This Weekend at LACMA: Under the Mexican Sky: Gabriel Figueroa Opens, The Golden Age of Mexican Cinema on the Silver Screen, The Altadena Art + Film Lab Continues, and More!

The beginning of fall marks a great opportunity to visit LACMA. The debut of the latest chapter from our Art + Film initiative takes place this Sunday with the unveiling of Under the Mexican Sky: Gabriel Figueroa—Art and Film. Centered on the prolific career of Mexican cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa (1907–1997), this exhibition highlights the distinctive and vivid visual style of one of the most important figures from the Golden Age of Mexican cinema. The depth and scope of Figueroa’s work was exceptional. In fact, he was considered by many as the “Fourth Muralist” of Mexico, alongside Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and José Clemente Orozco. The exhibition invites visitors to witness the emblematic and lasting image of Mexico as it was framed by Gabriel Figueroa. Under the Mexican Sky: Gabriel Figueroa—Art and Film opens on Sunday, September 22, to the public. Members see it first (with free admission) beginning Friday.

Gabriel Figueroa, Film still from Enemigos, directed by Chano Urueta, 1933, (c) Gabriel Figueroa Flores Archive

Gabriel Figueroa, film still from Enemigos, directed by Chano Urueta, 1933, © Gabriel Figueroa Flores Archive

In conjunction with this grand exhibition, LACMA presents The Golden Age of Cinema, featuring the enduring films of Gabriel Figueroa. The series opens with a double feature of Enamorada (A Woman in Love) and Flor Silvestre (Wild Flower), beginning on Friday at 7:30 pm. Enamorada (1946) tells the romantic story of a charming general and a passion piqued by the daughter of the richest man in town. Flor Silvestre (1943) is another collaboration from the famed director-cinematographer duo of Emilio Fernández and Gabriel Figueroa. In this story, a plantation heir falls for both the poor farmer’s daughter and the revolutionary movement. On Saturday, Salón México at 5 pm and Victimas del Pecado (Victims of Sin) at 7:30 pm illuminate the Bing Theater. Salón México (1948), a noir-tinged melodrama, follows the troubles of a working girl in this stylish look of Mexico’s urban landscape. Victimas del Pecado (1951) is another black-and-white noir by Figueroa, serving as a metaphor for modernity’s inevitability and reach. The film series continues each weekend through October 11.

The Altadena Art + Film Lab at Charles White Park will be busy all weekend long with free public programming, including two Oral History Drop-in sessions on Friday and Saturday, a Mini Docs Workshop at noon on Saturday, and a Composition Workshop at noon on Sunday. And at this go-around, we’ll be screening Jackie Chan’s Police Story in the outdoor big screen beginning at 8 pm on Saturday night. Don’t forget the blankets and popcorn.

If it’s free live music you need this weekend, LACMA has you covered. Jazz at LACMA hosts Grammy Award–nominated pianist and composer Alan Pasqua. Currently a professor of jazz studies at USC, Pasqua has previously worked with music legends like Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, and Carlos Santana, to name a few. The show begins at 6 pm on Friday. Closing out the weekend, Sundays Live brings violinist Phillip Levy and pianist Peter Wittenberg to the Bing Theater, performing works from Edvard Grieg and Ludwig von Beethoven. The concert begins at 6 pm on Sunday.

Edward Steichen, Mrs. Paul Abbott, Vanity Fair, February , 1924, reproduced with permission of Joanna T. Steichen, gift of Richard and Jackie Hollander

Edward Steichen, Mrs. Paul Abbott, Vanity Fair, February 1924, reproduced with permission of Joanna T. Steichen, gift of Richard and Jackie Hollander

After visiting the new Gabriel Figueroa show, stop by a few of our favorite exhibitions currently on view. Talk of the Town: Portraits by Edward Steichen from the Hollander Collection features works from one of the most admired photographers of the 1920s and 1930s. Kitasono Katue: Surrealist Poet demonstrates how visual art and poetry intersect. And Little Boxes: Photography and the Suburbs documents and comments upon the architectural, environmental, and social impact of tract housing. Lastly, visit Andell Family Sundays, on Sunday at 12:30 pm, which continues its study of Pinaree Sanpitak: Hanging by a Threadwith textile art projects for the entire family. Fall could not have come at a better time.

Roberto Ayala

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