The Best Exhibits at Museums and Galleries in L.A. This Month

Your guide to new openings, must-sees, and what you need to catch while you can

We’re blessed with an abundance of museums and art galleries here in L.A., but with so many shows rotating in and out at any given time, it can be hard to keep up. Nobody wants to be the person who only finds out about a cool exhibit when it’s closing down and heading out of town. To help you make the most of your gallery-going, we’ve picked a selection of the best exhibits at museums and galleries around town.

New Openings in August

69:Déjà Vu – MOCA Pacific Design Center

August 4 to October 28

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The Los Angeles-based brand 69 exists at the nexus of fashion and fine art. The anonymous designer behind the creations aims to create elegant yet utilitarian items that challenge notions of gender, and create a universal, inclusive style. This will be the first solo museum show of 69’s work; video and photo installations accompany the garments on display.

Rauschenberg: In and About L.A. – LACMA

August 11 to February 10

As the name implies, all the pieces in this Robert Rauschenberg solo show were made in and about Los Angeles, during the formative periods of his life he spent here. He first arrived in California when he was stationed at Camp Pendleton in 1944, and a visit to L.A. during that time inspired him to dedicate his life to art. During the 1960s and ’70s he worked with local print-making studios Gemini G.E.L. and Styria Studio, and he was an early participant in LACMA’s own Art and Technology Program, collaborating with scientists and engineers of the era to create art.

Ongoing Exhibits

Icons of Style: A Century of Fashion Photography, 1911 – 2011 – Getty Center

Closes October 21

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Edward Steichen is credited as being the first person to create fashion photography that worked as much as fine art as commercial advertising. This exhibit starts with him, in 1911, and moves forward, examining the generations of photographer that have taken inspiration from the beauty of high fashion, and the people who model and design it.

King Tut: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh — California Science Center

Closes January 6, 2019

Celebrating the 100th anniversary of the discovery of King Tut’s tomb, this touring exhibition is the most complete collection of artifacts ever shown outside of Egypt. While the run lasts over six months, don’t wait until the last minute to check it out—tickets for this blockbuster show have been selling out weeks in advance.

A Journey That Wasn’t – The Broad

Closes February 2019

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At first glance, A Journey That Wasn’t seems like it covers a lot of ground, with a mix of eras, styles, media, and approaches all in one show. What ties it all together is a theme: Every artwork finds the artist thinking about time, and how time passing impacts our lives. Works on display in this new show are drawn entirely from The Broad’s deep and diverse permanent collection, with several never been displayed in L.A. before.

3D: Double Vision – LACMA

Closes March 31, 2019

You’ll be impressed by the depth (get it?) of this historical exploration of 3D art. From Hollywood films to scientific studies and innovative contemporary art, various methods of creating the illusion of the third dimension have fascinated artists and viewers for centuries.

Closing Soon

Beyond the Streets — Werkartz Studios

Closes August 26

Beyond the Streets is something of a sequel to the blockbuster 2011 MOCA exhibit Art in the Streets, but it takes the concept in a bigger, bolder direction. The show pops up in a 40,000-square-foot indoor-and-outdoor space, with immersive environments, large-scale installations, and works on display by over 100 influential artists from Jean-Michel Basquiat to Shepard Fairey. For the final weeks, be sure to check out a program of live events and experiences that pick up on themes presented in the show.

The High Art of Riding Low: Ranflas, Corazón, e Inspiración – Petersen Museum 

Closes September

Get inside the world of low-riders at this immersive exhibit. You’ll see customized cars, art inspired by low-rider culture and urban life in Los Angeles. The exhibit highlights the way customizing cars offers a platform for creative and expression, and comes with its own iconography and aesthetics.

Real Worlds: Brassaï, Arbus, Goldin — MOCA Grand Avenue

Closes September 3

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Curator Lanka Tattersall dove deep into MOCA’s own collection for most of the works on display in this exploration of three of the most influential photographers of the past century, Brassaï, Diane Arbus, and Nan Goldin. Expect poignant, occasionally unsettling, and often beautiful photos documenting moments of modern life.

The Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited – Skirball Cultural Center

Closes September 2

Take a deep dive into the magical world of Jim Henson, with this expansive exhibit which includes artifacts from his creative career. You’ll find Muppets, Sesame Street characters, items from Labyrinth and Fraggle Rock, and an array of personal notes, sketches, and storyboards from Henson’s personal archives.

Shinique Smith: Refuge — California African American Museum

Closes September 9

Shinique Smith’s first solo show at CAAM is inspired in part by her recent move to Los Angeles, themes of displacement, housing insecurity, and homelessness, and the physical landscape of Southern California. The artist hails from Baltimore (and even appeared in some John Waters movies) and lived in New York City before finding herself drawn to L.A., finally moving here at the beginning of 2018. In just a few months, she’s soaked up inspiration for a compelling show that reflects the city in a way even natives will find eye-opening.

RELATED: The Broad’s Newest Show Has Been a Long Time Coming

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