July 11, 2012
Re "MOCA's past and future," Opinion, July 8 Like Eli Broad, we are life trustees of the Museum of Contemporary Art, but we have a different version of the museum's history and, more important, a different vision of its future. Restoring the artistic and curatorial integrity of MOCA is crucial in regaining its respect and prominence. MOCA has not shepherded its finances well; it has overspent and is now paying the price. But bringing down expenditures does not mean bringing down the caliber of its exhibitions as well.
June 23, 2012
No artists were more serious than the New York School of Abstract Expressionists. Even the word "school" carries with it something stiff and formal. Pop art, by way of contrast, was anything but solemn. If it could even be labeled a school, it would be of the variety for delinquents. "Pop! Goes the Humor," a new exhibition at the Palm Springs Art Museum (through Oct. 7), gleefully illustrates the theme of artists who don't take themselves too seriously. Originating in Britain in the 1950s, Pop really flourished in the U.S. in the following decade.
June 1, 2012 |
Over the past 25 years, super collector Gary Cypres has amassed so much sports memorabilia that he opened an eponymous, 30,000-square-foot museum in downtown Los Angeles. The breadth of his collection - from 18th century tennis rackets to 21st century sports-movie posters - sets Cypres apart from one-sport or one-era specialists. The national pastime is Cypres' passion, and the Bronx-born businessman has curated a new exhibit of hardball holdings titled "Baseball: The All-American Game" at the Craft and Folk Art Museum.
May 29, 2012 |
CHICAGO - For art museums interested in contemporary American art, the 1980s have been a bit of a blind spot. Individual artists who emerged in those rambunctious years have not been in short supply in their galleries, through retrospectives and theme shows. But the period as a whole has remained elusive. Incisive surveys have been almost nonexistent. Perhaps it has something to do with wounded pride. With the roaring return of new European art, felled from prominence a generation earlier by the brutal devastation of war, a 30-year run that saw American artists at the top of the international heap came to a definitive end. Add New York's loss of national dominance after 1980 with the unequivocal emergence of Los Angeles art, and the cultural alterations were apparently too much to wrap one's head around.
March 28, 2012 |
John Spiak made his name as a curator at the Arizona State University Art Museum, in Tempe, where he spent 17 years helping to develop an innovative program dedicated in large part to a socially engaged mode of art-making known as "social practice. " He was born and raised in Orange County, however, not far from downtown Santa Ana, which makes his move last fall - to take over as director and chief curator of the Grand Central Art Center - something of a homecoming. "I grew up running around this neighborhood," he says, and he speaks of it today with a booster's enthusiasm.
February 19, 2012 |
Remember perestroika? It's back — in an exhibition of political poster art. "Deconstructing Perestroika: Soviet Ideology and its Discontents," at the Craft and Folk Art Museum through May 6, offers 24 original versions of posters neatly lined up on walls. But the hard-hitting images are unruly blasts from the Soviet past. Mostly made from 1987 to 1991, they reflect the period when Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev's policies of glasnost (openness) and perestroika (restructuring)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 3, 2012
John Buchanan, 58, who brought popular shows to the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco that raised membership and attendance but also drew criticism for pandering to low-brow tastes, died Friday of cancer, the museums announced. Buchanan ran the Portland Art Museum for 11 years before leaving in 2006 to became director of the Fine Arts Museums, made up of the de Young Museum and the Legion of Honor. During his six-year tenure in San Francisco, he procured such crowd-pleasing exhibits as "Tutankhamen and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs" and "Yves St. Laurent" to the city.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 24, 2011 |
When Huguette Clark's will was filed six months ago, art lovers in Santa Barbara were delighted: The bluff-top estate owned by the reclusive 104-year-old copper heiress was to be transformed into a museum. It was an exciting but uncertain prospect at the time, largely because the museum was to be established by Clark's attorney and accountant — longtime advisors whose ethics had been questioned in news reports and in legal actions by Clark's relatives. The possibility grew even dimmer Friday when a New York City judge suspended the pair as Clark's executors, citing accusations of massive tax fraud.
December 3, 2011 |
Along the 405 is L.A.'s version of a shining city on the hill -- a castle of culture in all its incarnations. The Getty Trust is more than its collections and museums; it's about worldwide research, preservation and philanthropy. Its new chief, James Cuno, blew in four months ago from the Windy City, where he headed the Art Institute of Chicago and, before that, Harvard's art museums. Cuno regards himself as something of a California kid, spending his teen years at Travis Air Force Base and later heading the Grunwald Center at UCLA.
November 24, 2011 |
The object: A 340-ton, 211/2-foot-tall chunk of granite, sitting in a quarry in Riverside County. The mission: Lift it and haul it to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, on a 106-mile journey. Degree of difficulty: High. Very high. This is no ordinary rock. The massive boulder is supposed to form the centerpiece of artist Michael Heizer's outdoor sculpture called "Levitated Mass," part of a planned permanent display on the north side of LACMA's Wilshire Boulevard campus.