It is the dawn of 2019, and the week’s exhibitions offer an opportunity to revel in the mythological or unload your sins. From painting to K-pop to the female body rendered as doll, here are nine exhibitions and events to check out in the coming week.
Trenton Doyle Hancock, “An Ingenue’s Hues and How to Use Cutty Black Shoes,” at Shulamit Nazarian. In his first solo exhibition in Los Angeles, the Houston-based artist is presenting a series of new drawings, paintings and sculptures connected with “The Moundverse,” a narrative, inspired by graphic novels and Greek mythology, that lies at the core of his practice of more than two decades. This includes a series of fantastical characters and a color-wielding goddess names Undom Endgle, inspired by the black women who have supported the artist over the years. Opens Saturday at 6 p.m. and runs through Feb. 17. 616 N. La Brea Ave., Hancock Park, shulamitnazarian.com.
“Disclosure,” at Durden and Ray. It’s the new year, so there is no time like the present to unload all of that baggage from 2018 at a confessional — an artistic confessional produced by artist Dani Dodge, that is. It’s part of a group show, featuring an array of paintings and sculpture by artists such as Kim Abeles, Conchi Sanford and Joe Davidson, that touches on themes of confession and revealing. Bendix Building, 1206 Maple Ave., #832, downtown Los Angeles, durdenandray.com.
Cole Sternberg, “the trees turned to shadows in a grey fog,” Inspired by H.L. Tomlinson’s 1912 travel memoir, “The Jungle and the Sea,” about a Londoner experiencing the Amazon, Sternberg has created works that dwell on the sublime and turbulent natures of the natural world: paintings that evoke landscape that he then exposes to the elements, to endure all that may come. Opens Thursday at 6 p.m. and runs through Jan. 31. Merrick Building, 4859 Fountain Ave., East Hollywood, there-there.co.
“Take My Money / Take My Body,” at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions. A group show organized by Narei Choi and Nicolas Orozco-Valdivia is inspired by the ways in which K-pop fan culture employs social media and technology to create idealized narratives that take on complex issues tied to gender, sexuality, consumerism and politics. The show features work by artists such as Jiwon Choi, Gelare Khoshgozaran, Olivia Campbell, Chung Quin and others. Opens at 7 p.m. and runs through Feb. 24. 6522 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, welcometolace.org.
Hannah Epstein, “Do You Want a Free Trip to Outer Space?” at Steve Turner. In her second solo exhibition at the gallery, Epstein, a self-described “feminist folklorist of the internet age,” employs objects such as hook rugs and comic book panel-style works to create an immersive environment that tells the story of a superhero whose power is being able to stay calm in moments of chaos. Also on view will be a show of paintings by Jamie Felton that juxtapose images of the feminine and the grotesque. Opens Saturday at 6 p.m. and runs through Feb. 16. 6830 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, steveturner.la.
Nora Shields, “Harder Volumes,” and Tim Presley, “Under the Banner of Concern,” at the Pit. The gallery has a pair of one-person shows on view. There is work by the L.A.-based Shields, who is presenting a new series of metal wall sculptures and reliefs, as well as ink drawings by Presley, presented salon style. Opens Sunday at 4 p.m. and runs through Feb. 17. 918 Ruberta Ave., Glendale, the-pit.la.
Ellen Berkenblit, “Paintings,” at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects. In bold graphic paintings that often reveal small details and unusual textures close up, Berkenblit often features a mysterious, long-nosed woman in profile attending to aspects of the physical — a meditation on femininity, desire and beauty. Opens Saturday at 5 p.m. and runs through Feb. 16, vielmetter.com.
Sheli Silverio, “Be A Lady,” and Miss Art World, “Alterations,” at Shoebox Projects. A pair of exhibitions address feminine ideals and the female body through the object of the doll. Silverio creates imagined paper dolls that question traditional beauty standards. Miss Art World, in the meantime, will present a performance inspired by a feminine response to the love doll. Opens Sunday at 3 p.m.; performance at 3:30 p.m., show runs through Jan. 20. The Brewery, 660 South Ave. 21, Lincoln Heights, Los Angeles, shoeboxprojects.com.
In Conversation: Robert Pruitt and Shawn Martinbrough,” at the California African American Museum. Pruitt, a painter, sits down with Martinbrough, a comic book artist, to talk about the cultural forces that inspire Pruitt’s singular representations of the black figure. Sunday at 2 p.m. 600 State Dr., Exposition Park, Los Angeles, caamuseum.org.
“Sperm Cult,” at LAXART. A group exhibition takes on the generative, myth-making power of sex, all inspired by a book project by Elijah Burgher and Richard Hawkins that explored sex in connection with ritual and the occult. Through Saturday. 7000 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, laxart.org.
Sarah Steinberg, “In the Woods,” at Lois Lambert Gallery. Memory has a way of fashioning reality into something else. Steinberg explores this phenomenon in a series of works that dwell on a Canadian landscape that has been dear to her but which aren’t literal depictions of that place. Instead, her work is more about sensations, shapes and familiar architecture. Through Saturday. Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., Santa Monica, loislambertgallery.com.
“Here,” at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery. A group exhibition examines the physical and geographical boundaries that define Los Angeles and its environs — and the ways in which those boundaries can shift and change. This includes painting, video and installation by a wide range of L.A.-area artists, including Mario Ybarra Jr., Henry Taylor, Sandy Rodriguez and Fran Siegel. Through Sunday. 4800 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, lamag.org.
Rick Bartow, “Things You Know but Cannot Explain,” at the Autry Museum of the American West. This is the first comprehensive exhibition devoted to the late Oregon-born painter, a member of the Mad River band of Wiyot. Bartow developed a career as an artist later in life — after his service in the Vietnam War and a period contending with PTSD. On canvas, he found inspiration, drawing from historic and contemporary European and Native American artistic traditions to create a fusion of something new: haunting and totemic images of creatures who channel grief and frailty. Through Sunday. 4700 Western Heritage Way, Griffith Park, Los Angeles, theautry.org.
Sou Fujimoto, “Futures of the Future,” at Japan House. An exhibition gathers more than 100 models and large-scale photographs of work by the influential Japanese architect. Fujimoto has designed libraries, pavilions and Tokyo’s iconic House NA, a delicately rendered dwelling that consists of a series of staggered glass volumes that architecture critic Oliver Wainwright once described as “the closest thing to a glass and steel treehouse.” Through Sunday. 6801 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, japanhouse.jp.
Adrian Piper, “Concepts and Intuitions, 1965-2016,” at the Hammer Museum. This is the most comprehensive exhibition devoted to the career of the conceptual artist, whose multimedia work has served as an ongoing examination of issues of gender, race, identity and those myriad states in between. Over the course of the exhibition, some of Piper’s performances will be staged in the galleries, such as “The Humming Room,” which demands that people hum a tune before being allowed to traverse the room. Featuring 270 works from both public and private collections, the show represents an important consideration of the work of a highly influential American artist. Through Sunday. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood, Los Angeles, hammer.ucla.edu.
John Sonsini, “Daywork: Portraits,” at the Long Beach Museum of Art. In his work, Los Angeles artist Sonsini has been recording the presence of day laborers in the city. This is the first comprehensive exhibition of his work. Through Sunday. 2300 E. Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, lbma.org.
Merion Estes, “Unnatural Disasters,” at the Craft & Folk Art Museum. Estes is known for producing bright, richly collaged paintings that take on landscape as well as larger concerns about climate and environment. The survey of her career at CAFAM gathers works from a 20-year period. Raised in Southern California, Estes came from a generation of artists who emerged from the Woman’s Building and is closely connected with the Pattern and Decoration movement of the ’70s and ’80s. In a separate exhibition at the museum, Sherin Guirguis is showing works inspired by the life and work of the late Egyptian poet and writer Doria Shafik, pieces that draw upon important architectural sights, works and actions. Through Sunday. 5814 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, cafam.org.
“Life in this Ocean,” at the Annenberg Community Beach House. A four-woman show featuring Donna Bates, Deirdre Sullivan Beeman, Lena Rushing and Kathy Taslitz explores archetypes of the female. Through Monday. 415 Pacific Coast Highway, Santa Monica, lifeinthisocean.com and annenbergbeachhouse.com.
Rosa Loy, “So Near and Yet So Far,” at Kohn Gallery. Loy, one of the few women associated with Germany’s New Leipzig School (a surreal take on figurative painting that emerged in the wake of the country’s reunification), is having her second solo show at the gallery. On view are works that draw from medieval imagery, fairy tales, mythology and the Wagnerian — quite appropriately, since Loy and her husband, painter Neo Rauch, worked on costumes and set design for the production of “Lohengrin” at the Bayreuth Festival. Through Wednesday. 1227 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood, kohngallery.com.
Victoria May and Lisa Diane Wedgeworth, “Woman / Woman,” at Louis Stern Fine Arts. A two-woman show brings together works by artists whose pieces employ texture and surface to create canvases that go beyond the two-dimensional. In her work, Wedgeworth channels elements of the astronomical, while May’s art is bound in the earthier materials (from chiffon to alpaca fur) that she brings together in collaged wall installations. Through Jan. 12. 9002 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, louissternfinearts.com.
“La Reina de Los Angeles,” at the Sturt Haaga Gallery at Descanso Gardens. Works by an array of Los Angeles-based artists, including Michael Parker, Judy Baca, Galia Linn and Carolina Caycedo, will look at the relationship between people and water in Los Angeles and beyond. Through Jan. 13. 1418 Descanso Drive, La Cañada Flintridge, descansogardens.org.
“War of Nerves: Psychological Landscapes of the Cold War,” at Wende Museum. The Cold War wasn’t just about the hardware (a.k.a. the weapons), it was also about culture. And this exhibition looks at the ways in which the fear of nuclear devastation manifested itself in art and design — down to the toys that children played with. Through Jan. 13. 10808 Culver Blvd., Culver City, wendemuseum.org.
“AxS Festival: City as Wunderkammer,” in locations in Pasadena and surrounding communities. Inspired by the idea of the cabinet of curiosities, this year’s AxS festival, organized by Fulcrum Arts, dwells in the world of art and science. The festival, which features exhibitions and events around Pasadena and the Pomona Valley, will have shows devoted to ceramics (Shumei Hall Gallery), video game art (at And/Or Gallery) and acoustic devices connected with protest (Pitzer College Galleries). Check the website for times and locations; some exhibitions will run through Jan. 13. axsfestival.org.
Vanessa Maltese, “How Long is a Piece of String?” and Jesse Mockrin, “Syrinx” at Night Gallery. The downtown gallery has two exhibitions on view. The first features work by Maltese, an artist from Toronto who creates paintings inspired by optical illusion and geometric pattern. The latter consists of a series of paintings by Mockrin inspired by the legend of the Syrinx, the wood nymph of classical mythology, who in an attempt to escape the advances of the god Pan, has herself transformed into river reeds. Through Jan. 19. 2276 E. 16th St., downtown Los Angeles, nightgallery.ca.
Guadalupe Rosales, “Echoes of a Collective Memory,” at the Vincent Price Art Museum. For years, the Los Angeles artist has been building an archive of ephemera related to Chicano youth culture: studio portraits, informal snapshots, fliers, magazines, mix tapes and other objects. In her first solo museum show, she is employing these in installations that examine the both the intimate and public ways in which SoCal youth have historically connected over fashion, music, cruising, raves and backyard parties. The exhibition will include video, collages and an altar to the memory of a cousin lost to gang violence. Through Jan. 19. East Los Angeles College, 1301 Cesar Chavez Ave., Monterey Park, vincentpriceartmuseum.org.
Mark Seliger, “Photographs,” at Fahey/Klein Gallery. Seliger began his career as a photographer at Rolling Stone in the 1980s and since then his work has expanded to include countless other magazines as well as music videos. Over the course of his career, he has photographed icons of culture, including ballet dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov, Matthew Barney in his “Cremaster” gear and Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg hanging out on the streets of L.A. Through Jan. 19. 148 N. La Brea, Hancock Park, faheykleingallery.com.
Nina Chanel Abney, “Royal Flush,” at the California African American Museum. In bright canvases that fuse elements of pop, figuration and bold graphic forms, Abney creates visual narratives that explore aspects of contemporary life, including race, identity and sexuality. Through Jan. 20. 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, Los Angeles, caamuseum.org.
“California Bound: Slavery on the New Frontier, 1848-1865,” at the California African American Museum. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 required that escaped slaves be returned to their masters — even if those slaves were in states in which slavery was not legal. In that same year, California joined the union. California was not a slave state, but it enforced the law — albeit erratically. Employing photographs, historical documents and other ephemera, this exhibition examines California’s history in connection with slavery. Through Jan. 21. 600 State Dr., Exposition Park, Los Angeles, caamuseum.org.
“Architects of a Golden Age: Highlights from the Huntington’s Southern California Architecture Collection” at the Huntington Library. Drawn from the museum’s collection of 20th-century architectural drawings, this exhibition features a series of elegant renderings from the 1920s and ’30s of some of L.A.’s most significant buildings, including Union Station, the Mayan Theater and the Stock Exchange Building. Through Jan. 21, huntington.org.
Bridget Riley, “Painting Now,” at Sprüth Magers. For almost six decades, the renowned optical artist has toyed with perception in two dimensions by using shape, color and form to create hallucinatory canvases (a counterpart to L.A.’s light and space movement). This current show features one of her earliest pointillist works dating back to 1960 with more recent stripe and disk paintings. Expect some good vibrations. Through Jan. 26. 5900 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, spruethmagers.com.
Cara Romero, “Matriarchs,” at the El Segundo Museum of Art. A group show organized by indigenous curators — Kristen Dorsey (Chickasaw Nation) and Jaclyn Roessel (Diné) — features work by a dozen indigenous women artists representing 14 indigenous communities covering themes such as gender, environmental activism and violence against women in a range of art media, including painting, fashion, metalwork, photography and installation. Through Jan. 26. 208 Main St. El Segundo, esmoa.org.
“Remembrance,” at Rose Gallery. A group show featuring work by artists such as Martin Parr, Carla Jay Harris, Lebohang Kganye and others explores the ways in which photography has molded ideas of family and the ways in which that notion intersects with society and politics. Prior to the opening, the gallery is hosting a photography sale to raise funds for those affected by recent wildfires. Through Jan. 26. Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave., #D4, Santa Monica, rosegallery.net.
“The Renaissance Nude,” at the Getty Museum. How did the nude obtain its important perch in Western art history? An exhibition at the Getty aims to give us a gander with a sprawling exhibition of more than 100 works — including painting, sculpture, drawings and illuminated manuscripts — that explore the centers most often associated with the Renaissance nude and how the body was employed in a range of cultural contexts, including Christian culture, art theory and more intimate concerns. The show will include an array of works by figures such as Titian, Michelangelo, Giovanni Bellini and Lucas Cranach the Elder, among many others. This is one not to miss. Through Jan. 27. 1200 Getty Center Dr., Brentwood, Los Angeles, getty.edu.
Sandy Rodriguez, “Codex Rodriguez-Mondragón,” at the Riverside Art Museum. Inspired by Bernardino de Sahagún’s 16th century codex, known as the Florentine Codex, a richly detailed report on colonial life in the Americas otherwise, the Los Angeles artist has created a series of paintings that document the landscape and politics of our era on amate, a handmade paper from Mexico. For paint, she employs indigenous, plant-based inks that she fabricates herself. Like colonial documents, which were often full of invention and fantasy, her hallucinatory maps also contend with issues of force and subjugation — in this case, the deportations and child-separation cases affecting contemporary Latin American immigrants. Through Jan. 27. 3425 Mission Inn Ave., Riverside, riversideartmuseum.org.
Lee Mullican, “The Marble Drawings, 1966-1970,” at Marc Selwyn Fine Art. Mullican was a member of the Dynaton group, an influential trio of artists from the ’50s interested in surrealism, automatism and mysticism. The group was short-lived, but some of its precepts lived on in his work as an independent artist, such as his so-called marble drawings, which used repetition and pattern to create works that channel the spiritual. Through Feb. 2. 9953 S. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, marcselwynfineart.com.
B. Wurtz, “This Has No Name,” at the Institute of Contemporary Art Los Angeles. Is it possible to riff on minimalism and detritus art in a single sculpture? B. Wurtz proves that it is. The artist is known for earnestly odd works that employ take-out tins, product packaging, socks and bits of wood as building blocks for assemblages that elevate the mundane while putting a pin to the balloon of austerity. Do not miss the video of the Bic pen. Through Feb. 3. 1717 E. 7th St., downtown Los Angeles, theicala.org.
“Being Here With You / Estando Aquí Contigo: 42 Artists From San Diego and Tijuana,” at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. A group show brings together work by 42 artists and collectives living and working in San Diego and Tijuana and shows the cultural dialogues that have occurred across one of the world’s hardest political lines. The show’s title is a reference to the region’s musical history — taken from lyrics from the tune “Angel Baby,” performed by Rosie and the Originals, a teenage band from National City. Through Feb. 3. 1100 Kettner Blvd., San Diego, mcasd.org.
“Ink,” at the Museum of Latin American Art. This exhibition brings together various histories of tattooing in L.A. — including those inspired by military culture, Chicano tattooing and other historic forms. It will be presented alongside works from the permanent collection that connect with the theme of tattooing. Through Feb. 3. 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach, molaa.org.
“Art of Three Faiths: A Torah, A Bible, and a Qur’an,” at the Getty Museum. The Getty Museum acquired the Rothschild Pentateuch, a manuscript of the first five books of the Torah from the 13th century. It is now putting this rare document on display with other examples of illuminated sacred texts, including a Christian Bible and a Koran. Through Feb. 3. 1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood, Los Angeles, getty.edu.
“A Journey That Wasn’t,” at the Broad museum. A group show drawn from the museum’s collection features work by more than 20 artists whose work dwells on the concept of time and its passage. This includes pieces by Ed Ruscha, Glenn Ligon and Sharon Lockhart and will feature the return of the video installation “The Visitors,” by Ragnar Kjartansson, a charming multi-channel installation that features a group of musicians playing a collective piece while seated in rooms of a decaying mansion. In other words: a welcome break from the news. Through Feb. 10. 221 S. Grand Ave., downtown Los Angeles, thebroad.org.
Sally Mann, “A Thousand Crossings,” at the Getty Museum. Over more than four decades, the photographer has chronicled the lives of her children, her husband, the Virginia landscape and its troubled legacy of slavery and Jim Crow. This exhibition, organized by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, brings together 110 black and white images, some produced as tintypes, and many of which have never before been seen. Altogether, a look into histories both personal and political. Through Feb. 10. 1200 Getty Center Dr., Brentwood, Los Angeles, getty.edu.
“La Raza,” at the Autry Museum of the American West. In its day, the civil rights publication La Raza, which was based in Lincoln Heights, served as a bible for the Chicano movement, covering protest, policy and everyday life for the Mexican American communities of Los Angeles. Over the years, the paper amassed an archive of 25,000 images, recently digitized by the Chicano Studies Research Center. Many are now on view as part of this PST: LA/LA show at the Autry — and in a time of political strife surrounding the issues of civil rights, this exhibition couldn’t be more timely. Through Feb. 10. 4700 Western Heritage Way, Griffith Park, Los Angeles, theautry.org
“Regeneración: Three Generations of Revolutionary Ideology,” at the Vincent Price Art Museum. A group exhibition examines three movements, from three different eras, that served as key moments for the exchange of activist and revolutionary ideas between the U.S. and Mexico. All of this is centered on “regeneración” — or regeneration — a term first employed by the Flores Magon brothers during the era of the Mexican Revolution. It was adopted by Chicano activist circles in the 1970s, for the magazine “Regeneración,” and the ’90s experimental space Regeneración/Popular Resource Center of Highland Park. Through Feb. 16. 1301 Cesar Chavez Ave. Monterey Park, vincentpriceartmuseum.org.
Jennifer Bolande, “The Composition of Decomposition,” at Pio Pico. From 2013 to 2015, Bolande clipped photographs from the pages of the New York Times. She now employs that grainy newsprint in installation and video that explores images and their meanings. The perfect show for all of us ink-stained wretches. Through Feb. 17. 3311 E. Pico Blvd., Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, piopico.us.
Deana Lawson, “Planes,” at the Underground Museum. Lawson is known for portraits that feature black men and women in regal poses, often in humble domestic settings. In the past, she has described her subjects as the “displaced kings and queens of the diaspora.” This show gathers examples of her recent work. Through Feb. 17. 3508 W. Washington Blvd., Arlington Heights, Los Angeles, theunderground-museum.org.
Robert Pruitt, “Devotion,” at the California African American Museum. Pruitt paints people in ways that capture their spiritual aspects. In his first major museum show in L.A., he uses this framework to explore aspects of devotion in his own life and upbringing. Through Feb. 17. 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, Los Angeles, caamuseum.org.
“The Archival Impulse: 40 Years at LACE,” at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions. LACE, the historic Los Angeles art spot that gave key shows to Mike Kelley and groups such as Survival Research Laboratories in the ’80s, is turning 40 — and to mark the occasion, the organization has been poking around its metaphorical attic (aka its archive) to see what it might turn up. This show gathers elements from that archive as well as video works by a range of Los Angeles artists, including Jim Shaw, Susan Mogul and Reza Abdoh. Through Feb. 24. 6522 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, welcometolace.org.
Carolina Caycedo and Mario Ybarra Jr., “Rituals of Labor and Engagement,” at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Garden. For three years running, the Huntington has invited contemporary artists to react to and install work on their grounds. For this go-around, the museum has teamed up with the Vincent Price Art Museum to offer a residency program to two artists — Caycedo and Ybarra — who have spent several months studying the Huntington’s collections and produced work inspired by the collection. In particular, around issues of labor within the context of the collection, but also the site of the Huntington itself. Through Feb. 25. 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, huntington.org.
Ai Weiwei, “Life Cycle,” at the Marciano Art Foundation. This represents the first significant institutional exhibition for the Chinese dissident artist in Los Angeles and will include iconic works such as “Sunflower Seeds,” Ai’s 2010 installation of thousands of ceramic pieces meticulously hand-painted to resemble seeds, as well as new works that contend with Europe’s ongoing refugee crisis. Through March 3. 4357 Wilshire Blvd., Windsor Square, Los Angeles, marcianoartfoundation.org.
“The Notion of Family” at the California African American Museum. A group exhibition spanning two centuries looks at depictions of the African American family over time — in intimate domestic settings, but also in gatherings both private and public. This includes early photographs, paintings, drawings and other works by a variety of high-profile artists, including Jacob Lawrence, Miguel Covarrubias, Carrie Mae Weems, John Biggers and others. Through March 3. 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, Los Angeles, caamuseum.org.
Wang Xu, “Garden of Seasons,” at the Vincent Price Art Museum. When Heritage Falls Park in Monterey Park was built in the 1920s, it included a niche that housed a marble sculpture popularly referred to as “Athena.” The sculpture disappeared shortly after it was installed and was only replaced in 2005, when the Monterey Park Historical Society commissioned a replacement. In 2017, Wang created a work inspired by an image of a woman who worked at the marble quarry and factory where the replacement was created — all of which inspired the work of video on view. Through March 9. East Los Angeles College, 1301 Cesar Chavez Ave., Monterey Park, vincentpriceartmuseum.org.
“One Day at a Time: Manny Farber and Termite Art” at the Museum of Contemporary Art. In 1962, artist and critic Manny Farber wrote an essay titled “White Elephant Art vs. Termite Art,” which picks apart the excesses of market-oriented “white elephant” art and celebrates “termite art,” made on a smaller, more personal scale and reflecting deep commitment and attention. This exhibition will feature more than 100 works by 30 artists inspired by Farber’s idea of art as being about “observing and being in the world.” I assume this means no sculptures by Jeff Koons. Through March 11. 250 S. Grand Ave., downtown Los Angeles, moca.org.
“Outliers and American Vanguard Art,” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Like most other areas of culture, art has long been preoccupied with issues of credential: of those who are trained in the academy and those who are not — though credential has never been a guarantee of producing art that is transcendent. This wide-ranging exhibition, organized in collaboration with the National Gallery of Art, presents more than 250 works by more than 80 artists that chronicles moments in time in which the self-taught intersected with the avant-garde. This includes work by Henry Darger, Cindy Sherman, Kara Walker and Martín Ramirez, among many others. Through March 17. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, lacma.org.
Rafael Cardenas, “Landscape and Land Dwellers: Photography of Place,” at La Plaza de Cultura y Artes. Cardenas is widely known for his street photography. In this new exhibition he brings together a series of portraits and landscape images that find the connection between people and place in Los Angeles. Through March 25. 501 N. Main St., downtown Los Angeles, lapca.org.
“Laura Owens” and “Zoe Leonard: Survey,” and at the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles. The museum’s Geffen branch is opening a pair of exhibitions: the paintings retrospective of Los Angeles painter Laura Owens, whose groundbreaking work reinvigorated painting with canvases that toy with abstraction, figuration and the picture plane itself, as well as Leonard, the New York-born conceptual artist whose work has included visceral sculpture (fruit peeled and sewn back together), photography (both her own and vernacular) and poetry (her famous poem, “I Want a President”). Through March 25. Geffen Contemporary, 152 N. Central Ave., downtown Los Angeles, moca.org.
Titian, “Portrait of a Lady in White,” at the Norton Simon Museum. The 16th century Venetian painter achieved great fame in his lifetime for works such as “Venus of Urbino,” a nude that served as a model for countless nudes to follow. The Norton Simon has four paintings by Titian in its collection and now it is adding “Portrait of a Lady in White” on a temporary basis, as a loan from the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden in Germany. The image shows an unidentified sitter — possibly one of his daughters, possibly a mistress — resplendent in white dress and cherry-red lips. Through March 25. 411 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, nortonsimon.org.
Merce Cunningham, “Clouds and Screens” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. This exhibition pairs well with LACMA’s show on Robert Rauschenberg since Cunningham, the famed choreographer, was a good pal and collaborator. This show delves just into that: Cunningham’s myriad collaborations with artists who helped him create costumes, film, music and sets. Through March 31. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, lacma.org.
“Artful Words,” at the Getty Museum. Words have never just been words. They have also been art — rendered with flamboyant lines, golden inks and other embellishments. This exhibition gathers various examples of the artful ways in which texts have been rendered on various surfaces, including illuminated manuscripts, a Koran and Italian ceramics. Through April 7. 1200 Getty Center Dr., Brentwood, Los Angeles, getty.edu.
“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 April 21. 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 citizen’s uprising during the days of the Paris Commune in 1871 and documentation of contemporary earthworks. Through April 21. 1200 Getty Center Dr., Brentwood, 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.
“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 Wars. 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 centuries tapestries. Through May 27. 411 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, nortonsimon.org.
Rauschenberg: The 1/4 Mile, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The obsessive 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.
“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.
“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 2019. 6060 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, petersen.org.
“L.A. Communities Through the Eyes of Artists,” in the Passageway Gallery at Union Station. For 15 years, L.A.’s principal train station has been showcasing work that reveals the city through the eyes of its artists. This year, it is showing a series of newly commissioned pieces — including Shizu Saldamando’s depiction of Little Tokyo, Sam Pace on Leimert Park and Artemio Rodriguez on East L.A. On long-term view; no closing date set. Union Station, 800 N. Alameda St., downtown Los Angeles, metro.net.
Daniel Hawkins, “Desert Lighthouse.” The Los Angeles-based artist is obsessed with producing works that toy with ideas of grandiosity, failure and gestures that border on the Sisyphean. (One of his goals as an artist is to ultimately build a scale replica of the Hoover Dam.) Now, Hawkins has installed a 50-foot tall, fully functioning lighthouse in the Mojave Desert in the vicinity of Barstow. The piece even features a light to guide travelers through this rugged landscape. Directions and coordinates can be found on the website. On long-term view, Hinkley, Calif., desertlighthouse.org.