Super-sized exhibitions are becoming more common in art museums, and the next few months will see several among the notable new shows opening around town. Chronologically, here's a selection of what's coming up in art this spring, including three really big shows:
"War/Photography: Images of Armed Conflict and Its Aftermath"
Annenberg Space for Photography, March 23-June 2
Some war photographs are indelibly printed in America's cultural memory, such as Joe Rosenthal's carefully choreographed 1945 picture of the raising of the flag at Iwo Jima or Huynh Cong "Nick" Ut's image of a naked Vietnamese girl running from a napalm attack in 1972 (both for the Associated Press). But most are not. War has become commonplace in the past 100 years, tracking the simultaneous ubiquity of camera images. This traveling show from the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, gathers more than 150 war-related images from 1887 to the present, plus a documentary film and digital gallery with another 500 images in what promises to be a sorrowful chronicle of human waste.
FOR THE RECORD:
Art exhibitions: The March 10 Spring Arts preview included incorrect prices for two coming art exhibitions at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art: "Stephen Prina: As He Remembered It," April 7 to Aug. 4, will be $15, not $20, and "James Turrell: A Retrospective," May 26 to April 6, 2014, will be $25, not $20. —
Annenberg Space for Photography, 2000 Avenue of the Stars, Los Angeles, (213) 403-3000. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Freeadmisstion. http://www.annenbergspaceforphotography
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"Sicily: Art and Invention between Greece and Rome"
Getty Villa, April 3-Aug. 19
Ancient Greece had flourishing colonies on the Mediterranean island of Sicily off the southern tip of what is now Italy. Many evolved into mighty kingdoms after the fifth century BC. From a variety of sources the Getty will assemble more than 150 examples of sculpture and decorative arts that survey Classical culture across the island — including a terra-cotta head representing the god Hades, acquired by the Getty in 1985, that it recently determined had been looted. After the exhibition's tour to Cleveland and Palermo, the sculpture will be transferred to the archaeological museum in Aidone, Sicily.
Getty Villa, 17985 Pacific Coast Highway, Pacific Palisades, (310) 440-7300. Closed Tuesdays. Free (parking $15). http://www.getty.edu
"Stephen Prina: As He Remembered It"
LACMA, April 7-Aug. 4
For well over 20 years artist and composer Stephen Prina has been borrowing other artists' work — paintings, sculptures, musical scores, texts and other artifacts — and then putting them into new contexts that change our perceptions of environments, objects, history and memory. This installation, conceived in 2011 for a museum in Vienna, consists of 28 furniture units re-creating designs from the 1940s by architect R.M. Schindler, an Austrian expatriate to Los Angeles, for houses since demolished. The shocking pink color is also borrowed — from a 2011 commercial promotion — for a distinctive, layered sculptural ensemble.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, (323) 857-6000. Closed Wednesdays. $15. www. lacma.org
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MOCA, April 21-Aug. 19
Rooted in Neo-Dada traditions of found-object sculpture swimming in humorous paradox, Swiss-born New York artist Urs Fischer has made such eccentric objects as a house built from loaves of bread, wallpaper that photographically reproduces the same walls to which it is affixed and a tongue that darts out from a hole in the wall when a viewer leans in close to peer inside. Guest curator Jessica Morgan (from London's Tate Modern) is organizing a midcareer survey of Fischer's work since the mid-1990s, which will fill 65,000 square feet of gallery space at MOCA's Grand Avenue and Little Tokyo buildings.
Museum of Contemporary Art, 250 S. Grand Ave., (213) 626-6222. Closed Tuesday and Wednesday. $12. http://www.moca.org
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"James Turrell: A Retrospective"
LACMA, May 26-April 6
Since the 1960s Pasadena-born artist James Turrell, a 1984 MacArthur Fellow, has turned his academic background in perceptual psychology into a flourishing investigation of the effects of colored light, both natural and artificial, on the complex human sensory apparatus. Using materials that range from ordinary windows in walls to an entire dormant volcano in the Arizona desert, he has produced an array of light projections, installations, prints and drawings. (Adjunct shows will be at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York.) In an unusual move, LACMA will keep the 50-year survey on view for nearly an entire year.
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, (323) 857-6000. Closed Wednesdays. $25. http://www.lacma.org
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