(credit: Spine of the Earth, 1980, Lita Albuquerque. Powdered pigment, rock, wooden rings. Ephemeral installation at El Mirage Dry Lake Bed, CA. Photo by Lita Albuquerque. © Lita Albuquerque Studio.)

The white and red banners marked “Pacific Standard Time” went up in the Fall, and at first glance, appeared to be a public service announcement reminding you to “Fall Back.” In fact, they are there to promote an unprecedented celebration of art in Los Angeles by 60 different cultural institutions located throughout Southern California.

The shows have been running in waves, and while some exhibits are closing, new ones are about to come online, and a performance art component opened January 19. The art ranges from playful and whimsical to challenging and shocking; in other words, just like the people who live here. Here’s a small taste:

(credit: La Chaise, 1948, date of this example, 1996, Charles Eames and Ray Eames, manufactured by Vitra. Plastic, steel, wood. 34 1/4 x 59 x 35 1/2 in. Photograph by Grant Taylor/JF Chen. © Eames Office LLC)

The sculptural furniture and architecture of Charles and Ray Eames are synonymous with both mid-20th century design — and Los Angeles, where they made their home. Featuring original furniture pieces as well as films and slide shows made by the couple, the exhibition suggests (in the words of the curators) “that one reason why the designs have endured is that ideas like the guest-host relationship were, to the Eameses’, products as essential as their chairs.” (Closes February 20,2012)

The Great Wall of Los Angeles, Work in Progress, 1980, Judith F. Baca. Mural Documentation. Courtesy of the Social & Public Art Resource Center. © SPARC.)

It is hard to believe that the first Chicano art gallery was only established in 1969, in East Los Angeles. Since then, Chicano artists have made a huge mark on all of Southern California, through media such as photography, posters, architecture and murals. “Mapping Another LA” examines “the diverse social networks among Chicano artist groups and art spaces in Los Angeles during the 1970s. Photographer Oscar Castillo was there to document it all, and is represented in a separate exhibition of his own. (Both exhibitions close February 26, 2012)

(credit: LONG BEACH ART MUSEUM City of Angels, 1983, Marina Abramovic/Ulay. Single-channel color video with sound, 21:37 min. From the Continental Video Series. Courtesy of the artist, Electronic Arts Intermix, New York, and Sean Kelly Gallery, New York. Photographed by Marina Abramovic/Ulay. © Marina Abramovic/Ulay)

Who knew that the local “hotbed of eclectic and experimental video production” was not in Hollywood, but Long Beach? Long before pocket camcorders made it possible for anyone to shoot a video, and websites like YouTube allowed connections between artists, the Long Beach Museum of Art’s Video Annex program was an international mecca for this very young art form. “Exchange and Evolution” is one of the most descriptive exhibit names, as it demonstrates the growth of technology in the arts through installations that were produced locally by artists visiting from around the world. (Closes February 12)

(credit: pacificasiamuseum.org)

From 1945-1974, the building at 46 N. Los Robles was known as the Grace Nicholson Building and was the site of the Pasadena Art Museum. This history explores the Pasadena Art Museum’s remarkable exhibitions from that time, which included early work by some of the era’s most famous contemporary artists, such as Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Frank Stella and Roy Lichtenstein.

(credit: Robert Wilhite and musical sculpture orchestra, 1978. Photo by Helene Fried. Courtesy of San Francisco Art Institute.)

Performing Arts Festival

Locations Throughout the Region
More Info

Pacific Standard Time’s eleven-day performance and public art festival opened on January 19 and consists of 30 major performances and large-scale outdoor projects, including new commissions and restagings of work created by some of the most provocative artists of the mid-20th century (including Judy Chicago, Hirokazu Kosaka, John White, James Turrell and Lita Albuqerque).

The festival has been organized by Glenn Phillips of the Getty Research Institute and Lauri Firstenberg of LA><ART.

(Closes January 29, 2012)

Donna Schwartz Mills blogs at SoCal Mom.


Leave a Reply