Back to the Future: 2013

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Thoughts of abundance and devotion provide a worthy start to a new year and they happen to be the title of an exhibition of work by the late Miriam Wosk opening at the Santa Monica Museum of Art on January 19. These lavish, decorative paintings by an engaged and philanthropic artist incorporate foils, beads, butterflies, glitter, and so forth until the surfaces were fairly encrusted. In addition, Peter Shire, a friend of the artist, presents eight of his giant teapots, using that functional form as a springboard to sculpture, in the museum's project room in a show called "Tea for Two Hundred."

Miriam Wosk, "The Phenomenology of the Self," 2004–2005
Courtesy of The Miriam Wosk Family Trust

Another wholly original artist will be celebrated when the Hammer Museum presents a retrospective of Lyn Foulkes, a brilliant eccentric who first showed with Ferus in the 60's. He has made paintings that are layered so thickly with paint that they extend into the gallery, and often include the characters of Mickey Mouse, Superman or the Lone Ranger but featured in less heroic circumstances. Also, he will perform on his machine, a one man band of drums, car horns and musical instruments. Now 77, the show organized by Ali Subotnick, is long overdue. It opens February 3.

Llyn Foulkes, "The Lost Frontier," 1997-2005 Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, purchased with funds provided by Erika Glazer; Susan Steinhauser and Daniel Greenberg/The Greenberg Foundation; Amy Adelson and Dean Valentine; Linda and Jerry Janger; Kadima Foundation; Heidi and Erik Murkoff; Susan Bay Nimoy and Leonard Nimoy; and Joel Portnoy

Breaking ground, so to speak, in April is PST 2, more formally called "Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in LA." Building on the success of its survey of modern art and design in Southern California, the Getty now devotes its resources to the city's architectural history including a show of A. Quincy Jones at the Hammer and at the Getty itself, a show called "Overdrive: LA Constructs the Future 1940-1990" by the GRI. It turns out that LA actually did have a master plan and we will learn more about it.

Julius Shulman © J. Paul Getty Trust; The Getty Research Institute

And in May, LACMA presents "James Turrell: A Retrospective," organized by the museum's director Michael Govan with curator Christine Kim to look at half a century of work by one of the best known of the artists from the LA area to work with light and space. His name is familiar to many for his work on Roden Crater, the volcano in northern Arizona that he has spent decades in fine tuning as an environmental installation of captured and framed light. It opens May 26.

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Banner image: Detail from Miriam Wosk's "The Grotto," 2006. Courtesy of the Miriam Wosk Family Trust