FROM Carolina Miranda
'PST: LA/LA:' Performance art to check out A 10-day festival of modern performance art launches tomorrow. It’s called Live Art LA/LA, and it’s part of Pacific Standard Time. There will be shows at 25 different locations around LA, and more than 200 performers from 15 Latin American countries.
Why experimental art gallery Machine Project mattered Machine Project has been running in Echo Park since 2003, but it’s shutting down next week. The Machine Project enabled artists to collaborate on experimental projects, and it worked with big institutions like LACMA and the Hammer Museum. We look back at the highlights of Machine Project over the last 15 years.
The year in controversial art In 2017, several major art exhibits were changed because of protests. The Guggenheim pulled three pieces after animal rights activists said there was animal cruelty. The Whitney removed a piece by a white artist depicting Emmett Till’s death out of its Biennial due to public outrage. Events like these raise questions about censorship, artistic expression and power in the art world.
LACMA gets $150M for its redesign, so will it actually happen? LACMA announced a massive gift from music mogul David Geffen today. We also talk about a retrospective of the Brazilian artist Anna Maria Maiolino here in LA. And in New York, the Guggenheim Museum is taking heat from animal rights activists and the art world about some controversial works.
Artists mash up Japanese and California culture Kozyndan is a husband and wife artist duo. She’s Kozi. He’s Dan. Their work uses visual puns to celebrate and poke fun at California culture. Like their painting of P22, the Griffith Park mountain lion, eating a koala from the Los Angeles Zoo. We look at Kozydan’s new show “The Golden State” at the Gregorio Escalante gallery. Escalante died unexpectedly last week. We remember him as one of the founders of the lowbrow art movement in Southern California -- a movement influenced by punk, tattoos and graffiti.
Found in Translation Francisco Artigas and Fernando Luna, House at 131 Rocas, Jardines del Pedregal, Mexico City, 1966 Photograph by Fernando and Roberto Luna, 1966 Courtesy of Fernando Luna, © Roberto and Fernando Luna Mexico, our neighbor to the south, has long influenced California's design and architecture. Turns out, the inspiration flows both ways, a story that is told through art, artefacts and architecture in LACMA's new PST LA/LA exhibition, Found in Translation: Design in California and Mexico 1915-1985 ." The goal, co-curator Wendy Kaplan tells DnA, was to recontextualize the "usual suspects", the "dreamy evocation of Spanish dons, the hacienda, the noble native, as opposed to the decimation and appropriation of indigenous Mexican culture. So we present the myths and we dispel the myths, but also discuss the persistence of myth and how that has affected perceptions up until today." The exhibition covers four main periods -- Spanish Colonial Inspiration, Pre-Hispanic Revivals, Folk Art and Craft Traditions, and Modernism -- from Bertram Goodhue's Mexican-influenced designs for the Panama California fair; through posters, furniture and sculpture by Mexican artists inspired by indigenous art traditions; to Op-Arts' influence on the look for the 1968 Mexico City Olympics and Mexican influence on Deborah Sussman's color palette for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Along the way the show questions why for so long Mexican influence was credited to Spain; and why we put up walls between two countries that have been sampling each other's cultures for so long. The LA Times arts writer Carolina Miranda talks to DnA about a subset of this cross-pollination: the "colonial californiano" buildings in 1930s Mexico City copied from Hollywood's "Spanish-style" architecture. Describing the exchange as a cultural "hall of mirrors," she says, "It is not American culture. It is not Mexican culture. It goes back and forth. People are influenced by each other's culture. People build on each other's culture. People appropriate each other's culture all the time. And that's what you see going on here."
Exhibit celebrates Latin American influence on art and culture in LA The massive arts series called Pacific Standard Time officially launches its latest series next week. It’s called “PST: LA/LA,” and it runs through January. There will be more than 80 exhibitions in museums and galleries across Southern California. It won’t just be visual art. There are concerts on the schedule, too. The organizers call it “an exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles.”
Two new photo exhibits in LA focus on working class life Star Montana’s new exhibit, “I Dream of Los Angeles,” is now on view at the Main Museum in downtown LA. It includes portraits of young, working class people trying to hold onto their dreams amid crime and poverty. Also at the Getty Center, there’s an exhibit up called “Now Then: Chris Killip and the Making of ‘In Flagrante.’” Killip’s images are of industrial towns in northeastern England in the 1970s and ‘80s.
VR art exhibit shows harrowing experience of migrants Alejandro González Iñárritu, director of “Birdman” and “The Revenant,” has a new exhibit at LACMA. It’s called “Carne y Arena,” and it uses virtual reality to simulate what it’s like for a refugee crossing the US-Mexico border.
Definition of home is at heart of a new LACMA exhibit LACMA’s “Home: So Different, So Appealing” features work by about 40 artists from the Americas. This is the first show in Pacific Standard Time, a collection of art exhibitions taking over Southern California museums, galleries, and performance spaces. The theme is the “exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles”
Inside the Guess founders' new modern art museum A brand new contemporary art museum opened Thursday in the former Scottish Rite Masonic Temple on Wilshire Blvd. The Marciano Art Foundation displays the art collection of Paul and Maurice Marciano, the founders of the fashion brand Guess.
National Park Service addresses race and civil rights The National Park Service was founded 100 years ago to preserve the country’s natural beauty and historic sites. In the last 20 years or so, NPS has added sites that tell stories about the Japanese internment, forcible desegregation in the South, and the plight of migrant farmworkers.
Court rules Norton Simon Museum can keep Nazi-looted masterpieces Another case of art taken by the Nazis from Jews during World War II has been working its way through the California courts. At stake are two of the Norton Simon Museum’s most prized masterpieces: 500-year-old German renaissance paintings of Adam and Eve. However, unlike in some other cases in recent years, a California district court judge has ruled the museum has a right to keep the art.
An explosion of public art We've been hearing two things about Los Angeles in recent years. It's fast-becoming an art capital, and it's embracing public space, with new parks, public transit, a reclaimed river and more. But are the two connected? Because if you drive, walk or take the train right now you will see a lot of art. The list includes: the recent Current LA: Water public art biennial that put conceptual art installations relating to the theme of water, in far-flung corners of the city; Liquid Shard, the floaty tinselly wing suspended over Pershing Square by Patrick Shearn that drew crowds to the unloved park; artworks at each station on the new Gold Line and Expo Line Extensions; and a bumper crop of new murals across the region.
George Saunders: Lincoln in the Bardo (Part I) Lincoln in the Bardo dramatizes a grieving President Lincoln as he visits the grave of his beloved son Willie, who died at age eleven. In the novel, the buried dead believe they're not dead -- "they're sick and refer to their coffins as "sick boxes."
Farewell LA freeways, Peter Shire is back Angelenos don't want more freeways but we seem not to want mass transit either. Metro has killed the 710 freeway extension, and bus and train ridership is down across the region. What's the future of getting around in LA? And, Peter Shire is having a comeback. What attracts a new generation to his playful ceramics and furniture?