All the Biggest Museum Exhibitions to See in L.A. During Frieze Week, From Miyazaki’s Animations to an Immersive Pipilotti Rist Retrospective

Plus solo shows for Jamal Cyrus, Ulysses Jenkins, and Judy Baca.

Hayao Miyazaki, still from My Neighbor Totoro (1988). © 1988 Studio Ghibli.
Hayao Miyazaki, still from My Neighbor Totoro (1988). © 1988 Studio Ghibli.

With all eyes on the West Coast for the return of Frieze Los Angeles (February 17–20) after a two-year absence, the city’s museum’s are offering an impressive range of exhibitions, from Old Masters to cutting-edge contemporary artists. Here’s our guide to what’s on view.

 

Poussin and the Dance
The
 Getty Center
February 15–May 8, 2022

Nicolas Poussin, <em>The Realm of Flora</em> (1630–31). Collection of Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden. Photo by Elke Estel/Art Resource, NY; bpk Bildagentur/Gemaeldegalerie Alte Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen.

Nicolas Poussin, The Realm of Flora (1630–31). Collection of Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden. Photo: Elke Estel/Art Resource, NY; bpk Bildagentur/Gemaeldegalerie Alte Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen.

The Getty co-organized this first-ever exhibition of 17th-century French painter Nicolas Poussin’s revelatory dance paintings with the National Gallery in London, where it closed last month. Here, the Old Master’s canvases are paired with new dance films by L.A. choreographers.

The Getty Center is located at 1200 Getty Center Drive; admission is free.

 

Angkor: The Lost Empire of Cambodia
California Science Center
February 16–September 5, 2022

The South Gate of Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia. Photo courtesy of the California Science Center.

The South Gate of Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia. Courtesy of the California Science Center, Los Angeles.

The California Science Center has partnered with the National Museum of Cambodia and the Cambodian Ministry of Culture on this exhibition of 120 artifacts from the ancient temple complexes of Angkor Wat, built by the Khmer empire. Half of the objects are leaving Cambodia for the first time. The show is accompanied by the film Angkor 3D, played on a seven-story IMAX screen.

The California Science Center is located at 700 Exposition Park Drive, Los Angeles. General admission to both exhibition and film is $25.25.

 

EJ Hill: Wherever We Will to Root
Oxy Arts
February 17–April 22, 2022

EJ Hill, <em>good evening</em> (2022). Photo by Ian Byers-Gamber, courtesy the artist and Oxy Arts, Los Angeles.

EJ Hill, good evening (2022). Photo: Ian Byers-Gamber, courtesy of the artist and Oxy Arts, Los Angeles.

On the heels of his site-specific commission for Prospect.5 New Orleans and announcement as a participant in the upcoming Whitney Biennial in New York, Angeleno artist EJ Hill’s first solo institutional show presents a suite of flower paintings he made as the artist-in-residence at Oxy Arts. The flowers represent the body in bloom, and the act of painting the itself became a form of self-care for the artist, as he created space to rest and heal after a period of making physically demanding performance art.

Oxy Arts at Occidental College is located at 4757 York Boulevard, Los Angeles; admission is free. 

 

Jennifer Packer: Every Shut Eye Ain’t Asleep
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Through February 20, 2022

Jennifer Packer, Idle Hands (2021). Collection of LA MOCA, purchase with funds provided by the acquisition and collection committee. Photo courtesy of Sikkema Jenkins and Co., New York, Corvi-Mora, London.

Jennifer Packer, Idle Hands (2021). Collection of LA MOCA. Photo: courtesy of Sikkema Jenkins and Co., New York, and Corvi-Mora, London.

It’s your last chance to catch Jennifer Packer’s mournful figurative canvases at MOCA. The exhibition features new and recent works, including a series of commemorative floral still lifes and paintings that appeared in the 2019 Whitney Biennial.

MOCA Los Angeles is located at 250 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles; admission is free.

 

Manet’s Philosophers
Norton Simon Museum
Through February 28, 2022

Édouard Manet, <em>Beggar with Oysters (Philosopher)</em>, 1865/67. Collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Édouard Manet, Beggar with Oysters (Philosopher), 1865/67. Collection of the Art Institute of Chicago.

The last time Édouard Manet’s three “Philosophers” paintings—inspired by Diego Velázquez’s portraits of Aesop and Menippus—hung together was at his retrospective at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1966 and ’67, a century after their creation. But the nearly life-size works don’t depict great men from the annals of history; rather, Manet chose contemporary figures who are decidedly down on their luck—they are titled Ragpicker, Beggar with Oysters (Philosopher), and Beggar with a Duffle Coat (Philosopher).

The Norton Simon Museum is located at 411 West Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena. General admission is $15. 

Judy Baca: Memorias de Nuestra Tierra, a Retrospective
Museum of Latin American Art
Through March 2022

Judy Baca, La Memoria de Nuestra Tierra: Colorado (1999), detail. Photo courtesy of SPARC Archives/SPARCinLA.

Judy Baca, La memoria de nuestra tierra: Colorado (1999) (detail). Photo courtesy of SPARC Archives/SPARCinLA.

Chicana muralist Judy Baca, who founded the first City of Los Angeles Mural Program in 1974, gets her first comprehensive retrospective. It features over 110 works, including large-scale paintings and sculptures, as well as preparatory sketches for major works like The Great Wall of Los Angeles, a half-mile-long mural in the San Fernando Valley. Ahead of her time in her embrace of art as a tool for social justice and activism, in the 1970s Baca worked with the city’s youth to embed the concerns of underrepresented communities into monumental public artworks.

MOLAA is located at 628 Alamitos Avenue, Long Beach; general admission is $10.

 

Adaptation: Josh Kline
LAXART
Through April 9, 2022

Josh Kline, <em>Adaptation</em> (2019–22), film still. Courtesy of LAXART.

Josh Kline, Adaptation (2019–22), film still. Courtesy of LAXART.

In his first L.A. solo show, Josh Kline debuts the short science fiction film Adaptation (2019–22), set in a near-future New York City that has succumbed to rising sea levels, forcing relief workers to deal with the disastrous effects of climate change. Rather than relying on CGI animation, artist shot on 16-millimeter film and used scale models, miniatures, and matte photographs to transport viewers into this ominous future.

LAXART is located at 7000 Santa Monica Boulevard, West Hollywood; admission is free.

 

Ruth Gruber: Photojournalist
Holocaust Museum LA
Through April 13, 2022

Ruth Gruber. Photo courtesy of the Holocaust Museum LA.

Ruth Gruber. Courtesy of the Holocaust Museum LA.

Though primarily known for her work as a reporter, Ruth Gruber was also a prolific photographer, shooting some of the first color film in Alaska and documenting the lives of U.S. soldiers during World War II. After the war, she was the only photographer to capture the plight of 4,500 Jewish refugees aboard the Exodus 1947, who engaged in a 24-day hunger strike when a British blockade of Palestine forced their return to Europe. Her coverage of their ordeal was instrumental in swaying public opinion in favor of the establishment of a Jewish state.

The Holocaust Museum LA is located at 100 The Grove Drive, Los Angeles; general admission is $15.

 

Black American Portraits
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
Through April 17, 2022

Portrait of a Sailor (Paul Cuffe?), ca. 1800. Collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, purchased with funds provided by Cecile Bartman. Photo ©Museum Associates/LACMA.

Portrait of a Sailor (Paul Cuffe?) (ca. 1800). Collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Photo: ©Museum Associates/LACMA.

This exhibition of portraits of Black American subjects opened last year, when the Obama portraits were on tour at LACMA, and is a spiritual successor to “Two Centuries of Black American Art,” the major show curated by David Driskell at the museum 45 years ago. With 140 works dating from about 1800 to the present day, the show covers important moments in U.S. history, including emancipation, the Harlem Renaissance, and the Civil Rights era, and provides a positive view of Blackness rooted in family and community, rather than resorting to negative stereotypes or the fetishization of Black pain.

LACMA is located at 5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles; general admission is $25.

 

Mapping Fiction
The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens
Through May 2, 2022

McLoughlin Bros, Round the World with Nellie Bly (1890). Courtesy of Jay T. Last. The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.

McLoughlin Bros., Round the World with Nellie Bly (1890). Courtesy of Jay T. Last. The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.

Bookworms, take note of this exhibition dedicated to the art of fictional maps, including a map of Dublin from a first edition of James Joyce’s Ulysses, which turns 100 this year. All 70 items are drawn from the Huntington’s collection, including a map by fantasy great J. R. R. Tolkien for his Lord of the Rings trilogy, and hand-drawn maps by science-fiction writer Octavia E. Butler for her 1998 book Parable of the Talents.

The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens is located at 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino; general admission is $25.

Jaishri Abichandani: Flower-Headed Children
Craft Contemporary
Through May 8, 2022

Jaishri Abichandani, <em>End Game</em> (2018). Photo courtesy of the artist.

Jaishri Abichandani, End Game (2018). Photo: courtesy of the artist.

New York-based artist and curator Jaishri Abichandani uses traditional South Asian iconography and craft materials to make work that is anti-racist, feminist, and queer. It’s the first survey of her 25-year career, curated by Anuradha Vikram.

Craft Contemporary is located at 5814 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles; general admission is $9.

 

Ulysses Jenkins: Without Your Interpretation
Hammer Museum
Through May 15, 2022

Ulysses Jenkins, Without Your Interpretation (1984), rehearsal documentation. Courtesy of the artist.

Ulysses Jenkins, Without Your Interpretation (1984), rehearsal documentation. Courtesy of the artist.

Video and performance artist Ulysses Jenkins, who began making art half a century ago with the advent of the first consumer video cameras, gets his first major retrospective. Three years in the making, the show, organized in close collaboration with the artist, showcases his exploration of systemic racism, ingrained white suprematism, and the media’s perpetuation of ugly truths.

The Hammer Museum is located at 10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles; general admission is free.

 

Jamal Cyrus: The End of My Beginning
Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Through May 29, 2022

Jamal Cyrus, Pride Frieze—Jerry White’s Record Shop, Central Avenue, Los Angeles (2005–2017). Photo by Adam Neese, courtesy the artist and Inman Gallery, Houston.

Jamal Cyrus, Pride Frieze—Jerry White’s Record Shop, Central Avenue, Los Angeles (2005–2017). Photo: Adam Neese, courtesy of the artist and Inman Gallery, Houston.

For nearly 20 years, Jamal Cyrus has made work about Black American identity and the evolution of the African diaspora, starting as a member of the Houston collective Otabenga Jones and Associates and continuing as a solo artist. This show, which originated at Houston’s Blaffer Museum of Art, features 50 mixed-media assemblages, sculptures, and installations by Cyrus, including record-shop façades selling “musical acts” who were actually Civil Rights activists targeted by the FBI.

The ICA LA is located at 1717 East 7th Street, Los Angeles; admission is free.

 

Hayao Miyazaki
The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures
Through June 5, 2022

Background, The Wind Rises (2013), Hayao Miyazaki. ©2013 Studio Ghibli.

Background from The Wind Rises (2013). © 2013 Studio Ghibli.

Acclaimed Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki dives into the archives of his Studio Ghibli for his first North American museum retrospective, showcasing the art behind such beloved films as Spirited Away (2001) and My Neighbor Totoro (1988). Interactive installations help bring the groundbreaking animator’s onscreen worlds to life.

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures is located at 6067 Wilshire Boulevard; general admission is $25. 

 

Pipilotti Rist: Big Heartedness, Be My Neighbor
The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA
Through June 6, 2022

"Pipilotti Rist: Big Heartedness, Be My Neighbor" installation view, Museum of Contemporary Art, Geffen Contemporary, Los Angeles. Photo courtesy of LA MOCA.

Installation view, “Pipilotti Rist: Big Heartedness, Be My Neighbor,” Museum of Contemporary Art, Geffen Contemporary, Los Angeles. Photo courtesy of LA MOCA.

In her first West Coast solo show, the Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist presents her immersive, illuminated installations, such as the labia-shaped garlands of hanging lights in Pixel Forest (2016) and Do Not Abandon Me Again (2015), an unmade bed visitors are invited to lie down in—once they’ve taken off their shoes. The exhibition showcases 30 years’ worth of work, from early single-channel videos to the multiple full-wall projections of her new Neighbors Without Fences (2021).

The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA is located at 152 North Central Avenue, Los Angeles; general admission is $18.

 

Matthew Thomas: Enlightenment
California African American Museum
Through August 7, 2022

Matthew Thomas, <em>Realms of Intentions</em> (2016). Courtesy of the artist.

Matthew Thomas, Realms of Intentions (2016). Courtesy of the artist.

Matthew Thomas moved to Thailand in 2011, but Eastern religions and philosophies have been among his inspirations since the 1960s, informing the creation of spiritual artworks he hopes will help bring balance to the universe. Using sacred geometries in his colorful abstractions, Thomas borrows symbols from Buddhism and other religions to represent the elements of earth, fire, water, wind, and sky in his work.

The California African American Museum is located at 600 State Drive, Exposition Park, Los Angeles; admission is free.

 

Noah Davis
The Underground Museum
Through September 30, 2022

Noah Davis, <i>The Last Barbeque</i>, (2008). ©The Estate of Noah Davis, courtesy of the Underground Museum.

Noah Davis, The Last Barbeque, (2008). © The Estate of Noah Davis, courtesy of the Underground Museum.

The Underground Museum pays tribute to its late, great cofounder, the painter Noah Davis—who died at just 32 years old but left behind an impressive body of figurative paintings. These selections, curated by Helen Molesworth and Justen Leroy, include scenes from everyday life as well as more surreal compositions.

The Underground Museum is located at 3508 West Washington Boulevard, Los Angeles; admission is free.


Follow Artnet News on Facebook:


Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.

Share