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August 7, 2012 | By Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times Art Critic
In what can only be seen as a gentle jab at internationally acclaimed artist John Baldessari, who set off a wave of protest against the new pop-culture direction being taken by the Museum of Contemporary Art when he resigned from its board of trustees last month, MOCA has now scheduled a day-long pop music event inspired by a famous Baldessari video. MOCA's "Songs on Conceptual Art," announced Tuesday, is billed as "a one-day concert and accompanying album by a collection of innovative musicians and artists inspired by John Baldessari's video of the artist crooning Sol LeWitt's landmark list of 35 'Sentences on Conceptual Art.'" LeWitt, known as an "artist's artist" who was instrumental in establishing Minimal and Conceptual art, died in 2007 at 78. The free album, funded last spring by an online appeal on Kickstarter , was a graduate school project by Crystal Baxley and Stefan Ransom, art students in Portland, Ore. LeWitt's 1969 text was first published in small American and British art journals but quickly became influential among a new generation of young artists in the 1970s.
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 4, 2014 | By Sharon Mizota
Lew Thomas' first U.S. solo exhibition in almost 20 years focuses on work from the 1970s, creating a kind of bridge between the early days of Conceptual art and the 1980s “Pictures” generation. In this sense, the content and style of the show at Cherry and Martin is familiar; more surprising is the way Thomas' deadpan sense of humor comes through. “34 Avenue Between Geary and Clement” from 1972 is a series of photographs of every building on a San Francisco block. It's urban density's answer to Ed Ruscha's 1966 “Every Building on the Sunset Strip.” Elsewhere, Thomas' work aligns with that of artists like Sherrie Levine and Louise Lawler, who shifted art's focus to the context surrounding the work.
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NEWS
August 25, 2005 | Scott Timberg, Times Staff Writer
SOMEWHERE between a dorm-room poster of Monet's waterlilies and the Robert Rauschenberg painting owned by Eli Broad is another level -- the beginnings of an art collection that can be built by anyone with a few grand to spend.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 6, 2014 | By Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times Art Critic
SANTA BARBARA - Michelle Stuart and Alice Aycock are very different artists. Stuart is a kind of cartographer, mapping not just the land but our intimate experience of it. Aycock is more literary, transforming familiar themes like the intrusion of technology into nature and society's spiritual discontents into sculptures that are sometimes participatory. However, the juxtaposition of two sizable, retrospective exhibitions of their drawings at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art is fortuitous.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 8, 2008 | Valerie J. Nelson, Times Staff Writer
Eugenia P. Butler, a formative figure in conceptual art who often incorporated the written or spoken word in spare exhibits that challenged people to explore how they perceive reality, has died. She was 61. Butler died March 29 of a brain hemorrhage at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital in Santa Rosa, Calif., said her daughter, Corazon del Sol. Butler, a longtime Los Angeles resident, moved to the Sonoma Valley four years ago to live near her only child. "Eugenia always was an explorer. . . .
ENTERTAINMENT
January 7, 1992 | CHRISTOPHER KNIGHT, TIMES ART CRITIC
Interest in Conceptual art, its complex history since the 1960s and its broad influence into our own day appear to be on the rise. The Museum of Contemporary Art is organizing the first--and what it hopes will be the definitive--history of American and European Conceptualism, for display in the spring of 1994. Later this week, the University Art Museum at UC Santa Barbara opens a more schematic presentation, an 18-artist show called "Knowledge: Aspects of Conceptual Art."
NEWS
February 9, 2000 | From a Times Staff Writer
A Baptist minister who gained national notoriety by picketing the funeral of a gay hate-crime victim in Wyoming plans to bring his message opposing homosexuality to Orange County next month. The Rev. Fred Phelps said he will bring 20 picketers to Laguna Beach City Hall on March 20 to protest a city policy on hate speech. He also plans to picket the Crystal Cathedral, which he condemns for what he says is a policy of accepting gays and lesbians, on March 19. Phelps, 70, is pastor of the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan. He organized a protest at the 1998 funeral of Matthew Shepard, a gay University of Wyoming student murdered because of his sexual orientation.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 28, 1990 | LISBET NILSON
To enter Sue Spaid Fine Art--which opened on Beverly Boulevard in June--you have to wend your way through the current installation by Los Angeles artist Thomas Hartman, which spreads across the entire floor. Amid a sinuous mass of electric cords are 15 white plaster duck derrieres--as if the birds were hiding their heads in the floor--cooled by 15 wildly oscillating fans. The piece is "a comment on people who have attitudes and opinions about things--but they're not explored," Spaid said.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 9, 2000 | CHRISTOPHER KNIGHT, TIMES ART CRITIC
Where have Gilbert & George been? Twenty-nine years ago they applied bronze makeup to their faces, donned proper business suits, clambered up on a tabletop pedestal and began to sing. A bit of old-fashioned British music hall theatrics had seeped into the more typically dour iconoclasm of Conceptual art. In that inaugural performance as "singing sculpture" at Sonnabend Gallery in New York's then-new SoHo district, Gilbert & George were an overnight sensation.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 29, 2011 | By Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times Art Critic
Is graffiti the most influential art movement since Pop burst on the scene in 1962? That's the head-turning claim made by "Art in the Streets," a controversial exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art. The show has been drawing the ire of social critics, alarmed by what they perceive as an institutional celebration of vandalism, all while drawing curious crowds (often young) to the museum's Little Tokyo warehouse space. Graffiti is identified as a global artistic phenomenon that is thriving 40 years after it first emerged as a cultural marker around 1971.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 25, 2013 | By Leah Ollman
What is the opposite of a blockbuster exhibition? The pomp-free micro-show inaugurating Tif Sigfrids' Hollywood gallery. It occupies a space roughly the size of a hazelnut. It takes but a nanosecond to see. This anti-spectacle is the work of Joe Sola, among the savviest of today's art-court jesters. The L.A.-based Sola has installed his show of six minuscule portrait paintings (each measuring less than one-tenth of an inch across) in a tiny, tiny box that nestles in gallerist Sigfrids' ear, its one open side facing out. She wears the exhibition during gallery hours, pulling her hair aside to make it visible.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 27, 2013 | By Sheri Linden
Megumi Sasaki's follow-up to her first documentary, 2008's "Herb & Dorothy," is as engaging and unpretentious as its subjects, the Manhattan couple who became unlikely benefactors of Washington, D.C.'s National Gallery of Art. "Herb & Dorothy 50x50" chronicles the closing chapter in their life as collectors, at the same time shedding light on the challenging proposition of running a museum outside major-city art hubs. Lifelong civil servants who shared a one-bedroom apartment with a few cats and turtles, Herbert and Dorothy Vogel amassed one of the most important collections of minimalist and conceptual art ever assembled.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 24, 2013 | By Jamie Wetherbe
The mystery behind @Horse_ebooks, the Twitter account long suspected to be a spambot, has been revealed -- and it has an artistic twist. The account, which spews random bits of text and phrases, is run by real people as part of a years-long conceptual art project, the New Yorker reported . Jacob Bakkila, a creative director at Buzzfeed, and Thomas Bender, a former vice president of product development at Howcast, are the minds behind @Horse_ebooks...
ENTERTAINMENT
April 29, 2013 | By Jori Finkel
Marcel Duchamp's dialogues are arguably as important to modern art as Socrates' dialogues were to ancient philosophy, fundamental documents of their field that raised questions for generations to come. For years Duchamp's conversations were accessible to English readers through the translation of a slim volume by Pierre Cabanne in which the artist spoke out against “retinal” art, objects designed to please the eye, and set the stage for conceptual art. Now there's another way to hear Duchamp, who died in 1968.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 25, 2013 | By David Ng
"Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry," the 2012 feature documentary about the outspoken Chinese artist, will air on PBS Monday night as part of the Independent Lens series. In Southern California, the movie is scheduled to air on PBS SoCal (KOCE) at 10 p.m. The documentary, directed by Alison Klayman, debuted last year at the Sundance Film Festival where it won a special jury prize, and was later released in movie theaters in the U.S.  Ai has risen to fame in recent years for his conceptual art but more so for his online activism, which has gotten him into trouble with Beijing officials on a number of occasions.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 18, 2013 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
Yoko Ono gets a bad rap. She's the one who broke up the Beatles, who pushed John Lennon into baking bread. Except, of course, it's much more complicated than that. Ono was already an established avant-gardist when she met Lennon, famously, at London's Indica Gallery in 1966; inspired by John Cage , she worked with the Fluxus group in New York in the early 1960s and collaborated with experimental composer La Monte Young . Among her work from this period is “Cut Piece,” a participatory bit of performance art in which Ono came on stage in a loose shift and encouraged audience members to cut the garment off her piece by piece.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 17, 1999 | HUNTER DROHOJOWSKA-PHILP, Hunter Drohojowska-Philp is a frequent contributor to Calendar
A decade ago, Barbara Kruger scandalized the Japanese American community of Little Tokyo with her proposal to paint the Pledge of Allegiance, bordered by provocative questions, on the side of a warehouse in the heart of the historic downtown neighborhood.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 21, 2012 | By Leah Ollman
Diego Singh's first L.A. show is a mixed bag of mixed messages. The Miami-based Argentine artist has titled every work with a single ampersand, though there are two distinct series of paintings on view. One riffs on the use of CAPTCHAs, those word-like strings of letters and punctuation marks that you often have to enter when conducting transactions online, to prove that an actual human is at the keyboard. Singh adopts the visual idiom of the CAPTCHA -- woozy letters, mixed fonts -- and fills canvases with semi-legible phrases ("taste and waste," "her mouth," "Anna Wintour")
ENTERTAINMENT
September 24, 2012 | By Sharon Mizota
Pacific Standard Time explored the origins of the Los Angeles art world through museum exhibitions throughout Southern California over the past nine months. Times art reviewer Sharon Mizota saw all of them and shared her thoughts about her 10-month project. It is done. The exhibition marathon that was Pacific Standard Time -- the Getty-sponsored initiative that flooded the Southland with myriad local histories of contemporary art -- officially ended in March, although a few of the shows remained open into the early days of June.
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