This Weekend at LACMA: Free Target Monday, Last Outdoor Film, Last Latin Sounds, Exhibition Last Days

August 31, 2012

As summer comes to a close, so do a few of LACMA’s summer staples, including four exhibitions, our outdoor animated film series, and our free Latin Sounds concerts. We end the long Labor Day weekend on a high note, though, with free admission all day Monday thanks to Target.

Canadian jazz chanteuse Carol Welsman kicks off the long weekend with a free Jazz at LACMA concert, which starts at 6 pm. Next, shuffle the kiddies over to the park to catch the final film in our Animation August film series, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.

Join us tomorrow afternoon at 5 pm for our last Latin Sounds concert of this season, featuring the inimitable BombaChante. Warning: Be prepared to dance and to have fun.

Also this weekend—don’t miss four remarkable exhibitions that are in their final days here at LACMA—all come to a close on September 9.

Sharon Lockhart | Noa Eshkol pairs contemporary photographer and filmmaker Sharon Lockhart with Israeli textile artist and dance composer Noa Eshkol. Lockhart explores the dance notation system and wall carpets of the late Eshkol through photographs, archival materials, and a five-channel video installation featuring dancers performing Eshkol’s original compositions.

Sharon Lockhart, production still from Five Dances and Nine Wall Carpets by Noa Eshkol (detail), 2011, five-channel film installation (35mm film transferred to HD, sound), © Sharon Lockhart, 2012

Michael Heizer: Actual Size: Munich Rotary is one of two temporary Heizer exhibitions on view now. This one, in the Resnick Pavilion, uses six custom-built film projectors to exhibit spliced images of Heizer’s 1969 negative space sculpture, Munich Depression. LACMA’s exhibition is the first time that this work has been displayed in more than thirty years.

Installation view, Actual Size: Munich Rotary, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, July 17–September 9, 2012, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, gift of Virginia Dwan 96.137, © Michael Heizer, photo © 2012 Museum Associates/LACMA

. . . Is James Bond shakes its last martini on September 9 as well (but stay tuned because Film Independent at LACMA continues to honor the fiftieth anniversary of the secret agent with screenings of classic 007 films throughout September).

Lastly, September 9 is also the last day to catch the incredible installation The German Woodcut: Renaissance and Expressionist Revival, which displays some fifty incredible German woodcuts, ranging in themes, style, and intended audience.

Hans Baldung Grien, Stallion and Kicking Mare with Wild Horses, 1534, Los Angeles County Fund

In September, Andell Family Sundays explores Tony Smith’s monumental sculpture Smoke to celebrate the artist’s birthday. Bring the family to the museum for free 3-D-art-making activities, starting at 12:30 pm. (Beat the heat and slip into BCAM to Chris Burden’s Metropolis II while you’re here.)

Stick around for our free Sundays Live concert featuring Endre Balogh, Dennis Karmazyn, and Bryan Pezzone.

Don’t forget—Labor Day is a Free Target Holiday Monday, which means admission is free. Have a great long weekend, and we hope to see you here!

Jenny Miyasaki


Blonde Ambition

August 29, 2012

It’s not every LACMA staffer who is involved in putting together an exhibition and who also finds his face in the show.  Such is the case for Ryan Linkof, Ralph M. Parsons Curatorial Fellow in the Wallis Annenberg Photography Department, and the current exhibition  The Sun and Other Stars: Katy Grannan and Charlie WhiteUnframed’s Stephanie Sykes walked through the exhibition with Ryan to discuss what the inclusion of his school portrait means to the exhibition.


Installation view, The Sun and Other Stars: Katy Grannan and Charlie White, © Charlie White, photo © 2012 Museum Associates/LACMA

How did you end up as part of Charlie White’s exhibited research material?
I helped Charlie and his assistant put together this piece, which is a purpose-built installation of teen ephemera, dating from the 1940s through the present day.  The images are taken from teen and tween magazines and vintage advertisements that Charlie has collected over the years.  Some of it he’d had for decades; some of it he got on eBay; some of it he had his assistant buy that day from Walgreen’s. His intent was to show the production and manufacture of the blonde teenager as a central part of the American mythology of youth.

As I was helping him, I was looking at a picture of Ricky Schroder from the mid-1980s and jokingly mentioned that I looked a little bit like him as a child. He laughed and said, “I can imagine,” and asked me to send him a picture.  I knew I had this school portrait that was a point of shame and embarrassment for me for a long time, but which now I quite like.  I used to fear that my friends would see it because it highlights all the naïve tween vulnerability that I really wanted to dispel in my later teen years. There’s something about those feathered bangs and pink and purple lettering that doesn’t exactly shout masculinity, which is something I worried about as a teenager.

I sent him the image, and he immediately said he wanted to include it.  So, there I am.



How do you feel your image sits amongst the others?
It fits well within the piece. There’s a naïve, blonde, happy quality that I’m exuding that is definitely part of the celebrity culture Charlie captures. A lot of this exhibition plays with the real versus the prosthetic.  At what point does the mythology of teen life become reality, and vice versa? This picture is not contrived for public distribution, and I was very much that pink-cheeked child.  The fact that I resemble so closely these other produced identities—which are carefully designed and marketed for mass consumption—speaks to the ways in which the manufactured image and the lived reality of a particular type of youth experience is often one and the same, both feeding off of one another.

It’s interesting that this image was in some ways a source of shame for you, yet here it sits in an installation examining the idealized American youth. When you were younger, did you have any concept of your pop culture appeal?  Did you realize you were a part of this culture?
I was an avid consumer of all these things. I had an older sister and read all these magazines, so in some way I was absorbing this visual culture.

It’s hard to say if I was aware of my role within the system of pop culture back then. At a certain point in my life, I really wanted to be in the entertainment industry, so yes, I suppose in some way I wanted to be part of it and wanted to look like that.  I mean, look how happy I seem!

Installation view, The Sun and Other Stars: Katy Grannan and Charlie White, © Charlie White, photo © 2012 Museum Associates/LACMA. Ryan’s photo is in the lower right corner.

The Sun and Other Stars: Katy Grannan and Charlie White fixates on the aspirational.  I see that in your picture as well.  The Yale sweatshirt reveals a desire to be more than just a pretty face, to show that there’s a brain to go with it.
I grew up in a really small rural town in Oregon with poor public schooling, so the notion that I was going to go to Yale was a big hope and dream.  It’s a slightly different aspiration than what’s happening in the exhibition’s other works, which is really more of a desire to be famous or seen or known, but there’s still an element of desire that I think is similar.

Aspiration is a large fixture of Katy Grannan’s section of the exhibition, the idea of hoping against hope that the impossible  can be possible. That especially comes to play in her film piece, The Believers.

Now that you’re all grown up and no longer wearing your Yale sweatshirt, whose series of portraits do you relate to more: Katy’s or Charlie’s?
I still have so much pop culture in me. I love teen movies and sugar pop music, but at the same time I have a serious academic side and really appreciate eccentricity.  There is something about the uniformity of this celebrity culture that is nauseating and even dangerous, but is also part of its appeal.  I think that’s Charlie’s interest—not that he’s celebrating the culture, but examining the power of the recycling of visual tropes.  My heart is really with Katy’s subjects in the sense that she’s interested in individuals, and Charlie’s quite the opposite, looking for uniformity and the evacuation of individuality. Seen like this—with all of these blue eyes staring out at you—there’s something even ugly about this kind of unblemished beauty. These kids are part of  a machine designed to tell people how they should and shouldn’t look.

Which is literally what Charlie White’s A Life in B Tween discusses: that life is more beautiful when it comes at you through a machine.
Yes, and through a camera, which is a part of the logic in Katy’s contribution to the exhibition.  For some people, life is only fulfilling when they’re being photographed. They only exist if someone is there to document them.

That’s certainly true of the woman who plays and lives as Marilyn Monroe (Melissa Weiss).  She seems only to truly be herself when she’s in front of the camera, ironically, when she’s performing someone else’s identity.

John McLaughlin and the Tamarind Lithography Workshop

August 27, 2012

Tamarind Lithography Workshop, founded in Los Angeles in 1960 by artist June Wayne with a Ford Foundation Grant, was a cornerstone of the 1960s American print renaissance. Wayne was awarded the grant for her project to train both artists and printmakers in traditional lithography. The medium had lost its domestic prominence after World War II, and artists who wanted to work in the art form had no choice but to print in Europe.  Wayne designed programs to bring together artists and printers-in-training for several months and have them work closely with each other during all stages of the printmaking process in order to learn, experiment, and achieve a high standard of quality. In just a few years Wayne attracted dozens of artists to Tamarind, including Ed Ruscha, Ken Price, Bruce Conner, Leon Golub, and, not least, John McLaughlin, whose prints are on view in the Art of the Americas Building.

John McLaughlin, Untitled, 1962, gift of Dorothy and Benjamin B. Smith through the Modern and Contemporary Art Council, © 2012 Estate of John McLaughlin, photo © 2012 Museum Associates/LACMA

McLaughlin was invited to work at Tamarind as guest artist in October 1962. He returned for a longer stay as a Tamarind Fellowship Artist from April until the end of July 1963. In some respects, he was a logical choice for the print shop because he lived and worked in Dana Point, CA, not far from Los Angeles. However, most artists active at Tamarind worked in a figurative, Pop, or Abstract Expressionist style, quite different from McLaughlin’s solid rectangles and crisp lines. This geometric style became known as Hard-Edge Abstraction and later fell under the heading of Minimalism. McLaughlin looked back on his experience at Tamarind with mixed feelings. He was not hugely receptive to the collaborative aspects of printmaking and decided not to work in lithography again. Despite his reservations, McLaughlin’s time at Tamarind was productive and his prints helped prove the suitability of lithography for all styles of art.

John McLaughlin, Untitled, 1963, gift of Dorothy and Benjamin B. Smith through the Modern and Contemporary Art Council, © 2012 Estate of John McLaughlin, photo © 2012 Museum Associates/LACMA

During the ten years that Tamarind Lithography Workshop was located at 1112 N. Tamarind Avenue in Hollywood (before moving to the University of New Mexico in 1970), it helped revitalize lithography in the United States by training master printers in the intricacies and possibilities of the medium. These printers went on to start their own print shops, which catered to a growing field of artists interested in lithography and, in turn, they trained their own apprentices. Two of the largest and most innovative print shops in Los Angeles can trace their lineage back to Tamarind. Jean Milant, a Tamarind-trained printer, opened Cirrus Editions in 1970 and works with people as diverse as John Baldessari, Bruce Nauman, and Vija Celmins. Perhaps the best known press to come out of Tamarind is Gemini G.E.L., founded in 1966 by master printer Ken Tyler. Gemini invited artists from New York, like Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg, and worked with L.A- based artists like Edward Kienholz. Today it is considered to be one of the premier printers and publishers of lithographs in the world. The vibrant Los Angeles print scene we know today has its roots in the work made at Tamarind, such as the lithographs of McLaughlin currently on view at LACMA. A retrospective of John McLaughlin’s work is planned for fall 2016 at LACMA.

Sienna Brown, Wallis Annenberg Curatorial Fellow, Prints and Drawings

This Weekend at LACMA: Muse ’til Midnight, Pixar Shorts, Free Concerts, and More

August 24, 2012

The big event of the weekend is Saturday’s Muse ’til Midnight, where LACMA’s art and music collide inside LACMA’s modern and contemporary galleries. Puro Instinct will be performing inside of our Sun and Other Stars exhibition, Lucky Dragons will be one floor above inside Michael Heizer: Actual Size, while DJs will be cropping up inside Richard Serra’s Band and Chris Burden’s Metropolis II as well as the The German Woodcut: Renaissance and Expressionist Revival and the modern galleries in the Ahmanson Building. Out in front of Burden’s Urban Light, up-and-coming San Francisco band Geographer will perform live, bookended by sets from Dublab Soundsystem. Dublab’s second set will be a unique, two-DJs-at-once performance, piped through headphones so you can choose which to dance to during a “silent disco.” Tickets are still available and include parking and two drink tickets. Get the full rundown of the night’s activities here.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves: tonight, Jazz at LACMA presents saxophonist and bandleader Reinhold Schwarzwald, who will be joined by Grammy-nominated pianist Patrice Rushen. As the sun goes down, mosey with your family from the BP Grand Entrance over to the Dorothy Collins Brown Amphitheater in Hancock Park for a free outdoor screening of the Pixar Shorts Collection Vol. 1 and the best of the Los Angeles International Children’s  Film Festival.

The free fun in Hancock Park continues on Saturday with Latin Sounds, where Proyecto X will throw down a combination of new and old bachata. Latin Sounds has been one of the can’t-miss hits of the summer, and next week’s concert will be the last until next year. You don’t have many more chances to check it out!

Featured yesterday on Unframed was a Q&A with Japanese artist Ohie Toshio, whose exhibition Ohie Toshio and the Perfection of the Japanese Book is on view now in the Pavilion for Japanese Art. Do you have some of your own questions? Well you’re in luck—Ohie will be in the galleries on Sunday at 2pm to talk about his work and answer questions. The event is free with general admission.

Ohie Toshio, Anthology of Poetry by Aizu Yaichi, 2010, published by Chūō Kōronsha, collection of Yamamura Mitsuhisa

Many more exhibitions are on view now, some ending soon. Sharon Lockhart | Noa Eshkol, …Is James Bond, The German Woodcut, and the Munich Rotary portion of Michael Heizer: Actual Size, located in the Resnick Pavilion, will all come off view September 9, so you have just a few more weeks to see them before they’re gone.

Noa Eshkol, Umbrella Flower, 1970s, Noa Eshkol Foundation for Movement Notation, Holon, Israel

Finally, one more concert rounds out the weekend: L.A. Symphonic Winds will perform works by Holst and Stravinsky during our free Sundays Live concert series.

Scott Tennent

Finding the Heart of the Book: Ohie Toshio and the Perfection of the Japanese Book

August 23, 2012

Unframed’s Alex Capriotti toured the exhibition Ohie Toshio and the Perfection of the Japanese Book with artist Ohie Toshio, Dr. John Solt, and LACMA curator Hollis Goodall. Dr. Solt translated for the artist as we talked about the his process, inspiration, and how the exhibition came together. Ohie Toshio will be in the galleries throughout his the run of the exhibition to speak with visitors about his craft. Drop by on August 26, September 11, September 30, or October 9 at 2 pm to chat about the art of book design.

Alex Capriotti: How did you become interested in the art of bookbinding?

Ohie Toshio: I feel that, within books, there is a heart or mind and that’s what first moved me. I was in my teens when I saw the outside of books and felt like there was some kind of connection I was feeling from inside the books. When I read the foreword and the afterword of books I felt even more so that there was something more inside these books, something to know about.

It had been about a hundred years since the introduction of Western bookbinding in Japan. I wanted to gain an understanding of the origin of the heart [Dr. John Solt: In Japan, the words heart and mind are the same word.] of the books and so I decided to travel to France to study it at the source.

Artist Ohie Toshio and Dr. John Solt

AC: Where did you study in France?

OT: I attended Ecole Superieure Estienne des Arts et Industries Graphiques, a special school which taught traditional ways of bookbinding. But I couldn’t speak French. It was difficult, but I managed to learn the process without speaking.

JS: At this school, they had two different courses. One was making a deluxe book by putting in a minimum of 200 hours into the project. The other was a course which taught how to make books in quantities of 10, 30, 50, or more. No one has ever done both courses except for him.

OT: This was a great experience for me. I was able to work with some of the best teachers and designers in bookbinding. I also loved the contents of the books. It was just amazing.

JS: For him, the whole point of what he is doing is not the covers—that’s just a part of it. The thing is the author and the content. The author has written a book and it is now his job to convey from the author to the reader the most beautiful and best way to read it and take it in—the paper the illustrations, the cover, the font—everything is part of conveying the soul of the author to the reader. The cover is a piece of that.

Ohie Toshio; Karasawa Hitoshi, The Life of Saigyo, 1995, hardcover book, collection of Ohie Toshio

AC: Did you find that you had to work to fuse Japanese and Western traditions of bookbinding?

OT: While illustrated books that stood on their own as splendid works of art have long existed in Japan, there was no history of the bound book as a luxury item as there was in France. They were mostly using cheaper ways of printing books. They were not yet exposed to the type of book I create which has a lot of thought and heart in it. Decorative bookbinding had to first be brought in line with Japanese tastes before local audiences could appreciate it. Eventually, the Japanese people began to appreciate elements of this craft like the use of deluxe Japanese papers and mosaic-onlaid leathers.

JS: He is taking the French technique of bookbinding, and then using Japanese techniques like color combinations and the use of blank space and applies those elements to his books.

AC: And did the French also have the idea of trying to capture the heart of a book in its encasing?

OT: The French don’t think that at all. They only made books for money. I’m experimenting with trying to figure out how to transmit to the next generation the idea of the heart that goes into the book, the paper, and the illustrator.


%d bloggers like this: