Your Concise Los Angeles Art Guide for Spring 2020

Your list of must-see, fun, insightful, and very Los Angeles art events this season.

Hyperallergic February 12, 2020

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Dora Maar, “29, rue d’Astorg” (1935), hand-colored gelatin silver print, image: 11 9/16 × 9 5/8 inches (© 2019 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris Centre Pompidou, Musée national d’art moderne, Paris, image © Centre Pompidou, Mnam-CCI / Philippe Migeat)

After putting together this guide of around 60 Los Angeles exhibitions with Hyperallergic contributor Abe Ahn, I realized how many art spaces and artists are engaging meaningfully and deeply with the times we live in. The art world can often feel like a disillusioned bubble, but sometimes it manages to get it right. The exhibitions this spring overwhelmingly focus on contemporary art, exploring, for instance, a prevalent “witchy” sensibility, representations of Afro-Latinx communities, and how artists are incorporating words into their work. There are also a few historical shows that feel particularly relevant, such as surveys on the political photomontagist John Heartfield and the brilliant overlooked artist Dora Maar. 

We’ve organized the guide according to the month the exhibitions opened. However, many of them stay open for a while, so don’t skip over those months that have already passed! 

We publish these guides every spring and fall, and also distribute print versions that you can find at art spaces across Los Angeles. Every Wednesday we send out an LA newsletter spotlighting art events in the city and sharing reviews and news. You can sign up here. —Elisa Wouk Almino 


SOUND OFF: Silence + Resistance

When: January 8–March 15
Where: LACE (6522 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, Los Angeles)

LACE’s 2020 Emerging Curator, Abigail Raphael Collins, has put together this exhibition exploring “silence as a tool of resistance.” According to Collins, “Listening is central to almost every work in this exhibition.” In addition to historical documentation of silent protests, the show features works by Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz, Nikita Gale, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Sharon Hayes, Baseera Khan, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, and Aliza Shvarts.

Female Sensibility

When: January 11–March 1
Where: Five Car Garage (email for directions)

Paying tribute to Lynda Benglis’s 1973 video work “Female Sensibility,” this show brings together works by two artists, Los Angeles-based Kirsten Soltmann and NYC-based painter Jennifer Sullivan, who share an interest in the ways gender expectations delimit behaviors, self-expression, and popular discourse. Humor, rage, and an affinity for pop music icons run through these artists’ works.

Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe: Black Like Me

When: January 11–March 7
Where: Roberts Projects (5801 Washington Boulevard, Culver City, California)

Bold lines and bright color palettes animate stylized oil portraits of friends, colleagues, and strangers by Otis Kwame Kye Quaicoe. The first US exhibition of works by the Ghana-born artist, Black Like Me introduces a new talent in Black portraiture to American audiences.

Judy Linn: For Ruth Roman

When: January 12–February 29
Where: Parker Gallery (2441 Glendower Ave, Los Feliz, Los Angeles)

Photographer Judy Linn is most recognized for her work documenting 1970s New York City, out of which emerged her iconic portraits of Patti Smith and other artists of that era. Just as deserving of attention are her photographs of the banal and unexpected. Linn’s first solo show in Los Angeles features three decades of photographs showcasing her unique eye for documentary and abstraction.

Johanna Went at Hong Kong Cafe, Los Angeles, CA, September 1 (1980) (photo by Alan Peak, image courtesy the artist, photographer, and the Box, LA)

Johanna Went: Passion Container

When: January 25–March 14
Where: The Box (805 Traction Ave, Arts District, Los Angeles)

Riotous, transgressive shows once took place at now-shuttered downtown venues like Al’s Bar in the 1970s and 1980s, when Los Angeles became home to a thriving punk and performance art scene. Johanna Went was one of its most formidable figures, attracting renown with her cacophonous vocals, elaborate costumes, and grotesque spectacle. This exhibition features objects, photographs, and video from Went’s decades-long performance career.

Beyond Embodiment

When: January 25–March 20
Where: Brand Library & Art Center (1601 W Mountain Street, Glendale, Calif.)

This show spotlights 25 female, nonbinary, and trans artists working with the sprawling yet rich theme of the human body. The type of work is likewise wide-ranging, from ceramics, animation, collage, and painting, to augmented reality, performance, and art dealing with scent. 

Roxanne Jackson, “Metal Goddess” (2017), ceramic, faux fur, glaze, lace, and shell, 12 x 6 x 8 inches (image courtesy the artist, photo by JSP Photography)

The Body, The Object, The Other

When: January 25–May 10
Where: Craft Contemporary (5814 Wilshire Boulevard, Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles)

The human figure has become an especially popular subject in contemporary art, including ceramics. But Craft Contemporary’s second clay biennial also considers the ancient representation of the human figure in clay. Artists in the show reference this history while also challenging it with unconventional forms. 

face: Suki Seokyeong Kang

When: January 25–March 7
Where: Commonwealth and Council (3006 W 7th St #220, Koreatown, Los Angeles)

Traditional Korean practices and family history converge in Suki Seokyeong Kang’s series of abstract assemblages. Referencing Joseon-era music notations and woven handicrafts, the artworks recall both personal and collective memories.

The Hilton Als Series: Lynette Yiadom-Boakye

When: January 25–May 11
Where: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens (1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, Calif.)

This exhibition is the second in a trilogy of shows curated by New Yorker writer Hilton Als. All three shows feature women British artists (Celia Paul and Njideka Akunyili Crosby are the other two). Als chose five of Yiadom-Boakye’s recent paintings portraying fictional characters. The installation promises to challenge and expand upon the Huntington’s collection of 18th-century British portraits of white and wealthy historic figures. 

Karl Haendel: Double Dominant

When: January 25–March 7
Where: Vielmetter Los Angeles (1700 S Santa Fe Avenue #101, Downtown, Los Angeles)

Karl Haendel has made 24 monumental drawings (around eight by seven feet) of hands — and not just any hands: hands of artists. He has chosen to portray only the artists’ dominant hands, which no doubt have something mystical about them. All of the artists are from LA and of the same generation, among them Rafa Esparza, EJ Hill, and Liz Glynn. 

Tishan Hsu, “Liquid Circuit” (1987), acrylic, compound, alkyd, oil, aluminum on wood. 90 x 143 x 9 inches (image courtesy Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, Minneapolis)

Tishan Hsu: Liquid Circuit 

When: January 26–April 19
Where: Hammer Museum (10899 Wilshire Blvd, Westwood, Los Angeles)

NYC-based artist Tishan Hsu began creating work about technology and the body in the 1980s, long before digital images and artificial intelligence became part of the everyday. This survey of prescient works between 1980 and 2005 includes signature paintings and sculptures that evoke posthuman futures.

Luciana Abait, “Displacement” (2016) (image courtesy the artist)

Las Hijas de los Días. 7 Female Views from the Margins

When: January 27–April 3
Where: 18th Street Arts Center, Airport Gallery (3026 Airport Avenue, Santa Monica, California)

Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano’s Los hijos de los días recalls the lives of unsung heroes in history, one story for each day of the calendar year. Similarly, this exhibition of photographs, drawings, installation, and performance reflects each day of the week and recounts stories by seven artists (Cristina de Middel, Eunice Adorno, Lola del Fresno, Luciana Abait, Doni Silver Simons, Sabine Pearlman, and Pamela Simon-Jensen) from the US, Latin America, and Spain about urgent issues of our time.

Alison Saar: Syncopation

When: January 29–February 29 
Where: LA Louver (45 N Venice Blvd, Venice, Calif.)

Alison Saar is especially cherished for her visceral, singular sculptures, but for the past 30 years she has also been producing remarkable prints that are very much in conversation with her three-dimensional work. At LA Louver, you can draw these connections for yourself, as the figures of Saar’s sculptures take on new forms in her lithographs, etchings, and woodblock prints. “I think of making prints as an intermezzo, a time to go back and reflect, and maybe rework ideas,” says the artist. 


Installation view of New Images of Man with reference to Alberto Giacometti. Artwork on floor (L-R): Alina Szapocznikow, “Iluminowana (Illuminated Woman)” (1966-1967); Sarah Lucas, “Elf Warrior” (2018); Alina Szapocznikow, “Filozof (Philosopher)” (1965/2015); César, “Victoire de Villetaneuse” (1965). Artwork on wall (L-R): Eva Hesse, “Untitled” (1960); Eva Hesse, No title (1960); Dave Muller, “Dust Jacket #1 (NIM Strand)” (2020); Georg Baselitz, “Der nackte Mann (The Naked Man)” (1962)
(image courtesy the artists, Estates and Blum & Poe, Los Angeles/New York/Tokyo César, © 2020 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris, © Georg Baselitz, © the Estate of Eva Hesse, © Dave Muller, Alina Szapocznikow: © 2020 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris, photo by Makenzie Goodman)

New Images of Man 

When: February 1–March 14
Where: Blum & Poe (2727 La Cienega Boulevard, Mid-City, Los Angeles)

This exhibition revisits two historic exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art: Family of Man, curated by Edward Steichen in 1955, and New Images of Man, curated by Peter Selz in 1959. The two shows deeply reckoned with what it meant to be human in the aftermath of World War II. For the Blum & Poe show, curator Alison M. Gingeras revisits and expands upon these exhibitions, imagining how they might continue today and who their successors would be. 

Paul McCarthy: Head Space, Drawings 1963–2019

When: February 2–May 10
Where: Hammer Museum (10899 Wilshire Blvd, Westwood, Los Angeles)

Paul McCarthy has provoked audiences for more than a half century, whether it’s painting with raw meat or erecting a butt plug sculpture in a historic square. Less well-known are his sketches and illustrations that have been part of the artist’s daily practice since the 1960s. This retrospective offers an exhaustive look at drawing as a central element to McCarthy’s performances and sculptures.

Shizu Saldamando: LA Intersections

When: February 6–April 17
Where: Oxy Arts (4757 York Boulevard, Eagle Rock,  Los Angeles)

Shizu Saldamando, who is the Wanlass Artist-in-Resident at Occidental College, is loved for her portraits of LA communities. Many of her subjects are people she met at parties, concerts, or clubs. For this exhibition, Saldamando will also exhibit some of her portraits of fellow artists, such as Rafa Esparza and Romiro Gomez, Jr. There will be a related series of programming, including a night of poetry and a queer, punk Latinx party.

Ellen Berkenblit, “Electric Lace” (2018), oil on canvas, 76 x 93 inches (image courtesy the artist and Vielmetter Los Angeles, photo by Object Studies)

All of Them Witches

When: February 8–April 11 
Where: Jeffrey Deitch (925 N Orange Drive, Hollywood, Los Angeles)

Dan Nadel and Laurie Simmons have put together a show with a “witchy” sensibility. It draws on their “shared affinity for a certain kind of art to which we’re drawn, can’t quite name, but recognize when we see it.” Among the dozens of featured artists are Ellen Berkenblit, Niki de Saint Phalle, Deborah Turbeville. This one should be fun. 

Tanya Aguiñiga: Borderlands Within

When: February 9–August 9
Where: Armory Center for the Arts (145 N Raymond Ave, Pasadena, California)

Artist Tanya Aguiñiga has combined community activism and experimental crafts in works addressing the politics of the US and Mexican border. This exhibition focuses on Aguiñiga’s engagements with the people and artists living alongside the borderlands, including a new site-specific installation.

Artists on the Move: Journeys and Drawings

When: February 11–May 3
Where: Getty Center (1200 Getty Center Drive, Bel-Air, Los Angeles)

Sometimes it can seem like we live in an ever-mobile age, where it’s common for people to move cities and homes from year to year. In fact, people—including artists—have been on the move for centuries. This exhibition explores why artists over time have left home and how this has impacted their work. Artists include Canaletto, Paul Gauguin, Peter Paul Rubens, and Vincent van Gogh. 

Calida Rawles, “Not Yet Titled” (2019), acrylic on canvas. 84 x 72 inches (image courtesy the artist and Various Small Fires, Los Angeles / Seoul)

Calida Rawles: A Dream for My Lilith

When: February 12–March 14
Where: Various Small Fires (812 N Highland Ave, Hollywood, Los Angeles)

The historical and symbolic relationship between water and Black bodies is the focus of recent paintings by Calida Rawles, whose work was featured last year as the cover image for author Ta-Nehisi Coates’s novel The Water Dancer. This solo exhibition carries on this theme of water.

Lucio Fontana, “Ambiente spaziale a luce nera” (1948–1949), installation view, Museo d’Arte Mendrisio, 2008 (© Fondazione Lucio Fontana by SIAE 2020, photo by Stefano Spinell)

Lucio Fontana. Walking the Space: Spatial Environments, 1948–1968

When: February 13–April 12
Where: Hauser & Wirth (901-909 E 3rd St, Arts District, Los Angeles)

Before Yayoi Kusama and James Turrell began drawing blockbuster crowds with their immersive installations, the late Italian artist Lucio Fontana merged color, form, light, and space through Spatialism, a movement he founded to combine his interest in art and technology. This retrospective of a conceptual innovator little known in the US reconstructs the artist’s ephemeral “Spatial Environments.”

Zoya Cherkassky, “80’s Disco” (2019), oil on linen, 59 x 51.25 inches (image courtesy the artist and Fort Gansevoort)

Zoya Cherkassky: Soviet Childhood

When: February 15–March 28 
Where: Fort Gansevoort Los Angeles (4859 Fountain Avenue, East Hollywood, Los Angeles)

This is the second half of Zoya Cherkassky’s riveting exhibition of paintings and drawings of Soviet daily life. The artist was 15 years old when the USSR collapsed, and many of her artworks are scenes from a child’s perspective. At turns humorous, mundane, and incisive, the works draw from both the artist’s memory and from historical research. 

Inside the Mask

When: February 15–May 17
Where: Hammer Museum (10899 Wilshire Blvd, Westwood, Los Angeles)

This collaborative exhibition with the Fowler Museum at UCLA takes a look at Central American cultural, political, and economic realities through the lens of masks used in sacred rites and festivals. Related programming will feature artists and activists who work across borders and mediums to uplift the lives and stories of Central American communities.

Ree Morton, “For Kate” (1976), oil on wood and wire and enamel on celastic, 12 parts, approximately 120 × 156 × 60 inches overall (photo by Joerg Lohse, image courtesy the Estate of Ree Morton and Alexander and Bonin, New York)

Ree Morton: The Plant That Heals May Also Poison

When: February 16–June 14
Where: ICA LA (1717 E 7th St, Downtown, Los Angeles)

In 1977, visual artist Ree Morton’s career was cut short by her untimely death at 40 years old. In the preceding decade, she created works—sculptures, drawings, and installations that were unabashedly sentimental and feminine, elevating both as worthy of artistic inquiry—at a furious pace, as if making up for lost time. This exhibition of artworks and archival materials takes a close look at an artist whose aesthetic and feminist legacies extend to the present day.

Luchita Hurtado, “Self Portrait” (1971), oil on canvas, 46 7/8 × 23 inches (Beth Rudin DeWoody © Luchita Hurtado, image courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth, photo by Jeff McLane)

Luchita Hurtado: I Live I Die I Will Be Reborn

When: February 16–May 3
Where: Los Angeles County Museum of Art (5905 Wilshire Blvd, Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles)

At 99 years old, Luchita Hurtado has lived and experienced several lifetimes’ worth of art movements and historical events. The artist’s body of work, which spans seven decades, has evolved alongside these currents, ranging from biomorphic abstraction to self-portraits and landscape paintings depicting women’s bodies as manifestations of nature and power. A much belated spotlight on a remarkable life and career, this exhibition is the first major survey of paintings and drawings by the Santa Monica–based artist.

In Verbis Artis

When: February 22–May 23
Where: Hoffmitz Milken Center for Typography (HMCT) (1700 Lida St, Pasadena, Calif.)

Artists have a way of reinvigorating language and challenging how we use words. This exhibition brings together Los Angeles-based artists who incorporate and question language in their work, drawing on practices such as graffiti and conceptual art. Artists include Gajin Fujita, Alexandra Grant, Mark Steven Greenfield, Jason Manley, Rebecca Ripple, Steve Roden, and Jody Zellen. 

“Bahiana doll” (2005) (image courtesy Samantha Blake Goodman)

afroLAtinidad: mi casa, my city

When: February 22–July 20
Where: LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes (501 N Main St, Downtown, Los Angeles)

This exhibition intends to highlight the Afro-Latinx community, which is often misrepresented and neglected, particularly in mainstream and institutional contexts. The display will feature personal objects and artworks from LA’s Afro-Latinx community, including clothing, jewelry, photographs, musical instruments, recipes, and devotional objects. There will also be a full recreation of an Afro-Latinx home. 

Wrong is Right: Remembering John Baldessari

When: February 22–April 4
Where: Mixografia (1419 E Adams Boulevard, Central–Alameda, Los Angeles)

John Baldessari, who died in January of this year in Venice, was an especially beloved artist and teacher in Los Angeles. This exhibition remembers Baldessari through the editions he made with print publishers across LA, including El Nopal Press, Jacob Samuel, Gemini GEL, and Mixografia. You’ll also have the chance to see some of his special video works from the 1970s.

Michelangelo Buonarroti, “Studies of Arms and Hands (recto)” (1513–1514, recto), (1518, verso) study of male torso, various figure studies (verso), pen and brown ink, red chalk, unframed: 11 1/4 × 8 1/8 inches Teylers Museum, Haarlem, purchased in 1790 (image © Teylers Museum, Haarlem)

Michelangelo: Mind of the Master

When: February 25–June 7
Where: Getty Center (1200 Getty Center Drive, Bel-Air, Los Angeles)

Drawings often offer the most extraordinary insights into an artist’s mind and technique. This is certainly true with Michelangelo. This exhibition will exhibit around two dozen of his drawings, including his designs for the Sistine Chapel ceiling and Medici Chapel tombs. 

Sula Bermúdez-Silverman: Neither Fish, Flesh, nor Fowl

When: February 28–August 23
Where: California African American Museum (600 State Drive, Exposition Park, Los Angeles)

Genetic data, human hair, childhood keepsakes, and trash fragments are some of the raw materials in artworks by Sula Bermúdez-Silverman, whose latest exhibition at CAAM takes on legacies of race, gender, religion, and political economy in her family heritage and the African diaspora. Multidisciplinary works from 2014 onward are presented alongside a new series of sculptures commissioned by the museum.

Tlacolulokos: Dario Canul y Cosijoesa Cernas, “The Size of Your Suffering” (2017), acrylic on canvas, 13.71 ft x 15.32 ft (photo courtesy the artists)

OaxaCAlifornia: Through the Experience of the Duo Tlacolulokos

When: February 29–December 
Where: Museum of Latin American Art (MOLAA) (628 Alamitos Avenue, Long Beach, Calif.)

The artist duo Tlacolulokos (Dario Canul and Cosijoesa Cernas) are exhibiting their gorgeous murals celebrating Oaxacan communities in Los Angeles. These murals were last exhibited at the Los Angeles Public Library in 2017 for Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA. If you missed them last time, it’s definitely worth checking them out at MOLAA. 


Unknown, “Head of a ruler” (about 2300–2000 BC), copper alloy, 13 1/2 × 7 7/8 × 7 7/8 inches (lent by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rogers Fund, 1947) (image © the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1959)

Mesopotamia: Civilization Begins

When: March 18–July 27
Where: Getty Villa (17985 Pacific Coast Hwy, Pacific Palisades, California)

Mesopotamia, the region that is now modern-day Iraq, is often referred to as the cradle of civilization. Over thousands of years, ancient Sumerians, Babylonians, and Assyrians built the world’s first cities, invented the earliest known form of script, and made significant artistic and scientific advancements. This exhibition covers the region’s rich history from 3200 BCE to 331 BCE.

Susan Phillipsz: Sleep Close and Fast

When: March 28–May 22
Where: Tanya Bonakdar Gallery (1010 N Highland Ave, Hollywood, Los Angeles)

Susan Philipsz projects sound — recordings and oftentimes her own singing voice — in buildings, public spaces, and galleries as a way of drawing out historical memory and the emotive qualities of place. This exhibition, the artist’s first solo show on the West Coast, features a series of steel sculptures that play recordings of lullabies culled from film, opera, and literature.

John Heartfield

When: April 5–May
Where: LAXART (7000 Santa Monica Boulevard, Hollywood, Los Angeles)

As the art critic John Berger once put it, John Heartfield’s political photomontages had the power to “demystify things.” This show looks at Heartfield’s radical legacy as an artist who helped disseminate posters opposing the Nazi party and who also designed stage sets for Bertolt Brecht’s learning plays. LAXART will focus on the “clarity of his messages” and the democratic means through which he distributed his work in newspapers and journals. 


Printed Matter’s LA Art Book Fair 2020 

When: April 3–5
Where: The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA (152 N Central Avenue, Downtown, Los Angeles)

It’s always heartening to see how loved this art book fair has become. Each year, hundreds of exhibitors from around the world sell and display fabulously diverse print projects. The affair never disappoints. Check the online calendar for more information on performances, book signings, educational programming, and more. 

Kick Ass Painting: New York Women

When: April 4–May 9
Where: Anat Ebgi (2660 S La Cienega Boulevard, Mid-City, Los Angeles)

This show shines a light on three women painters from the US who have been committed to their craft for decades: Louise Fishman, Brenda Goodman, and Carrie Moyer. All three are mostly devoted to abstraction (in distinct styles), though occasionally their works veer into the figurative. It’s a wonderful opportunity to see their works side by side.  

Desire, Knowledge, and Hope (with Smog)

When: April 4–August 16
Where: The Broad (221 S Grand Avenue, Downtown, Los Angeles)

As the Broad is now celebrating its fifth anniversary this year, its exhibitions will be focusing on the artists in its collection, many of whom are LA locals. This spring show is particularly evocative of Los Angeles (hint: “smog”) and will exhibit works by John Baldessari, Mike Kelley, Barbara Kruger, and Ed Ruscha. The show will include nearly all of the works in the museum’s collection by each of these artists, and admission will be free. 

Arctic Terns (image courtesy UCLA Donald R. Dickey Collection of Birds and Mammals) and Otherworld Spirit Mates (20th century), Baule peoples, Côte d’Ivoire
(image courtesy Fowler Museum at UCLA)

The Map and the Territory: 100 Years of Collecting at UCLA 

When: April 5–September 27
Where: The Fowler Museum at UCLA (308 Charles E Young Drive N, Westwood, Los Angeles)

This exhibition promises to be giant in scope: It culls 160 objects from UCLA’s multiple collections. Organized by the Fowler Museum in partnership with the Hammer Museum and the UCLA Library, the show will feature rare books, historic prints, musical instruments, animal specimens, art objects, meteorites, and more. This display feels only fitting in a university setting where so many aspects of the world and its history are taught. 

Yoshitomo Nara 

When: April 5–August 2
Where: Los Angeles County Museum of Art (5905 Wilshire Blvd, Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles)

The trademark of a Yoshitomo Nara painting is a small child or animal giving the viewer side eye or shooting a threatening look. These beloved figures with their menacing gaze and stylized cuteness have given the Tokyo-based artist a devoted following around the world. This exhibition surveys over three decades of Nara’s work, and features a reproduction of his drawing studio and a large-scale, outdoor sculpture.

Alfred Conteh, “[Ryan Coogler] Home Team” (2018) (image courtesy Amath Gomis)

Men of Change: Power. Triumph. Truth.

When: April 8–August 23
Where: California African American Museum (600 State Drive, Exposition Park, Los Angeles)

Works by 25 contemporary artists consider the impact and legacy of famous African American men from history and today. Influential men of letters, scientists, athletes, artists, and representatives from other fields — including the likes of James Baldwin, W.E.B. Du Bois, and Muhammad Ali — are part of a far-ranging, pluralistic account of Black male identity throughout US history.

HERland: Female artists in the MOLAA Collection 

When: April 11–August 30
Where: MOLAA (628 Alamitos Avenue, Long Beach, Calif.)

Gabriela Urtiaga, who recently joined MOLAA as chief curator last year, is gathering a show of recent acquisitions of works by women artists. The display will range from painting and sculpture to video and photography, and will explore “surrealist, spiritual, and oneiric ideas.” 

A screening of Gone With the Wind (1939) at the 2019 TCM Classic Film Festival In Hollywood, California (image courtesy Turner Classic Movies)

TCM Classic Film Festival 

When: April 16–19
Where: Various venues (Hollywood, Los Angeles)

As part of the TCM Classic Film Festival, black-and-white noirs, Hitchcock thrillers, and Back to the Future return to historic Hollywood movie theatres like the Egyptian and Legion. Highlights include a nitrate print screening of Counsellor at Law (1933), starring John Barrymore, and a 70th anniversary presentation of Harvey (1950), starring James Stewart.

Carolyn Castaño: Cali es Cali

When: April 18, 2020–January 3, 2021
Where: Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA) Expand (South Coast Plaza Village, 1661 West Sunflower Avenue, Santa Ana, Calif.)

In what promises to be a personal and moving display, Carolyn Castaño recreates the journey of an immigrant family from Cali, Colombia to Los Angeles, California. Along the way, you’ll find passports, airline tickets, clothing, and other domestic objects. Castaño has also culled photographs from her late father’s archive — he ran a print shop and collected around 4,000 photographs from Latinx communities. 

Amir H. Fallah, “The Animals Of The World Exist For Their Own Reasons” (2019), acrylic on canvas, 66 x 96 inches (image courtesy the artist and Shulamit Nazarian)

Amir H. Fallah

When: April 18–May 30
Where: Shulamit Nazarian (616 N La Brea Avenue, Hancock Park, Los Angeles)

Amir H. Fallah is known for arresting, vibrant painted portraits. This show of his new body of work will present a different side of the artist as he removes the central subject’s figure entirely. These paintings will explore his relationship with his young son and draw on a wide range of influences, from fables to children’s books. 

Dora Maar

When: April 21–July 26
Where: Getty Center (1200 Getty Center Drive, Bel-Air, Los Angeles)

It’s about time we stop calling Dora Maar a “muse” to Surrealists and associating her with Pablo Picasso. Maar was a brilliant artist. This show follows her rich career from her street photographs and surrealist works to her post-World War II paintings. 

Javier Tapia and Camilo Ontiveros: Liquid Light 

When: April 25–July 25
Where: Vincent Price Museum (1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez, Monterey Park, Calif.)

Artists Javier Tapia and Camilo Ontiveros have collaborated before and whenever they have, they’ve deepened our understanding of the Americas — whether by illuminating geography, politics, or immigration policies. For this show, the artists continue to explore these topics through film, photography, drawing, and sculpture, in addition to diving into the effects of climate change.  

Harald Schmitt, “The First GDR skaters in Front of the Television Tower in East Berlin” (May 1982) (image courtesy Harald Schmitt Photo)

See Thy Neighbor: Stern Photographers Thomas Höpker and Harald Schmitt in the GDR

When: April 26–October 4
Where: Wende Museum (10808 Culver Blvd, Culver City, Calif.)

Images by two West German photographers who covered East Germany for the weekly news magazine Stern during the 1970s—and their divergent attitudes and approaches to life in the Communist state—are the focus of this exhibition. Photographer Thomas Höpker spent only two years in the east before taking off for greener pastures in the US while his successor Harald Schmitt ended up embracing life beyond the Berlin Wall and departed only after being forcibly expelled in 1983. Magazine reports, unpublished photographs, and materials from the Stasi archive tell the story of their experiences.

“I’ll Have What She’s Having”: The Jewish Deli

When: April 30–September 6
Where: Skirball Cultural Center (2701 N Sepulveda Blvd, Brentwood, Los Angeles)

Angelenos can be just as opinionated about their pastrami on rye as they are about other city food staples, like the taco and French dip sandwich. This exhibition considers the history of Jewish delis in the US and how Jewish communities adapted their immigrant food cultures into the American mainstream during the 20th century.


What Now: Collecting for the Library in the 21st Century, Part 2

When: May 2–August 24
Where: The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens (1151 Oxford Rd, San Marino, California)

The second show in a two-part exhibition series offers a look into the Huntington’s encyclopedic collection, which includes 15th-century Middle English manuscripts, notes by science fiction author Octavia Butler, and inkjet botanical prints by artist Jane O’Neal. All items in the exhibition were acquired within the past 20 years, some of them being displayed in public for the first time.

Pablo Picasso, “Two Nude Women” (1946), lithograph, eighth state comp: 10 x 13 inches (Norton Simon Museum, Museum Purchase © 2020 Estate of Pablo Picasso / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York)

Unseen Picasso 

When: May 15–October 19 
Where: Norton Simon Museum (411 W Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena, Calif.)

Another Picasso show, we know. But this one seems genuinely unusual, focusing exclusively on the artist’s printmaking practice and specifically prints that are “distinctive, rare or infrequently exhibited.”

Jennifer Packer, “Citizen” (2018), oil on canvas, 10 × 8 inches (Collection of Noel E.D. Kirnon)

Jennifer Packer: Every Shut Eye Ain’t Asleep

When: May 17–November 30 
Where: The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA (152 N Central Avenue, Downtown, Los Angeles)

Jennifer Packer, whose work was a highlight of last year’s Whitney Biennial in New York, is bringing her hazy and intimate portraits and still lifes to Los Angeles. This show will be focusing on the young artist’s most recent work. 

Pipilotti Rist  

When: May 17–October 5 
Where: The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA (152 N Central Avenue, Downtown, Los Angeles)

This is the first West Coast survey of the acclaimed artist Pipilotti Rist. The Swiss artist is especially known for her sensual and mesmerizing video installations. The exhibition spans 30 years of her work, including musical scores, sculptures, and even a video installation made especially for the MOCA presentation. 

COLA 2020

When: May 21–July 5
Where: Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery (4800 Hollywood Blvd, East Hollywood, Los Angeles)

Every year, the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs commissions a new body of work by artists living and working in the city as part of its City of Los Angeles (COLA) Individual Artist Fellowship. This year, 11 COLA fellows — Tanya Aguiñiga, Amir H. Fallah, YoungEun Kim, Elana Mann, Hillary Mushkin, Alison O’Daniel, Vincent Ramos, Shizu Saldamando, Holly Tempo, Jeffrey Vallance, and Lisa Diane Wedgeworth—will debut new works at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery in Barnsdall Art Park.


When: May 28–June 6 
Where: Tiger Strikes Asteroid (The Bendix Building, 1206 Maple Avenue, 5th floor, #523, Downtown, Los Angeles)

The gallery Tiger Strikes Asteroid, in collaboration with the HilbertRaum art space in Berlin and the Torrance Art Museum, is bringing around 20 art spaces from Berlin to exhibit at Los Angeles venues. Now in its second year, this interdisciplinary program stages film screenings, performances, talks, and art exhibitions around the city. The big opening event takes place at the Bendix Building on Saturday, May 30. Visit the gallery’s website for more information.  

Jaishri Abichandani, “Jasmine Blooms at Night” (2018-2020) acrylic and mixed media on panel, dimensions variable, installation at Asian Arts Initiative, 2018 (image courtesy the artist)

Jaishri Abichandani: Flower-Headed Children

When: May 31–September 13
Where: Craft Contemporary (5814 Wilshire Blvd, Mid-Wilshire, Los Angeles)

New York-based artist Jaishri Abichandani incorporates traditional South Asian iconography, craft materials, and an explicitly anti-racist and feminist lens into her work, which is part and parcel of her activism against ethno-nationalisms and patriarchal violence in the US and abroad. This exhibition, curated by writer and educator Anuradha Vikram, is the first comprehensive survey of Abichandani’s 25-year career.

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