Upon entering the exhibition in L.A., you can see, at a glance, the different sections of the show. Dead ahead are a group of assemblages by Edward Kienholz, one of the reigning stars of L.A. art throughout his multi-decades career. Almost immediately, you are introduced to some first- and second-generation Abstract Expressionists as well as early plaster pieces by Claes Oldenberg that Virginia Dwan brought to California from New York. There is also a splendid Robert Rauschenberg work executed with materials the artist scavenged in L.A.. In the distance, you can see Robert Grosvenor’s yellow riddle of a sculpture. By the time you enter the space set aside for paintings and sculptures by the Minimalists Sol LeWitt, Robert Morris, Robert Ryman, and Jo Baer, the austerity and rigor of these works could not be been more pronounced. Shown together, they deliver the same shock they initially gave to viewers back in the day. Though represented by photographs, drawings, and other documentation, the Earthworks section that brought the show to its close reminded visitors just how large and radical these projects once were.

At LACMA, “Dwan Gallery: Los Angeles to New York, 1959–1971” leaves you with a nuanced taste for the period under review. In the beautiful, adaptable pavilion built by architect Renzo Piano, it also gives you a great feel for the vaunted light and space of the art scene in Los Angeles.