The City of Angels: it may be famous for a lot of things, but celeb spotting on Hollywood Boulevard and roller blading along Venice Beach promenade aside, there is some seriously good art to see in LA. With a plethora of independent gallery spaces to explore, from Honor Fraser to Prism LA, and some stunning public contemporary art galleries scattered across the city, we're here to tell you what to see, when and why.
Oracle @ The Broad, Downtown LA
On until Sept 3rd 2017
The Broad is one of the most beautiful galleries I've visited. The building itself is a work of art, with 120,000 square feet of intricately designed gallery space surrounding an inner vault housing the collection of the philanthropists who founded the museum. Eli and Edythe Broad began collecting art in 1973, and their public collection now boasts around 1,500 works of art.
With a desire to make their extensive (and enviable) contemporary art collection accessible to the public, the couple opened The Broad in Downtown LA. I couldn't thank them enough, and even though the gallery opened two years ago, you can still expect to stand in line for an hour to get in. It's worth it. And anyway, as a Brit, queuing in the sunshine isn't something I'd be quick to complain about.
The current exhibit, Oracle, tackles globalization. Panoramic photographs by Jeff Wall and Andreas Gursky sit alongside moody charcoal drawings by William Kentridge, and expansive mixed media works by Mark Bradford. Expertly curated, as you move through room to room you'll find yourself overwhelmed by concepts of overpopulation, industrialisation, surveillance, censorship and the ever-elusive notions of identity and freedom. Considering the current political atmosphere, this is definitely a show to catch.
Anna Maria Maiolino @ MOCA, Downtown LA
On until Dec 31st 2017
An all-encompassing retrospective, this moving exhibit reveals an insight into the career of this multidisciplinary Brazilian artist. Walk through quiet, dimly lit rooms and experience the extent of an oeuvre that spans several mediums - from organic drawings to woodblock prints - but explores unchanging core themes of identity and belonging. This exhibition really moved me, and it was a delight to see one of her most famous works, Glu Glu Glu, in the flesh. Don't miss the chance to see the world through Anna’s eyes, where body, form and function meet, and one's sense of place is but an essence.
Playing with Fire: Paintings by Carlos Almaraz @ LACMA, LA Centre
On until Dec 3rd 2017
If it’s true Californian art you’re looking for, this show delivers. Much like The Broad, the LACMA is well-established in LA, and totally worth a visit simply for its permanent collection. This show is the first major survey of paintings from the artist who pioneered the Chicano art movement that spread through California in the 1970s.
Fall into psychedelic canvases of vast proportions, and see the Sunshine State through his eyes. Inspired by Impressionism and driven by cultural activism, Almaraz mastered his medium, framing California in stunning colour. Drink in his works, let your head spin. This show will stay with you so try to spot some of the scenes that inspired him as you explore the city - I think Echo Park is just as picturesque beyond the canvas.
I'm still busy California Dreaming, and you should be too... Here's our curator's edit of art straight from the West Coast - check it out.