A wave of large-scale spectacle shows swept through L.A.’s art galleries and museums this past year via the likes of “Beyond the Streets,” a trio of Ai Weiwei shows, an Invader retrospective, the Hammer’s “Made in L.A.” biennial and the addition of a second Infinity Room to the Broad’s permanent collection.
But we think 2019 is shaping up to be just as exciting thanks to a slate of globe-spanning, socially-minded and visually fantastic exhibitions. Here are the top five things to look forward to among L.A.’s art institutions in the coming year, including a soon(ish)-to-open Miracle Mile museum and a biennial that criss-crosses the desert near Palm Springs.
Coachella Valley, Feb 29–Apr 21
The desert-spanning biennial premieres site-specific works from over 15 artists. For its second iteration (you probably remember the first for Doug Aitken’s mirrored house), Desert X has added more public programming, film projects, process-driven works and an expansion toward the Salton Sea.
“Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963–1983”
The Broad, Mar 23–Sept 1
This exhibition, which originated at London’s Tate Modern, flips the idea of “black art” on its head, tracing an under looked 20-year period of creative innovation among African-American artists.
“Contact High: A Visual History of Hip-Hop”
Annenberg Space for Photography, Apr 26–Sept 8
Celebrate the photographers responsible for helping to define hip-hop’s visual identity with this display of unedited contact sheets from photo shoots with the likes of the Notorious B.I.G., Tupac, Salt-N-Pepa, Jay-Z, Kendrick Lamar, Kanye West and more.
LACMA, Nov 3–May 17
This co-presentation with New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art takes a mid-career look at the Ethiopian-American artist’s striking large-scale abstractions, with 30 paintings and 32 works on paper.
Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, late 2019
The long-awaited Academy Museum hasn’t nailed down an opening date yet, but the Miracle Mile institution has announced its inaugural exhibition: a Hayao Miyazaki retrospective. The still-untitled exhibition will delve into 11 films from the Studio Ghibli animator and director through projections, spatial installations, concept sketches, storyboards, layouts and production cels (and, of course, exclusive merch).