Los Angeles comes alive in the summer, from the beaches to parks, community centers, and backyard BBQs. Museums are no exception (and a great place to beat the heat), and we’ve compiled a list of 10 shows that offer new ways to experience and think about art, from Carl Craig’s infusion of club culture into the Geffen Contemporary at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), an awe-inspiring exploration of panoramas at Forest Lawn, and Myrlande Constant’s breathtaking beaded textile works that reflect the Vodou and Catholic traditions of her native Haiti at the Fowler. The Broad’s Keith Haring retrospective overflows with the neon buzz of summer in the city, while the Acid-Free Art Book Market returns to Blum & Poe with over 90 independent publishers and booksellers, providing that perfect monograph or DIY zine for beach reading.
Acid-Free Art Book Market
The Acid-Free Art Book Market returns to Blum & Poe this summer after a three-year hiatus, with over 90 exhibitors from the West Coast and beyond. A group of 19 LA-based independent publishers founded Acid-Free in 2018, shortly after the death of Shannon Michael Cane, the ambitious organizer of the Printed Matter Book Fair who launched a wildly successful LA version in 2013. The weekend-long event features gallery imprints, university presses, underground publishers, and artist-run projects, alongside a program of talks and performances, offering something for all facets of LA’s bibliophilic art community.
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Blum & Poe (acid-free.info)
2727 South La Cienega Boulevard, Culver City, California
Carl Craig: Party/After-Party
Detroit techno legend Carl Craig bridges the club and the museum with Party/After-Party, recreating the flow of a warehouse party within a minimalist installation of sound and vision. The looping compositions transition from a mellow groove to a throbbing bass climax to an ambient drone, augmented by colored neon lights. The exhibition is accompanied by three monthly DJ sets from Craig’s friends and collaborators, artists who have helped shape electronic dance music as we know it. To learn more, read Hyperallergic’s preview of the show.
The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA (moca.org)
152 North Central Avenue, Downtown, Los Angeles
Through July 23
All Consuming: Art and the Essence of Food
More than simply providing sustenance, food helps shape our identities, telling the story of where we come from and who we want to be. All Consuming features a smorgasbord of gustatory depictions spanning 500 years of the Norton Simon’s collection of European art, from enticing scenes of abundance to moral parables about gluttony and hunger. Twentieth-century photographs by Edward Weston and Manuel Alvarez Bravo offer modern visions of food production and consumption in the fields of California and the streets of Mexico.
Norton Simon Museum (nortonsimon.org)
411 West Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena, California
Through August 14
Myrlande Constant: The Work of Radiance
Myrlande Constant’s dazzling large-scale beaded textiles depict scenes of Haitian life and culture, incorporating Catholic tradition and Vodou practices. This 30-year retrospective, which includes 28 works and an accompanying short documentary, is the first major United States museum show dedicated to a Haitian female contemporary artist.
Fowler Museum at UCLA (fowler.ucla.edu)
308 Charles E. Young Drive North, Westwood, Los Angeles
Through August 27
Grand Views: The Immersive World of Panoramas
Panoramas are massive paintings, often presented in the round, depicting sweeping views of landscapes or historical events. They garnered great popularity in the 18th and 19th centuries, offering a pre-cinematic immersive experience. Organized in conjunction with the Velaslavasay Panorama, Grand Views features archival photographs, ephemera, and of course panoramas, including “Panorama of the Valley of the Smokes” (2000), Velaslavasay Panorama founder Sara Velas’ conception of early 19th-century Los Angeles. Next door to the museum is the Hall of Crucifixion-Resurrection, which houses Jan Styka’s “Crucifixion” (1890s), stretching almost 200 feet in length.
Forest Lawn Museum (forestlawn.com)
1712 South Glendale Avenue, Glendale, California
Through September 10
Light Space Surface
In the 1960s, a group of artists in Southern California began working with new, industrial materials like resin, fiberglass, polymers, and even car paint, to create their own brand of minimalism that captured a slice of the sun-dappled West Coast atmosphere. The Light and Space movement was characterized by polished surfaces, simple volumes, and a fascination with perception and optics. Light Space Surface pulls from LACMA’s collection to display the variety of approaches these artists pursued, including Larry Bell’s transparent boxes, Fred Eversley’s curved lenses, Helen Pashgian’s radiant totems, Mary Corse’s reflective paintings, and more.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art (lacma.org)
5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles
Through October 1
Keith Haring: Art Is for Everybody
Keith Haring: Art Is for Everybody is a comprehensive celebration of the prolific artist who got his start covering New York’s subways and streets with his unmistakable bold linework and captivating characters. The exhibition encompasses Haring’s public works, paintings, sculptures, and political graphics supporting HIV/AIDS activism and protesting apartheid in South Africa. An immersive blacklight gallery with a soundtrack of hip hop and other period music channels Haring’s vibrant creative energy that extends well beyond the confines of the canvas.
The Broad (thebroad.org)
221 South Grand Avenue, Downtown, Los Angeles
Through October 8
Alice Neel: Feels Like Home
The painter Alice Neel is well known for her expressionistic portraits that insightfully capture the essence of her friends and colleagues. Feels Like Home highlights relationships between individuals and the importance of kin and community in her work. The exhibition features 40 paintings depicting her children, pets, and family, as well as groups of people in New York City, a place made up of numerous chosen families.
Orange County Museum of Art (ocma.art)
3333 Avenue of the Arts, Costa Mesa, California
June 23–October 22
The image of “the West” looms large in the American consciousness, an idea fabricated over decades through popular media and politics. Featuring over 250 artworks, artifacts, toys, items of clothing, and other examples of material culture, Imagined Wests examines the way our conception of the American West has been constructed, which stories we choose to retell, and which stories are left out of the narrative.
Autry Museum of the American West (theautry.org)
4700 Western Heritage Way, Griffith Park, Los Angeles
Opens June 25
Mercedes Dorame: Woshaa’axre Yaang’aro (Looking Back)
Mercedes Dorame’s Getty Center Rotunda Commission engages with the history of the Gabrielino Tongva Indians of California, whose historic homeland is the Los Angeles basin and coastal islands. Titled Woshaa’axre Yaang’aro (Looking Back), it references the view from the Getty to Catalina Island, once home to the Tongva people, of which she is a member. Her installation features coastal landscape paintings and sculptures of abalone, a creature with significance to the Tongva, and imagines what it would look like for that community to look back at the mainland.
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Getty Center (getty.edu)
1200 Getty Center Drive, Brentwood, Los Angeles
June 20–July 28, 2024