The landscape of art spaces across Los Angeles—from international stalwarts to artist-led experiments—is in constant flux and impossible to capture in one list. Recently, iconic museums like LACMA, the Hammer, and MOCA have been joined by private museums such as the Broad and the Marciano Art Foundation, which resides in a remarkable former Masonic Temple. Homegrown blue-chip galleries Blum & Poe, David Kordansky, Regen Projects, and Gagosian now stand beside newer arrivals, including Sprüth Magers, Jeffrey Deitch, and Hauser & Wirth. To help keep track of the city’s multitude of exhibits, events, performances, and happenings, my organization ForYourArt publishes a weekly guide every Wednesday. Here are just a few lesser-known institutions I recommend for every art lover’s L.A. itinerary.
L.A.’s de facto Kunsthalle—a locally rooted, globally minded, non-collecting space—Laxart (read: LA x Art) bills itself as a “center for ideas.” Ambitious exhibitions are presented alongside live programming that is as challenging as it is fun. For the inaugural Frieze, it hosted a series of “Name That Tune” events with artists. Laxart is also a short walk to must-visit galleries such as Deitch, Various Small Fires, and Regen Projects.
The Underground Museum
Founded by the late artist Noah Davis to bring art to an underserved area, the Underground Museum has become one of the city’s most beloved spaces. Compelling solo and group shows conceived by Davis before his death in 2015 are complemented by community programs like yoga and self-care workshops. It’s an institution you could only find in L.A.
Art + Practice
The brainchild of artist Mark Bradford, Art + Practice produces standout exhibitions in collaboration with the Hammer. It’s also a resource for the Leimert Park community—particularly for foster children—assisting with housing, work opportunities, and more, in partnership with First Place for Youth.
East Side & Downtown Galleries
Some of the most distinctive players in L.A.’s increasingly diverse—and diffuse— gallery scene are on the East Side and Downtown. Jenny’s is a tiny gallery in Silver Lake that presents stellar shows of artists like Julien Ceccaldi and Max Hooper Schneider. It’s worth a trip to Glendale for the adventurous programming the artist-run gallery the Pit puts on inside a former auto-repair shop. On Lafayette Park near Koreatown, O-Town House is a prime stop in the Granada Buildings shopping center. And Commonwealth and Council is an anchor of the city’s queer art scene. Downtown, don’t miss Château Shatto and Joan in the Bendix Building, while the Box in the Arts District never ceases to surprise, promoting avant-garde legends like Simone Forti and Barbara T. Smith.