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Thought LA is all about film? Think again. The City of Angels’ art scene rivals that of New York and Berlin. Take advantage of the sunny weather with indoor-outdoor spaces, make a pilgrimage to Frieze’s new location or venture to the sprawling Getty – whatever you choose, you’ll be guaranteed an experience that stands out between days of bike rides by the sea.

Thought Los Angeles was just about film? These art galleries will change your mind…

The Broad

Jam-packed with big names – Basquiat and Warhol might catch your eye – The Broad is an LA institution and a must-visit. Admission is free, and the Insta-famous Yayoi Kusama Infinity Mirror Rooms won’t disappoint. The gift shop won’t either; with gorgeous prints and “Buy Art Not Followers” t-shirts on offer, you may need an extra carry-on. Afterwards, stop by breezy Otium restaurant next door to mingle with other art lovers over little-gem salads and grown-up grilled cheese with tomato soup.

LA Louver

This gallery’s low-key, minimalist exterior may blend with the surrounding boutiques and ice-cream shops of Venice, but it’s an absolute standout. It’s a contemporary European and American art gallery, so expect to see works from big names such as David Hockney alongside newcomers. LA Louver also hosts a “Rogue Wave” program, which focuses in on LA-based artists, making a visit to the gallery one that’s very much grounded in the city. Documentary screenings and talks go hand-in-hand with the rotating pieces on display.

Frieze Los Angeles

The latest addition on the Frieze track, Los Angeles now hosts an annual showing of some of the top galleries out there. The 2020 show takes place at Paramount Pictures Studios, so weave your way between film sets as you make your way over to the collections, and make sure to check out the outdoor general admission space on its own Hollywood set for food-truck bites and pop-up shops.

Kayne Griffin Corcoran

Come for exhibitions by the likes of David Lynch and Peter Shire, stay for the highly photogenic building. With an exterior that’s completely covered in ivy save for iron-framed doors that beckon you inside, this gallery occupies one of the most beautiful spaces in the city – and yet this still doesn’t manage to steal the artworks’ thunder. It houses bright statement pieces and enormous psychedelic paintings, so you certainly won’t be at a loss for drama here.

LACMA

A museum that’s as proportionately gargantuan as the city that houses it, LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) presents an impressively wide spectrum of exhibitions. Whether it’s iconic Frank Stella pieces or an exploration on the art of Korean writing you’re after, it’s got it all. The space is architecturally stunning, and makes a visit well worthwhile. If you’re taking on a number of shows during one trip to LACMA, refuel at the museum’s Ray’s + Stark Bar with a farm-to-table mixed mushroom and fior di latte pizza.

The Getty

The Getty is renowned for being more than just a space for art – the expansive gardens, sweeping LA views and architecture are integral parts of the experience. The art is quite European for a Californian museum; the permanent collection almost feels more Louvre than Los Angeles, with antique Greek and Roman sculptures and paintings by Rembrandt and Van Gogh decorating the walls. The rotating exhibitions are extremely varied, focusing on architectural giants in some (such as a deep-dive into the history of the Notre-Dame cathedral) and lighter shows including Flights of Fancy: The Galle Chandelier. All in all, this museum fuses the scenery of LA – mansion-dotted hills illuminated by golden light and spiraling gardens – with some in-depth art history.

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