Skip to content
Bas Jan Ader

Hidden Narratives: Recent Acquisitions of Postwar Art

Ahmanson Building, Level 2
February 17, 2018–January 6, 2019


Hidden Narratives brings together a selection of recent acquisitions from LACMA’s growing collection of modern and contemporary art. Though the works on view were made decades apart by artists of different backgrounds, they nevertheless share certain conceptual and formal concerns. The featured artists communicate narratives in artistic mediums ranging from painting to sculpture, from film to mixed media, and through both abstract and figurative means. The stories they relay remain enigmatic, allowing viewers to interpret the works through the lens of their own experiences.

Many of these artists explore language as an artistic medium or conceptual framework, as seen in works by Jesse Howard, Joseph Kosuth, Los Carpinteros, Alexis Smith, and Lawrence Weiner. Others foreground the body, considering its capabilities and limits, and the stories it might mask or expose; this interest in physicality is evident in pieces by Bas Jan Ader, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Ken Price, Dorothea Tanning, and Idelle Weber. Whether focusing attention on the artists’ personal beliefs and experiences, on shared cultural narratives, or on the overlooked, the works included in this exhibition illuminate the times in which they were made while also resonating in the present day.