February 13, 2014 |
Forget about tea and sympathy. How about tea and morphine? Each of the opium wars launched by France and Britain in 19th century China was less a war on drugs than a war for drugs. The imperialist adventurers were after tea and morphine, and they got what they were after. Morphine is an opiate, tea is loaded with caffeine. The thirst for both was strong in the West, and the East was their common source. A modest but absorbing print exhibition drawn from a promised gift to the UCLA Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts and newly opened at the Hammer Museum pictures one set of unintended consequences that arose in those drug wars' wake.
February 8, 2014 |
Yoga has a 2,500-year history that sprung up in India as a series of mental and physical practices to help escape the cycle of suffering that flesh is heir to. "Yoga: The Art of Transformation" at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco (Feb. 21 to May 25) offers a voyage through some of that history via art, photography and film. With 135 objects borrowed from 25 museums and collections internationally, this is the "first major art exhibition about yoga," says the museum. "Yoga is a range of practices that focus on controlling the body and breath as a means of stilling the mind," says Qamar Adamjee, curator of South Asian art at the museum.
February 7, 2014 |
Just inside the entrance of Westwood's Hammer Museum stands a human-sized gingerbread hut by artist Nayland Blake. Left unadorned, its friendly, sugary scent wafts throughout the lobby. Across the room and up the museum's sweeping staircase, a harder-edged artwork of towering black-and-white text by Barbara Kruger reaches to the ceiling, dwarfing Blake's hut. "YOU," it screams. "You are here to get cultured. To get smarter, richer, younger, angrier, funnier, skinnier, hipper, hotter, wiser, weirder, cuter, and kinder.
February 1, 2014 |
With the U.S. in the final stretch before this summer's World Cup, Coach Juergen Klinsmann has challenged his players to step up and make a statement if they want to make the team. Chris Wondolowski proved Saturday that he got the message, scoring goals in each half to lift the U.S. to a 2-0 win over South Korea before a sold-out crowd of 27,000 at StubHub Center. Whether that will be enough to earn him a seat on the plane to Brazil remains to be seen. But it sure didn't hurt his chances with Klinsmann, who admitted he came away impressed.
January 31, 2014 |
When Mike Magee walked into StubHub Center on Friday morning, the return inspired memories and goose bumps. "This stadium [is] a place that had a pretty special place in my heart," said Magee, a fan favorite during his five seasons with the Galaxy. It could become even more special if Magee gets an opportunity to play Saturday afternoon before a sold-out crowd in the U.S. national team's exhibition with South Korea. Major League Soccer's reigning most valuable player, Magee went nine years between call-ups to a national team camp.
January 30, 2014 |
Los Angeles street artist Shepard Fairey and New York art titan Jasper Johns come from different sides of the country and the contemporary art world, but they are similar in at least one respect: They both hail from South Carolina. The artists will be the subject of a retrospective starting in May in Fairey's hometown of Charleston coinciding with the 2014 Spoleto Festival. The exhibition, "The Insistent Image: Recurrent Motifs in the Art of Shepard Fairey and Jasper Johns," will feature new work by Fairey and a survey of prints by Johns from 1982 to 2012.
January 28, 2014 |
Alfredo Ramos Martínez was a few weeks shy of 58 when he packed up his studio and, with his wife and daughter, moved from Mexico City to Los Angeles in 1929. He arrived just in time for the epic collapse of the economy. Not surprisingly, the Great Depression is either subtext or frame of reference for much of the art he produced in L.A. before his death almost 17 years later. At the Pasadena Museum of California Art, "Picturing Mexico: Alfredo Ramos Martínez in California" attempts to come to terms with the work he produced here.
January 24, 2014 |
SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. - In the film "12 Years a Slave," free black man Solomon Northup dreams of one thing during his long captivity in the antebellum South: returning to his family and home in Saratoga Springs. In the film, as Northup, played by Chiwetel Ejiofor, undergoes grueling labor and horrific punishment on a series of Southern plantations, Saratoga Springs becomes a promised land, its name uttered with a sense of longing and hope. Yet mention Northup's name to many locals in modern-day Saratoga Springs or ask about the memoir or movie that tells his story and they'll raise an eyebrow, largely unaware of the man and his legacy.
January 18, 2014 |
In one of Andrew Moore's photographs of Cuba, on display through Feb. 15 at Couturier Gallery in Los Angeles, a half-dozen men and women are hanging out at an aging ferry terminal. Their postures are casual and unself-conscious, yet they form a quasi-theatrical tableau. One couple appears absorbed in intimate conversation. A single man rests his head on his hands. Through the modest structure's three arched openings, the verdant tropical landscape can be glimpsed. The image is titled "La Espera," a Spanish word that can mean both "wait" and "hope.
January 10, 2014 |
Diane von Furstenberg's wrap-dress army is a force to be reckoned with in the 20,000-square-foot gallery of the historic May Co. department store building in Los Angeles, where her “Journey of a Dress” exhibition opens Saturday with 200 vintage and contemporary interpretations of the iconic design. There they are, 200 mannequins strong, standing in formation and ready to conquer the world. And conquer the world is exactly what this dress did. The show, which was put together for the 40th anniversary of Von Furstenberg's brand, celebrates her singular contribution to fashion history: the wrap dress, which is on par with the T-shirt and blue jeans when it comes to its cultural impact.