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November 12, 2011 | By Jori Finkel, Los Angeles Times
It was not your usual audition process, not even by modern dance standards. There were no age or gender restrictions. There were no particular body types sought. And instead of taking turns on a stage, the assorted dancers, actors, artists, yogis and athletes trying out for a role in performance artist Marina Abramovic's new project — taking place Saturday at the MOCA gala — were each asked to kneel under a cramped dinner table set for eight. The audition? Poke your head up through a hole in the center of the table and spin around extremely slowly on a Lazy Susan and quietly gaze with intention but no particular emotion at the seated dinner guests — a strangely zen version of Linda Blair's famous head-turning performance in " The Exorcist.
December 14, 2009 | Gregory Rodriguez
The words "museum" and "mausoleum" sound an awful lot alike. And according to two recent studies out of Washington, if America's museum directors and curators don't make some fundamental changes in the way they do business, their institutions might soon become tombs. Just last Thursday, the National Endowment for the Arts published the sixth in a series of surveys it has conducted since 1982 that seek to measure public participation in the arts. The news was not good. The NEA found a notable decline in theater, museum and concert attendance and other "benchmark" cultural activities between 2002 and 2008.
April 26, 2012 | By Mike Boehm, Los Angeles Times
If names predict destinies, the venerable UCLA performing arts series anchored at Royce Hall is on the cusp of much bigger things. A new moniker will be unveiled Thursday, Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA. It's a mouthful intended to reflect the broader scope the university plans for the showcase formerly known as UCLA Live. The center (CAP-UCLA for short) aspires to be not just a performance series, but a creative habitat in which new work is developed, ideas are sparked and techniques are taught to the next generation of performers -- with the mission of presenting visiting talent to paying customers still at its core.
June 14, 2010 | By Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times Theater Critic
Awards should be aspirational, validating excellence and originality even though each and every one of us knows that commercialism rules the day. But far be it from the ever-insecure Tonys — the geeky glee club representative of the major entertainment awards — to bite the hand that feeds it. For the third year in a row the best musical award went not to the work that deserved it but to the one with the greatest box-office potential on...
January 1, 2009 | Michael Kaiser, Kaiser is president of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington.
While government bailouts are being offered or considered for financial institutions, the auto industry, homeowners and so many other needy and worthy sectors, one group is quickly and rather quietly falling apart: our nation's arts organizations. In the last few months, dozens of opera companies, theater companies, dance organizations, museums and symphonies have either ceased operating or suffered major cash crises.
May 29, 2013 | By Mike Boehm, Los Angeles Times
L.A. added two new million-dollar-a-year executives to the ranks of its top-paid arts leaders during 2011, although two existing members of the seven-person club had to get by with less than they'd made in 2010. Increases for Music Center President Stephen Rountree and Los Angeles Opera music director James Conlon put them above $1 million in total wages and benefits, according to the organizations' recently filed federal tax returns for the 2011-12 fiscal year that ended last June 30, the most recent period for which figures are available.
March 12, 2010 | By David Ng
When artwork that once belonged to the late bestselling author Michael Crichton hits the auction block in May, the works by Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein, Pablo Picasso and others will combine for one of the most high-profile art sales of the season. The sale, being organized by Christie's, will feature approximately 100 works of art, or about 80% of the writer's personal collection. The sale also comes with a back story that, given Crichton's main line of work, would make a good novel.
September 18, 2011 | By Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times Art Critic
Sometimes we seem to know less about the early years of post-World War II art in Los Angeles than we know about the Pleistocene Age mammals dredged up from the La Brea Tar Pits. In the last 30 years, L.A. pushed to the front ranks of international capitals for new art, a dizzying development widely documented — but what happened in the 30 years before that? Yes, we know bits and pieces — some better than others. Repeated censorship attempts by public officials — of a shrine-like 1957 Wallace Berman assemblage sculpture that included a sexy drawing, a 1964 Ed Kienholz assemblage sculpture about carrying on in the back seat of a Dodge, etc. — have been chronicled many times.
May 4, 2012 | By Mike Boehm, Los Angeles Times
For more than half a century, Eli Broad has taken inspiration from a paperweight on his desk, a gift from his wife, Edythe, that has become the cornerstone for a new "how to" book for anyone who might wonder "What would Eli do?" On it is a quote from George Bernard Shaw: "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man. " Broad has called his 165-page text, written with former Los Angeles Times staffer Swati Pandey, "The Art of Being Unreasonable: Lessons in Unconventional Thinking.
July 7, 2012 | By Christopher Hawthorne, Los Angeles Times Architecture Critic
The campus of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art has changed markedly since Michael Govan took over as director in 2006. Two gallery buildings by Renzo Piano have opened their doors: the Broad Contemporary Art Museum in 2008 and the Resnick Pavilion two years later. The old May Co. building anchoring the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue, which LACMA had for a time planned to renovate for its own use, is slated to hold a film museum run by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
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