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'Living Spaces' Home Is Where The Exhibit Is

May 03, 1987|ZAN DUBIN

Lookie-loos should find fulfillment in "Living Spaces."

The art project, presented by Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art, transforms an abandoned home in Santa Monica into a site-specific exhibit that opens on Saturday. Eight artists have created installations in seven rooms and one patio at the former habitat. One has designed a kitchen in ceramic tiles, another has embellished a bedroom with silks and satins, a third has addressed feminist issues--also working in a boudoir--and a fourth has conceived a conceptual bathroom with photographs and paintings.

"You have your open houses and your actual installations in art museums," said "Living Spaces" curator Jerry Wellman recently. "This works within both contexts. It walks a thin line between the two."

A few months after LAICA sold its permanent exhibit space last May, the institute began a nomadic exhibition program, placing site-specific exhibitions in various locations around Los Angeles. "Living Spaces" continues the program.

Wellman, who built his own adobe home in New Mexico, had several reasons for generating "Living Spaces."

"One of them was that in a typical architecture magazine, like Home and Garden, they'll show these beautiful homes," said Wellman, now a Los Angeles resident. "But what you're seeing is not often a one-of-a-kind situation. In this show, every work of art is singular in nature.

"Also, the work is being displayed in a way that doesn't call to mind either the design market or the gallery market. It creates a kind of a populist venue. I wanted to pose this as a counterpoint. And LAICA is an alternative art space. This is certainly in that tradition."

"Living Spaces" artists are Alwy Visschedyk, Nina Mastrangelo, Keiko Kasai, Joe Grant, Gillian Brown, Virginia Hoge, Kim McConnell and Collette. "Each one has displayed a concern for habitation in their previous work," Wellman said, yet their styles and materials vary widely.

Each artist-created room has a different "attitude" from the next, he said, just as ordinary rooms in ordinary houses can adapt different attitudes or personalities.

"Living Spaces," at 1544 Berkeley St., will be open for viewing Wednesday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., to June 15. LAICA is leasing the "stucco house with a big palm tree in front" from the Santa Monica Community Corp.

"One of the nicest things about the installation is its being outside of a museum or gallery situation," Wellman noted. "It allows the artists so much more freedom and leeway. And I think it brings the art closer to people."

ART SALE: LAICA will also hold an art sale Wednesday through May 12 to benefit its programs and visual-arts publication, the Journal.

Donated paintings, prints and sculpture by such artists as John Baldessari, Judy Fiskin and Ed Ruscha will be sold at the Kuhlenschmidt/Simon Gallery, 9000 Melrose Ave., from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

An evening cocktail reception to preview the artworks will be held on Tuesday at the gallery. Tickets are $30, and may be purchased by calling LAICA at (213) 276-0070.

TEAM EFFORT: The Lorser Feitelson and Helen Lundeberg-Feitelson Arts Foundation announces the second in a series of grants to be awarded to Los Angeles County artists. Under the terms of the grants, an established artist will work closely with an emerging artist in a mentor/apprentice situation for one year. Each artist will receive $10,000 for the year.

This year's "mentor" artist, selected by the foundation's directors, is sculptor Connie Zehr. Zehr will select the emerging artist, based on submitted slides and a personal interview coupled with a studio visit for finalists.

Artists who wish to apply for the apprentice grant should send 10 slides, a resume, a half-page statement of reasons for wishing to study with Zehr, and a self-addressed stamped envelope to her at 143 W. American Ave., Claremont 91711. Deadline for applications is June 4. Selection will be announced in early July.

The awarding of these grants as a function of the foundation is in accord with the late Lorser Feitelson's interest in support of contemporary art and artists in the Los Angeles.

QUILTING CENTER TO BEE: The County Museum of Art has established an American Quilt Research Center with the recent gift of 49 outstanding American and European quilts from the collection of Betty Horton, a Los Angeles art collector and museum patron. The center, to be used for scholarly research, is scheduled for completion in 1988. Sixteen pieces from the newly acquired collection will be on view in a two-week exhibit opening next month.

NEW GALLERIES OPENED: The J. Paul Getty Museum has opened renovated galleries for its collections of European paintings, sculpture and decorative arts. Works on view from the museum's permanent collection date from the early 14th through the 19th centuries. Also on display are recent acquisitions including Dutch, French, and Italian artworks. The renovations were begun in spring, 1985.

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