Fall Preview 2023

Edward Biberman, Slow Curve, 1945. To be shown in the Huntington's "Art for the People: WPA-Era Paintings from the Dijkstra Collection"
Greater Los Angeles museums' fall/winter schedule has surveys of William Blake, John Waters, and Hokusai. The Hammer launches its sixth biennial, and a global assortment of thematic exhibitions explore the Yoruba diaspora, the art of Soviet gulags, Dutch collector's cabinets, Islamic feasts, and how to be an artist in Qing China. Here is a selection of high points. 

September 2023
"Reckoning with Millet's Man with a Hoe" is a focus exhibition on the Jean-François Millet's painting of rural drudgery, damned as socialist in Paris and long on view in San Francisco and Los Angeles. It will be at the Getty Center Sep. 12–Dec. 10, 2023.
Jennifer Guidi, Meditation Cave, 2022. Courtesy of the artist and David Kordansky Gallery. Photo: Brica Wilcox

The Orange County Museum of Art will present Jennifer Guidi's first solo museum show, curated by OCMA Director Heidi Zuckerman. "Jennifer Guidi: And so it is." runs Sep. 16, 2023–Jan. 7,  2024.
Still from John Waters' Female Trouble, 1974. Image courtesy Warner Bros. Classics
With drag a nexus of right-wing politicians and pop culture, "John Waters: Pope of Trash" will probably draw more national media than any other L.A. museum show this fall. Coming on the heels of "Regeneration," its presentation at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures offers further evidence that the institution isn't limiting itself to the kind of films that win Oscars. Opening day features a Drag Queen Story Hour (Sep. 17, 2023–Aug. 4, 2024)
Abraham Gessner, Globe Cup (detail), about 1600. LACMA
"The World Made Wondrous: The Dutch Collector's Cabinet and the Politics of Possession" finds the origins of modern collecting in the bad old world of colonialism. The Dutch Golden Age was contemporary with the rise of the ruthless Dutch East India Company. The show appears in LACMA's Resnick Pavilion, Sep. 17, 2023–Feb. 11, 2024.

October 2023
The Hammer's "Made in L.A. 2023: Acts of Living" runs Oct. 1 through Dec. 31, 2023. Diana Nawi and Pablo José Ramírez curate a selection of 39 artists. The subtitle is taken from Noah Purifoy's plaque at Watts Towers: "Creativity can be an act of living, a way of life, and a formula for doing the right thing." 
Barbara T. Smith, Proof, 1965–66 (Xerox and drawing). Image courtesy of the artist
How many artists get two career surveys in the same city in the same year? Fresh off her Getty Research Institute show, the ever-influential Barbara T. Smith has a "comprehensive museum survey" at ICA LA, organized by Jenelle Porter. Spacing out the museum love might have been nice, but whatever. The ICA show will be accompanied by Smith's first comprehensive catalog (Oct. 7, 2023 to Jan. 14, 2024).
"Bitter Melon" in Ten Bamboo Studio Collection of Calligraphy and Painting, about 1633-1703. The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens
Coming this fall to the Huntington's Studio for Lodging the Mind is "Paintings in Print: Studying Art in China." It will juxtapose two key instructional manuals of the early Qing Dynasty, the Mustard Seed Garden Manual of Painting and the Ten Bamboo Studio Collection of Calligraphy of Painting. Each promised what Bob Ross or any MFA program does: a how-to on becoming a real artist.  The Huntington says its display will be the first in the U.S. to present the two woodblock-printed volumes together, in their entirety. Also on view will be some paintings recently donated by the Berman Foundation (Oct. 7, 2023–May 27, 2024).
William Blake, Satan Exulting over Eve, 1795. J. Paul Getty Museum
The pandemic delayed the Getty's William Blake show, organized with the Tate Gallery. It finally makes it to Brentwood this fall (Oct. 17, 2023–Jan. 14, 2024).
Yinka Shonibare CBE RA, The American Library, 2018
Yinka Shonibare's The American Library is an installation of 6000 books bound in Dutch wax printed cloth and identified with a different famous American immigrant. After stints in Boston and Louisville it comes to the Skirball Center (Oct. 19, 2023–Sep. 1, 2024).
Interior of the Japanese Heritage Shoya House. The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens
Oct. 21 is a big day for Japanese culture in So. Cal. The Huntington's 18th-century house from Marugame, Japan, opens after years of planning, moving, and restoration. Visitors will be able to walk through much of the interior from noon to 4 PM daily.
Katsushika Hokusai, Under the Wave off Kanazawa, probably 1831. British Museum. (c) Trustees of the British Museum
On the same day the Bowers Museum opens "Beyond the Great Wave: Works by Hokusai from the British Museum." It will include a prime early impression of the title print along with over a hundred woodblock prints, paintings, drawings, and illustrated books by the globally influential Hokusai (Oct. 21, 2023–Jan. 7, 2024)
Manuel Vega, Beaded Hat (Adé for Oxóssi), 1995. Fowler Museum, UCLA
The Fowler is planning an international loan exhibition of Yoruba art. "The House Was Too Small: Sacred Yoruba Arts from Africa and Beyond" will focus on the commonalties and regional variation of West African Orisas (divinities) and their new world counterparts. The exhibition will bring together over a hundred works from Nigeria, Benin, Brazil, Cuba, and the U.S. Artist-activist Patrisse Cullors will offer a multi-media installation and a performance (Oct. 29, 2023–June 2, 2024).

November 2023
The Wende Museum will survey the art of prisoners and outcasts in the Soviet Bloc and the West. "Captives and Nomads: Creating Space in East and West" will include art and photography by inmates of gulags and mental institutions, as well as Soviet hippies and East Europe's Roma communities. This will be justaposed with contemporary pieces created by L.A.'s homeless and those in migrant detention centers (Nov. 11, 2023–Apr. 7, 2024)

The Huntington opens its commissioned installation from Betye Saar, Drifting Toward Twilight, for a two-year display (Nov. 11, 2023—)

December 2023
Helen Forbes, A Vale in Death Valley, 1939. Collection of Sandra and Bram Dijkstra
Nineteen American paintings go on view at the Huntington in "Art for the People: WPA-Era Paintings from the Dijkstra Collection." Sandra and Bram Dijkstra have lent and donated several 20th century paintings to the Virginia Steele Scott Galleries of American Art. "Art for the People" will include Edward Biberman's Slow Curve (top of post), a sunshine-and-noir deconstruction made the same year as Mildred Pierce (Dec. 2, 2023–Mar. 4, 2024)
Félix Vallotton, Verdun, 1917. Musée de l'armée, Paris. (c) Musée de l'armée 
At LACMA, "Imagined Fronts: The Great War and Global Media" is a wide-ranging summary of the visual culture of World War I. It combines art, war photography, film, and artifacts (Dec. 3, 2023–July 7, 2024)
Hormuz Forces His High Priest to Eat Poisoned Food from Shahnama of Firdawsi. Shiraz, Iran, about 1485–95. LACMA
Also at LACMA is "Dining with the Sultan: The Fine Art of Feasting," a loan exhibition of Islamic court art relating to food. Some 200-plus works will span manuscript painting, metalwork, ceramics, glass, and textiles. Above, Shah Hormuz uses his best china while poisoning a business associate (Dec. 17, 2023–May 19, 2024)

January 2024
The Getty Villa has another long-term display of antiquities from a great European museum in "Sculpted Portraits from Ancient Egypt." It's a three-year loan from the British Museum of portraits from Egypt's 26th Dynasty (Jan. 24, 2024–Jan. 25, 2027)
Divine's shoes in Female Trouble ("John Waters: Pope of Trash" at the Academy Museum)