This weekend is your last chance to enjoy Ai Weiwei’s outdoor installation, Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads. The exhibition seems to have inspired a number of our curators to write Unframed posts: contemporary curator Franklin Sirmans gives some background on the artist and installation of the zodiac heads at LACMA. Stephen Little, head curator of Chinese and Korean art, wrote about the presence of European Jesuits in eighteenth-century China and the creation of the Yuan Ming Yuan, or “Palace of Perfect Brightness,” where the original Zodiac heads that inspired Ai’s piece resided before the palace was destroyed in 1860. Decorative Arts and Design curator Elizabeth Williams used Ai’s sculptures as a jumping-off point to talk about the influence of Chinese motifs in eighteenth-century European decorative arts.
Starting Saturday, you’ll find two works on paper by the late Mike Kelley, on view in the Ahmanson Building across from the Art Catalogues store. Kelley, who lived in Los Angeles, was one of the most influential artists of his generation and will be greatly missed. The installation will be up through March 11. Look for an Unframed post on Kelley next week.
Tonight our tribute to 100 Years of Paramount Pictures continues with a double feature of two films directed by Sidney J. Furie. First up is 1972’s Lady Sings the Blues, starring Diana Ross as Billie Holiday and also feature Richard Pryor and Billie Dee Williams. The second feature sees Pryor and Williams teaming up again a year later for the action film Hit!
On Sunday afternoon curator Stephen Little will give a talk on authenticity in traditional Chinese painting—how does one tell a fake from the real thing? The lecture is $10 for general admission, $5 for LACMA members, and is free for members of the East Asian Art Council.
The weekend concludes with a free concert by the Lincoln Trio, who will perform works by Beethoven, Lera Auerbach, Stacy Garrop, Jennifer Higdon, and Astor Piazolla for our weekly Sundays Live series.
And of course there are many other exhibitions and installations on view, including In Wonderland, our specially ticketed exhibition on surrealist women artists; Chris Burden’s Metropolis II (check for operating times over the weekend); and the stunning Ellsworth Kelly retrospective.