Datebook: Artifacts from the ancient city of Palmyra, art inspired by an FBI file, and an artist’s collective stage

A sculpture from the ancient city of Palmyra, AD 192-210, shows what is presumed to be a man and his sons — from an exhibition at the Getty Villa.
(Cantor Arts Center, Stanford)

Works from the ancient crossroads once held hostage by militants, and an artist explores her father’s FBI file. Here are six exhibitions and events to check out in the week ahead:

“Palmyra: Loss and Remembrance,” at the Getty Villa. Once home to some of the finest Roman-era ruins in the world, Palmyra made headlines when elements of the ancient site were destroyed by Islamic State militants during their occupation of the site in 2015. This exhibition features objects from the area, including ancient funerary sculpture on loan from other institutions, as well as engravings and photographs from the Getty Research Institute’s private collection. Through May 27. 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades,

Sadie Barnette, “Dear 1968, ...” at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. Barnette and her family recently obtained the 500-page file the FBI had amassed on her father during his time in the Black Panthers. The artist employs documents from the file along with other family objects as a point of inspiration for an installation that explores the intersection of the personal and the political in dramatic ways. Opens today and runs through Sept. 2. 1100 Kettner Blvd., San Diego,

Sadie Barnett
"Untitled (Dad, 1966 and 1968)," 2016, by Sadie Barnette at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. /

Rafa Esparza, “de la Calle,” at the Institute of Contemporary Art Los Angeles. The Los Angeles artist is transforming the museum project room into a stage for collective works that explore issues of migration and colonization. Esparza and his collaborators will produce an artist book over the course of the exhibition and also stage a performance in Santee Alley. Opens Sunday and runs through July 15. 1717 E. 7th St., downtown Los Angeles,

Charles Christopher Hill, “Origin Story,” at Leslie Sacks Gallery. Hill, a member of the L.A. arts scene of the 1970s, puts together materials such as fabric, paper, newsprint and thread to create collaged, abstract works that ride the dividing line between painting and textile. This show will gather key works from the ’70s and ’80s. Opens Saturday at 5 p.m. and runs through June 2. Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., No. B6, Santa Monica,

June Wayne, “Propeller, Paintings & Mixed Media, the Pop Up,” at MB Abram Galleries. A new exhibition gathers a series of original lithographs inspired by water themes by the renowned founder of the Tamarind Lithography Workshop. Opens today and runs through Saturday. 550 S. Hill St., Ground Floor, downtown Los Angeles,

June Wayne
"Propeller," by June Wayne, from a show at MB Abram Galleries. MB Abram

SPOT, “American Myths Violated & Realities Revealed,” at Cornelius Projects. A musician who was also engineer and producer at the punk label SST Records, SPOT (born Glen Lockett) captured a culture in flux with his camera: California hippies, beach bums, bohemians, skaters and rockers and punks. The exhibition gathers images made in the ’60s and ’70s. Opens Saturday at 6 p.m. and runs through May 26. 1417 S. Pacific Ave., San Pedro,


“Sentimental,” by Michelle Groskopf, at Row DTLA. For five years, photographer Michelle Groskopf has taken pictures around Los Angeles on an almost daily basis. This show is her love letter to the city and its people, in all of our resplendent dye jobs and bad tans — a paean to garish colors, weird textures and crooked smiles. The exhibition is tied to the publication of Groskopf’s first monograph, “Sentimental.” Through Saturday. 777 Alameda St., Bldg. M-2, Ste. 132, downtown Los Angeles,

Michelle Groskopf
"Los Angeles, California," 2016, by Michelle Groskopf, from the artist's new monograph "Sentimental," inspired by Los Angeles. Michelle Groskopf

Norm Clasen, “Titled (Cowboy),” at M+B Photo. In the 1980s, conceptual artist Richard Prince became known for re-photographing images of Marlboro ads of cowboys at work. Clasen was the photographer who shot many of those iconic original images. M+B surveys the photographer’s shots of the American West. In a stab at appropriationist history, a portion of the profits will be donated to the APA (American Photographic Artists) to help support copyright defense. Through Saturday. 1050 N. Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood,

Nicole Eisenman, “Dark Light,” at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects. This exhibition is the U.S. debut of a series of paintings that the New York artist showed at the Secession in Vienna in 2017 and also includes new works made especially for the Los Angeles show — all of which contend with our current political moment. The artist is known for creating slightly surreal paintings that deftly combine both the comical and the abject. Through Saturday. 6006 Washington Blvd., Culver City,

Nicole Eisenman
“Heading Down River on the USS J-Bone of an Ass,” 2017, by Nicole Eisenman. Adam Reich, NY / Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects

Rachel Mason, “Star Death and the Pain Body,” at Charlie James Gallery. The performance artist behind Future Clown (whom I followed around on Inauguration Day) has a new immersive video environment at Charlie James that is part of an ongoing project that connects aspects of cosmology (the cycles of the stars) to human trauma. This particular segment looks at literal and metaphorical aspects of a star’s turbulent death. Through Saturday. 969 Chung King Road, Chinatown, Los Angeles,

Christiane Feser, “New Work,” and Christopher Russell, “The Explorers,” at Von Lintel Gallery. On view are two artists who experiment with the nature and form of photography. Russell, who is from Los Angeles, scratches drawings into the surface of his photographs — creating layered pieces that toy with image and texture. Feser constructs elaborate geometric paper models that she then photographs, creating images that offer plays on color, form and light. Both artists are featured in the Getty Center exhibition “Cut! Paper Play in Contemporary Photography.” Through Saturday. 2685 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City,

Harald Szeeman, “Grandfather: A Pioneer Like Us,” at the Institute of Contemporary Art Los Angeles. In the 1970s, celebrated curator Harald Szeeman organized the objects collected and created by his grandfather — a noted hairdresser — into an installation that he staged in his home. The show at the ICA LA features a recreation of Szeeman’s show and materials from the Getty Research Institute, which holds the curator’s archive. Through Sunday. 1717 E. 7th St., downtown Los Angeles,


Petra Cortright, “CAM WORLD,” at UTA Artist Space. The gallery has put together a large-scale survey of the L.A.-based artist’s video work that draws from the culture of surveillance and the internet. This includes pieces that dwell on the artist’s online presence and the ways in which the female body is rendered online. Through April 27. 670 S. Anderson St., Boyle Heights, Los Angeles,

Petra Cortright
An installation view of video work by Petra Cortright at UTA Artist Space in Los Angeles. Jeff McLane

Iris Yirei Hu, “Survival Guide: inheritance,” at the Women’s Center for Creative Work. An immersive installation is centered on the idea of weaving — of the apprenticeships the artist has had with weavers in Arizona and Oaxaca, Mexico — and the collaborative piece she crafted with eight invited artists. Titled “Magic Carpet,” this latter work occupies much of the floor and is made from a diverse array of materials. Through April 27. 2425 Glover Pl., Elysian Valley, Los Angeles,

Mario Ayala and Greg Ito, “Sun Sprawl,” at Club Pro Los Angeles. In a downtown space, the L.A.-born, L.A.-raised artists have created a tribute to L.A. This includes images that toy with the visual tropes of the city (sprawl, waves, car culture) as well as a recreation of Hop Louie, the fabled Chinatown restaurant that once served as an artist hangout. Through April 28. 1525 S. Main St., Third Fl., downtown Los Angeles,

Veronika Kellndorfer and Antonio Ballester Moreno, at Christopher Grimes Gallery. One is a photographer, the other a painter. But their work each explores the ideals of Modernism. Kellndorfer, who lives in Berlin, photographs renowned Modernist architectural spaces, often playing with the ideas of the transparent surface, whether it’s by depicting glassy architecture or, quite literally, by presenting her work on glass. Ballester, in the meantime, studies stripped-down line and form in paintings that echo the work of figures such as Joan Miró and Josef Albers. Through April 28. 916 Colorado Ave., Santa Monica,

“BioPerversity,” at Nicodim. A group show at Nicodim looks at the complicated relationship humans have with other animal species, which are often reduced to lesser beings in our invented biological hierarchy, but with which we share all too many instincts. Through April 28. 571 S. Anderson St., Ste. 2, Boyle Heights, Los Angeles,

Katherine Sherwood, “The Interior of the Yelling Clinic,” at Walter Maciel Gallery. In her first show at the gallery, Sherwood is featuring works from her “Venuses” series — paintings that take the traditional female nude and alter her body in some visceral way. Her figures are depicted with an amputated limb, a leg brace or an artificial hand; for heads, they sport large scans of the artist’s brain. (Sherwood suffered a cerebral hemorrhage 20 years ago and had to switch painting hands.) These are figures that beguile and confront. Through April 28. 2461 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City,

"Olympia, 2014," by Katherine Sherwood, at Walter Maciel. Walter Maciel Gallery

“Cold War Spaces,” “The Russians” and “Vessel of Change” at the Wende Museum. The museum, an underrated Los Angeles gem preserving the art and history of the Cold War, is celebrating a move to new digs at the National Guard Armory in Culver City. The grand reopening is marked by the debut of three new exhibitions: “Cold War Spaces” looks at the design of public and private environments, borders and the objects sent into outer space by the U.S. and the Soviet Union. “The Russians” is based on a 1970s photo project by Nathaniel Farb that documented a diverse array of ordinary Russians, while “Vessel of Change” is a playful video piece by Bill Ferehawk and David Hartwell that reinterprets the historic Malta Summit between George H.W. Bush and Mikhail Gorbachev in 1989. Through April 29. 10808 Culver Blvd., Culver City,

“Hammer Projects: Sam Falls” at the Hammer Museum. For the Hammer’s latest lobby project, the L.A.-based artist traveled to all 19 national forests in California. In these journeys, he gathered samples of the state’s vegetation, including ponderosa pine trees and California buckwheat. He then dusted the samples with pigment, employing them as stencils of sorts, to create silhouettes of important state flora. Through April 29. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood, Los Angeles,

John Ford, Samuel Fuller, George Stevens, “Filming the Camps: From Hollywood to Nuremberg,” at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust. Organized by the Mémorial de la Shoah in Paris, this exhibition looks at the vital work done by three key American filmmakers during World War II. Ford, Fuller and Stevens, in the employ of the U.S. Armed Forces and the Secret Services, filmed key aspects of the war — including the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps. The show includes film footage, personal letters, important ephemera and other rare objects and reflects on the way in which playing witness to Nazi atrocities shaped the worldview of these important directors. There could not be a more timely moment for this exhibition. Through April 30. 100 S. Grove Drive, Fairfax, Los Angeles,

“Force of Nature,” at Steve Turner. A group show featuring six international artists from Los Angeles presents paintings and video that employ landscape to explore current events such as immigration, environment and technology, among other themes. This includes artists from Los Angeles (Eddie Rodolfo Aparicio, Nick Farhi and John Knuth), Paris (Émilie Broute & Maxime Marion), Cologne (Lukas Marxt) and New York (Glen Baldridge). Through May 12. 6830 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood,

Alison Saar, “Topsy Turvy,” at L.A. Louver. This show of new work by the L.A.-based artist takes the character of Topsy, from Harriet Beecher Stowe’s “Uncle Tom’s Cabin” as a point of inspiration. In sculpture and painting, she transforms the young slave girl into a symbol of defiance and, in the process, weaves in elements of Greek myth into Topsy’s story. An essential show. On May 1 at 7 p.m., the artist will lead a listening party of “angry songs.” RSVP is required (310-822-4955 or Through May 12. 45 N. Venice Blvd., Venice,

Topsy Turvy, Alison Saar
"Cotton," 2018, by Alison Saar at L.A. Louver. Alison Saar / L.A. Louver

Kim Schoenstadt, “Context v. Perspective,” at Chimento Contemporary. For this series of works, Schoenstadt takes well-known buildings that evoke social unrest — the FBI headquarters in Washington, various Soviet structures — and uses them to explore the idea of context (the broader view) versus individual perspective (a much narrower vista). These are works whose very architecture spills out of the frame. Through May 5. 622 S. Anderson St., #105, Boyle Heights, Los Angeles,

“Harald Szeemann: Museum of Obsessions,” at the Getty Research Institute. This exhibition explores the life, work and obsessions of the esteemed Swiss curator who helped redefine the profession. The show examines his early exhibitions and the ways in which he collaborated with avant-garde artists, the ways in which he turned curation into a global job, as well as his personal collections and obsessions. Through May 6. 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood,

“Stories of Almost Everyone,” at the Hammer Museum. In the age of hyper-conceptual art, the story about the art often resides less in the object than in the stories that are told about it: the curator talks and wall text descriptions. This exhibition examines this very phenomenon — the curious oral history often generated by conceptual work and how those histories are passed on. Should be seriously brainy. Through May 6. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood, Los Angeles,

“Melting Point: Movements in Contemporary Clay,” at the Craft & Folk Art Museum. This is the museum’s first biennial devoted to clay, featuring work by almost two dozen artists who are working with the material in innovative and unusual ways. Through May 6. 5814 Wilshire Blvd., mid-Wilshire,

“Robert Polidori: 20 Photographs of the Getty Museum, 1997” at the Getty Museum. The Getty has turned 20 (it can almost drink!), and to mark the occasion the museum is showing a portfolio of works created by Polidori prior to the museum’s opening in ’97. The photos, on view for the first time, caught the galleries in transition: art wrapped in crates, sculptures off pedestals, bits of packing material in decorative rooms. Through May 6. 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood, Los Angeles,

Peter Shire, “Drawings, Impossible Teapots, Furniture & Sculpture,” at Kayne Griffin Corcoran. The key post-Modern artist, ceramicist and designer, associated with the Milan-based Memphis school of design, has a new solo show on view at Kayne Griffin Corcoran, his first presentation at the gallery. The show will bring together drawings, sculpture, furnishings and the ceramics for which he is so well known. Through May 12. 1201 S. La Brea Ave., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles,

Peter Shire ceramic
"Saki Pot Sluggo," 2010, by Peter Shire at Kayne Griffin Corcoran. Peter Shire / Kayne Griffin Corcoran

Karen Margolis, “Garden of Mutei,” at Garis & Hahn. In her first solo exhibition at the gallery, the Brooklyn-based artist is showing large, intricate paper works that serve as maps of thought and synapse. She achieves her geometric patterns by cutting, paintings and collaging, with thread, fragments of maps and other elements. Through May 12. 1820 Industrial St., downtown Los Angeles,

Adrián Villar Rojas, “The Theater of Disappearance,” at the Museum of Contemporary Art. The Argentine-born artist, known for installations that transform spaces — and often play on themes of the apocalyptic — is taking over MOCA’s Little Tokyo space with an installation that employs the architecture and technologies of Hollywood special effects to create an environment that responds to a “post-human world dominated by technology.” Through May 13. Geffen Contemporary, 152 N. Central Ave., downtown Los Angeles,

“Muse: Mickalene Thomas,” and “tête-à-tête,” at Pomona College Museum of Art. This show explores two aspects of Thomas’ work: the muses that have inspired her work and the artists with whom she finds kinship. The first part gathers the artist’s photography of herself, her mother, her friends and lovers — images that inspire and serve as the basis of her work. The latter part features an installation curated by Thomas that features work by artists she finds inspiring, including Deana Lawson, Zanele Muholi and LaToya Ruby Frazier. Through May 13. 330 N. College Ave., Claremont,

Dora De Larios, “Other Worlds,” at the Main Museum. Over a long-running career, the Los Angeles-born ceramic artist created work that fused the modern with the Mexican and the Japanese. Now the downtown museum is inaugurating a new gallery space with a survey of the late artist’s work — De Larios died in January — bringing together whimsical sculpture, graceful dishware and the elegant plates she crafted especially for a White House lunch. Through May 13. 114 W. 4th St., downtown Los Angeles,

Dora De Larios
Pieces from place settings created by Dora De Larios for a special White House luncheon honoring American craft in 1977. Bernard Judge

Rigo 23, “Ripples Become Waves,” at the Main Museum. This show by the L.A.-based artist Rigo 23 highlights the case of Leonard Peltier, a member of the American Indian Movement who received a life sentence in connection with the shooting deaths of two FBI agents in 1975. On view is a sculpture of Peltier that the artist made for American University’s campus in 2017, a work that was subsequently (and controversially) removed. Through May 13. 114 W. 4th St., downtown Los Angeles,

“Unspeakable: Atlas, Kruger, Walker,” at the Hammer Museum. The museum has installed videos by three artists — Charles Atlas, Barbara Kruger and Kara Walker — known for the ways they wield art as social critique. This includes works that ruminate on the nature of life, generosity, the body and violence. Through May 13. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood, Los Angeles,

Jasper Johns, “ ‘Something Resembling Truth,’ ” at the Broad museum. An exhibition created in collaboration with the Royal Academy in London will feature more than 120 paintings, sculptures, prints and drawings by the celebrated 20th century artist associated with the early days of the Pop movement. The show traces his six-decade career through a series of themed installations that examine the stages of his career, as well as the innovative ways in which he employed materials such as encaustic, collage and other media. The show includes many works that have never been seen before in Los Angeles — a real treat. Get those tickets! Through May 13. 221 S. Grand Ave., downtown Los Angeles,

Folkert de Jong, “Cathedra,” and Nathan Redwood, “After Tin Man,” at Denk Gallery. This two-person show features sculptures by Dutch artist Folkert de Jong (his first solo show in Los Angeles in more than a decade) and work by L.A.-based painter Nathan Redwood. The two exhibitions were developed separately — De Jong’s sculptural figures dwell on the grotesque while Redwood’s paintings take on portraiture, landscape and still life — but work in tandem. Through May 19. 749 E. Temple St., downtown Los Angeles,

Nathan Redwood
"Sybel," 2017, by Nathan Redwood. Ross Mason / Denk Gallery

Rashid Johnson, “The Rainbow Sign,” at David Kordanksy. In his latest show at Kordanksy, Johnson has taken over all three gallery spaces with a show that takes symbols of national identity and looks at what it might mean to be free of them. A series of wall sculptures also contain objects and books that are laden with meaning for the artist (such as a copy of James Baldwin’s “The Fire Next Time”). These pieces were employed at the opening in readings and performances by invited poets and musicians, including playwright Ntozake Shange. Through May 19. 5130 W. Edgewood Pl., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles,

Chris Kraus, “In Order to Pass,” at Chateau Shatto. The celebrated author of “I Love Dick” was a filmmaker before she became a writer. This exhibition focuses on that work — namely, the nine films she made in the 1980s and ’90s, experimental works that dwell on feminism, historical themes and relationships. Through May 19. 1206 S. Maple Ave., Ste. 1030, downtown Los Angeles,

Geta Brătescu, “The Leaps of Aesop,” at Hauser & Wirth. The 92-year-old Romanian conceptualist’s first show in Los Angeles consists of more than 50 works drawn from throughout different periods of her career — all inspired by the Greek fabulist Aesop. The artist regards Aesop as a mischievous figure, a symbol of “everything that stood against totalitarianism,” and one who parallels the subversive characters in Romanian folk tales. In her own work, she uses play and other inventive approaches to material to convey these and other ideas. Through May 20. 901 E. 3rd St., downtown Los Angeles,

Mark Bradford, “New Works,” at Hauser & Wirth. The gallery is showing a suite of new works by the Los Angeles painter, who continues his process of creating abstraction through collaging, tearing, painting and layering. The new works, which employ comic books in their fabrication, pack a visceral punch. Through May 20. 901 E. 3rd St., downtown Los Angeles.

“It Passes Like a Thought,” at the Beall Center for Art + Technology. Seven contemporary artists engage with the human obsession with birds — species studied by armies of ornithologists, linguists and musicologists, and devotedly followed by equally large armies of birders. Artists such as Victoria Vesna and Susan Silton explore birdsong, while Lynn Aldrich and Juan Fontanive look at flight. Other installations mechanize bird movement. Through May 26. 712 Arts Plaza, UC Irvine, Irvine,

Francesca Gabbiani, “Vague Terrains and Urban F____,” at Gavlak. In Gabbiani’s first solo show at the gallery, she is focused on the idea of non-places: those transitional, interstitial, marginally abandoned sites that seemingly belong to everyone and no one: old staircases, partly abandoned urban sites, empty lots. Using carved and colored paper, she records these banal and quotidian spots. Through May 26. 1034 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood,

Francesca Gabbiani
"Lookout," 2016-17, by Francesca Gabbiani, from the artist's solo show at Gavlak in Hollywood. Jeff McLane / Francesca Gabbiani / Gavlak

Fay Ray, “I am the House,” at Shulamit Nazarian. In her first solo exhibition at the gallery, the Los Angeles-based artist is presenting sculpture and photography that channel an interest in female identity and the fetishization of objects — objects crafted out of eggs, corn and dried flowers that toy with notions of birth, death and life. Through May 26. 616 N. La Brea Ave., Hancock Park, Los Angeles,

“March of Eyes,” at Cirrus Gallery. Centered around a new series of Cirrus prints by L.A. artist Math Bass, the show also gathers pieces by five emerging artists who address issues such as perspective and viewership in their work. Through May 26. 2011 S. Santa Fe Ave., Los Angeles,

Raúl Cordero, “The Seer’s Suite,” at Edward Cella Art & Architecture. A series of cinematic paintings are inspired by Cordero’s interactions with clairvoyants — drawing from his sessions, but also from his dreams. The resulting images are gauzy and ghostly. Through May 26. 2754 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City,

“Inhabit: the Olmsted Brothers at Palos Verdes Peninsula,” at the Palos Verdes Art Center. In the early 20th century, a consortium of businessmen that invested in land on the Palos Verdes Peninsula invited the Olmsted Brothers landscape architecture firm (their father designed Central Park), to create a Mediterranean oasis there. The brothers began their project by undertaking a profound study of the area. This exhibition gathers many of their materials: drawings, topographic maps, studies of flora and fauna. A historic look at the Los Angeles of a century ago. Through May 27. 5504 W. Crestridge Road, Rancho Palos Verdes,

“Paper Promises: Early American Photography,” at the Getty Museum. As the United States expanded throughout the 19th century, and news of the Civil War racked the nation, there was a growing demand for images that were easy to reproduce and distribute — hence the turn from daguerreotypes to paper photography. This exhibition looks at some of the earliest examples of the medium, an important period of experimentation that included mournful battlefield imagery and regal portraiture, including notable images of Abraham Lincoln. Through May 27. 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood, Los Angeles,

Abraham Lincoln by Alexander Gardner
"Abraham Lincoln and His Son Thomas (Tad), February 5, 1865," by Alexander Gardner in "Paper Promises" at the Getty. J. Paul Getty Museum,

“Cut! Paper Play in Contemporary Photography,” at the Getty Museum. Another photography-related exhibition at the Getty looks at the medium’s intersection with cut paper. This includes cut-paper models that are then photographed, and photographic images that are collaged into three-dimensional pieces. Through May 27. 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood, Los Angeles,

“Tony DeLap: A Retrospective,” at the Laguna Art Museum. The museum has put together a retrospective dedicated to the Southern California finish/fetish artist who has explored color, form and minimalism in a career that has spanned more than six decades. The show features an estimated 80 paintings, sculptures and drawings — and an accompanying catalog tracks the arc of his career. Through May 28, 307 Cliff Drive, Laguna Beach,

“Testament of the Spirit: Paintings by Eduardo Carrillo,” at the Pasadena Museum of California Art. A solo exhibition devoted to the Los Angeles painter and educator examines his legacy and work. The show includes the exhibition of a celebrated mural, “Chicano History,” which Carrillo painted with Sergio Hernandez, Ramses Noriega and Saul Solache, and which is on view for the first time since 1991. The museum has also unveiled two other exhibitions: “The Feminine Sublime,” a group show that takes ideas of the sublime, generally depicted from a male point of view, and gives it a decidedly feminine twist, as well as an installation by Ana Serrano, who is creating an immersive “garden” out of simple art materials such as cardboard, paper and paint. Through June 3. 490 E. Union St., Pasadena,

“In Conversation: Alma Allen & J.B. Blunk,” at the Palm Springs Art Museum. This exhibition puts together the work of two key artists from two generations working with natural materials such as stone, wood and metal. J.B. Blunk, who died in 2002, began making work in the ’60s inspired by organic and anthropomorphic forms. Allen, a contemporary artist, quite similarly works in metal and wood and is inspired by nature’s shapes and textures. Both have created functional objects (such as elements of their homes) as well as sculptures that are experimental and abstract. Through June 4. 300 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs,

Mark Ruwedel, “Rivers Run Through It,” at Gallery Luisotti. For decades, Ruwedel has focused on capturing pieces of infrastructure and nature. In this latest series, the artist focuses on the perfect union of the two: the Los Angeles River and its tributaries. In these images he captures wild nature, but also the firm imprint of man. Through June 9. Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., No. A2, Santa Monica,

“Winds From Fusang: Mexico and China in the Twentieth Century,” at the USC Pacific Asia Museum. This is the first major exhibition to look at a key trans-Pacific cross-pollination: the influence of Mexican art on the development of art in China in the 20th century. This includes an examination of the period in the 1930s that Mexican artist Miguel Covarrubias spent in Shanghai, and a look at a subsequent era, from the 1950s to the ’70s, when works by key Mexican artists were presented in China. The show, part of PST: LA/LA, is a grand reopening for the museum following a seismic retrofit. Through June 10. 46 N. Los Robles Ave., Pasadena,

“Rodriguez/Valadez in Vernon,” at Fine Art Solutions. This two-painter show brings together work by L.A. painters Sandy Rodriguez and John Valadez, whose views of the city are often infused with dark humor — and just a little touch of the magical. Rodriguez also makes wry paper works that riff on painted colonial and pre-Columbian codices in contemporary ways. Through June 16. 3463 E. 26th St., Vernon,

Sandy Rodriguez
"Cempoalxuchitl- Tagetes erecta from the Codex Rodriguez-Mondragon," 2017, by Sandy Rodriguez. Sandy Rodriguez

Gilbert “Magu” Luján, “Recuerdos del Futuro: Roaming Magu’s Chicano Dreams,” at La Plaza de Cultura y Artes. This show on the late artist, a founding member of the influential collective Los Four, gathers 81 works — including paintings, drawings and sculpture — that tracks the ways in which he employed quotidian imagery to channel a Chicano futurist vibe. Embedded in his paintings and surreal installations were images of graffiti, lowriders, dogs and elements of the rasquache (or lowbrow). As part of the show, two contemporary artists — calligraphy artist JERK and printmaker Daniel Gonzalez — created work in dialogue with Magu. Through June 25. 501 N. Main St., downtown Los Angeles,

Reena Spaulings, “The Male Gates,” at Matthew Marks Gallery. The artist collective (which also operates a gallery by the same name) has a new show at Matthew Marks that consists of paintings on canvas and walk-through security gates (the sort you find at airports and nightclubs and some museums). Also on view are three new marble sculptures, including one made from the same blue stone employed by Modernist architect Adolf Loos in the Semler House in the Czech Republic. Through June 30. 1062 N. Orange Grove, West Hollywood,

Meleko Mokgosi, “Bread, Butter, and Power,” at the Fowler Museum. Mokgosi first drew wide attention in Los Angeles when he won the $100,000 inaugural Mohn Prize at the Hammer Museum’s “Made in L.A.” biennial in 2012. Now he’s back with a large-scale painting exhibition at the Fowler — a 20-panel installation that looks at how democratic concepts infuse aspects of daily life, down to love and relationships. Through July 1. 308 Charles E. Young Drive North, Westwood, Los Angeles,

“Soul Mining,” at the Vincent Price Art Museum. A new group show examines the influence Asian immigrants have had on the economics and the culture of Latin America. Some of this connects with the anti-immigration histories of the U.S.: when the Chinese Exclusion Act was signed into law in 1882, Chinese laborers expelled from the U.S. moved on to Latin America, having a profound effect on the continent’s social, political and cultural landscapes. Also on view are works from the L.A. County Museum of Art’s permanent collection: the Mexico photographs of Mariana Yampolsky and objects from the museum’s holdings of ancient Egyptian art. Through July 14. East Los Angeles College, 1301 Cesar Chavez Ave., Monterey Park,

Nuevo Dragon City by Sergio de la Torre
"Nuevo Dragon City," for the installation "This is not in Spanish," by Sergio de la Torre, at the Vincent Price Art Museum. Sergio de la Torre

Leopoldo Peña, “Pelotas Oaxaqueñas/Oaxacan Ball Games,” at the Fowler Museum. For five years beginning in 2011, the L.A.-based painter documented the traditional games played by California’s Oaxacan immigrant community. The games includes the centuries-old pelota mixteca (Mixtec-style ball) and variant called pelota de esponja (sponge ball), both played with decorated mitts that combine indigenous design with contemporary logos. The games, which often take place in empty lots around the San Fernando Valley, are fast-paced affairs that serve as important social gatherings. Through July 15. 308 Charles E. Young Drive North, Westwood, Los Angeles,

“City and Cosmos: The Arts of Teotihuacan,” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In its day, the ancient city of Teotihuacan was the largest urban center in the Americas — and the sixth-largest city in the world. Today, it is an iconic Mexican archaeological site. This exhibition presents recent findings from excavations at the site’s three main pyramids. It includes more than 200 objects that help tell the story of the ancient city, including monumental sculpture and smaller-scale objects that include precious stones. Through July 15. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles,

“Extracorporeal,” at the Museum of Latin American Art. Inspired by the art of the late Cuban American artist Ana Mendieta, whose actions and photographs explored violence, place and the body, “Extracorporeal” gathers works by four U.S. and Latin American artists whose work also operates in that vein. This includes sculpture, video and performance by Antonio Paucar, Daniela Rojas, Roberto Tondopó and the L.A.-based Carmen Argote. Through July 29. 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach,

"Suspendido en un Queñua," 2014, by Antonio Paucar at the Museum of Latin American Art. Antonio Paucar / Gallery Barbara Thumm

“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 July 2018. 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, Los Angeles,

Harry Gamboa Jr., “Chicano Male Unbonded,” at the Autry Museum of the American West. For years, Gamboa has photographed Chicano men — often figures with whom he has a personal relationship — at night in the dark from a low angle, giving his figures an imposing authority. This exhibition gathers more than 80 of those images into a single-room installation: scholars, artists, musicians, thinkers, photographers and even the artist’s dad, a printer — collectively calling into question the general public’s (not to mention our president’s) stereotyped view of Mexican American men. Through Aug. 5. 4700 Western Heritage Way, Griffith Park, Los Angeles,

Harry Gamboa Jr.
An installation view of Harry Gamboa's "Chicano Male Unbonded" at the Autry Museum. Carolina A. Miranda / Los Angeles Times

Adler Guerrier, “Conditions and Forms for blck Longevity,” at California African American Museum. The Haitian artist is the subject of a solo exhibition at the museum that explores the nature of domestic gardens and other outdoor spaces as mini-utopias. This project looks at spaces in Miami and L.A. where black life takes place in sheltered, protected ways. Through Aug. 26. 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, Los Angeles,

Olafur Eliasson, “Reality Projector,” at the Marciano Art Foundation. Eliasson has created an environmental installation for the foundation’s first floor Theater Gallery that combines sculpture, painting, photography and film. The piece works with the former Masonic Temple’s existing architecture to create a play on forms and shadows. It’s an installation that Times art critic Christopher Knight describes as “eye-grabbingly vivid.” Through August. 4357 Wilshire Blvd., Windsor Square, Los Angeles,

Lauren Halsey, “we still here, there” at the Museum of Contemporary Art. The artist has taken up residence at the museum’s Grand Avenue location, where she is building a fantastical immersive environment that will evolve over time. Through Sept. 3. MOCA Grand Avenue, 250 S. Grand Ave., downtown Los Angeles,

Shinique Smith, “Refuge,” at California African American Museum. The multimedia artist is known for her bulbous assemblages crafted from old clothing and fabric, which she twists and ties and suspends from gallery ceilings and walls. Her paintings echo these bound and squeezed forms. Her first solo show at CAAM brings together works that evoke questions of homelessness and itinerancy. Through Sept. 9. 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, Los Angeles,

“Charting the Terrain: Eric Mack and Pamela Smith Hudson” at the California African American Museum. A pair of artists explore aspects of Western landscape through abstraction. In his work, Mack creates intricate compositions that echo aspects of movement and the urban grid, while Hudson’s works evoke the topographic — mapping devastation and rejuvenation. Through Sept. 9. 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, Los Angeles,

“Beyond the Nile: Egypt and the Classical World,” at the Getty Museum. This exhibition at the Getty explores the cultural connections between Greece, Rome and Egypt through more than 200 rare objects — many on view in the U.S. for the first time. The show spans more than 2,000 years, from the Bronze Age to the late Roman Empire and includes stone vessels, pottery, sculpture, portraits and religious imagery. It also includes a more than 15-foot granite obelisk from A.D. 88-89 inscribed to the goddess Isis and the emperor Domitian, on loan from the Museo del Sannio in Italy. Through Sept. 9. 1200 Getty Center Dr., Brentwood, Los Angeles,

The Green Caesar
"The Green Caesar," a Roman sculpture from the 1st century B.C./1st century A.D, on view at the Getty Museum. bpk Bildagenture /Atnikensammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Art Resource NY

“Discovering Saar Ceramics,” at the American Museum of Ceramic Art. In 1949, artist Richard Saar and his brother William opened a ceramic studio in a small Quonset hut in El Segundo. Saar Ceramics, at its height, would go on to employ a staff of eight, and produce functional and decorative pieces with elegantly rendered abstract designs and charming animal figures. Does the name sound familiar? Well, Saar was, for a time, married to key Los Angeles assemblagist Betye Saar in the 1950s and ’60s. Through Sept. 16. 399 N. Garey Ave., Pomona,

“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 December. 6522 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood,

“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, 2019. 4700 Western Heritage Way, Griffith Park, Los Angeles,

“Artists of Color,” at the Underground Museum. As part of its ongoing partnership with the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Arlington Heights arts space has put together an exhibition that focuses on color — on its aesthetics, as well as the roles color can play as a symbol, affecting the way it’s perceived both socially and politically. The show includes works by an array of artists, including Ellsworth Kelly, Dan Flavin, Lita Albuquerque, EJ Hill, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Josef Albers, Carmen Herrera and Noah Davis (the late founder of the Underground Museum). It’s a striking look at color seen anew. On long-term view; no closing date set. 3508 W. Washington Blvd., Arlington Heights,

“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,

Alejandro G. Iñárritu, “Carne y Arena,” at LACMA. The gripping new virtual reality experience by the Academy Award-winning director places the participant in the shoes of migrants making the arduous trek through the Sonoran Desert to reach the United States. This may sound like the trivialization of what can be a fatal journey, but it is not. Iñárritu has considered all the elements that surround his virtual reality video to humanize the story of immigration on the U.S.-Mexico border. I wrote about my experience of the piece in June. It’s not cheap (a $30 special admission, in addition to regular museum fees) but it’s worth every penny. On long-term view; no closing date set. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles,

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.,

Twitter: @cmonstah