Fall Preview 2021
|Amy Sherald, Michelle Obama, 2018|
Los Angeles museums are planning a fall season with few parallels. Start with the debut of the brand-new Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, realization of a century-long dream. It opens Sep. 30 with ruby slippers, a big glass sphere, and a retrospective of anime master Hayao Miyazaki.
Next to that, the hottest ticket will probably be the Obama portraits tour, landing at LACMA in November. But for sheer organizing skill, the biggest coup is a trio of Getty Museum loan exhibitions on Holbein, Watteau, and Rubens. Or make that a quartet, counting a Poussin show opening next February. Maybe that's a fluke of pandemic schedule juggling, but it's also a result of the Getty's commitment to small and mid-sized exhibitions with big intellectual heft.
If you're thinking East Coast museums have Old Master line-ups like that all the time, think again. The Metropolitan Museum has no shows of European painting or sculpture opening this fall. Closest to it is, um, "the Met's first-ever exhibition exploring the work of Walt Disney… and the use of French motifs in his films and theme parks, drawing new parallels between the studios' magical creations and their artistic models."
A selection of upcoming shows in L.A.:
|Miné Okubo, drawings for Citizen 13660, before 1946|
The California African American Museum has a traveling show of LaToya Ruby Frazier's The Last Cruze, a set of 67 photographs, a video, and an architectural installation chronicling the closure of General Motors' Lordstown, Ohio plant. (Sep. 8, 2021–Mar. 2022).
LACMA marks the 500th anniversary of the fall of the Aztec capital Tenochtitlan with "Mixpantli: Space, Time, and the Indigenous Origins of Mexico" (Dec. 12, 2021–May 1, 2022). Mixpantli means "banner of clouds." The Nahua used it to describe a premonition of Spanish conquest. The LACMA exhibition will show Mesoamerican objects alongside early Spanish colonial pieces.
MOCA reopens the Geffen with "Pipilotti Rist: Big Heartedness, Be My Neighbor" (Sep. 12, 2021–June 6, 2022) and "Judith F. Baca: The World Wall." As a muralist Baca long had trouble getting recognition from museums. That is changing: The MOCA show will overlap the Baca retrospective now at the Museum of Latin American Art and follows the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art's acquisition of Baca's archive for the Great Wall of Los Angeles.
|Installation of Judy Baca's World Wall: A Vision of the Future Without Fear, 1990|
|Hayao Miyazaki, Porco Rosso (still), 1992|
The Academy Museum's inaugural shows include "Hayao Miyazaki" and pop-up installations on the films of Pedro Almodóvar and Spike Lee (opening Sep. 30, 2021). The permanent collection galleries are to be ever-changing. They will initially foreground pre-cinematic technologies, The Wizard of Oz, and the art of background painting.
|Otobong Nkanga, In Pursuit of Bling—Desire, 2014. To be shown in "Witch Hunt"|
The UCLA Hammer Museum has two group shows opening in October: "Witch Hunt" (a global selection of feminist and queer artists, many never before shown in L.A.) and "No Humans Involved" (seven emerging artists and collectives). Both exhibitions run Oct. 10, 2021, to Jan. 9, 2022.
|Hans Holbein the Younger, Member of the von Wedigh Family, 1533. Gemäldegalerie, Berlin|
The Getty's "Holbein: Capturing Character in the Renaissance," co-organized with the Morgan Library & Museum, assembles drawings and paintings for "the first major presentation of Holbein's art in the United States" (Oct. 19, 2021–Jan. 9, 2022).
|Unknown artist, Portrait of a Sailor (Paul Cuffe?), about 1800. LACMA|
"The Obama Portraits Tour," at LACMA, runs Nov. 7, 2021, to Jan. 2, 2022. If you're on the fence about making timed reservations for two paintings, LACMA is supplementing Barack & Michelle with a companion installation, "Black American Portraits," containing about 150 images. Most are rarely exhibited photos and prints from the permanent collection (through Apr. 17, 2022).
|Peter Paul Rubens, The Hunt of the Calydonian Boar, about 1611–12. J. Paul Getty Museum|
At the Getty Villa, "Rubens: Picturing Antiquity" will juxtapose paintings, oil sketches, and drawings with ancient objects that inspired the artist (Nov. 10, 2021–Jan. 24, 2022).
|Jean-Antoine Watteau, Reclining Nude, about 1713–1717. Norton Simon Museum|
Back to Brentwood, the Getty's "La Surprise: Watteau in Los Angeles" is a focus show assembling a dozen works from area collections to mark the 300th anniversary of the artist's death (Nov. 23, 2021–Feb. 20, 2022).
|Aztec Mirror, 1325–1521. LACMA|
|Nicolas Poussin, Dance to the Music of Time, about 1634–1636. Wallace Collection, London|
Looking into early 2022, the Getty's "Poussin and the Dance," organized with the National Gallery, London, is to include the famous Dance to the Music of Time in the Wallace Collection (Feb. 15–May 8, 2022). LACMA has a four-decade Barbara Kruger retrospective (Mar. 20–July 17, 2022).
|Barbara Kruger, Thinking of |
UPDATE: There's also a focus show of Manet "Philosophers" coming to the Norton Simon Museum in November. That means greater L.A. will have exhibitions on Manet, Watteau, Rubens, and Holbein running simultaneously.