Modern art was declared to be communist propaganda by the Los Angeles City Council in 1951. Just one year earlier, The Modern Institute for Art in Beverly Hills shut down because of financial trouble after only being open for two years. Plenty has changed since then, as Los Angeles has been among the most active cities in the contemporary art scene for some time now, acting as the West Coast counterpart to New York City.
ICA LA, MOCA and the Getty Center will be hosting what we believe to be must-see fall museum shows in the city.
Getty Center | Cy Twombly: Making Past Present (August 2 to October 30)
Cy Twombly, who was born in 1928 and came up with artists like Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, is the most prominent artist whose work is presented in the three featured exhibitions. Along with the large-scale abstract paintings that the artist is best known for, Making Past Present features drawings prints and sculptures made between the mid-1900s and early 2000s. Greek and Roman antiques from Twombly's personal collection that have yet to be exhibited will also be shown alongside his work. This retrospective exhibition captures the legendary American artist's lifelong interest in the Ancient Mediterranean world.
Museum of Contemporary Art, Grand Avenue | Henry Taylor: B Side (November 6 to April 30)
You may see someone who resembles yourself or your favourite celebrity in the portrait paintings of Los Angeles-based artist Henry Taylor, who was born and raised in California. B Side chronicles 30 years of his work. Though blurry and seemingly incomplete, his landscapes and subjects provide a layered look into African-American culture. Taylor produces work on found materials ranging from cigarette packs to cereal boxes in an effort to position his medium in the realm of everyday life. The feelings stirred up by his disproportionate, allegorical paintings could not be any more real.
Institute of Contemporary Art LA | Rebecca Morris: 2001–2022 (October 1 to January 15)
This 20-year survey of Rebecca Morris' work is her largest museum exhibition in Los Angeles, the city where the artist has lived and worked for the past 25 years. Viewers can track the experimental development of Morris through 30 paintings. Coupling geometric patterns with a vast array of colours, she materializes massive works through a rigorous process of painting, erasing, spray-painting and dripping on canvases as they lie flat on the ground. The timespan that this exhibition covers will help viewers appreciate the development of the abstract painter's labour-intensive practice.
If you are interested in seamless access to these museums and private tours of the exhibitions, find out more about our membership options here.
-- Words by Gideon Fortune