12 Art Exhibitions to Visit in Los Angeles this Winter

by Bridgette Redman  |  Published December 27, 2023

As winter wraps Los Angeles in a mild embrace, the city’s cultural landscape blossoms with an array of captivating exhibitions, spanning the realms of art, natural history and moving pictures.

“Warriors” at the LA Art Show/ Courtesy of artist Guillermo Bert and the Museum of Art of Nevada

In the heart of Los Angeles, this winter unveils a diverse range of exhibitions, each contributing to the city’s cultural mosaic. From captivating art displays that push the boundaries of creativity to a natural history exhibition that unravels the mysteries of the world around us, there’s something for every enthusiast. Explore the strokes of genius at a large-scale, city-wide art show, that invites artists from around the world, or immerse yourself in a new perspective of moving pictures. Los Angeles, ever the hub of artistic innovation, invites you to embark on a journey through its exhibitions, promising an immersive experience that transcends the ordinary.

LA Art Show

Los Angeles’ largest and longest-running art fair throws open its doors from Feb. 14-18, 2024 at the LA Convention Center. The 29th LA Art Show includes the signature DIVERSEartLA program that connects LA institutions with international ones to create art about biodiversity. The 2024 theme explores connections between memory, humanity and AI. Eight of the world’s top art museums, nonprofits and institutions will present solo projects. Two have been announced so far. The Nevada Museum of Art will present “The Journey,” 20 highly detailed, life-sized wood sculptures of actual immigrants. The Museum of Contemporary Art in  Bogotá will show “Mythstoreis” by Carlos Castro Arias. He uses found objects and presents them in the style and iconography of medieval tapestry while experimenting with myth, history and AI. For tickets and more information, visit

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

Ladies around a Samovar, Iran, Tehran, 19th century, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, given by Lady Janet Clark (P.56-1941), photo © Victoria and Albert Museum, London / Courtesy of LACMA

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art is opening three exhibitions this winter. “Imagined Fronts: The Great War and Global Media,” Dec. 3, 2023 to July 7, 2024, explores how our current media spectacle has roots in World War I. It will include 200 objects by artists, war photographers and filmmakers. “Dining with the Sultan: The Fine Art of Feasting,” Dec. 17, 2023 to Aug. 4, 2024, presents Islamic art in the context of culinary traditions. About 250 works from 30 different collections will cast a spotlight on fine dining and luxurious repast. “Korean Treasures from the Chester and Cameron Chang Collection,” Feb. 25, 2024 to June 30, 2024, will include 35 artworks that recently joined LACMA’s permanent collection as a donation from the Changs. It was the largest gift of Korean art in the museum’s history. The exhibition includes traditional Korean paintings, calligraphic folding screens, mid-20th century oil paintings and ceramics of the Goryeo and Joseon dynasties.

Los Angeles Airport (LAX) Art Exhibitions

Trinh Mai, Arise. Shine. Thy Light is Come., installation view. Photo by SKA Studios, LLC. Courtesy Los Angeles World Airports.

As passengers travel through Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) this winter, they will experience an inspiring range of new artwork by ten artists in nine installations across Terminals 1, 3, 7 and the Tom Bradley International Terminal. Presented by Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA)’s Art Program, the new exhibitions add to a robust presentation of artwork throughout LAX and reflect the vibrancy of L.A. through sculpture, painting, photography, murals and multimedia. Together, these featured installations offer views of the city, whether from a bird’s eye perspective or through intimate portraits of those who call Los Angeles their home. Five of the nine installations are murals commissioned as part of the LAX Art Program’s new Meet Me at the Mural initiative, where artists design murals that welcome international and domestic guests to LAX. These accessible and inspiring artworks serve as visual markers within terminals, creating inviting and memorable guest experiences.

Laband Gallery/ Loyola Marymount University

José Villalobos’s El Peso del Rio (The Weight of the River)
2021 / Courtesy of the artist via Laband Art Gallery

Taking a look at people in the undocumented diaspora is an exhibit called “Queerteñx: Trans Fronterizes / Cuir Transnationalism.” The exhibition runs from Jan. 20 to March 23, 2024. Artists Salvador de la Torre and José Villalobos have created multimedia  artwork challenging ideas of machismo while celebrating queer, emo and rancho cholo  cultures. The curator, Erika Hirugami, is the founder of CuratorLove and co-founder of UNDOC+Collective which supports and empowers work by people in the undoc+ spectrum (those who have lived or are currently living undocumented) and the undocumented diaspora (people who are directly or indirectly affected by the undocumented status but have not been undocumented themselves–usually children or partners of those in the undoc+ spectrum.)

Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens

Art by Harry Sternberg/Photo Courtesy © The Huntington

Images from the Great Depression era help people to understand the economic hardship people experienced. From Dec. 2 to March 18, the Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens will host an exhibition called “Art for the People: WPA-Era paintings from the Dijkstra Collection.” The exhibition includes 19 paintings created in the U.S. between the 1929 stock market crash and World War II. The artists were part of the Works Progress Administration, employed by the government to help stimulate the post-Depression economy. The paintings chosen were curated to include representation of California artists, artists of color, female artists, Jewish artists and those who in the past were not included in the WPA-era narrative. Many of the paintings being shown are from the school of American Expressionism or American Scene, showing urban and rural subjects that focus on the lives of average Americans.

Natural History Museum

You might need to wear shades at this brilliant exhibition at Los Angeles County’s Natural History Museum. From Dec. 8 to April 21, they’ll be exhibiting “100 Carats: Icons of the Gem World” with what they call a dazzling array of magnificient gemstones. Found in the Gem and Mineral Hall, there will be more than two dozen gems with the centerpiece being the Jonker I Diamond, the largest stone cut from the 124-carat Jonker Diamond, which was itself the fourth largest diamond in the world when it was found in 1934. It’s a diamond that hasn’t been on display for decades as it has passed through the hands of global royalty and Hollywood stars. Other gems include a near-flawless emerald, a royal blue sapphire and a rainbow-filled clear goshenite. There’s even an exquisitely cut 111-carat green tourmaline. The exhibition is meant to display both the beauty of the gems and to tell the scientific story of millions of years of geologicalical processes that went into forming them.

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures 

Vertical Cinema: Shifting Perspectives, an Exhibition Showcasing Experimental Film in Vertical Format in the Hurd Gallery at the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures /  Copyright  Academy Museum Foundation, photo by Owen Kolasinski

The Academy Museum of Motion Pictures invites visitors to reorient their perceptions of movies with the exhibition, “Shifting Perspectives: Vertical Cinema.” From now until Aug. 4, the exhibition will fill the double-height Hurd Gallery where 20-foot high and 3-foot wide screens will display work that can be viewed from the second and third floors of the museum. Featured filmmakers include Zaina Bseiso, HC Gilje, Étienne-Jules Marey & Co., Fox Maxy, Joost Rekveld, and Walter Thompson-Hernández and
Los Angeles-based students from Ghetto Film School. It will debut films by three Southern California filmmakers while also delving back to the roots of vertical cinema as far back as the 1890s. It also explores how today’s portable smart devices have caused a proliferation of vertical filmmaking. In total, there are 25 short films on display.

Norton Simon 

Tara, 12th century India: West Bengal or Bangladesh Brass 4-5/8 x 3-5/16 in. (11.7 x 8.4 cm) / Courtesy of The Norton Simon Foundation

Norton Simon has filled three galleries with 44 rarely seen works of art to explore the ways that buddhas, bodhisattvas and other protective deities give blessings and guidance to their followers. “Benevolent Beings: Buddhas and Bodhisattvas from South and Southeast Asia” runs from now until Feb. 19. The work spans 2,000 years with an emphasis on the period of the 13th to the 18th centuries and work found in South Asian Buddhist temples. In those temples, art work was organized from the secular on the outer rims to the most sacred objects in the innermost spaces. Norton Simon is following this pattern with one gallery showing utilitarian and instructive objects while a second gallery shows more sacred and divine pieces from Buddhist and Hindu practice. A final space shows Buddhas in deep and contemplative meditation. Together, the pieces are designed to promote the healing and tranquility of Buddhist and Hindu traditions and promote the well-being of all who visit.

The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA 

From now until June 16, The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA is presenting a survey of 25 years of Paul Pfeiffer’s work. “Paul Pfeiffer: Prologue to the Story of the Birth of Freedom” celebrates this pioneering artist and the exploration he has made into people’s fascination with celebrity and our ideas of spectacle, belonging and identity.  He edits found footage of televised sporting events and popular entertainment in a multi-disciplinary practice. This exhibition displays more than 30 works and debuted a new commission. The exhibition is the first retrospective of Pfeiffer’s work. The exhibition will include the publishing of a full-color monographic catalog that will be available in February.

Hammer at UCLA

Kolokwa english. Series N.25, 2022. Oil, oil stick, okra, bricks, and charcoal on canvas. 77 x 82 in. (195.6 x 208.3 cm). Courtesy of the artist, Vamba Bility

UCLA’s Hammer museum is exhibiting two new exhibitions this winter. The first is “Groove: Artists and Intaglio Prints, 1500 to Now” that runs from Dec. 16 to June 16. Drawing from the collections of the UCLA Grunwald Center for Graphic Arts, it is an exhibition showing engravings, etchings, drypoint, aquaqtint, and mezzotint. There are more than 80 prints, organized chronologically and all involving the use of a copper or zinc plate. There are examples from the Renaissance, Dutch baroque period, 19th and 20th Century prints and contemporary etchings. A second exhibition, which runs from Jan. 20 to May 14″ is a solo exhibition called “Hammer Projects: Vamba Bility.” The New Haven-based artist weaves his diasporic experience into paintings, sculpture, textile and sound. Bility incorporates an array of objects to create sculptures and paintings that ask questions about creation and avant-garde art practices of the 1960s and 1970s. Hammer Projects is an ongoing, signature series that highlights the work of a contemporary artist.

USC Fisher Museum of Art 

Chapter4 8 Weiss HomeSeigeHome 1024×768/ Courtesy of USC Fisher Museum of Art

Opening on February 2, 2024, this exhibition is inspired by the book, “Scene Shift: US Set Designers in Conversation.” While audience members typically only get to see a set design from a distance, this exhibition invites them to take a close-up look at the work of contemporary set designers and learn the different philosophies that go into their work. Some of the designs are works of art, some are theatrical in their own right. Amongst those exhibition are set designers Abigail DeVille, Marsha Ginsberg, Shing Yin Khor, Mimi Lien, Collette Pollard, and Deb O among others.

The Broad 

Launching a show that got delayed by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, “Desire, Knowledge, and Hope (with Smog)” is an exhibition that showcases Los Angeles-based artists. It reflects on LA as a city in flux and on societal issues that spread out beyond its borders. It includes the work of 21 artists across several generations. The works were all made between 1969 and 2023 and include more than 60 artworks of abstract or photorealistic painting, photography, sculpture and political signage. The exhibition runs from now until April 7, 2024.