May 10, 2013 |
The great opera and theater director Peter Sellars draped a chain of Lithuanian amber around his neck for PreCognito, something he does, he said, only for very special occasions. That special occasion, Thursday's gala dinner, celebrated the Santa Monica Museum of Art's 25th anniversary by honoring Sellars and pioneering art gallery owner Margo Leavin. Noted artists Bill Viola and John Baldessari delivered the introductions. PreCognito also previewed 700+ artworks, coming up for sale Saturday at SMMoA's signature annual event, InCognito, which offers each piece at the same $350 plus tax, regardless of the contributing artist.
October 16, 2012 |
Michael Asher, the groundbreaking L.A. conceptual artist and veteran CalArts teacher, died Sunday night after a long illness. He was 69. A teacher at CalArts since the early 1970s, Asher was famous in the classroom for his wit and candor -- and also his endurance. His marathon "crit" (critique) sessions, designed to review student work, could by his own account run from 10 a.m. to midnight. "I throw away the clock," he once told me. His own artwork is often described as institutional critique or engagement -- work that grows out of the particular conditions of a museum or gallery environment.
April 19, 2012 |
After more than a decade as the deputy director of the Santa Monica Museum of Art, Lisa Melandri is moving to St. Louis to become the director of the Contemporary Art Museum there. She will leave her current post at the end of June and start her new job in August. “I feel like I'm going to a sister institution in that it's also a noncollecting contemporary art museum,” Melandri said. “I find that model so exciting and thrilling. It's ideal for presentation of contemporary art, and it has this ability to be nimble, unlike some museums with permanent collections.” The official announcement notes that Melandri has helped to oversee the Santa Monica museum during a time of growth, in which its operating budget nearly doubled to reach $2.2 million.
August 31, 2011 |
Before she died in 1998 at the age of 105, artist Beatrice Wood liked to say that she owed her longevity to "chocolate and young men. " A Santa Monica Museum of Art retrospective of her work does include a campy ceramic sculpture she made on that theme, which shows a regal woman flanked by a phalanx of tiny adoring male figures. But the show, opening Sept. 10, promises to go beyond the sensational, sari-wearing persona that Wood cultivated to find an artist of contradictions and complexities.
November 8, 2009 |
Leonard Nimoy's latest photography project concerned people's secret selves, so it wasn't hard for officials at the Santa Monica Museum of Art to convince him to help with a fundraiser on that quintessential dress-your-fantasy occasion: Halloween. Besides that, Nimoy said, "I like the Santa Monica Museum." At the Halla Gala, guests were invited to "come as your secret self." For those who bought a $5,000 gala package, the multitalented artist/actor best known as Mr. Spock of "Star Trek" would photograph them as their otherwise hidden identities.
June 18, 2000 |
Elsa Longhauser has arrived in Southern California on a wave of hope that she will transform the Santa Monica Museum of Art from an underfunded, low-profile exhibition space to a thriving destination of choice, both for the local community and the international art world. Longhauser took on a big challenge when she agreed to become the museum's new director, and she knows it. "We have a lot of work to do in terms of building a team, raising money and gathering an audience," she said.