Terry Riley now, Minimalism and Maximalism in 2017

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This is the only weekend to enjoy the performance of radical composer Terry Riley within the context of Doug Aitken's installations at MOCA. Aitken's sensitivity to music is an indisputable strength of his retrospective, Electric Earth, closing January 15. The composer, whose 1964 In C influenced the direction of Minimalist music, has had an impact on musicians ranging from Philip Glass to The Who.

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Terry Riley

The catch is that there are very few performances, the first is tonight at 7pm. Other improvisatory performances responding to Aitken's art will be held on an impromptu basis throughout the weekend. The experiential and unpredictable aspect is in keeping with Aitken's outreach as an artist, one that led him to cover huge sculptures with mirror-finishes and submerge them off the coast of Catalina for the next two months.

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Installation view, "Carl Andre: Sculpture as Place, 1958–2010"
Dia:Beacon, Riggio Galleries, Beacon, New York
© Carl Andre/Licensed by VAGA, New York
Photo by Bill Jacobson Studio, New York. Courtesy Dia Art Foundation, New York

On the topic of Minimalism and MOCA, one of this year's most anticipated shows is Carl Andre: Sculpture as Place, 1958-2010 which opens in early April. This five-decade retrospective, which I saw in its brilliant presentation at DIA in Beacon, NY, includes the artist's signature arrangements of metal squares on the floor, other simple but grand sculptures as well as photographs and ephemera.

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Robert Smithson, "Spiral Jetty," 1970
Rozel Point, Great Salt Lake, Utah
© Holt-Smithson Foundation/licensed by VAGA, New York, NY
Photo by Gianfranco Gorgoni

An early supporter of Minimalism was Virginia Dwan whose LA-based gallery was a great boon to the 1960s scene. She moved her gallery to New York in 1965 where her influence only expanded in helping to facilitate important land art by Robert Smithson, Michael Heizer and others. Her role is examined in Los Angeles to New York: Dwan Gallery, 1959-1971, an exhibition of her own collections that opens at LACMA in mid-March.

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Marisa Merz, "Living Sculpture," 1966
Aluminum and paint. 138 1/4 × 104 × 71 in. (351.2 × 264.2 × 180.3 cm)
Art Institute Chicago

Among those experimental artists of the 1960s was Marisa Merz, associated with Italian Arte Povera movement, so named for their use of non-previous materials. The first retrospective of her work opens at the Hammer Museum in early June.

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Rendering a future gallery space in the Marciano Art Foundation
Image courtesy of wHY

Less minimal is the springtime opening of the latest of LA's mushrooming museum scene. The Marciano Art Foundation will house the contemporary art collections of fashion moguls Maurice and Paul Marciano in the Scottish Rite Temple on Wilshire Boulevard, which has been renovated by wHY architecture. The initial exhibition also includes an installation of Jim Shaw's Wig Museum.

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Installation view, "Jason Rhoades. Tijuanatanjierchandelier,"
CAC Centro de Arte Contemporaneo, Malaga, Spain, 2016
© The Estate of Jason Rhoades
Courtesy the artist, Hauser & Wirth, and David Zwirner

Beginning in February, the gallery-cum-kunsthalle Hauser Wirth and Schimmel presents a trifecta of shows of artists supported by Paul Schimmel since the 1990s when he was curator of MOCA: the late Jason Rhoades, Paul McCarthy and the late Mike Kelley, all responsible for a fundamental shift in the use of multiple media and immersive installations.

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Nose Ornament with Spiders, Salinar culture, 1st century BCE-2nd century CE
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Image © The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The year will wind down in high gear in September with LALA, not the marvelous musical but the latest iteration of the Getty's Pacific Standard Time initiative. From Pre-Columbian ornament at the Getty Museum to Painted in Mexico at LACMA to Radical Women at the Hammer to Lina Bo Bardi and Albert Frey at the Palm Springs Museum to The Making of the Modern at the San Diego Museum of Art. Well, we are all going to be wishing we had electric cars as we travel from city to city, county to county, checking out these extremely varied perspectives on the relationships between Los Angeles and Latin America.