The Best Expositions in L.A. This May
There are plenty of museums and galleries in Los Angeles at any given time of the year. However, most of them have so many rotating expositions and shows that it might be daunting to keep up with everything. We decided to round them all up and make a list of not-to-miss ones this May. So read on and enjoy your visits there:
1. Ernie Barnes: A Retrospective – California African American Museum
Starts May 9th
Ernie Barnes is one of the best known 20th century African American painters and is behind such masterpieces as 1976 "The Sugar Shack". He's also a well-known and respected athlete, 4-season NFL player and an official 1984 Olympics in L.A artist. He draws inspiration from his life and multilateral career for his artwork. This exposition is a collection of his paintings that span decades.
2. Fearless Fashion: Rudi Gernreich – Skirball Cultural Center
Starts May 9th
This 20th century designer is known for his bold fashion and unprecedented decisions. He always uses bold colors, hard-to-ignore patterns, and strives to change gender stereotypes through his art. He is largely responsible for making pantsuits and flat shoes popular among women. Thanks to him, we all love caftans, thongs, and "monokinis" today.
The designer relocated to Los Angeles in 1938 and was a big part of gay rights advocacy group the Mattachine Society.
3. Guillermo Kuitca – Hauser & Wirth
Starts May 18th
This Argentinian artist is bringing his work to L.A for the first time. He has two new shows – "The Family Idiot" and "Missing Pages". The first one is based on Jean-Paul Sartre work. The second part is a series of 18 paintings influenced by the traditional book printing.
4. Coyote Leaves the Res: The Art of Harry Fonseca – The Autry Museum
Starts May 18th
Harry Fronseca is one of the most famous modern Native American voices in art. The main character in his works is a coyote that can change shape and through which the author speaks about contemporary issues concerning not just Native Americans, but society as a whole. The coyote can trick you and is often depicted in leather and sneakers, just like a common youngster wondering through colorful and graphic stage.
5. Black is Beautiful: The Photography of Kwame Brathwaite – Skirball Cultural Center
Ends September 1st
This exhibit is the first for Kwame Brathwaite on his own. The major theme felt in every photograph is the “second Harlem Renaissance” in the 60’s. His idea of beauty was sophisticated African American women who could offset the constant focus on Eurocentric beauty understanding and ideals. He shot young and glamorous black models, prominent jazz figures, artists, and other famous faces.
6. Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power, 1963 -1983 – The Broad
Ends September 1st
This is a vibrant collection of works by over 60 artists. The main focus is solely on African American artists’ input to American art. There is a lot this exhibition wants to say. Visitors will see connections between political and social history, including Civil Rights movement and Black Power period artwork.
There will be references and showcases of Black artists’ engagement with Minimalism, abstraction, and many other methods. Expect to see Noah Purifoy, Faith Ringgold, Charles White, Romare Bearden, and Alma Thomas.
7. Time is Running Out of Time: Experimental Film and Video from the L.A Rebellion and Beyond – Art + Practice Space
Ends September 14th
The film is created and presented by a group of African American students at UCLA. It covers the time around 1965 Watts Uprising and includes a collection of videos and documentaries. The uniting themes are universal and important today just as much as back in the 70’s. Students dive in the subjects of community, politics, culture, and identity.
8. Allen Ruppersberg: Intellectual Property, 1968-2018 – Hammer Museum
Ends May 12th
This collection includes works from conceptual artist Allen Ruppersberg that span his career of almost 30 years. Europeans are familiar with this artist a lot more than Americans are, so don’t miss this chance to see some works that have never been here before.
The author is from the same 1960’s L.A era as John Baldessari and Ed Ruscha. Expect to see larger than life artwork with clear references to commercial graphic design. You, as a viewer, will have a part there too; your participation will be facilitated one way or another.
9. On Hold: Jarvis Boyland – Kohn Gallery
Ends May 23rd
This exposition is the first for Jarvis Boyland. The artist focuses on lives and emotions of queer black men, so expect to see the world through their eyes. Jarvis Boyland talks through bright colors and photographic reconfigurations. Many of paintings illustrate people in intimate domestic situations leading normal lives.
10. Palmyra: Loss & Remembrance – Getty Villa
Ends May 27th
This historic exposition showcases times long gone in a Syrian oasis City of Palmyra, which was located right where Roman and Parthian Empires crossed paths and weapons. The history of this place is over 2,000 years old and includes people of various origins: Greek, Roman, and Iranian. Different cultures met and mixed together creating a unique blend of art and architecture. Sadly, the remains of this beautiful city and culture were mostly destroyed in 2016-2017 conflict between Russia and Syria. Visitors will see sculptures and artifacts that remained untouched.