Ends and Exits: Back to the Future or Into the Past

July 16, 2013

In Ends and Exits: Contemporary Art from the Collection of LACMA and The Broad Art Foundation, you can almost hear the hip hop lyrics of The Message by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, “It’s like a jungle sometimes it makes me wonder/ How I keep from going under/ It’s like a jungle sometimes it makes me wonder/ How I keep from going under.” Art starts as revolt, lives as prose, and ends as poetry—at least that’s my take. The ’80s may be the über-aesthetic generation, a time of audacity and the sweet smell of grandiosity. There was the Drug War and the AIDS pandemic. It was high energy, big hair, big shoulder, and greed-declared-good. It’s lust, stuff, celebrity, and techno dreams.  

Installation view, Ends and Exits: Contemporary Art from the Collections of LACMA and The Broad Art Foundation, Photo © 2013 Museum Associates/LACMA

Installation view, Ends and Exits: Contemporary Art from the Collections of LACMA and The Broad Art Foundation, Photo © 2013 Museum Associates/LACMA

Some of us who lived through it felt its heart-racing immediacy, its “now” state, the emblematic shimmering static which at those moments of time lost a beat for an instant. Ensconced in the Chelsea Hotel at the time, for me, Ends and Exits felt refreshingly glamorous yet socially conscious—pop art with teeth. But for the young guards, I sense that it’s “lost in translation”–the pretentiousness of the grandeur that may be odd or slightly misplaced, and some of the images totally misunderstood.  Perhaps pathetically, there is something about the present that is distressingly like the ’80s but with a deeper imbalance. If this is the post-post-80s Zombie version of the ’80s—and it may very well be—then this is the wrong conversation. 

Actually, Ends and Exits is a reply to a previous generation’s dystopian reading of art and painting.  And though there were other prominent movements in the ’80s, such as the id-infused Neo-Expressionists, these particular young artists, the picture generation, brought a clearer, sharper distinction to the vagaries of art and American popular culture.

Ends and Exits: Contemporary Art from the Collections of LACMA and The Broad Art Foundation, Photo © 2013 Museum Associates/LACMA

Installation view, Ends and Exits: Contemporary Art from the Collections of LACMA and The Broad Art Foundation, Photo © 2013 Museum Associates/LACMA

The picture generation was a time when art was about pictures not painting, and the wild child, or rather the chaotic symbol of change, gave it a voice. On the other hand, art was the cool kid: idealizing, romanticizing, connecting the dots, and constructed as if in the asymmetrical rhythms of an earthy streetwise hip hop beat.  Draped under the spell of Warhol’s Voodoo wisdom, where everyone seemed eager for their 15 minutes, the culture was best understood through the vision of many of the artists present in this exhibition. It was artist as wizard or cultural soothsayer with its small, elegant charms and white magic, but, most importantly, its cultural hipness. The ’80s would prove that self-consciousness would not hinder belief in the consumer’s haunting dream. The item became the icon, the icon the item.

Installation view, Ends and Exits: Contemporary Art from the Collections of LACMA and The Broad Art Foundation, Photo © 2013 Museum Associates/LACMA

Installation view, Ends and Exits: Contemporary Art from the Collections of LACMA and The Broad Art Foundation, Photo © 2013 Museum Associates/LACMA

Ends and Exits provides a portal into the future for some and into the past for others.  Richard Prince, Jeff Koons, and Robert Gober encapsulated America’s self-made object lust of cars, trains, and sculptural puns that went the distance to exemplify the craft of the artists and their absurdist visions. Here, fabrication from LEDs to the kitchen sink morphed into comment and questions of ambiguity on the original, and one sees the ironist humor of Meyer Vaisman’s work and Han Haacke’s political 3D irony, unflinchingly literal. Sherrie Levine’s appropriation gestures made the Duchamp Pandora’s box an art available to its own self-importance, “ideas and media as indirect irony of the personal.”

Suddenly art had this huge political face with Jenny Holzer revealing the utter power of light and word as witty euphemistic truism writ large or engraved in stone. Or the powerful Barbara Kruger graphic consumer lust, sin and feminism supersized, with lettering the height of the wall as declared confrontation. Race and its political weight were symbols found in Dung, and numbers in the imagery of Lorna Simpson and David Hammons, like some stealth current rising to the top of a visible swamp of denial. Jonathan Borofsky’s painted male made horrors with gritty realism that raises the gender role starkly.

Installation view, Ends and Exits: Contemporary Art from the Collections of LACMA and The Broad Art Foundation, Photo © 2013 Museum Associates/LACMA

Installation view, Ends and Exits: Contemporary Art from the Collections of LACMA and The Broad Art Foundation, Photo © 2013 Museum Associates/LACMA

Along the way, the sheer seduction of glamour where Sarah Charlesworth’s faceless images would find fixation, or as Louise Lawler’s photo documents lush settings, and a scene possibly for Lorraine O’ Grady’s kid glove gown as the living sculpture to a strange passion. While the consumer’s techniques for the use of a product are mockingly manipulated to place art’s multiples in aesthetic subversion, Allan McCollum plays an old game against expectation in his “Surrogates” works. The ’80s would be an irony binge in ecstatic expression of social awareness of the profound ambiguities that lie within the American Dream. Maybe it is just that Keith Haring’s almost mystical graffiti street art passionately braved a path of the new aesthetic. Perhaps as my remarks began so shall they end, as with rap lyrics toward the end of the 80s:

Public Enemy: “ You gotta go for what you know/ Make everybody see, in order to fight the powers that be/lemme hear you say…/ Fight the Power”

Hylan Booker


Hokusai’s Waterfalls

July 15, 2013

Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849) is the Japanese artist best known in the Western world, primarily because of his iconic images known as The Great Wave and Red Fuji, both of which are in LACMA’s collection, and are on view now in Japanese Prints: Hokusai at LACMA. In Japan, Hokusai was the greatest printmaker and painter between 1800 and 1850.

Katsushika Hokusai, South Wind, Clear Dawn, circa 1830-31, gift of the Frederick R. Weisman Company, Photo © 2013 Museum Associates/LACMA

Katsushika Hokusai, South Wind, Clear Dawn, circa 1830-31, gift of the Frederick R. Weisman Company, Photo © 2013 Museum Associates/LACMA

He was also a prodigiously productive artist: it is estimated that he created over 50,000 prints and paintings over his lifetime. Most of his best work was produced after he was 60; he lived until he was 88. He took the ukiyo-e woodblock print from its previous limited sphere of portraits of kabuki actors and courtesans into the world of landscape prints, some of which are considered the finest landscapes ever produced. He was eccentric: he changed his name more than thirty times over his life (helping us to date his works)—including taking on the name “old Man Mad about painting” later in life. Hokusai also changed his residence almost one hundred times. His work constantly evolved; he always considered himself an artist in training, striving to become ever more accomplished.

Katsushika Hokusai, Amida Falls on the Kiso Highway, c. 1833, gift of Max Palevsky

Katsushika Hokusai, Amida Falls on the Kiso Highway, c. 1833, gift of Max Palevsky

In 1833, as Hokusai completed the designs for his most famous work, the Thirty-six Views of Mt. Fuji, he approached the new topic of depicting water, in the legendary series known as A Tour of Waterfalls in the Provinces.

In the Shinto religion of Japan, nature gods and spirits (called kami) inhabit trees, rocks, mountains, and waterfalls. In his waterfall series, Hokusai portrayed each waterfall differently, emphasizing the unique features of each site. He was the first Japanese woodblock print artist to focus on water as a design, and here we see the genius of his visual imagination.

Katsushika Hokusai, The Yoshitsune Horse Washing Falls at Yoshino, Izumi Province, c. 1833-34, gift of Max Palevsky

Katsushika Hokusai, The Yoshitsune Horse Washing Falls at Yoshino, Izumi Province, c. 1833-34, gift of Max Palevsky

Although the Mt. Fuji series is better known, the Waterfalls series is considered Hokusai’s finest work in series form: each of the eight waterfall views is a masterpiece, and together they form an integrated whole greater than the sum of its parts. extraordinarily rare, LACMA’s recently acquired set—a gift of the late Max Palevsky—is one of a few complete sets in the world; indeed, only one other set even approaches the print quality and superb condition of the set presently on display.


This Weekend at LACMA: Hitchcock 9 Ends, Late Summer Fridays Roll On, Free Concerts, and More

July 12, 2013

While fireworks shows won’t be nearly as abundant as a week ago, this weekend has a lot to offer at LACMA. The Hitchcock 9 silent film series reaches its dramatic conclusion with double-headers on Friday and Saturday evenings in the Bing Theater. First, see The Pleasure Garden at 7:30 pm followed by Easy Virtue at 9:30 pm on Friday. The Pleasure Garden is Hitchcock’s first feature-length film and focuses on two dancers from different sides of the tracks. Easy Virtue follows a wrongly accused woman and her attempt to escape a marred past. Saturday evening presents The Farmer’s Wife at 5 pm and Blackmail at 7:30 pm. A departure from Hitchcock’s customary tones of betrayal and peril, The Farmer’s Wife is a romantic comedy about a housekeeper’s attempt to pair her employer with a wife. In Blackmail, Hitchcock is at his best in this thriller about a young woman turned killer and her boyfriend detective assigned to investigate the murder. Interestingly, this film was released as both a silent film and talkie, as it was made and released at the dawn of the new era of cinema. Moreover, all four films will feature live musical accompaniment by Robert Israel. This is your final opportunity to see the rare, fully restored Hitchcock gems with an expertly orchestrated live soundtrack!

On Friday nights in July and August, BCAM and the Resnick Pavilion stay open till 11 pm for Late Summer Hours. Better yet, L.A. County residents can visit select galleries and exhibitions on the west side of campus at no cost (paid admission is required for James Turrell and Perceptual Cell)! Included in this list of free access are Peter Zumthor Reconsiders LACMA, Hans Richter, Stephen Prina, Ends and Exits: Contemporary Art, and Metropolis II. Also worth noting, parking at LACMA is free after 7 pm entry.

Installation view, The Presence of the Past: Peter Zumthor Reconsiders LACMA

Installation view, The Presence of the Past: Peter Zumthor Reconsiders LACMA

Free concerts are happening across LACMA each day this weekend, per usual. Friday night’s Jazz at LACMA concert will feature David Ornette Cherry and his piano stylings in front of Urban Light at 6 pm. On Saturday at Latin Sounds, Luis Conte, Modern Drummer’s Percussionist of the Year, performs in Hancock Park starting at 5 pm. And on Sunday at Sundays Live, the Angeles Consort performs music for Bastille Day in the Bing Theater at 6 pm. All concerts are free and open to the public.

Not to mention the wall-to-wall art literally everywhere around campus. In its final weeks on view, Japanese Prints: Hokusai at LACMA includes the immensely popular Red Fuji and The Great Wave by the Japanese legend, as well as his woodblock printed books and preparatory drawings. This exhibition closes on July 21. In the adjacent Hammer Building, the recently unveiled Shaping Power: Luba Masterworks from the Royal Museum for Central Africa features lush wooden sculptures from one of the most prominent kingdoms in central Africa (the Los Angeles Times says the collection of “fascinating objects…reveals a robust, visually sophisticated culture”).

Male Mask, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Luba Peoples, 19th Century, Wood (Schinziophyton rautaneii), Royal Museum for Central Africa, RG 23470 (collected by O. Michaux in 1896), Photo R. Asselberghs, RMCA Tervuren ©

Male Mask, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Luba Peoples, 19th Century, Wood (Schinziophyton rautaneii), Royal Museum for Central Africa, RG 23470 (collected by O. Michaux in 1896), Photo R. Asselberghs, RMCA Tervuren ©

Next door in the Ahmanson Building you’ll find Pinaree Sanpitak: Hanging by a Thread, an elegant display of handcrafted hammocks. A few floors down Henri Matisse: La Gerbe is an intimate look at Matisse’s large ceramic and the paper cut-outs that lead to this brilliant piece. And, in the Art of the Americas Building, see Jack Stauffacher: Typographic Experiments from San Francisco based printer as he explores the possibilities of typography. The latter exhibition closes July 21.

Jack Werner Stauffacher, Print from Wooden Letters from 300 Broadway, 1998, gift of the 2012 Decorative Arts and Design Acquisition Committee (DA2)

Jack Werner Stauffacher, Print from Wooden Letters from 300 Broadway, 1998, gift of the 2012 Decorative Arts and Design Acquisition Committee (DA2)

Lastly, Andell Family Sundays on the North Piazza from 12:30–3:30 pm introduces children and parents to the the spirit of Hans Richter in a workshop that challenges participants to express themselves through movement and painting. Come for an hour or stay for the day!

Roberto Ayala


Dada Dancing

July 11, 2013

During the month of July, Andell Family Sundays will focus on the special exhibition Hans Richter: Encounters. Richter loved to experiment with different media and to collaborate with other artists. He was a printmaker, painter, filmmaker, and writer. In his collaborations, he forged lifetime friendships. He was on the forefront of twentieth-century modernism, including Dadaism. One of the workshops at Andell Family Sundays is inspired by the playfulness, spontaneity, joy, and immediacy of Dada art and Richter’s collaborations. LACMA invited dancer and performance artist Doran George to come up with a workshop, and he invited two of his singer/musican/artist friends to collaborate with him: Odeya Nini and Archie Carey. The result of their collaboration is the Dada Dance workshop. Unframed’s Alicia Vogl Saenz spoke to Doran about what families can expect.

Hans Richter, Musik Dada (Music Dada), 1918, Linocut and white wash on paper, 10 1/2 in x 8 in., Private Collection, © 2013 Hans Richter Estate, Photo © 2013 Museum Associates/LACMA

Hans Richter, Musik Dada (Music Dada), 1918, Linocut and white wash on paper, 10 1/2 in x 8 in., Private Collection, © 2013 Hans Richter Estate, Photo © 2013 Museum Associates/LACMA

What is Dada Dance?

Any sound is a song, any movement is a dance in this workshop. Odeya, Archie, and I will help participants use their voices and their bodies to make unexpected sounds and movements. The words that come to my mind are playfulness, joy, strangeness, surprise, and curiosity, all of which are at the heart of Dadaism. Adults will be going back to childhood and recouping what we forgot. Children will have leadership in the family dynamic because they are teaching us adults about what is new in the world.

How will families work together in Dada Dance?

At the core of Dada Dance is the notion of collaboration in Hans Richter’s work. The collaboration occurs on two levels: families will constantly collaborate with each other, and the families and groups of friends are collaborating with us, the artists, teaching the workshop. The other important notion is that we’re not looking at movement and voice as separated things. Voice helps you do unexpected things with your movement, and movement helps you do unexpected things with your voice. Participants will work in groups or pairs with their family or friends.  The groups will use voice and movement like a puppeteer. They will be vehicles for introducing surprising movement and sound.

What do you hope families will take away from this?

I would like them to try on a different identity, to try being Dada. To say to themselves, “Now I’m going to be Dada.” It is similar to my workshop inspired by Levitated Mass last year in which groups became the sculpture. Everyone was capable of becoming Levitated Mass, and now they are capable of becoming Dada.

The art will be the experience. The workshop is the art, the joy families feel while making sounds and movements. In the spirit of Dada, it will be playful strangeness. It will be joyful and fun.


Art Here and Now: Studio Forum’s 2013 Acquisitions

July 10, 2013

Art Here and Now (AHAN): Studio Forum has developed into an important conduit for bringing Los Angeles-based artists into the permanent collection. The history of AHAN: Studio Forum goes back to the early 1960s when, as a cash award, the money provided for artists’ necessities in exchange for an artwork for the collection (see the full list of artists below). In recent times, the honor has focused on bringing the work of emerging (such an elusive term) artists into the collection; thus, we do our best to pick significant works that also serve to illustrate the phenomenal range of artist practices in Southern California.

Noah Davis, The Missing Link 4, 2013, Oil on canvas, 78 x 86.125 inches, Purchased with funds provided by  AHAN: Studio Forum, 2013 Art Here and Now purchase

Noah Davis, The Missing Link 4, 2013, purchased with funds provided by AHAN: Studio Forum, 2013 Art Here and Now purchase

Erika Vogt, Field of Debris, 2012, purchased with funds provided by AHAN: Studio Forum, 2013 Art Here and Now purchase

Erika Vogt, Field of Debris, 2012, purchased with funds provided by AHAN: Studio Forum, 2013 Art Here and Now purchase

In early 2013, fellow curator Christine Y. Kim and I ventured out with the AHAN: Studio Forum group into the studios and work spaces of a handful of artists. Our enthusiastic members did two marathon days of studio visits with us, joining us on a bus from Lincoln Heights, downtown Los Angeles, and on to the San Fernando Valley. As is our process, Christine and I received feedback from the group in a discussion convened shortly after our visits. We weighed the opinions expressed during the forum with our understanding of the artists’ trajectories, all the while considering what will make most sense in LACMA’s collection.

Ry Rocklen, Second to None, 2011, Trophies, trophy parts, wood, 94.5 x 146 x 39 inches Purchased with funds provided by AHAN: Studio Forum, 2013 Art Here and Now purchase

Ry Rocklen, Second to None, 2011, purchased with funds provided by AHAN: Studio Forum, 2013 Art Here and Now purchase

Jedidiah Caesar, no title, 2013, Polymer clay and ink, 16 x 19 x 8 inches,   Purchased with funds provided by Raquel de Lavandeyra, through AHAN: Studio Forum, 2013 Art Here and Now purchase

Jedidiah Caesar, no title, 2013, purchased with funds provided by Raquel de Lavandeyra, through AHAN: Studio Forum, 2013 Art Here and Now purchase

This year, works have been acquired by Jedidiah Ceasar, Noah Davis, Liz Glynn, Ry Rocklen, Ricky Swallow, and Erika Vogt. All of these artists work in a particular medium—whether sculpture, drawing, painting, video/film, and/or installation—based on the conceptual demands of the project at hand. Their far-reaching—often research-driven—interests encompass geology, design, architecture, film, archaeology, art history, and sports—to name a few. As would make sense given the legacy of assemblage and installation art in California, each artist has a predilection for the found object, whether scavenged, reengineered or poetically reimagined.  These artists join an impressive roster of awardees as we celebrate a record breaking year in 2013.

Liz Glynn, VAULT [Allegorical Set 1], 2013,  Installation view at Frieze Projects, New York  (elements of installation to be selected), Purchased with funds provided by  AHAN: Studio Forum, 2013 Art Here and Now purchase

Liz Glynn, VAULT [Allegorical Set 1], 2013,
Installation view at Frieze Projects, New York (elements of installation to be selected), Purchased with funds provided by
AHAN: Studio Forum, 2013 Art Here and Now purchase

Ricky Swallow, Chair study/relief (soot), 2013, Patinated bronze, Edition of 1+ 1 AP; AP 25 x 8.75 x 2.5 inches, Purchased with funds provided by AHAN: Studio Forum, 2013 Art Here and Now purchase

Ricky Swallow, Chair study/relief (soot), 2013, purchased with funds provided by AHAN: Studio Forum, 2013 Art Here and Now purchase

Young Talent Award/AHAN Artists, 1963-2013

1963: Llyn Foulkes
1964: Tony Berlant
1965: Melvin Edwards, Lloyd Hamrol, Phil Rich
1966: Terrence O’Shea
1967: Mary Ann Corse, Michael Asher
1968: Ron Cooper, Barry LeVa, Joseph Vaughan
1969: Chuck Arnoldi, Greg Card, Michael Olodort
1970: John Alberty, David Deutsch, Patrick Hogan
1971: Barbara Munger, John White, Joe Ray
1972: Jud Fine, Ann McCoy, Tom Wudl
1973: Jack Barth, Chris Burden, Steve Sher
1974: Jay McCafferty, Alexis Smith
1975: Jon Abbott, Paul Dillon, Loren Madsen
1976: Charles C. Hill, Eugene Sturman, Elyn Zimmerman
1977: James Hayward, John Okulick, Margit Omar
1978: Michael McMillen, Gwynn Murrill, John Sturgeon
1979: Richard Oginz, Steve Kahn
1980: Elaine Carhartt, Sandra Mendelsohn-Rubin
1981: Andrew Wilf, Jay Phillips
1982: Joe Fay, Karla Klarin
1983: Roger Herman, Jim Morphesis
1984: Don Sorenson, Gifford Myers
1985: John Frame, Peter Shelton
1986: Sabina Ott
1987: Tim Ebner
1988: Jill Giegerich, Karl Matson
1989: Bob Zoell
1990: Paul Tzanetopoulos, Dan Wheeler
1991: Minoru Ohira, Dominique Blain
1992: Liz Young
1993: Darren Waterston, Marc Pally
1994: Buzz Spector
1995: Rachel Lachowicz
1996: Tim Hawkinson
1997: Pae White, Frances Stark
1998: Kevin Appel, Ginny Bishton, Enrique Martinez Celaya
1999: Lynn Aldrich
2000: Ruben Ortiz-Torres
2001: Jon Pylypchuk, Jason Meadows
2002: Darcy Huebler, Mark Bradford
2003: Gajin Fujita
2004: Lecia Dole-Recio
2005: Tomory Dodge, David Ratcliff
2006: Elliot Hundley
2007: Lara Schnitger
2008: Ruben Ochoa, Steve Roden
2009: Aaron Curry
2010: Friedrich Kunath, Rodney McMillian
2011: Zoe Crosher, Mark Flores
2012: Mark Hagen, William E. Jones, Sanya Kantarovsky, Dianna Molzan, Brenna Youngblood
2013:  Jedediah Caesar, Noah Davis, Liz Glynn, Ry Rocklen, Ricky Swallow, Erika Vogt

Rita Gonzalez, Associate Curator, Contemporary Art


James Turrell’s Magnum Opus

July 8, 2013

Inspired early in his career by such diverse architectural achievements as Buddhist stupas, Native American cliff dwellings, and ancient astronomical observatories, James Turrell sought to create a space in the landscape that would allow visitors to gaze at the sky without the aid of a telescope and experience some of his own insights into human perception.

In 1974 he was awarded a grant from the Guggenheim Foundation to fund this research. Having already created projection pieces and light works at the Mendota studio in Santa Monica, Turrell was poised to take his work in perception, light, and space into the natural landscape. The avid pilot began his search across the deserts of the American Southwest, looking for a land mass that he could transform into a naked-eye celestial observatory. “I did not want the work to be a mark upon nature,” he specified, “but I wanted the work to be enfolded in nature in such a way that light from the sun, moon and stars empowered the spaces.”

James Turrell in front of Roden Crater Project at sunset, October 2001, Photo © Florian Holzherr

James Turrell in front of Roden Crater Project at sunset, October 2001, Photo © Florian Holzherr

Roden Crater, which sits on the western edge of Arizona’s Painted Desert in a field of extinct volcanos, caught Turrell’s eye because its natural height and truncated cone shape were naturally suited to generating the experience of celestial vaulting: at certain elevations, when a person lies down and looks up, the sky can feel as though it is a dome curving down around the earth, or the horizon may appear to arc back up toward the heavens. He describes the impulse and the scale of his endeavor:

“Usually art is taken from nature by painting or photography and then brought back to culture through the museum. I wanted to bring cultural to the natural surround as if one was designing a garden or tending a landscape. I wanted an area where you had a sense of standing on the planet. I wanted an area of exposed geology like the Grand Canyon of the Painted Desert, where you could feel geologic time.”

James Turrell, Roden Crater Project, view toward northeast, Photo © Florian Holzherr

James Turrell, Roden Crater Project, view toward northeast, Photo © Florian Holzherr

The plan for the Roden Crater project (1974–present) consists of the construction of nine underground chambers and the crater’s bowl. In the words of Calvin Tomkins, the purpose of these spaces is “‘to capture and apprehend the light’ from the sun and the moon and the stars—and also to demonstrate how we create and form our perceptions of the visible world.” Turrell’s magnum opus, it is immense in scale, complexity, and budget, and is still a work in progress.

Currently inaccessible to the public, Roden Crater is represented in photography, site plans, prints, drawings, holograms, videos, and models. Roden Crater Model (Large Overall Site) is the single most important and original work representing the project. The enormous, exquisitely detailed model represents the wider geologic contours, textures, and colors of the site in relation to the exterior of his planned transformations; it is made from plaster as well as the cinder and raw earth from the crater itself. Built in 1985 with the help of architects Robert Mangurian, Mary-Ann Ray, and their architecture studio in Venice, it was first presented in his solo exhibition, James Turrell: Occluded Front, at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles later that year. It has since been presented in numerous important solo exhibitions and publications, including James Turrell: A Retrospective at LACMA (on view through April 6, 2014).

Roden Crater Model

Roden Crater Model (Large Overall Site), 1987, Plaster, pigment and materials taken from the crater, 9 x 27 ft. (274.31 x 822.92 cm), Purchased with funds provided by Suzanne Deal Booth and David G. Booth, Paul Fleming, Suzanne and Ric Kayne, and Pamela and Jarl Mohn through the 2013 Collectors Committee, © James Turrell, Photo © Florian Holzherr

Roden Crater Model (Large Overall Site), is composed of twenty-seven three-by-three-foot sections that expose the port area in the notch in the lava beds west of the crater, Roden Wash and Roden Crater itself. Additionally, the layout of the various spaces at the port area and the crater, and the locations of the walkways and ramps are included. Ramped and situated on the original wood frame base, it is delicate but in good condition and a priority for LACMA’s conservation team to study, document, and maintain.

Considered one of the most important artists of the Southern California light and space movement of the 1960s who has achieved international renown, James Turrell’s art is a nexus for the worlds of art, science, architecture, astronomy, mathematics, archaeology, and spirituality. Roden Crater Model (Large Overall Site) is one of five other major works by Turrell in LACMA’s collection, starting with his very first projection piece, Afrum (White) to his latest Ganzfeld, Breathing Light, currently on view in the Resnick Pavilion.

James Turrell, Breathing Light, 2013, LED light into space, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, purchased with funds provided by Kayne Griffin Corcoran and the Kayne Foundation, M.2013.1, © James Turrell, Photo © Florian Holzherr

James Turrell, Breathing Light, 2013, LED light into space, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, purchased with funds provided by Kayne Griffin Corcoran and the Kayne Foundation, M.2013.1, © James Turrell, Photo © Florian Holzherr

This summer, Turrell has concurrent exhibitions at LACMA, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (until September 22), and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (until September 25). Please join the curators from all three exhibitions tomorrow, July 9, at 12 pm PST for a live Google Art Talk in which the life and work of James Turrell will be discussed.

Christine Y. Kim
Associate Curator, Contemporary Art


This Weekend at LACMA: Late Summer Hours, Luba Masterworks, Hitchcock Classics, Final Days of Redlands Art + Film Lab, and More!

July 5, 2013

For those of you keeping score at home, it’s official—summer has arrived at LACMA. Beginning this weekend, Late Summer Hours are in effect. On Fridays in July and August, LACMA stays open till 11 pm, with free access to galleries and exhibitions on the west side of campus for all LA County residents, including: The Presence of the Past: Peter Zumthor Reconsiders LACMA, Hans Richter: Encounters, Stephen Prina: As He Remembered It, Ends and Exits, and Metropolis II. During these nights the James Turrell exhibition and his Perceptual Cell Light Reignfall will also be on view but will require paid admission (advanced reservations are highly recommended).

LACMA stays open late, till 11 pm on Fridays, this summer.

LACMA stays open late, till 11 pm on Fridays, this summer.

Visit LACMA this weekend and you’ll be treated to the debut of Shaping Power: Luba Masterworks from the Royal Museum for Central Africa in the Hammer Building, LACMA’s meaningful foray into African art. On display you’ll encounter figurative thrones, elegant scepters, ancestral figures, and other emblems from this prominent Central African kingdom. Marked by their refined beauty and elegance, the pieces in Shaping Power are multi-layered in their concepts of history and spirituality. The twenty-six objects in this inaugural exhibition have never been on view in Southern California until now.

For an intimate overview of Shaping Power from Mary (Polly) Nooter Roberts, the exhibition curator and professor at UCLA’s Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance, you can attend a FREE lecture on Sunday at 2 pm in the Brown Auditorium. Roberts will discuss, among other things, the importance of female figures in Luba depictions. If you’re here with children on Sunday, make sure to come by to Andell Family Sundays on the North Piazza for a hands-on exploration of famed artist Hans Richter. Andell Family Sundays are free with museum admission and last from 12:30–3:30 pm.

Bowl-Bearing Figure, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Luba-Henba Peoples, 19th Century, Wood (Ricinodendron rautanenii), Royal Museum for Central Africa, RG 14358 (Collected between 1981 and 1912, gift of A.H. Bure), Photo R. Asselberghs, RMCA Tervuren ©

Bowl-Bearing Figure, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Luba-Henba Peoples, 19th Century, Wood (Ricinodendron rautanenii), Royal Museum for Central Africa, RG 14358 (Collected between 1981 and 1912, gift of A.H. Bure), Photo R. Asselberghs, RMCA Tervuren ©

Film-wise, LACMA has a full schedule queued up with The Hitchcock 9 film series, presenting for the first time ever, all nine of Alfred Hitchcock’s surviving silent films digitally restored. On Friday evening see The Lodger: A Story of the London Fog at 7:30 pm and Downhill at 9:30 pm—the former an atmospheric thriller described as “the first true Hitchcock movie” by Hitchcock himself, the latter recognized as the director’s first pass at a “wrong man” plot. On Saturday the series continues, beginning at 5 pm with Champagne, a comedic tale of a spoiled heiress, followed at 7:30 pm by The Ring, in which two boxers fight for one woman. These two special screenings also feature live musical accompaniment by Michael Mortilla. Purchase tickets by phone 323 857-6010 or online.

The final weekend of the traveling LACMA9 Art + Film Lab in Redlands is also this weekend. Visit the studio designed by Jose Pardo at its current University of Redlands location to participate in Oral History Drop-in sessions on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. From 12–3 pm on Saturday shoot footage and create you own movies in the free Instant Film workshop. Learn about shot size, depth of field, composition, quality of light, and camera movement in the free Composition workshop from 1–4 pm on Sunday. Finally, after you’ve exercised your creativity and learned techniques from professionals, enjoy balmy summer evenings while watching Smoke Signals on Friday at 8 pm and E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial on Saturday at 8 pm at the lab’s outdoor big screen. After Redlands, the LACMA9 Art + Film Lab will travel about a dozen miles west and park in San Bernardino from Friday, July 26 through Sunday, August 25.

Lastly, enjoy FREE music all weekend long. Jazz at LACMA presents Larry Nash & The Jazz Symphonics on Friday at 6 pm in front of Urban Light; Latin Sounds features Costazul on their 25th anniversary tour on Saturday at 5 pm; and Sundays Live hosts cellist John Walz and pianist Robert Thies performing works from Myaskovsky and Prokofiev on Sunday at 6 pm. Yes, summer is the sweetest of all seasons.

Roberto Ayala


%d bloggers like this: