One of the greatest luxuries of living in a metropolitan city like New York or Los Angeles is having the ability to get a peek at some of the greatest art in the world. While here in NYC, we have famous museums like the Met and the MoMa, we also have an abundant amount of smaller yet beautiful galleries that everyone (including your best friend from Kansas) needs to check out STATS. But just like New York, the City of Angeles knows a thing or two when it comes to the art world. So we figured why not collaborate with our buddies from the West Coast to give the ultimate gallery guide, cross-country style. One of our kick-ass LA contributors, Liana Cabrera from Curated Agency, introduced us to her friend, Andrew Cortes, to tell us what are some of the coolest exhibits and galleries that are currently going on in LA. While on the East Coast, we asked our trusty photographer friend, Daniela Spector, aka Dirty Dan, what’s the scoop in our neck of the woods. So relax, break out your notebook and jot some of these galleries down, because this round up is going to fill up your weekend to-do list. You’re welcome.
Take a step inside New York’s leading Latino cultural institution which is encompassed by artists of Puerto Rican, Caribbean, and Latin American cultures. Settled in the UES, this museum has a permanent collection of over 6,500 pieces that are divided into an eclectic range of mediums such as modern and contemporary art, fine print graphics, pan-Caribbean archeological objects. Currently, El Museo Del Barrio is housing a truly visually stimulating exhibit called the Illusive Eye: an international survey on Kinetic and Op art (image above). This exhibition features artists from 17 countries. Each piece illustrates geometric abstraction and showcases optical art to its esoteric origins. The exhibit ends on May 21st, so you have plenty of time to explore this visual imagery before it’s gone for good.
Where: 1230 Fifth Avenue
Hours: Tues – Sat from 11AM TO 6PM
In the former home of industrial magnate Andrew Carnegie lies one of our favorite museums, the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum. With over 210,000 design pieces, Cooper Hewitt is the only museum in the nation that is solely devoted to historic and contemporary design. Not only does it house collections that span 30 centuries, but it also has a design library which contains over 80,000 volumes of rare books. Cooper Hewitt’s current exhibits entail their fifth installment of contemporary design collection called, Beauty (image above), which celebrates creativity through the bodily senses that features more then 250 works of art. In addition, there’s another exhibit called Pixar: The Design of Story, that showcases the collaborative design process behind Pixar Animation Studios. But if those two are not good enough (which we seriously doubt), this museum over five more exhibits you can check out, too.
Where: Miller-Fox Townhouses adjacent to the museum, with access at 9 East 90th Street.
Hours: Monday – Friday 9:30 am to 5:30 pm
If you love contemporary art, then you have to go check out Pace Gallery. With four galleries in New York alone, each have their own contemporary exhibits you can choose to explore. Over on the 25th st. location on the west side, Sea of Buddha (image above; ends March 5th) features photographs from Hiroshi Sugimoto’s series which was conceived in 1988. But if that is not your thing, check out Irving Penn’s exhibit (ends March 5th) which houses some of his most detailed photographs of the past.
Fergus McCaffrey is known for its groundbreaking role by discovery artists that have been previously unrepresented or misrepresented. Introducing post-war Japanese art, the gallery also features Western artists like Jack Early and Marcia Hafif. Currently, Fergus McCaffrey is showcasing Jack Early’s work where it explores his early childhood. Images of toy solider wallpaper embossed behind a large popsicle and images of Lucky Charm’s cereal. It’s bright and wacky, and easily transports you back in time to the good ole days.
Where: 514 West 26th Street
Hours: Tuesday– Saturday: 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Regens Project is a contemporary art gallery in the middle of Hollywood. They have a great international art gallery and killer events to check out, too. Los Angeles-based artist James Welling is currently taking up their luscious space with a collection called Choreograph (ends March 26th). His latest series is made up of inkjet prints that involves dance, architecture and landscape of which he has all photographed himself. Each image is highly saturated but visually amazing as building and dancers intertwined through overlays of ink and color.
Where: 6750 SANTA MONICA BOULEVARD
Hours: Tue-Sat: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
If you’re looking for progressive art, then MAMA Gallery is your type of space. From artists like James Franco to UCLA MFA grads, this gallery has featured everything and anything you could ever image. Cole Sternberg is currently occupying the space with his collection called The Nature in Breathing Salt (ends March 7th), which is his first solo exhibit. It explores the trenches of his 22-day journey over open waters from Japan to Portland, Oregon. Each painting tells the stories of his course through the bleeding waves of sea and sky. It shows the emotions of the chaos he endured while being aboard the ship.
Hours: Noon – 5:00pm Tuesday – Saturday
Over in the Warehouse District/Eastern Art District, CES Gallery is a small gallery that has a rapidly evolving collection that specializes in local and international contemporary art. Right now, there is an amazing gallery that you have to check out if you are in the LA area. Ashkan Honarvar’s collection called Sometimes I Forget Myself (ends March 26th). Made with materials that were derived from fashion magazines, newspapers, art history books, scientific journals, etc., Honarvar strategically placed them into a collage to illustrate a single narrative os visual composition. While a few pieces are brightly colored and edgy, others have images of nature mixed with erotic poses of the female form. But before you head out to see the gallery, make sure you call ahead to set up an appointment first.
Where: 711 Mateo St. Los Angeles, CA 90021
Hours: Wednesday – Saturday: 12pm – 6pm; By appointment daily
Originally a hotel lobby, Vacancy now occupies this small space in Korea town (see what we did there?). Since the owners, Alison Edmark and Christopher Adler, took it over, they have transformed the room to help encompass each theme of every exhibit they have hosted. Now, the current exhibit called, Sad Sack (ends March 5th), shows ceramic work by Mary Hill with collaborative sculptures from artists like Analisa Raya-Flores, Sarah Hotchkiss, Jesse Malmed, and Ariane Vielmetter. This place is only open on Saturdays, so make sure your weekend is available to explore some art.
Where: 2524 1/2 James M Wood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90006
Hours: Open Saturdays from 12pm to 5pm and by appointment
Feature image via Cooper Hewitt