With the vibrant history of California art movements and a rapidly growing gallery scene, Los Angeles is a hotspot for contemporary art on the West Coast. Several of the leading contemporary art museums in the United States are scattered across the city, consistently presenting new works by major international artists, in addition to a number of institutions with historic Asian art collections. With several art fairs recently added to its calendar, LA has also become a destination on the contemporary art fair circuit.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art – 5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles:

LACMA is the largest art museum in the western United States, exhibiting a multitude of works from ancient to contemporary. Curated exhibitions frequently transcend media boundaries, emphasizing experimentation and new points of view through international partnerships. The collection of South Asian art, including Indian art, is also one of the most comprehensive on the West Coast. Past highlights include Monsoon: Indian Paintings of the Rainy Season and Ancient Art of India: Masterworks of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which traveled to Mexico City for the first-ever ancient Indian art exhibit in Mexico.

The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) – 250 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles (MOCA) & 152 North Central Avenue, Los Angeles (The Geffen):

Comprising two locations, MOCA Grand Avenue and The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, this artist-founded museum is dedicated to ground-breaking contemporary art from 1940 through today. MOCA champions the significant and challenging art of our time and focuses on community engagement through educational programs and publishing, offering some of the most exciting Los Angeles art museum events.

Norton Simon Museum – 411 West Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena:

In the 1970s, philanthropist and preeminent art collector Norton Simon rescued the Pasadena Art Museum from financial hardship. The museum was subsequently renamed after him and took on his vast private art collection, which encompassed modern art, European painting and sculpture, Asian art and more. The collection is especially rich in South Asian art history, including monumental stone sculpture from the Kushana and Gupta periods, Chola bronzes from southern India and Rajput paintings.

Fowler Museum at UCLA – 308 Charles E. Young Drive, Los Angeles:

Located on the UCLA campus, the Fowler Museum surveys global arts and cultures with an emphasis on Africa, Asia, the Pacific and the Indigenous Americas. The permanent collection includes a wide range of Asian art and archeological objects, such as Indian textiles and puppetry. Recent highlights of Indian art include exhibitions on Jain devotional textiles and jewelry of the Thar Desert, as well as a solo presentation of contemporary Indian artist Rina Banjeree.

Frieze Los Angeles – 3027 Airport Avenue, Santa Monica:

A leading international art fair, Frieze has organized its Los Angeles edition since 2019 in celebration of the city’s unique culture and contemporary art scene. Boasting over 120 of the world’s leading galleries gathered under one roof for California art collectors, the fair is now hosted at the Santa Monica Airport and typically runs in February.