The local art community is accelerating its participation in the fight against AIDS. Since last month's La Brea Avenue artwalk/auction, three April fund-raising/food drive events involving artists, museum directors, collectors, critics and others have been announced.
Topping the list on Friday, comedienne Joan Rivers headlines a fund-raiser "gala cocktail reception" to support a campaign against AIDS-based discrimination.
"Artists Against AIDS," to benefit the AIDS Civil Rights Project of the National Gay Rights Advocates, will begin at 8:30 p.m. at the Rosamund Felsen Gallery, the Simard & Halm Gallery and Art Source L.A., all of which share an outdoor courtyard at 669 N. La Cienega Blvd.
Rivers, Atty. Gen. John Van de Kamp and Assemblyman Art Agnos (D-San Francisco), are expected to speak about AIDS-based discrimination.
Twenty-six noted contemporary artists, from Lita Albuquerque to Tom Wudl, are listed as sponsors of the event (in addition to the gay rights advocates), as are 31 local galleries from Asher/Faure to the Woman's Building. Many of the artists are expected to attend the reception.
Entertainment will be provided by a juggling mime troupe, a chamber orchestra and a harpsichord trio. Tickets are $150 each. Reservation required: (213) 650-6200.
The gay rights group is a nonprofit public interest law firm promoting equality for homosexuals. The AIDS Civil Rights Project counters AIDS-based discrimination.
Later this month, the AIDS Project Los Angeles will sell about 50 artworks during two benefit auctions at the Municipal Art Gallery, 4800 Hollywood Blvd.
The donated works, by such artists as Hockney, Johns, Lichtenstein and Ruscha, will be on display from April 24 to April 26 from 12:30 to 6:30 p.m. During that time, and during a preview on April 23 from 7 to 9 p.m., anyone may make silent bids on certain works. On April 26, from 7 to 9 p.m., other works from among the 50 will be available during a live auction. Admission to the live auction is $75, which includes a buffet meal served from 5 to 7 p.m. The silent auction is free.
Among those on a local committee that solicited artworks for the auction are artist John Baldessari, CalArts president Robert Fitzpatrick, art collector Frederick R. Weisman, Museum of Contemporary Art director Richard Koshalek, County Museum of Art director Earl A. (Rusty) Powell III and Times art critic William Wilson. Southeby's will conduct the live auction.
The AIDS project provides housing, food and referral services to acquired immune deficiency syndrome patients and their families, as well as offering educational programs about the fatal disease to the public. Proceeds from the auction will benefit the project.
Finally, beginning today, the Open Quest Institute, a nonprofit psychotherapy counseling center at 8702 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, will present "Cross References," a multimedia exhibit with works by seven lesser-known California artists. Exhibit visitors are asked to bring canned goods and other non-perishable items, which will be given to AIDS patients through the project's food bank. The institute, supporting the exhibit with another local group named Artists Against AIDS, is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. The exhibit runs to May 1.
RECENT ACQUISITIONS: The J. Paul Getty Museum has acquired one of the last Leonardo da Vinci drawings remaining in private hands. The work depicts in three sketches an infant--alternately identified as Christ or as Saint John the Baptist--holding a lamb. Also sketched on the sheet are mirror writings, the head of an old man and machinery.
The Malibu museum has also acquired five pages from a noted breviary illuminated by a 15th-Century northern Italian artist. A breviary is a compendium of all the liturgical items of the Divine Office, the cycle of eight prayer services recited at fixed hours of each day. Also, an 18th-Century French tapestry, acquired by the museum in 1985, has recently been restored and placed on view.
Within the past year, the County Museum of Art has garnered two French landscape drawings. "Landscape With Steps," by Hubert Robert (1733-1808), gracefully renders a flight of stairs leading to the terrace of a formal garden. "Panoramic Landscape," a watercolor by Jean-Francois Millet (1814-1875), shows a glade of trees and the roofs of a modest agricultural village on the French Normandy coast.
The County Museum has also recently acquired the contemporary ceramic collection of Howard and Gwen Laurie Smits. The 182-piece cache contains works dating from the 1950s to the present by American and British ceramic artists.
The Kimbell Art Museum, in Fort Worth, Tex., has added to its holdings two rare terra-cotta sketches designed by Baroque architect and sculptor Gianlorenzo Bernini. The sketches were produced as models for two statues decorating the Ponte San Angelo in Rome.