September 22, 2021

Must-See Fall Art Exhibits Around Los Angeles

The fall art season is upon us, and with COVID restrictions lifting, it’s time to (safely) get back to L.A.’s fantastic museums and galleries. For the longest time Los Angeles was pigeonholed as a movie town, but it has long been home to some of the world’s best creatives, painters, photographers, sculptors and more. There’s more art to see than ever, and this year, there’s even a new museum opening celebrating all that glitters. 

Get inspired with these exhibits around Los Angeles, including some of DTLA’s best (all just a hop and skip from 1133 Hope!)

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

Opening on September 30, the gorgeous and grand museum next to LACMA celebrates everything about the thing that practically built this town: movies and filmmaking. But this goes much deeper than what you see on the screen. From the incredible design by famed architect Renzo Piano to the impressive 1,000-seat David Geffen Theatre, which will have daily screenings, and just about every little piece of movie magic you can imagine — Dorothy’s ruby slippers, the shark from Jaws, and even R2-D2 itself. Opening exhibitions include the “Stories of Cinema” and a retrospective on legendary filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki, the “Oscars Experience,” where you can accept your own Academy Award, will no doubt be the most popular. It will be hard to take it all in at once. Check out this door-to-door opening guide from the L.A. Times to plan your visit. Reservations for timed tickets are mandatory.



Speaking of the Miracle Mile, although the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is working with limited space (due to almost the entire campus being torn down to rebuild), this fall you’ll get the opportunity to see the famous full-size portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama in person. “The Obama Portraits Tour” is on loan from the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C., artist Kehinde Wiley’s iconic portrait of the 44th president and first lady. A selection of Black American portraits from the museum’s permanent collection will also be on view. Opens November 7.


Wisdome LA

Immersive art experience in a 24,000-square-foot space that includes five different dome structures. The ongoing “Mystic Universe” exhibit is like a living, breathing meditation with digital art, graphic displays, live entertainment, and even food. There’s a lot to take in, so you might want to plan a few outings. Tickets range from $50 per couple to $500 for a VIP experience.


The Broad

If you haven’t been to the contemporary arts museum in awhile, this in-depth installation of Jean-Michel Basquiat, is one good reason to go. Featuring all 13 works by the artist in the Broad collection, including three works on view for the first time at The Broad: Santo 2 (1982), Deaf (1984), and Wicker (1984), it’s a fantastic retrospective on one of the most important artists of the 20th century. 


The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA

It’s true that tickets are already sold out for Sun & Sea, but it’s worth checking to see if any become available (or if you know a friend who has some — say yes!). The theatrical installation will transform the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA into a live operatic beach scene, complete with 13 sunbathing vocalists and 10 tons of sand. Their stories, the melodies, the sprawling tapestry of their lives — it’s no wonder the all-female creative team earned the coveted Golden Lion award at the 2019 Venice Biennial. October 14-16.


Japanese American National Museum

At the Little Tokyo museum, “Miné Okubo’s Masterpiece: The Art of Citizen 13660″ features sketches, drawings, and a draft of the final manuscript of Okubo’s groundbreaking graphic memoir. When it first came out in 1946, Citizen 13660 was the first book-length account of America’s concentration camps from the perspective of an incarceree. Through 200 illustrations, Okubo captured how World War II and the U.S. camps upended her life. On view now through February 2022.

Hauser & Wirth

New work, including sculpture, paintings and collage, from artist Lorna Simpson fills both North galleries and the open-air courtyard of the Arts District gallery complex. Expanding her critically admired “Ice” series, for Everrrything,” Simpson threads dichotomies of figuration and abstraction, past and present, and destruction and creation in her paintings. Her collages explore the theme of appropriation using imagery from vintage issues of Ebony and Jet magazines. Stunning, thought-provoking work that’s not to be missed. On view now through January 2022.