Datebook: Umar Rashid turns colonial histories upside down in paintings at VPAM
The battles of an imagined empire, the fine art of Korean calligraphy and a tribute to a rather magical San Francisco space. Summer has landed, but the shows are still going strong. Here are some exhibitions and events to check out in the coming week:
Umar Rashid (Frohawk Two Feathers), “The World You Know is a Fiction…” at the Vincent Price Art Museum. Rashid takes American historical narratives, scrambles them, then reimagines them in paintings that take on issues such as colonization, war and the building of empires. Produced over several years, the work on view at the museum explores the vicissitudes of power and centers on figures that occupy his so-called “Frenglish Empire,” a fusion of the French and British colonial enterprises. Expect to see battalions of militiamen, freed slaves, indigenous nobility, all drawing on the visual and material traditions of colonial art. Opens Saturday at 5 p.m. and runs through Dec. 21. 1301 Cesar Chavez Ave., Monterey Park, vincentpriceartmuseum.org.
For the record:4:35 p.m. Feb. 14, 2019
An earlier version of this list misstated the opening time and day for the inaugural exhibition of Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects’ new space.
“Beyond Line: Art of Korean Writing,” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In Korea, calligraphy is considered one of the highest forms of art — and this show gathers some of the highest examples of written pieces produced on the peninsula over two millennia, including works written in Chinese ideographic characters (hanja), as well as the phonetic Korean script (hangeul). This is the first exhibition outside Asia to focus on the history of writing and calligraphy in that country. Opens Sunday and runs through Sept. 29. A special calligraphy demonstration will be held July 16 at 10 a.m. in the Smidt Welcome Plaza. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, lacma.org.
Carolina Caycedo, “Apariciones / Apparitions,” at the Vincent Price Art Museum. As part of a project that was jointly curated by VPAM and the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, Caycedo spent time at the Huntington making a work that responded to the museum collection: a collaborative dance piece with choreographer Marina Magalhães that was inspired by indigenous and African dance practices and which, in many ways, responds to the issues of colonization raised by the entire Huntington enterprise. VPAM is now showing the video from that work, which it has acquired as part of its permanent collection. Opens Saturday at 5 p.m. and runs through Dec. 21. 1301 Cesar Chavez Ave., Monterey Park, vincentpriceartmuseum.org.
“Dilexi Gallery: Seeking the Unknown,” at Parker Gallery. This exhibition will be one of a six-part retrospective — staged at galleries around L.A. and San Francisco — that will examine the legacy of San Francisco’s Dilexi Gallery, a space where art intersected with the magical. Artists included in this show at the Parker include figures such as Wallace Berman, Kurt Schwitters, Roy De Forest and Franklin Williams. Other participating galleries will include Parrasch Heijnen, the Landing and Marc Selwyn Fine Arts, who will open their shows at future dates. Opens Saturday and runs through Aug. 10. 2441 Glendower Ave., Los Feliz, Los Angeles, parkergallery.com.
“Book of Beasts: The Bestiary in the Medieval World,” at the Getty Museum. Medieval bestiaries were books that served as compendiums of creatures both fantastic and real. This show at the Getty gathers some very dynamic examples from the museum’s collection of objects and illuminations — such as an unusual unicorn water vessel from 15th century Germany. Through Aug. 18. 1200 Getty Center Dr., Brentwood, Los Angeles, getty.edu.
Harry Fonseca, “Coyote Leaves the Res,” at the Autry Museum. The museum recently acquired the estate of the Sacramento-born painter and is now presenting works from his archive. Fonseca was known for his depictions of Coyote, a canine trickster who materializes in all manner of very human settings. It’s work that nods at the artist’s indigenous heritage without ever getting caught up in cliches. Through Jan. 5. 4700 Western Heritage Way, Griffith Park, Los Angeles, theautry.org.
John Divola, “STRATUM / Clive’s Wearing Dilemma,” at the California Museum of Photography. For “Stratum,” the conceptual photographer is presenting a selection of historical photos from his personal collection — namely, “banquet” photos, snapped between 1920 and 1950, that show gatherings of businessmen and the sundry members of civic groups in the midst of banquet events. In a related show, Divola is showing 12 large black-and-white prints from his series “Clive’s Wearing Dilemma,” works that play on the cosmic in both physical and psychological ways. Through Sept. 8. 3824 + 3834 Main St., Riverside, artsblock.ucr.edu.
Urs Fischer, “Play,” at Deitch. Chairs. That are choreographed. With artificial intelligence. This is delightfully weird. If you are in Hollywood, do not miss. Through Saturday. 925 N. Orange Drive, Hollywood, deitch.com.
June Edmonds, “Allegiances and Convictions,” at Luis De Jesus Los Angeles. An exhibition by the L.A.-based painter dwells on the significance of flags — both as visual statements and tokens of identity. In this case, each of her flags pays tribute to African American history past and present. Through Saturday. 2685 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, luisdejesus.com.
Ruby Neri, at David Kordansky Gallery. Neri’s ceramic figures take feminism and make it just a little bawdy. The women she depicts in her pieces bear a wild assortment of influences, such as ancient fertility figures and street art. This exhibition will feature some of her most complex works to date. Also on view will be work by painter Zach Harris.Through Saturday. 5130 W. Edgewood Place, Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, davidkordanskygallery.com.
Daniel B. Dias, “The Influencers Mean No Harm,” at Zevitas Marcus. The São Paulo-born artist is known for producing figurative canvases that warp reality with small touches of the surreal. The show is a play on the cultural and spiritual “influencers” who helped shape the artist’s life. Through Saturday. 2754 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, ZevitasMarcus.com.
Jil Weinstock, “False Truth: Uprooted,” at Walter Maciel Gallery. In works made of rubber and other materials, Weinstock pays tribute to the hardscrabble nature of weeds and the ways in which they can serve as metaphor for the condition of immigrants: taking root in difficult places and thriving in hostile environments. Through June 22. 2642 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, WalterMacielGallery.com.
Melissa Casey, “New Work,” at Kopeikin Gallery. Casey produces paintings on paper that dwell on color, layering and pattern in ways that evoke the meditative threads and lines of the watercolor studies and textiles of artists such as Agnes Martin and Anni Albers. Through June 22. 2766 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, kopeikingallery.com.
Arnold Newman, “Artist Portraits,” at Fahey / Klein Gallery. Over the course of a long career that spanned much of the 20th century, Newman captured, on film, some of the renowned artists of the era: Marcel Duchamp, Martha Graham, Isamu Noguchi, Louise Nevelson and many more — all rendered in ways that not only captured the person, but the environment in which they worked. This show captures a selection of his most striking works from the 1940s through the ’70s. Through June 22. 148 N. La Brea, Hancock Park, faheykleingallery.com.
Fahamu Pecou, “Trapademia,” at Kopeikin Gallery. A show of paintings and drawings by Pecou, rendered in a bright color palette, explore the signifiers of trap music, including lyrics, fashion and attitude, all mixed with elements of African spirituality. Through June 22. 2766 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, kopeikingallery.com.
Tim Youd, “Drawings of a Painting,” at there-there. Youd is known for long-running performances in which he re-types, word by word, the novels of well-known authors on the same model typewriter employed by that author. In this show, he is displaying paintings inspired by the materials of that process — namely, the typewriter ribbon. Through June 22. Merrick Building, 4859 Fountain Ave., East Hollywood, there-there.co.
“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.
Eva & Franco Mattes, “Data Doubles,” at Team (bungalow). The New York-based duo, whose work frequently examines the vagaries of internet culture, have a playful installation on view at Team (bungalow) that examines the more physical manifestations of data — namely, the bunches of cable that are generally hidden from view by architecture, but which the artists, in this case, have transformed into a work of installation that snakes in and out of the gallery space. Naturally, this wouldn’t be an installation about the internet if it didn’t contain at least one visual representation of a cat. Through June 23. 306 Windward Ave., teamgal.com.
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 Gary Panter, Sandow Birk, Mister Cartoon, Robert Williams, Suzanne Williams and many others. Through June. 6060 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, petersen.org.
Alexandra Grant, “Born to Love,” at Lowell Ryan Projects. The title of the show is inspired by a well-known line in Sophocles’ “Antigone,” in which King Creon brings Antigone before him and orders her not to mourn the death of her brother. She responds: “I was born to love, not to hate.” In works on paper that fuse different types of abstraction, the L.A.-based artist explores ideas of love by creating text rubbings of Antigone’s defiant expression all over the variegated surfaces of her works. Through July 6. 4851 W. Adams Blvd., West Adams, Los Angeles, lowellryanprojects.com.
“Sculpture,” at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles. A group show in Vielmetter’s downtown location features a range of sculptural works by the gallery’s stable of artists, including Edgar Arceneaux, Ruben Ochoa, Mary Kelly and Liz Glynn. The show is centered around a piece by Nicole Eisenman that consists of a 28-foot fiberglass flagpole that is shattered into pieces; a helpless baby eagle in a box lies next to it. Through July 6. 1700 S. Santa Fe Ave., #101, Los Angeles, vielmetter.com.
Jordan Nassar, Faith Ringgold, Salman Toor and Cosmo Whyte, “Home Is Not a Place,” at Anat Ebgi. A group show is inspired by James Baldwin’s 1953 novel “Giovanni’s Room,” exploring the placelessness experienced by a young gay man living abroad. These ideas about the shifting nature of “home” inform works that also examine histories of colonialism, queerness and slavery. Through July 13. 2680 S. La Cienega Blvd., Culver City, anatebgi.com.
“COLA 2019,” at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery. Every year, the city of Los Angeles awards Individual Artist Fellowship grants — known as COLA grants — to mid-career artists working in Los Angeles. This year’s recipients include Enrique Castrejon, Juan Capistrán, Kim Fisher, Sabrina Gschwandtner, Katie Grinnan, Alice Könitz, Olga Koumoundouros, Sandy Rodriguez, Stephanie Taylor, Peter Wu and Jenny Yurshansky. This show features installations by each of the winners — a good survey of what’s happening right now in L.A.Through July 14. 4800 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, lamag.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.
James Benning, “Quilts, Cigarettes & Dirt (Portraits of America),” at the Museum of Contemporary Art Santa Barbara. The Milwaukee-born independent filmmaker, now a professor at CalArts, became known for his ruminative films about Midwest landscapes in the 1970s, and since then has produced work that engages the cultural, political and historical implications of what certain landscapes represent. Part of the “Made in L.A.” biennial at the Hammer Museum in 2018, “Quilts, Cigarettes & Dirt” represents his first solo museum show on the West Coast. Through July 14. 653 Paseo Nuevo, Santa Barbara, mcasantabarbara.org.
The Harrisons, “Extinction,” at Various Small Fires. Inspired by the publication of Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” in 1962, Newton Harrison and his wife, Helen Mayer, committed to creating only artwork that would benefit “the great web of life.” This included simple acts — such as making topsoil — and more complicated works, including mapping out nature corridors. Their work served as an early foundation for the ecological art movement. Newton, now 86, continues his practice, though his partner died last year. This exhibition brings together works produced from 1970 to the present, works that dwell on extinction — and ways of countering it. Through July 18. 812 Highland Ave., Hollywood, vsf.la.
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.
Eleanor Antin, “Time’s Arrow,” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In 1972, Antin took on ideas about sculpture, performance and self-portraiture in a work titled “Carving,” in which she photographed her nude body over 37 days in an effort to chronicle the loss of 10 pounds. In 2017, she restaged the work. “Carving: 45 Years Later,” but the loss of 10 pounds took 100 days. The new piece updates the old — and adds to it themes related to vulnerability and aging. Through July 28. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, lacma.org.
“Manga Hokusai Manga,” at the Japan Foundation. He is best known for his woodblock print of a single wave whose arc reveals Mt. Fuji in the distance. But before creating his seminal series of block prints, the 19th century Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai was best known for his manga — illustrated guides to drawing that depicted a range of everyday figures, animals and objects, often with great humor, which ultimately served as important forebears to today’s comic book designs. This exhibition considers his influences on comic book artists throughout the ages. Through Aug. 2. 5700 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 100, Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, jflalc.org.
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.
David Hammons, at Hauser & Wirth. In lieu of a news release, Hammons had the gallery send out a scribbled line drawing that bore the dedication, “This exhibition is dedicated to Ornette Colman, Hemolodic Thinker” — the latter a reference to the late saxophonist’s theories of jazz. The basic concept: “Follow the idea, not the sound.” That is something that has resonated deeply with Hammons, who over the course of a career that has spanned more than half a century, has taken on the emblems of want and privilege in the arenas of race, class and economics and forced us to stare our hypocrisies in the face. Through Aug. 11. 901 E. Third St., downtown Los Angeles, hauserwirth.com.
“Women at the Frontlines of Mass Violence Worldwide,” at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust. A photographic exhibition is inspired by the female survivors of mass violence from countries around the world, including indigenous women from Guatemala, Yazidi women in Iraq and survivors of the Holocaust. Through Aug. 11. 100 S. The Grove Dr., Fairfax, Los Angeles, lamoth.org.
“Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop,” at the Annenberg Space for Photography. A group show organized by author Vikki Tobak looks at the work of photographers who chronicled the rise of hip-hop, with famous prints (such as the iconic portrait of Biggie Smalls in a crown by Barron Claiborne) as well as unedited contact sheets and other images of key musical figures from the genre, including Eazy-E, Jay-Z and Salt-N-Pepa. Tobak is the author of the bestselling book on which the exhibit is based. Through Aug. 18. 2000 Avenue of the Stars, Century City, AnnenbergPhotoSpace.org.
Adia Millett, “Breaking Patterns,” at the California African American Museum. Millett creates work inspired by the nature of quilts — pieces in which disparate pieces come together to form a cohesive, sheltering whole. Through Aug. 25. 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, caamuseum.org.
“Plumb Line: Charles White and the Contemporary,” at the California African American Museum. A show of work by contemporary artists reflects on the ongoing influence of painter and teacher Charles White, known for his depiction of the black figure, frequently rendered in mystical ways. The show includes works by Sadie Barnette, Diedrick Brackens, Kenturah Davis and Toyin Ojih Odutula, among many others. Through Aug. 26. 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, Los Angeles, caamuseum.org.
“Black is Beautiful: The Photography of Kwame Brathwaite,” at the Skirball Cultural Center. In the ’60s, in an era in which segregation still prevailed, Brathwaite made images that reveled in blackness. He teamed up with his brother for the establishment of the artistic collective known as the African Jazz-Art Society and Studios, as well as the Grandassa Models, a modeling group for black women. Both groups fed and inspired Brathwaite’s imagery, which consisted of elegant fashion shots and portraiture that celebrated the best of black beauty. Through Sept. 1. 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Brentwood, skirball.org.
“Gráfica América,” at the Museum of Latin American Art. An exhibition looks at printmaking in its various manifestations, featuring work by more than 100 artists and master printers, including Mexico’s Taller de Gráfica Popular and L.A.’s own Mixografía, known for the prints that extend into three dimensions. Participating artists include Pepe Coronado, Sandra C. Fernández and Fernando De León. Through Sept. 1. 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach, molaa.or
Sarah Lucas, “Au Naturel,” at the Hammer Museum. In ways that are visceral, pointed and absurd, British artist Sarah Lucas has long tackled issues of gender, sexuality and identity in ways that are both confrontational and humorous. (Imagine a sculpture of a phallus made out of wire and matchsticks.) This survey features 130 objects the artist has produced throughout her career, including works of photography, collage, installation and sculpture. Through Sept. 1. 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Westwood, Los Angeles, hammer.ucla.edu.
“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 focusing 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 its new Thom Mayne-designed 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.
“On the Inside,” at Craft Contemporary. This group exhibition features portrait drawings by LGBTQ artists who are currently incarcerated (a prison population that often faces greater risks of physical and sexual victimization). The show features 110 works made with simple materials such as paper, pencil and ballpoint tubes. (The shell of the pen isn’t allowed in prison, where it is frequently considered dangerous.) Others employ materials devised in the harsh conditions of prison. Through Sept. 8. 5814 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, cafam.org.
John T. Riddle Jr., “The RIDDLE Effect,” at Craft Contemporary. This the first major exhibition of Riddle’s work in Los Angeles in more than two decades and gathers some of his most significant works — some of which are going on view for the first time. The late L.A. artist was a master of assemblage, known for sculptures that put together found metal in visceral ways — including pieces that employed objects scavenged in the wake of the Watts riots in 1965. Riddle also produced figurative paintings and large-scale ceramic sculptures. Through Sept. 8. 5814 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, cafam.org.
“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.
“Ernie Barnes: A Retrospective,” at the California African American Museum. It is, by now, an established symbol of American culture: Barnes’ 1976 canvas “Sugar Shack,” which captured a black dance hall in mid-groove. It served as the cover of Marvin Gaye’s album “I Want You” (also released in ’76), and was a visual staple on the 1970s sitcom “Good Times.” This retrospective captures the full scope of Barnes’ life and work — which included serving as the official artist of the ’84 Olympics and a stint playing pro football. Through Sept. 8. 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, Los Angeles, caamuseum.org.
“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.
Chris Kallmyer, “Ensemble,” at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. The Los Angeles-based artist has created an installation that also functions as a collective musical instrument — a carillon (bell-ringing apparatus) that requires the hands of several participants in order to be fully played. Through Sept. 15. 1130 State St., Santa Barbara, sbma.net.
“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.
“Gifted: Collecting the Art of California at Gardena High School 1919-1956,” at the Hilbert Museum of California Art. For almost four decades, the senior class at Gardena High School would come together to gift a work of art to their school — including pieces by notable California painters such as Edgar Payne and Maynard Dixon. Now that collection, which includes more than 70 paintings and an extensive archive of related material, is going on view at the Hilbert — the most expansive display of the collection since the 1950s. Through Oct. 19. 167 N. Atchison St., Orange, hilbertmuseum.com.
“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.
“The Allure of Matter: Material Art From China,” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. A group exhibition features contemporary Chinese artists who are deeply engaged with their materials, be it wood, fabric or assembled scraps of photography. The show spans four decades and features work by Ai Weiwei, Cai Guo-Chiang, Song Dong and many others. Through Jan. 5. 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles, lacma.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 stereotypes and Hollywood tropes. Through Jan. 5. 4700 Western Heritage Way, Griffith Park, Los Angeles, TheAutry.org.
“The Foundation of the Museum,” at the Museum of Contemporary Art. This permanent collection exhibition marks the museum’s 40th anniversary with a display of history-making works, including Chris Burden’s “Exposing the Foundation of the Museum,” 1986, in which the artist dug up a portion of the museum’s floor, revealing its concrete foundations. Through Jan. 27. 152 N. Central Ave., downtown Los Angeles, moca.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.
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