec. 2nd. 1200 Getty Center Dr., Brentwood, Los Angeles, getty.edu.
Justin Brice Guariglia, “Earth Works: Mapping the Anthropocene,” at the Fisher Museum of Art and, “Earth Works,” at the Natural History Museum. In large-scale works that combine photography and layers of paint, Guariglia tracks the ways in which humans are affecting the planet — the age known as the anthropocene. The artist flew with NASA to survey melting glaciers in Greenland, and some of the works in the show cover the state of our precarious ice caps. But Guariglia also looks at the ways in which humans have shaped the surface of the planet in other ways, such as mining and agriculture. The show is spread across two institutions: the Fisher Museum of Art at USC and the Natural History Museum, which lies right across the street. Through Dec. 8. Fisher Museum of Art, 823 W. Exposition Blvd., University Park, fisher.usc.edu and nhm.org.
Janet Sternburg, “Limbus,” at the Fisher Museum of Art. Sternberg creates deeply layered photographs that aren’t so much one image, as an intersection of images: reflections, mirrors, objects captured as seen through other objects. Through Dec. 8. 823 W. Exposition Blvd., University Park, fisher.usc.edu.
“A Handful of Dust: From the Cosmic to the Domestic,” at the California Museum of Photography. Dust permeates the air around us. Dust will bury the cities we live in when we are gone. A group exhibition at UC Riverside brings together images produced over the last century that capture the various aspects of dust. The images are both benign and destructive, featuring the natural world, but also aspects of urban decay. Artists featured include John Divola, Man Ray, Gerhard Richter and Shomei Tomatsu. Through Dec. 9. UC Riverside Artsblock, 3824 Main St., Riverside, artsblock.ucr.edu.
Olafur Eliasson, “The Speed of Your Attention,” at Tanya Bonakdar. The high profile New York gallery now has a Los Angeles space, and to kick off the fall season, it is going with a high profile artist: Eliasson, who is known for his large-scale architectural work that plays on the nature of experience and physical space. His current series of works explores the idea of the speed at which attention moves — inspired by a technique deployed in dance in which choreography is generated by improvised contact between two people. Through Dec. 15. 1010 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood, tanyabonakdargallery.com.
Marcia Hafif, “A Place Apart,” at Pomona College Museum of Art. The minimalist painter, whose work explored color, its range and its histories, has a show of more than 100 works on view at the museum. In addition to her paintings, for which she was best known, the show also explores Hafif’s drawing practice. Through Dec. 22. 330 N. College Ave., Claremont, pomona.edu/museum.
Yunhee Min & Peter Tolkin, “Red Carpet in C,” at UCR Arts. Inspired by the writings of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, who described music as “liquid architecture” and architecture as “frozen music,” Min and Tolkin have created an installation that fills the UCR Arts atrium with an undulating form constructed out of 150-foot bands of fabric and more than 17,000 colored paper tubes. Through Dec. 29. UC Riverside, 3824 and 3834 Main St., Riverside, ucrarts.ucr.edu.
Judithe Hernández, “A Dream Is the Shadow of Something Real,” at the Museum of Latin American Art. Hernández is known for her work as a painter and muralist; the museum is showcasing more than two dozen of her recent works on paper: dream-like scenes that feature women and wildlife against slightly surreal landscapes. Also on view will be a number of Hernández’s early sketchbooks, as well as the museum’s recent acquisition, her canvas “Les Demoiselles d’Barrio,” a feminist take on Picasso’s 1907 “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.” Through Dec. 30. 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach, molaa.org.
“Striking the Iron: The Art of African Blacksmiths,” at the Fowler Museum. A sprawling exhibition of more than 225 objects will examine the virtuosity of African blacksmiths of the 19th and 20th centuries, who forged iron objects — such as blades, elements of sculpture and musical instruments — that were as aesthetically pleasing as they were, in many cases, functional. Many objects, drawn from the Fowler’s collection, are connected with rituals and the powers of the natural world. This is the debut of this traveling exhibition, which will then go on to the National Museum of African Art in Washington. Through Dec. 30. 308 Charles E. Young Drive N., Westwood, Los Angeles, fowler.ucla.edu.
“Gary Simmons: Fade to Black,” at the California African American Museum. In a lobby installation — one that takes full advantage of its size and scale — Simmons pays tribute to forgotten African American actors and films. On a black background, the L.A. artist features the titles and names of films and individuals important to the early days of Hollywood history, but forgotten over time. Through Dec. 31. 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, Los Angeles, caamuseum.org.
“Childhood Left at the Station: A Tribute to the Children of the Kindertransport,” at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust. At the start of World War II, a non-denominational group supported by Jewish, Quaker and other groups called the Movement for the Care of Children From Germany organized to rescue children persecuted by the Nazi authorities in Germany. This exhibition brings together objects from 10 of the estimated 10,000 children who were rescued from Germany — many of whom never saw their parents again. Through Dec. 31. 100 The Grove Drive, Fairfax, Los Angeles, lamoth.org.
Rick Bartow, “Things You Know but Cannot Explain,” at the Autry Museum of the American West. This is the first comprehensive exhibition devoted to the late Oregon-born painter, a member of the Mad River band of Wiyot. Bartow developed a career as an artist later in life — after his service in the Vietnam War and a period contending with PTSD. On canvas, he found inspiration, drawing from historic and contemporary European and Native American artistic traditions to create a fusion of something new: haunting and totemic images of creatures who channel grief and frailty. Through Jan. 6. 4700 Western Heritage Way, Griffith Park, Los Angeles, theautry.org.
“La Reina de Los Angeles,” at the Sturt Haaga Gallery at Descanso Gardens. Works by an array of Los Angeles-based artists, including Michael Parker, Judy Baca, Galia Linn and Carolina Caycedo, will look at the relationship between people and water in Los Angeles and beyond. Through Jan. 13. 1418 Descanso Drive, La Cañada Flintridge, descansogardens.org.
“War of Nerves: Psychological Landscapes of the Cold War,” at Wende Museum. The Cold War wasn’t just about the hardware (a.k.a. the weapons), it was also about culture. And this exhibition looks at the ways in which the fear of nuclear devastation manifested itself in art and design — down to the toys that children played with. Through Jan. 13. 10808 Culver Blvd., Culver City, wendemuseum.org.
Guadalupe Rosales, “Echoes of a Collective Memory,” at the Vincent Price Art Museum. For years, the Los Angeles artist has been building an archive of ephemera related to Chicano youth culture: studio portraits, informal snapshots, flyers, magazines, mixtapes and other objects. In her first solo museum show, she is employing these in installations that examine the both the intimate and public ways in which SoCal youth have historically connected over fashion, music, cruising, raves and backyard parties. The exhibition will include video, collages and an altar to the memory of a cousin lost to gang violence. Through Jan. 19. East Los Angeles College, 1301 Cesar Chavez Ave., Monterey Park, vincentpriceartmuseum.org.
Nina Chanel Abney, “Royal Flush,” at the California African American Museum. In bright canvases that fuse elements of pop, figuration and bold graphic forms, Abney creates visual narratives that explore aspects of contemporary life, including race, identity and sexuality. Through Jan. 20. 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, Los Angeles, caamuseum.org.
“Being Here With You / Estando Aquí Contigo: 42 Artists From San Diego and Tijuana,” at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. A group show brings together work by 42 artists and collectives living and working in San Diego and Tijuana and shows the cultural dialogues that have occurred across one of the world’s hardest political lines. The show’s title is a reference to the region’s musical history — taken from lyrics from the tune “Angel Baby,” performed by Rosie and the Originals, a teenage band from National City. Through Feb. 3. 1100 Kettner Blvd., San Diego, mcasd.org.
“Ink,” at the Museum of Latin American Art. This exhibition brings together various histories of tattooing in L.A. — including those inspired by military culture, Chicano tattooing and other historic forms. It will be presented alongside works from the permanent collection that connect with the theme of tattooing. Through Feb. 3. 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach, molaa.org.
“Art of Three Faiths: A Torah, A Bible, and a Qur’an,” at the Getty Museum. The Getty Museum acquired the Rothschild Pentateuch, a manuscript of the first five books of the Torah from the 13th century. It is now putting this rare document on display with other examples of illuminated sacred texts, including a Christian Bible and a Koran. Through Feb. 3. 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood, Los Angeles, getty.edu.
“La Raza,” at the Autry Museum of the American West. In its day, the civil rights publication La Raza, which was based in Lincoln Heights, served as a bible for the Chicano movement, covering protest, policy and everyday life for the Mexican American communities of Los Angeles. Over the years, the paper amassed an archive of 25,000 images, recently digitized by the Chicano Studies Research Center. Many are now on view as part of this PST: LA/LA show at the Autry — and in a time of political strife surrounding the issues of civil rights, this exhibition couldn’t be more timely. Through Feb. 10. 4700 Western Heritage Way, Griffith Park, Los Angeles, theautry.org
Robert Pruitt, “Devotion,” at the California African American Museum. Pruitt paints people in ways that capture their spiritual aspects. In his first major museum show in L.A., he uses this framework to explore aspects of devotion in his own life and upbringing. Through Feb. 17. 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, Los Angeles, caamuseum.org.
“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 Feb. 24. 6522 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, welcometolace.org.
“A Journey That Wasn’t,” at the Broad museum. A group show drawn from the museum’s collection features work by more than 20 artists whose work dwells on the concept of time and its passage. This includes pieces by Ed Ruscha, Glenn Ligon and Sharon Lockhart and will feature the return of the video installation “The Visitors,” by Ragnar Kjartansson, a charming multi-channel installation that features a group of musicians playing a collective piece while seated in rooms of a decaying mansion. In other words: a welcome break from the news. Through February. 221 S. Grand Ave., downtown Los Angeles, thebroad.org.
Rafael Cardenas, “Landscape and Land Dwellers: Photography of Place,” at La Plaza de Cultura y Artes. Cardenas is widely known for his street photography. In this new exhibition he brings together a series of portraits and landscape images that find the connection between people and place in Los Angeles. Through March 25. 501 N. Main St., downtown Los Angeles, lapca.org.
“L.A. Communities Through the Eyes of Artists,” in the Passageway Gallery at Union Station. For 15 years, L.A.’s principal train station has been showcasing work that reveals the city through the eyes of its artists. This year, it is showing a series of newly commissioned pieces — including Shizu Saldamando’s depiction of Little Tokyo, Sam Pace on Leimert Park and Artemio Rodriguez on East L.A. On long-term view; no closing date set. Union Station, 800 N. Alameda St., downtown Los Angeles, metro.net.
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.
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