Veteran art-gallery director Marilyn Pink can be motivated by practicality as well as aesthetics.
Case in point: "Mothers and Their Children: Around the World," an exhibition of fine prints and drawings she has organized for Mother's Day at her La Cienega Boulevard gallery.
"There's such a vital link for the whole of one's life in that mother-child relationship," Pink said, explaining why she chose the exhibit's theme. "It's a time of tenderness, a time of hope. "And I hadn't bought a present for my mother yet!" Pink confessed with a hearty laugh.
Pink, who has a daughter, two sons and one grandchild, plans to spend Sunday with the entire brood and might look to her own exhibit for a gift for her mother.
While Pink said her prints start at $25, a last-minute Mother's Day gift of artwork might be too expensive for most (prices range roughly from $200 to $300,000 at galleries around town).
But if you're looking for a way to spend more than just money on Mom, think about spending an afternoon gallery hopping together. Most galleries are closed on Sundays, but open Saturdays. (The Marilyn Pink "Mothers and Their Children" exhibition is open this Sunday for Mother's Day browsing.) Even without the special occasion, however, gallery hopping is a fine weekend diversion, one that can enrich several relaxing Saturday afternoons.
The Los Angeles gallery scene is thriving, and new showrooms keep cropping up from Santa Monica to Hollywood. That makes it easier to stroll from one spacious, tranquil showroom to another, perhaps stopping for lunch midway or dinner at the end of a day, discovering what's new in contemporary art (with a few galleries showing art from other eras). Gallery owners generally welcome browsers with open arms, so no one need feel intimidated just to look and enjoy.
Following is a list of two major local gallery clusters--along La Cienega and Robertson boulevards--the second installment in a Times guide to four Saturday gallery tours. ("Eyeing the Gallery Scene," which appeared in View April 4, covered galleries around La Brea Avenue and in the Santa Monica/Venice area.) Notes about what you can expect to find at each gallery, plus where to stop for refreshments are included.
You may not have the endurance to visit every showroom within each geographic region. Or you may want to add to the roster--it is not all-inclusive. The Times prints a more complete museum and gallery listing each week in the Sunday Calendar.
Most galleries are open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on Saturday (and the rest of the week, excluding Sundays and Mondays), though variations in hours of operation make it advisable to phone ahead.
LA CIENEGA BOULEVARD AREA
The following galleries , nestled roughly between Santa Monica Boulevard and Melrose Avenue , are within walking distance of one another.
Hunsaker/Schlesinger Gallery, 812 N. La Cienega Blvd., (213) 657-2557. Works by emerging California artists and such veterans as Raymond Saunders and Greg Kondos.
Ruth Bachofner Gallery, 804 N. La Cienega Blvd., (213) 854-7797. Contemporary works from Los Angeles, Bay Area, San Diego and New York artists. Recently, a visitor here found artist Conner Everts, his collage-like paintings covering the gallery's walls, lecturing to a group of women seated on folding chairs. These in-gallery talks, whether sponsored by a school, museum, or the gallery, are common around town.
Herbert Palmer Gallery, 802 N. La Cienega Blvd., (213) 854-0096. Works by American and European artists.
Terry De Lapp Gallery, 800 N. La Cienega Blvd., (213) 659-0934. Mostly 19th-Century American art. Some early 20th-Century and some European works.
Marilyn Pink Fine Arts Limited, 760 N. La Cienega Blvd., (213) 657-5810. Master prints and drawings from 15th through 20th centuries. "Mothers and their Children: Around the World," to June 26, features prints from 16th through 20th centuries by 38 artists. On the mother-and-child theme, Pink said, works include those by George Muzakami, a contemporary Japanese American artist, Kathe Kollwitz, a 20th-Century German artist, and Pierre Bonnard, a French artist who lived from 1867-1947.
Heritage Gallery, 718 N. La Cienega Blvd., (213) 652-7738. The old guard on La Cienega for 26 years, director Ben Horowitz has presented prints, drawings, paintings and watercolors by artists from around the world from the early 20th Century to the present.
Simard & Halm Gallery, 665 N. La Cienega Blvd., (213) 652-0280. A recent transplant from Melrose Avenue, this gallery now has 17-foot-high ceilings and lots of sky lights.
Rosamund Felsen Gallery, 669 N. La Cienega Blvd., (213) 652-9172. This especially airy gallery opens up onto a shared outdoor courtyard tucked away from the cars streaming along La Cienega. Unorthodox, adventuresome works are exhibited by such artists in demand as Chris Burden, Mike Kelley and Lari Pittman.