Los Angeles Art Guide

The sprawling city of Los Angeles remains true to its diverse ethos, allowing space for expansive, internationally focused art institutions as well as D.I.Y., artist-run spaces. Explore the Los Angeles City Art Guide to discover more about the Los Angeles art scene.

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Chosen as an additional site for Frieze Los Angeles in 2019, the city has a particular ethos with each of its neighbourhoods. Downtown Los Angeles hosts the two locations of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA).

MOCA was founded in 1979 to meet the desire for a Los Angeles contemporary art scene, becoming the first museum in the city to be exclusively devoted to contemporary art. The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA was opened in 1983 in the Little Tokyo district of Downtown Los Angeles as a temporary space called 'Temporary Contemporary' while the main branch, MOCA Grand, was being built. The largest of the three and opened to much critical and public acclaim, Temporary Contemporary's lease was extended. The museum's permanent collection carries more than 7,000 objects in the form of sculpture, painting, and photography; including works by Louise Nevelson, Mark Rothko, Mike Kelley, Ana Mendieta, Lee Krasner, and more.

Downtown Los Angeles' museums include institutions such as The Broad, founded by philanthropists and avid art collectors Eli and Edythe Broad. Across the street from MOCA Grand and opened in 2015, The Broad's collection includes 2,000 works of postwar and contemporary art. Offering free admission, the museum is equally known for their spectacular installations that subsequently have full visiting lists, such as Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Mirrored Room – The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away (2013). Other prominent artists in their collection include Jean-Michel Basquiat, Barbara Kruger, Cy Twombly, Ed Ruscha, Kara Walker, and Cindy Sherman.

Downtown Los Angeles' galleries and art spaces also include François Ghebaly gallery, Night Gallery, and REDCAT, a multidisciplinary centre for visual, media, and performing arts, as inaugurated by CalArts in 2003. The project's architecture was designed by Frank Gehry and is located inside the Walt Disney Concert Hall complex. In addition to local and international artists, the centre is the hub for avantgarde plays and shows. Art schools have had a major impact on the Los Angeles arts scene, with many art school graduates leading and expanding it, as relayed by major art and cultural critics and writers such as Chris Kraus.

Another major Los Angeles' art institution affiliated with a school is the Hammer Museum by University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). The Hammer Museum was founded by Dr. Armand Hammer and opened in 1990, featuring works from his collections, which were dominated by 19th-century and early 20th-century French impressionist and postimpressionist paintings. It wasn't until 1994 when the museum created a partnership with UCLA and in 1999 built on the Hammer Contemporary Collection. The Hammer is now known for its progressive exhibitions—both historical and contemporary—and focus on artists that have often been historically overlooked. Inaugurated in 2012, Made in L.A. is a biennial Los Angeles' exhibition organised by the Hammer Museum and featuring work exclusively by Los Angeles artists. The museum houses five collections: The Hammer Contemporary Collection; the collection of the UCLA Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts; the Franklin D. Murphy Sculpture Garden; the Armand Hammer Collection, and the Armand Hammer Daumier and Contemporaries Collection. These collections include works ranging from Abstract Expressionism to European old master prints.

Nearby the Hammer Museum is the Getty Center, part of the larger J. Paul Getty Museum, popularly known as the Getty. The Getty Center was founded in 1997 and features Western art from the Middle Ages to contemporary. The second location, the Getty Villa, in Malibu, displays art from Ancient Greece, Rome, and Etruria and was founded in 1974 and reopened in 2006, having closed during the Getty Center's opening. Known for its collection of antiquities, drawings, manuscripts, paintings, photographs, and sculptural and decorative arts, highlights include works by Rembrandt, Édouard Manet, Robert Mapplethorpe, Greek and Roman marble statues, and Byzantine manuscripts. The Getty hosts a variety of other programmes dedicated to research and conservation, maintaining an important relationship in both conserving and generating arts in Los Angeles.

Major art landmarks in Los Angeles include the Watts Towers—a sculpture by 'outsider artist' Simon Rodia—and the exhibition space, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, known for its archive of the visual arts in the city, and experimental venue, Human Resources.


Current Exhibition | Los Angeles
22 September–24 October 2020
Group Exhibition

Sympathetic Magic Organized by Bill Powers

Blum & Poe, Los Angeles View Exhibition
Sympathetic Magic Organized by Bill Powers
Current Exhibition | Los Angeles
19 September–24 October 2020
Linda Stark

Hearts

David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles View Exhibition

Linda Stark, Cyclops Fountain (2020). Oil on linen over panel. 52.4 x 52.4 x 6.4 cm. Courtesy David Kordansky Gallery.

Hearts
Current Exhibition | Los Angeles
19 September–12 December 2020

Synchronicity

Roberts Projects, Los Angeles View Exhibition
Courtesy Roberts Projects. 
Synchronicity
Current Exhibition | Los Angeles
15 September–27 October 2020
Martin Basher

Birds of Paradise

AE2, AE2, Los Angeles View Exhibition
Exhibition view: Martin Basher, Birds of Paradise, AE2, Los Angeles (15 September–27 October 2020). Courtesy Anat Ebgi.
Birds of Paradise
Current Exhibition | Los Angeles
15 September–27 October 2020
Jordan Nassar

We Are The Ones To Go To The Mountain

Anat Ebgi, Anat Ebgi, Los Angeles View Exhibition
Exhibition view: Jordan Nassar, We Are The Ones To Go To The Mountain, Anat Ebgi, Los Angeles (15 September–27 October 2020). Courtesy Anat Ebgi.
We Are The Ones To Go To The Mountain
Current Exhibition | Los Angeles
12 September–24 October 2020
Aaron Garber-Maikovska

4 from 3 dancers

Blum & Poe, Los Angeles View Exhibition
Aaron Garber-Maikovska, Studio Duo (2019) (detail). Courtesy Blum & Poe.
4 from 3 dancers
Current Exhibition | Los Angeles
12 September–24 October 2020
Lesley Vance
David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles View Exhibition
Lesley Vance, Untitled (2020). Oil on linen. 80 x 67 inches. Courtesy David Kordansky Gallery.
Lesley Vance
Current Exhibition | Los Angeles
22 August 2020–10 January 2021
Ed Clark

Expanding the Image

Hauser & Wirth, Los Angeles View Exhibition

Exhibition view: Ed Clark, Expanding the Image, Hauser & Wirth, Los Angeles (22 August 2020–10 January 2021). © The Estate of Ed Clark. Courtesy the Estate and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Fredrik Nilsen.

Expanding the Image
Current Exhibition | Los Angeles
18 August–2 October 2020
Senga Nengudi
Sprüth Magers, Los Angeles View Exhibition
Exhibition views: Senga Nengudi, Sprüth Magers, Los Angeles (18 August–2 October 2020). Courtesy Sprüth Magers. Photo: Robert Wedemeyer.
Senga Nengudi
Upcoming Exhibition | Los Angeles
1 October–7 November 2020
Sam Durant

Iconoclasm

Blum & Poe, Los Angeles View Exhibition
Sam Durant, Caracas, 2004 (2018) (detail). Courtesy Blum & Poe.
Iconoclasm
Upcoming Exhibition | Los Angeles
24 October–12 December 2020

Rachel Rosenthal "Thanks: Collage Works from the 1970s"

Roberts Projects, Los Angeles View Exhibition
Rachel Rosenthal Thanks: Collage Works from the 1970s

Current Exhibitions In Los Angeles

View All Past Exhibitions (146)
Contemporary art exhibition, Group Exhibition, Sympathetic Magic Organized by Bill Powers at Blum & Poe, Los Angeles
22 September–24 October 2020 Group Exhibition Sympathetic Magic Organized by Bill Powers Blum & Poe, Los AngelesLos Angeles
Contemporary art exhibition, Linda Stark, Hearts at David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles
19 September–24 October 2020 Linda Stark Hearts David Kordansky Gallery, Los AngelesLos Angeles
Contemporary art exhibition, Synchronicity at Roberts Projects, Los Angeles
19 September–12 December 2020 Synchronicity Roberts Projects, Los AngelesLos Angeles
Contemporary art exhibition, Martin Basher, Birds of Paradise at AE2, Los Angeles
15 September–27 October 2020 Martin Basher Birds of Paradise AE2, AE2, Los AngelesAE2, Los Angeles
Contemporary art exhibition, Jordan Nassar, We Are The Ones To Go To The Mountain at Anat Ebgi, Los Angeles
15 September–27 October 2020 Jordan Nassar We Are The Ones To Go To The Mountain Anat Ebgi, Anat Ebgi, Los AngelesAnat Ebgi, Los Angeles
Contemporary art exhibition, Aaron Garber-Maikovska, 4 from 3 dancers at Blum & Poe, Los Angeles
12 September–24 October 2020 Aaron Garber-Maikovska 4 from 3 dancers Blum & Poe, Los AngelesLos Angeles
Contemporary art exhibition, Lesley Vance, Lesley Vance at David Kordansky Gallery, Los Angeles
12 September–24 October 2020 Lesley Vance David Kordansky Gallery, Los AngelesLos Angeles
Contemporary art exhibition, Ed Clark, Expanding the Image at Hauser & Wirth, Los Angeles
22 August 2020–10 January 2021 Ed Clark Expanding the Image Hauser & Wirth, Los AngelesLos Angeles
Contemporary art exhibition, Senga Nengudi, Senga Nengudi at Sprüth Magers, Los Angeles
18 August–2 October 2020 Senga Nengudi Sprüth Magers, Los AngelesLos Angeles
Contemporary art exhibition, Sam Durant, Iconoclasm at Blum & Poe, Los Angeles
1 October–7 November 2020 Sam Durant Iconoclasm Blum & Poe, Los AngelesLos Angeles
Contemporary art exhibition, Rachel Rosenthal "Thanks: Collage Works from the 1970s" at Roberts Projects, Los Angeles
24 October–12 December 2020 Rachel Rosenthal "Thanks: Collage Works from the 1970s" Roberts Projects, Los AngelesLos Angeles

Ocula Member Galleries In Los Angeles

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AE2 contemporary art gallery in AE2, Los Angeles, USA AE2 Los Angeles
Anat Ebgi contemporary art gallery in Anat Ebgi, Los Angeles, USA Anat Ebgi Los Angeles
Baik Art contemporary art gallery in Los Angeles, USA Baik Art Los Angeles, Seoul
Blum & Poe contemporary art gallery in Los Angeles, USA Blum & Poe Los Angeles, New York, Tokyo
Hauser & Wirth contemporary art gallery in Los Angeles, USA Hauser & Wirth Hong Kong, Zurich, London, New York, Los Angeles, Somerset, Gstaad, St. Moritz
Roberts Projects contemporary art gallery in Los Angeles, USA Roberts Projects Los Angeles
Sprüth Magers contemporary art gallery in Los Angeles, USA Sprüth Magers Berlin, London, Los Angeles

Contemporary Institutions In Los Angeles

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Los Angeles In Ocula Magazine

View All (19)
Mark Bradford: ‘Drag that Horror Into Your Studio’ Ocula News Mark Bradford: ‘Drag that Horror Into Your Studio’ Los Angeles, 9 September 2020

The artist is showing new works made under quarantine in an online show at Hauser & Wirth.

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Lauren Halsey: Centring Community Ocula Conversation Lauren Halsey: Centring Community By Jareh Das, Los Angeles

Lauren Halsey centres the community in her practice, which focuses on the reimagining and rebuilding of South-Central Los Angeles through spatial paradigms that reference funk, hip hop, Afrofuturism, and science fiction.

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Tina Girouard's Elevated Patterns Ocula Report Tina Girouard's Elevated Patterns By Tessa Moldan, London

Occupying and dissolving the boundaries of artmaking, Tina Girouard helped paved the way for New York's experimental art scene of the 1970s.

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Artists Jammie Holmes, Nick Cave, and Shepard Fairey Respond to George Floyd’s Death Ocula News Artists Jammie Holmes, Nick Cave, and Shepard Fairey Respond to George Floyd’s Death New York, 2 June 2020

Holmes shared Floyd's last words on flying banners that appeared over five US cities.

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Recent Events In Los Angeles

View All (3)
Contemporary art exhibition, proyectos LA at Ocula Private Sales & Advisory, London
16 September–28 October 2017 proyectos LA

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