CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 22, 2010 |
My visit to the California Science Center's black history exhibit this week was intended as rainy day relief; an emotional lift and respite for me from those relentless images of Haitian grief. I hauled my college daughter along because it seemed a fitting way to celebrate the holiday honoring Martin Luther King. She had just wrapped up a freshman "ethnic studies" course where the historical narrative seemed to be WASPs against the rest of us . It reminded me that history depends on who's doing the telling.
January 14, 2010 |
It's not easy to bring up slippery plasmodia and foul-smelling toadstools in art world cocktail party conversation. Such is the dilemma of a fungi enthusiast. But this weekend, Machine Project launches a two-week mycological affair that brazenly celebrates mushrooms, molds and other members of the oft-maligned fungus kingdom. "The stranger it was, the more excited he got about the project," says mushroom hunter and FungiFest co-curator David Fenster, about pitching the exhibit to Machine Project director Mark Allen.
November 17, 2009 |
It resonated like a huge stone dropped into a big pond: A year ago, as reports surfaced that the Museum of Contemporary Art had dug itself into a deep financial hole from which it might not be able to emerge, a shudder rippled outward from Los Angeles to the international art world. Since its fledgling days of 1979, MOCA had grown -- in terms of facility, program and collection -- into the nation's museum-flagship for art after World War II. MOCA has not yet fully climbed out of the financial crater, although the balance sheet is far better now than it was then.
November 15, 2009 |
No one disputes that the 1975 exhibition "New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-altered Landscape" was a landmark show. Attendance at the George Eastman House in Rochester, N.Y., wasn't huge, and the presentation didn't introduce any unknown talent. But the show put a name to a phenomenon -- the proliferation of straight, seemingly uninflected photography of the banal, built environment -- and that name stuck. What remains cause for discussion is what exactly New Topographics meant and why the term and its attendant attributes have had such an enduring influence.
August 31, 2009 |
California-based multimedia artist Mike Rogers was finishing his photographs for an exhibition in Mexico City when he got an urgent e-mail from the curator: The show had been called off. The capital's contemporary art museums were broke and shutting down. The message was exaggerated. Museums are not closing -- yet. But across Mexico City's eclectic art world, museum directors, curators, artists and performers are bracing for a round of recession-triggered budget cuts that could prove devastating.
August 3, 2009 |
Who doesn't love a little bad art from time to time? The pop music-attuned Fullerton Museum Center has a fresh take on that notion in a new exhibition, "The 100 Worst Album Covers," which revels in gloriously wretched imagery and graphics of the LP era. It's been assembled by longtime Orange County music journalist, musician and kitsch collector Jim Washburn, who is quick to point out that there were so many worthy contenders that this collection extends...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 20, 2009 |
The story of David, the shepherd boy who slew the Philistine Goliath, became the divinely chosen king of the Israelites and seduced Bathsheba, would be compelling in any era. But for medieval Christians, the poet, harpist and warrior assumed immense importance as an exemplar of piety and penitence, an Everyman on whom they could model their own commitment to God.
July 3, 2009 |
Jeanne LaCroix of Woodland Hills gazed with a wistful smile at the images unspooling across two giant screens inside downtown L.A.'s Grammy Museum: a teenage Michael Jackson surrounded by his brothers as they announced the name of a winner at the 1974 Grammy Awards ceremony.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 2, 2009 |
It could have been a scene right out of a Gene Autry horse opera -- a cowboys-versus-Indians-style faceoff, potshots being fired by both sides, a hero riding to the rescue in the final reel. That seems to be the plot line of the drama that is playing out between backers of the Autry National Center of the American West in Griffith Park and those of the Southwest Museum a few miles away in Mount Washington.