The L.A. gothic is as unlikely a sub-genre as they come. But there you have it—a varied collective of auteurs like David Lynch, Joan Didion, and Tim Burton unearthing a weird, dark dread in the land of sun and fun. Llyn Foulkes is a logical counterpart in the realm of visual art. Instead of going for the hellish, oppressive heat one might expect, his desert landscapes feel somehow chilly, evocative of a stark gray oblivion. And his portraits—see Crucifixion (1985), in which J.C. emerges from a man’s decimated face—are the stuff of nightmares. The New Museum’s career retrospective on the Los Angeles-based artist features close to 100 works spanning Foulkes’s 50-year-long career and is the first New York museum exhibition of his work. Experience the shiver-producing collection now before it heads to Germany in the fall.

Mondays-Sundays, 10 a.m. Starts: June 12. Continues through Sept. 1, 2013