Chemtrails on canvas and a gallery transformed into a tongue-in-cheek home design shop. Plus, a very unusual talent show. Here are five exhibitions and events to check out in the coming week:
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. Opens Saturday at 6 p.m. and runs through June 1. 571 S. Anderson St., Los Angeles, nicodimgallery.com.
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. Opens Saturday at 6 p.m. and runs through May 25. 7313 Melrose Ave., Fairfax, Los Angeles, aala-gallery.com.
“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. Opens Saturday at 6 p.m. and runs through May 31. 1119 S. La Brea Ave., Mid-Wilshire, ltdlosangeles.com.
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.
Sharon Lockhart and Ariel Osterweis, “Talent Show,” at REDCAT. Faculty, alumni and students at CalArts, along with several professional guest artists, have come together to produce a talent show in which everyone performs in an area that is outside their formal area of training. Conceptual artist Edgar Arceneaux will direct a Milli Vanilli, act and choreographer Miguel Gutierrez will bust out with a solo. There will be music, there will be pageantry, there will be oodles of of amateur nervousness. Friday at 8:30 p.m. 631 W. Second St., downtown Los Angeles, redcat.org.
Lisa Solomon, “Hinan / Evacuation,” at Walter Maciel Gallery. In her fourth solo exhibition at the gallery, Solomon focuses on the stories of Japanese Americans incarcerated during World War II. Some of her work manipulates the signage of the era (such as the infamous relocation poster that began, “Instructions to all persons of Japanese ancestry”), while other pieces focus on the cultural rituals that made life in the camps tolerable on a day-to-day basis. Through Saturday. 2642 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, waltermacielgallery.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 Saturday. Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., D4, Santa Monica, rosegallery.net.
Tarrah Krajnak, “1979: Contact Negatives,” at as-is. The artist is transforming the gallery into an operative photo studio and darkroom of sorts that she will employ to metaphorically send herself to Lima, Peru, where she was adopted from an orphanage in 1979. Through Saturday. 1133 Venice Blvd., Pico-Union, Los Angeles, as-is.la.
“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. Through Sunday. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, lacma.org.
“MONUMENTality” at the Getty Research Institute. An exhibition about monuments and monumentality looks at the role that these structures play as symbols of power. The show includes a wide array of works from across cultures and time, including depictions of the pre-Columbian Nazca lines in the Peruvian desert, a grandiose reconstruction of ancient Rome as depicted by 18th century printmaker Piranesi, rare 19th century photographs that show a citizens uprising during the days of the Paris Commune in 1871 and documentation of contemporary earthworks. Through Sunday. 1200 Getty Center Dr., Brentwood, getty.edu.
Desert X, in locations around the Coachella Valley. The desert biennial is back with a series of installations by artists such as Mary Kelly, Cara Romero, Julian Hoeber, Nancy Baker Cahill and and others, all reflecting on the state of our fragile environment. Through Sunday. See the website for programming and locations, desertx.org.
Sheree Hovsepian and Paul Mpagi Sepuya, at Team Bungalow. A show of work by two photographers features two very different approaches to the medium: Hovsepian explores the art of the craft, combining photography with photograms and the creative possibilities of the darkroom, while Sepuya takes on homoerotic portraiture. Through Sunday. 306 Windward Ave., Venice, teamgal.com.
Karen O and Danger Mouse, “An Encounter with Lux Prima,” at the Marciano Art Foundation. The lead singer of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the musician and producer known as Danger Mouse have teamed up for an art installation that will also serve as listening experience. The show is fully booked, but there is a wait list. Today at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. 4357 Wilshire Blvd., Windsor Square, Los Angeles, marcianoartfoundation.org.
Sam Gilliam, “Starting: Works on Paper, 1967-1970,” and Chris Martin, “The Eighties,” at David Kordansky Gallery. Kordansky is pulling together a series of never-before-seen works on paper by Gilliam, the Washington, D.C.-based abstract artist known for making painting sculptural: draping canvas in galleries, or mounting his canvases onto beveled frames. This includes some of his earliest experiments, from the 1960s: folded pieces, expressionist pieces and works with calligraphic inks and light washes. Also on view is a show of paintings by New York artist Chris Martin, reflecting a moment of transition for the artist during the 1980s. Through April 27. 5130 W. Edgewood Place, Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, davidkordanskygallery.com.
Diedrick Brackens, “Unholy Ghosts,” and Anna Sew Hoy, “The Wettest Letter,” at Various Small Fires. The gallery is opening a pair of solo shows. The first features work by Brackens, who creates textile works that address cultural histories that frequently touch on African American identity, and a second showcases Hoy, who creates potent forms out of materials such as ceramics and textiles. Through April 27. 812 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood, vsf.la.
“Behind Face” and Betye Saar, “Spirit Catcher,” at Roberts Projects. The gallery is presenting a pair of shows: the first is a group exhibition featuring work by a range of artists — Noah Davis, Forrest Kirk, Celeste Rapone, Betye Saar and others — exploring notions of identity and self. Separately, the gallery is screening the documentary “Spirit Catcher: The Art of Betye Saar,” about the L.A. assemblage artist. Through April 27. 5801 Washington Ave., Culver City, robertsprojectsla.com.
Klaus Frahm, “The Fourth Wall,” at Galerie XII. The German photographer employs a large-format camera to capture the stages of theaters and opera houses as seen from the stage. These reveal details of the architecture, but also the mechanics of what makes a stage a stage. Through April 27. 6150 Wilshire Blvd., Carthay, Los Angeles, galeriexii.com.
Tschabalala Self, “Bodega Run,” at the Hammer Museum. For her Hammer Project, Self is presenting the final iteration of a project inspired by the corner convenience store, or bodega. Drawings and neon signs evoke the shelves of these urban commercial centers that also function as impromptu gathering spaces. Through April 28. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood, hammer.ucla.edu.
Pontormo, “Miraculous Encounters,” at the Getty Museum. In the 1520s, Florentine painter Pontormo created a luminous larger-than-life painting of the Virgin Mary’s meeting with her cousin St. Elizabeth. The painting remained virtually unknown until it appeared in a small church in Carmignano in the early 20th century. It is now on view in Los Angeles for the very first time, along with related drawings and two portraits. The show was organized by the Getty in collaboration with the Gallerie degli Uffizi in Florence and the Morgan & Library Museum in New York. Through April 28. 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood, Los Angeles, getty.edu.
“Unsettled,” at the Palm Springs Art Museum. A group show features work by more than 75 artists living or working in the “Greater West,” encompassing a region from Alaska to Central America, as well as a diverse range of media, including painting, sculpture, photography and performance. There will even be Twitter poems. Through April 30. 101 Museum Drive, Palm Springs, psmuseum.org.
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 May 9. 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 in 1976. Participating artists include Martha Rosler, Analia Saban and Sung Tieu. Through May 11. 6150 Wilshire Blvd., Carthay, 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 May 11. 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 May 12. 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 May 12. 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 May 12. 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 May 12. 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 May 12. 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.
“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, the last of whom will present a special performance on opening night. 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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.