Christopher Knight recently published a piece in the LA Times, describing some of the best art exhibitions at Los Angeles museums in 2015. Below I would like to share some of my personal favorites from the list:
1) Charles Gaines: Gridwork 1974-1989,” Hammer Museum
Organized by the Studio Museum in Harlem, the exhibition laid out the Los Angeles artist’s intensive, 15-year exploration of rule-based systems. A scan of these big, gridded drawings is like watching the analog world give way to the digital universe.
2) “Noah Purifoy: Junk Dada,” Los Angeles County Museum of Art
This exhibition did not only have the best title of the year, but it also unfolded the galvanizing effect that the Watts rebellion had 50 years ago on the artist’s work. Following his lengthy hiatus from art-making, his work pick up on the desert poetry of the assemblage installations Purifoy made in remote Joshua Tree toward the end of his life.
3) “Power and Pathos: Bronze Sculpture of the Hellenistic World,” J. Paul Getty Museum
Bronze was Hellenistic Greece’s sculptural medium of choice, however, most of the art was melted down and repurposed (often times for weaponry) in subsequent centuries. But this unprecedented, once-in-a-lifetime survey brought together 50 examples of the famous Getty Bronze, including several of the greatest that remain.
4) “New Objectivity: Modern German Art in the Weimar Republic, 1919-1933,” Los Angeles Museum of Art
After the gruesome brutalities of World War I, paintings and photographs known as Neue Sachlichkeit — New Objectivity — cast an ice-cold eye on the harsh realities of German life in the interregnum before the rise of National Socialism. The exhibition presents the grim and eye-popping stories of this misunderstood era through early 20th century Modern art.
5) “The Art of Our Time,” Museum of Contemporary Art
Coinciding with the debut of the Broad — its new neighbor across the street — the MOCA turned over the entirely of its Grand Avenue building to a permanent collection installation that is filled with faultlessly smart and provocative juxtapositions. The exhibition opens with a sampling of works made by artists who taught or studied at Black Mountain College, subject of a much-anticipated show coming to the Hammer in February.