Hip, happening and hot, Los Angeles is a dazzling city of potential, the playground of the rich and the famous, a phantasmagorical land of idiosyncrasy and magic.
It is no surprise to learn then that the City of Angels is home to a bustling art scene, whose evolution from an underestimated and overshadowed desert space over the last 20 years has come to challenge the dominance of even New York.
Here is a guide of some of the best art galleries to check out when in Los Angeles.
The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)
Perhaps its named should be amended to read The Best Museum of Contemporary Art in the World because LACMA is home to one of the greatest collections of contemporary art to be found anywhere.
It was founded in 1979 with the mission to be ‘defining museum of contemporary art’, and ambition that was soon realised and a philosophy that continues to underpin much of what it does today.
Upcoming exhibitions include Jacob Hashimoto’s ‘space-altering’ Gas Giant (March 1st until June 8th) and a comprehensive survey of Mike Kelley’s work (March 31st until July 28th).
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)
Spanning time and geography, LACMA has been delivering a long, rich and multifaceted discourse in art since 1965. It contains over 120,000 objects from antiquity to the present, helping curate the legacy of art through the ages.
It exists as a cultural tour de force, to serve the public it says, through ‘conservation, exhibition, and interpretation of significant works of art from a broad range of cultures and historical periods’.
Its collection is divided into categories, including Islamic Art Now: Contemporary Art of the Middle East; Fashion 1900 – 2000; Spanish Colonial Art; Greek Ceramics; French Oil Sketches; and California Arts and Crafts.
The J. Paul Getty Museum
This establishment recognises that human beings are curious creates, always probing, always looking for something novel and always keen on being emotionally stimulated. Empowered, Getty aspires to meet these needs.
It is very proactive then in delivering a programme of talks, exhibitions and study, which it realises through collecting, conserving and showing works of art, all against a picturesque backdrop.
A prominent show currently running is A Royal Passion: Queen Victoria and Photography (until June 8th), which looks at the relationship between the royal and the new art form (it emerged in 1839, two years after Victoria ascended the throne).
The Hammer Museum
The institution describes itself as being ‘a unique, cutting-edge arts institution that connects the classics and the contemporary through its varied collections, wide-ranging exhibitions, and provocative programmes’.
It was founded in 1990 by the eponymous Dr. Armand Hammer, former chairman of Occidental Petroleum Corporation, under the direction of promoting culture, showcasing works by underrepresented artists and interpreting art past and present.
Upcoming exhibitions include Made in LA 2014 (June 15th until September 7th), which, true to its mission statement, focuses on emerging and recognised artists within Los Angeles.
Cadogan Tate is an expert provider of fine art transport.