Installation view of "Paul Pfeiffer: Prologue to the Story of the Birth of Freedom", at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA.
Photo: Zak Kelley; Courtesy of The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA).

7 Must-See Shows During Frieze L.A.

An Angeleno’s brief guide to the best shows in town

For art lovers and out-of-towners coming to Los Angeles for LA next week, there is a plethora of shows on view throughout the city. Below, find a list of some of the most fascinating gallery and museum presentations.

Installation view of "Paul Pfeiffer: Prologue to the Story of the Birth of Freedom", at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. Photo: Zak Kelley; Courtesy of The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA).

1. “Paul Pfeiffer: Prologue to the Story of the Birth of Freedom” at the The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA

From the 1990s onward, Paul Pfeiffer closely observed the zeitgeist of pop culture media—the NBA, Michael Jackson, Manny Pacquiao and more—and played the clips back to us in ways that isolated and emphasized the strangeness of our spectatorly rituals. His decades of video installations, presented on TV sets, portable DVD players and more, mesmerize in uncanny ways, having zeroed in on the idea of virality before the word existed. Prescient and captivating, this is the best show in LA right now. The museum presents a conversation with the artist and curator Clara Kim on Thursday, Feb. 29 at 6 p.m.

Through June 16, 2024 


Installation view of “Jason Rhoades. DRIVE” at Hauser & Wirth Downtown Los Angeles. Photo: Keith Lubow; Courtesy the Estate and Hauser & Wirth

2. “Jason Rhoades. DRIVE” at Hauser & Wirth Downtown Los Angeles

During the late conceptual artist Jason Rhoades’ brilliant but tragically brief career, the car symbolized many things: modernist acceleration into the future, L.A.’s urban iconography, and a work of art that accumulated history as it drove from place to place. Recently taken out of storage, four of his cars are headlining a year-long, ever-evolving exhibition that unpacks their histories, including the time he turned his Chevy Impala into a mobile museum, or persuaded a French museum to split the cost of a used Chevy Caprice—all in the name of relational aesthetics.

Through January 14, 2025 


Alfonso Gonzalez Jr., Abogados Tierra Caliente (billboard), (2024). Photo: Charles White; Courtesy of the artist and Jeffrey Deitch Los Angeles

3. “At the Edge of the Sun” at Jeffrey Deitch

The 12 artists featured here, including painters Mario Ayala and Alfonso Gonzalez Jr., and multidisciplinary artists rafa esparza and Guadalupe Rosales, represent LA art history as it’s forming right now. Forging a new path in the long tradition of depicting LA, they present new hybrid visions of the city, merging the various aesthetic languages of nightlife, urban signage, lowrider cars, and other elements of Chicano culture across a wide array of media.

Through May 4, 2024 

Kangja, Kiss Me, 1967-2001 as featured in "Only the Young: Experimental Art in Korea, 1960s–1970s". Photo: Ariel Ione Williams

4. “Only the Young: Experimental Art in South Korea, 1960s–70s” The Hammer

Driven by rapid industrial and cultural shifts, a generation of young South Korean artists began pursuing radical modes of art-making in the decades following the 1950s Korean War. The exhibition of more than 80 works captures a brilliant and fertile moment in the South Korean avant-garde, highlighting iconic performances like Lee Kang-So’s Disappearance, Bar in the Gallery (1973), or the more provocative Murder at the Han Riverside (1968) by Kukjin Kang, Kangja Jung and Chanseung Jung.

Through May 12, 2024 

Installation view of "Maxwell's Demon". Photo: Courtesy of Canary Test

5. “Maxwell’s Demon” at Canary Test

Focusing on thought-provoking, installation-based, and generally non-market-oriented work, Canary Test is one of the most underrated galleries to ever grace an unassuming downtown storefront. In their current group show curated by Zachary Korol Gold, six artists (including Brian Bowman, Lara Joy Evans and Marcus Zúñiga) respond to physicist James Clerk Maxwell’s 19th-century thought experiment in thermodynamics.

Through March 3, 2024

Trulee Hall, Octopus Caresses, (2024). Photo: Courtesy of the artist and François Ghebaly

6. Trulee Hall, “She Shells” at François Ghebaly

Trulee Hall has the world-building ambitions of a filmmaker—one professionally trained in painting, set-design, stop-motion animation, CGI, musical composition and more. In her debut exhibition with the gallery, new videos and installations take the viewer on an allegorical journey that is at once comedic, grotesque, and sexually liberating.

Through March 30, 2024 

Installation view of “The Violet Hour” at Night Gallery. Photo: Courtesy of Night Gallery

7. Ben Tong, “The Violet Hour” at Night Gallery

If photography is Ben Tong’s first language, painting is his second; you can detect hints of his previous life as a photographer on the canvas, almost like an accent. His new suite of abstracted still life comprises marks that simulate the effects of a camera, including light leaks, lens flares, and the blurred motion of long exposure. The subject is in fact never present physically, only as a manifestation of light—a projection, a reflection, or a shadow.

Through March 9, 2024 


Cover: Installation view of "Paul Pfeiffer: Prologue to the Story of the Birth of Freedom", at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA.
Photo: Zak Kelley; Courtesy of The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA).


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