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Three Sisters
Courtesy the artist. © Cara Romero.Three Sisters, 2022, Cara Romero. Archival digital print. Autry Museum of the American West Indigenous Futures, or How to Survive and Thrive After the Apocalypse.

13 art exhibitions in L.A. to look forward to in 2024

Including a show on cyberpunk and a room made of chocolate.

Michael Juliano
Written by
Michael Juliano

L.A.’s art scene will likely be abuzz over the unexpected debut of Luna Luna well into 2024, but rest assured that the art carnival spectacle isn’t the only major exhibition to see. In fact, the year ahead promises plenty of other significant openings, including a couple of major museum expansions as well as themed shows from more than 50 SoCal museums tied to “PST Art: Art & Science Collide.”

The Getty-funded, multi-museum initiative doesn’t debut until the fall, though, so we’ve made sure to call out plenty of other shows earlier in the year, too. Regardless of their timing, these are the 12 L.A. art exhibitions that we’re already making plans to visit in 2024.

Only the Young: Experimental Art in Korea, 1960s–1970s
Hammer Museum, Feb 11–May 12

See early works in assemblage, installation, happenings and conceptual artmaking at this examination of art from the decades that followed the Korean War, the first such exhibition in North America to focus on this period.

At the Edge of the Sun
Jeffrey Deitch, Feb 17–May 4

What does living in L.A. look like? It’s a wildly different picture depending on each Angeleno’s point of view, and so to celebrate that diversity of perspectives, Hollywood gallery Jeffrey Deitch will display pieces from a dozen local artists that delve into underground economies, landscapes, surveillance, backyard hangouts and public transit, among other topics.

Sargent Claude Johnson
The Huntington, Feb 17–May 20

You might’ve noticed Johnson’s beautifully carved and gilded redwood organ screen on recent visits to the Huntington. Now, for the first time in four decades, you can see it paired with other pieces he created for the California School for the Blind in Berkeley, California—with 41 pieces in total on display.

Frieze Los Angeles
Santa Monica Airport, Mar 1–3

Technically an art fair and not an exhibition, this sprawling display at the Santa Monica Airport still earns a spot on this list thanks to its size and polish: Its slickly decorated rows of galleries feel more like mini museum displays than a run-of-the-mill fair.

Jean-Michel Basquiat: Made on Market Street
Gagosian, Mar 7–June 1

Not long after the Basquiat exhibition in DTLA wraps up its run, you can head to Beverly Hills and see even more paintings, specifically around 50 rarely loaned pieces that were created in L.A. during the iconic artist’s time spent at his Venice studio between 1982 and 1984.

LACMA, Apr 7–Oct 6

It’s a busy year at LACMA, which will present three PST Art shows in the fall (including ones on color in Mesoamerican art, cosmology and digital image editing) and should wrap up construction on the new David Geffen Galleries by the end of 2024. But well before then, you can see ceramic and bronze pieces by Simone Leigh (May 26, 2024–Jan 20, 2025) as well as this major Ed Ruscha retrospective, which includes his meticulous photos of L.A. streets and a reconstruction of his Chocolate Room (which, yes, is a room made out sheets upon sheets of chocolate).

Mickalene Thomas
© Mickalene Thomas.Image credit: Mickalene Thomas, Din avec la main dans le miroir et jupe rouge, 2023. Rhinestones, acrylic and glitter on canvas mounted on wood panel. 90 x 110 in (228.6 x 279.4 cm).

Mickalene Thomas: All About Love
The Broad, May 25–Sept 29

Best known for her rhinestone-studded paintings of Black women, collages of old Jet Magazine spreads and revisions of historic paintings, Thomas’s large-scale works (80 of them from the past two decades) will be on display at the Downtown museum.

Future Imaginaries: Indigenous Art, Fashion, Technology
Autry Museum of the American West, Sept 7, 2024–June 21, 2026

More than 50 works on display at the Autry will showcase how indigenous artists have crafted visions of alternative futures in the face of enduring colonial trauma, with surreal spacescapes from Wendy Red Star, pop culture commentaries by Andy Everson and a site-specific space odyssey created by Virgil Ortiz.

Olafur Eliasson
The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Sept 8, 2024–Mar 2, 2025

The Icelandic–Danish artist is known for his monumental environmental installations (you might’ve seen his blazing sun that was suspended inside the Tate Modern), and now he’ll bring a new commission to MOCA’s Little Tokyo location. In addition, three decades of others works that address the climate crisis will be on display.

Lumen: The Art & Science of Light
Getty Museum.Pentecost, from Benedictional, Ottonian, about 1030–1040.

Lumen: The Art & Science of Light
Getty Center, Sept 10–Dec 8

As you might expect, the Getty has a sizable slate of PST Art exhibition this fall, including ones on Bell Laboratories’ mid-century art and science experiments, medieval astrology and this show, which takes a multi-faith examination of astronomy and optics impacted art and religion in the Middle Ages. That follows a packed first half of the year that includes exhibitions on blood (Feb), 17th-century extreme weather (May), abstracted light (Aug) and holograms (Aug).

Reframing Dioramas: The Art of Preserving Wilderness
Natural History Museum, opens Sept 15

The Natural History Museum’s taxidermy dioramas turn a century old this year, and to celebrate the museum is reviving an entire hall of displays that’ve been dark for decades. Expect some fresh approaches to these assembled snapshots of the wilderness, including alebrije made of recycled materials, a crystalline depiction of pollution and a tech-driven display of the L.A. River. Elsewhere in the museum, look out for the reveal of NHM Commons, an indoor-outdoor expansion on the southwest side of the Exposition Park institution.

World Without End: The George Washington Carver Project
California African American Museum, Sept 18, 2024–Mar 2, 2025

A true multi-hyphenate, Carver was a painter in addition to a pioneering agricultural scientist. CAAM will display seldom seen paintings as well as his lab equipment alongside contemporary works that were inspired by his foundational work in modern conservation—ideas that started to spread with his “Jesup Wagon,” an early 1900s moveable school. Swing by earlier in the year to see mixed media works by Paula Wilson (Apr 3–Aug 14).

Cyberpunk: Envisioning Possible Futures
Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, Oct 26, 2024–Apr 12, 2025

Dive into a near future of flashy urban decay in this cinematic showcase of costumes, props and concept art from foundational cyberpunk films like Blade Runner, Tron, Akira and The Matrix. The Academy Museum will also follow the genre’s international evolution through subgenres like Afrofuturism and Indigenous Futurism.

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