5 of the Hottest Art Galleries to Visit in Los Angeles

These five fantastic galleries are making moves in the local and international art scenes

The Los Angeles art world is known as a new frontier for breaking the molds of art and its expression. From the city’s rich golden age of Light and Space artists to the Chicano Art Movement, Southern California has historically been a place for embracing cultural heritage and innovation. Integral to the fabric of the community is the embrace of new ideas and safe places to gather for discussion.

Courtesy Luis De Jesus

Courtesy Luis De Jesus

Luis de Jesus Los Angeles

Celebrating 15 years in business, Luis De Jesus Los Angeles newly opened a 6,500 sq. ft. space on Mateo Street in the vibrant Arts District. With prior roles in the curatorial departments at the Americas Society and the New Museum in New York, de Jesus focuses the program on showcasing a diverse roster of artists addressing the social archetypes of race, class, sexuality, and gender. Louisville-based artist John Brooks’s exhibition, Thinking About Danger, blends contemporary and historical queer culture to explore empathy and desire. Assembling vibrant abstract paintings, artist June Edmonds commemorates Black historical figures while exploring constructs of skin color. Drawing influences from Les Nabis, artist Carlson Hatton’s kaleidoscopic acrylic works on paper examine mass social demonstrations amid national unrest. Luis De Jesus is known for showing multiple qualitative exhibitions in one go; this gallery should be on your weekend must-sees. 

Luis De Jesus Los Angeles, 1110 Mateo St, Los Angeles

Lauren Powell Projects

Lauren Powell Projects is a new gallery on Hollywood Boulevard that exhibits emerging and underrepresented artists—often portraying a sublime overview through a queer lens. Founder and owner Lauren Powell relocated from New York to open her first space in an effort to make the art world more accessible and inclusive. Her program includes artist Wang Chen’s dynamic video art embedded in ceramic dioramas and artist Whit Harris, who composed a mural as a backdrop for her oil paintings of powerful Black women. The gallery’s second presentation, New Mythology, connects works on papers from Salvador Dalí’s protégé Steven Arnold to erotic paintings by Daniel Morowitz. Artist JD Raenbeau’s exhibition The Lovers Reverie rewrites the Rococo art historical canon to celebrate queer love by inverting Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s The Happy Lovers (1765), which is currently in the collection of the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena. 

Lauren Powell Projects, 5225 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles

Sow & Tailor

Sow & Tailor is a new family and artist-run gallery on South Grand Avenue near the University of Southern California. Founded by artist Greg Ito, his wife Karen Galloway, and Stefano di Paola, the gallery commits itself to foster emerging BIPOC artists. Located next door to Ito’s studio, the gallery is part of a larger artist compound that acts as an incubator of vanguard local creativity. Artist Tidawhitney Lek’s breathtaking solo exhibition House Hold examines familial narratives and the generational trauma of her family’s escape from the Khmer Rouge during the Cambodian Civil War. In an all-female group show, You Lead Follow Me, artists, including Veronica Fernandez and Gwen Hollingsworth, interrogate the real and imagined worlds of memory. On the other side of the globe, the gallery is organizing a special international exhibition, Hot Concrete, at K11 Art & Cultural Centre K11 MUSEA in Hong Kong, featuring multiple local artists, including Daniel Gibson, Jaime Muñoz, and the legendary Peter Shire.

Sow & Tailor, 3027 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles

Gary Garay Art installation at La Pau Gallery.

LaPau Gallery

Founded in May 2021, LaPau Gallery is an intimate project space located on West 7th Street in Koreatown, adjacent to art star gallery, Commonwealth and Council. Reflective of the owner and curator Paulina Lara’s life experience, the gallery program supports alternative voices while providing an essential space in the Latinx community. Currently on view is the exhibition, Nike Cortez 50th Anniversary, including artists rafa esparza, Manuel Lopez, and Guadalupe Rosales, which centers on the power associated with the sneaker as a symbol of Black and Brown youth culture. Earlier this year, the exhibition Pioneros Vallenatos y Tropicales, in association with the Cumbia Documentation Center (CDC) / Sabotaje Media, converges on the story of filmmaker Toño Estrada who archived the arrival of Colombian Cumbia Music to Northeastern Mexico and Monterrey, Nuevo Leon in specific. 

LaPau Gallery, 3006 W 7th St, Los Angeles

Charlie James Gallery

Charlie James Gallery has opened a new second space to great fanfare on Chung King Road in the heart of Los Angeles’ vivacious Chinatown. The gallery’s location has made it a perfect stopping point during KCRW’s Chinatown Summer Nights. Owned and directed by its namesake, the gallery supports works of art that contend with the moment of their making. For starters, echoing retro pin-up and mystery movie posters, artist and writer Walter Robinson’s recent solo exhibition, Escape to Adventure, investigates coming to terms with his mortality. Curated by artist Kristopher Raos, “There is No Outside” is a group exhibition including Gozie Ojini’s reconfigured musical instrument sculptures, a black and white photographic site-specific installation by Jackie Castillo, and a hanging steel sculpture by Sarita Schreiber that question the obsolescence of non-functional objects. James also works with established career artists, including Jay Lynn Gomez, Lucia Hierro, and Erika Rothenberg, whose acclaimed mosaic The Road to Hollywood (2001) was controversially demolished to renovate the Hollywood & Highland plaza. 

Charlie James Gallery, 969 Chung King Rd

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