Paintings inspired by flags and a retrospective of an influential African painter. Plus, a high school art collection and bawdy ceramics. Here are six exhibitions and events to check out in the coming week:
June Edmonds, “Allegiances and Convictions,” at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles. A new 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. Opens Saturday and runs through June 15. 2685 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, luisdejesus.com.
“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.
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 new exhibition will feature some of her most complex works to date. Also on view will be new work by painter Zach Harris. Opens Saturday and runs through June 15. 5130 W. Edgewood Place, Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, davidkordanskygallery.com.
“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. Opens Saturday and runs through Oct. 19. 167 N. Atchison St., Orange, hilbertmuseum.com.
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. Opens Saturday and runs through June 8. 6830 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, steveturner.la.
Christina Quarles, “But I Woke Jus’ tha Same,” at Regen Projects. In Quarles’ figurative paintings, bodies never quite lie in repose — instead, these jittery figures take on contorted, often eroticized positions that seem to push them to the limits of the frame. The artist sets these against backdrops that feature bold lattice patterns, various floral elements and other symbols of female domesticity. Through Thursday. 6750 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, regenprojects.com.
“Artists Use Photography,” at Praz Delavallade. A group show considers the conceptual uses of photography as inspired by an exhibition of the same title that was staged in Buffalo, N.Y., in 1976. Participating artists include Martha Rosler, Analia Saban and Sung Tieu. Through Saturday. 6150 Wilshire Blvd., Carthay Circle, Los Angeles, praz-delavallade.com.
“Lucky 13: Anniversary Show: the Fine Art of Graffiti and Street,” at Corey Helford Gallery. The gallery is marking its 13th anniversary with a show that will feature a range of works by street and graffiti artists whose work is often rendered on or inspired by the urban canvas. This includes work by D*Face, Logan Hicks, Ron English, Estevan Oriol and Miss Van, among many, many others. Through Saturday. 571 S. Anderson St., Los Angeles, coreyhelfordgallery.com.
Sandra de la Loza, “Mi Casa Es Su Casa,” and Sara Kathryn Arledge, “Serene for the Moment,” at the Armory Center for the Arts. The Armory has a pair of shows on view. The first, by De la Loza, is an immersive installation constructed from collaged images that dwell on the nature of identity and community. Also on view are a series of paintings by the late Arledge, an artist known for her bright landscapes and experimental filmmaking. Through Sunday. On Saturday, the artist will be in conversation with poet Sesshu Foster at 1 p.m. 145 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena, armoryarts.org.
Beatriz Cortez, “Trinidad / Joy Station,” at the Craft Contemporary. At a moment of political dystopia, the L.A. artist imagines a bit of utopia: a futuristic space station that suggests a communal, indigenous space apart from capitalism and Western civilization. She also recycles symbols of the military-industrial complex — say, a form that evokes the container where the first atomic bomb was detonated, turned into a seed repository. The show wrestles with our difficult present too: One series is inspired by the beds inhabited by children in border detention centers. Through Sunday. 5814 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, cafam.org.
“Focus Iran 3: Contemporary Photography and Video,” at the Craft & Folk Art Museum. The third iteration of this biennial devoted to Iranian art and culture turns its lens to youth culture. The show is organized in collaboration with the Farhang Foundation and features 42 works from Iranian artists from around the world. Through Sunday. 5814 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, cafam.org.
Allen Ruppersberg, “Intellectual Property 1968-2018,” at the Hammer Museum. Over the course of his career, the U.S.-based conceptual artist has employed elements of popular culture — newspapers, magazines, band posters and more — to create curious juxtapositions of image and text. This is the first comprehensive survey devoted to his work in more than 30 years and will feature some of his groundbreaking early environmental installations, including “Al’s Cafe” from 1969 and “Al’s Grand Hotel” from 1971. Through Sunday. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood, Los Angeles, hammer.ucla.edu.
“Brognon-Rollin: Maybe Some of Us Will Change This,” at the ICA LA. Artists David Brognon and Stéphanie Rollin, otherwise known as Brognon-Rollin, worked with students at Metropolitan High School on a project about political tensions, immigration and the U.S.-Mexico border — which included a trip, with the students, to the border. Collectively, they have produced a multi-site sound installation that contends with these issues in the Oaxacan whistled language of Mazatec, a work created in collaboration with linguist and educator Eloy Garcia. The sound piece will be presented at the ICA, as well as Metropolitan High School and ice cream trucks that ply the streets around the school and the museum. Through Sunday. 1717 East 7th St., downtown Los Angeles, theicala.org.
Vanessa German, "$lang: Short Language in Soul,” at Gavlak. Using found objects — in particular, vintage tennis rackets — that she largely harvests from her neighborhood in Pittsburgh, German creates “power figures” and other objects that dwell on the nature of black female strength and identity. Through May 18. 1034 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood, GavlakGallery.com.
Michi Meko, “When It’s Black Outside,” at E.C. Liná. In an installation, the Atlanta-based artist examines concepts of blackness and ancestral lineage through arrangements of objects that include cartography, cast-iron skillets and elements of sound. Through May 18. 4480 W. Adams Blvd., West Adams, Los Angeles, eclinagallery.com.
Graciela Iturbide, “Hay Tiempo,” at Rosegallery. The Mexican photographer is known for turning a sensitive and poetic lens on myriad subjects, whether it’s indigenous groups in southern Mexico or Chicano youth in East L.A. This show gathers work by the artist in honor of her solo exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the first major East Coast presentation of her work. Through May 18. Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., D4, Santa Monica, rosegallery.net.
Haim Steinbach, “Appear to Use,” at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery. The conceptual artist, known for his taught arrangements of objects, elements of architecture and fragments of text, is currently the subject of a solo exhibition — his first in 10 years. The show will feature the shelf pieces for which he is known, as well as site-specific architectural interventions. Through May 18. 1010 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood, tanyabonakdargallery.com.
“Dirty Protest: Selections from the Contemporary Collection,” at the Hammer Museums. An exhibition drawn from recent acquisitions to the museum’s permanent collection brings together contemporary works by more than 30 international artists. The show takes its title from a 2015 painting by Tala Madani included in the show. Through May 19. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood, Los Angeles, hammer.ucla.edu.
“Parergon: Japanese Art of the 1980s and 1990s,” at Blum & Poe. This is the second installment of a two-part show devoted to Japanese art of the ’80s and ’90s, examining topics such as retro-futurism, simulation and national boundaries. Organized by independent curator Mika Yoshitake, this includes work by an eye-popping 25 artists, including Kenjiro Okazaki, Mariko Mori, Masato Nakamura and Eye. Through May 19. 2727 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, blumandpoe.com.
Heidi Hahn, “Burn Out in Shredded Heaven,” and Jarvis Boyland, “On Hold,” at Kohn Gallery. Kohn is hosting a pair of solo exhibitions. The first features work by Hahn, a New York-based painter whose deeply saturated canvases often feature female figures, most frequently in states of introspection or alienation. The second is displaying work by the Chicago-based Boyland, whose intimate, figurative canvases tackle the intersecting themes of blackness and queerness. Many of these compositions are based on photographs that the artist reconfigures. Through May 23. 1227 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood, kohngallery.com.
Steven Hull, “Our Little Chapel by the Lake — The Transformation of Jesus Christ,” at Meliksetian Briggs. In his second solo installation at the gallery, Hull is presenting a three-part exhibition that includes a show of abstract paintings with a kinetic sculpture, figurative paintings and sculpture and a record release and performance (the latter of which will close out the show). The show continues to explore the themes — such as seafaring and the carnivalesque — for which Hull is well known. Through May 25. 313 N. Fairfax Ave., Beverly Grove, Los Angeles, MeliksetianBriggs.com.
Laura Lancaster, “Running Towards Nothing,” and Vaughn Spann, “Dalmatian Paintings,” at Night Gallery. Lancaster is known for taking found photographs and using these to create gestural paintings that render the original image practically abstract. This series employs water-based paints in scenes that involve mirrors, pools and other refractive surfaces. In a separate show, the Connecticut-based Spann is displaying a body of work that plays on the black-and-white patterns of Dalmatian dogs. Through May 25. 2276 E. 16th St., downtown Los Angeles, NightGallery.ca.
Soyoung Shin, “Welcome Home,” at AA | LA gallery. Artist Soyoung Shin has created an installation that takes as its point of inspiration the home design retail space. Within a functioning showroom setting, the artist is showcasing the art of the transaction as well as the work of numerous other artists — including Michael Parker, Charles Mathis, Semi-Tropic Spiritualists, Yasmine Diaz and Victoria Tao. Through May 25. 7313 Melrose Ave., Fairfax, Los Angeles, aala-gallery.com.
Don Bachardy, “Self-Portraits,” at Craig Krull Gallery. The artist is known for his evocative portraits of important cultural figures such as Aldous Huxley, Dorothy Parker, Igor Stravinsky and his romantic partner, novelist Christopher Isherwood. In this series, he turns his paint brushes on himself, in 15 self-portraits all made over the last three years. Also on view will be a show of paintings by Carol Es and sculpture by Gwynn Murrill. Through May 25. Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., #B-3, Santa Monica, craigkrullgallery.com.
“Once Upon a Tapestry: Woven Tales of Helen and Dido,” at the Norton Simon Museum. Helen of Troy was the beautiful ancient heroine whose kidnapping launched the Trojan War. Dido was the first queen of Carthage, who famously killed herself on a funeral pyre. This exhibition looks at the ways in which these women and their stories have been depicted in a series of five 16th and 17th century tapestries. Through May 27. 411 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, nortonsimon.org.
“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 May 31. 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 June 1. 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 June 1. 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 June 2. 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.
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.
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.
“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.
“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.