April 22, 2007 |
I was a student with my first camera, living above Tower Records on the Sunset Strip, in the mid-1960s. My father, Felix Landau, was an art dealer whose gallery was by then a cornerstone of the L.A. art scene. Pop art was just emerging, and I was sensing a divide between the more classical European-influenced fine art on display in my father's gallery and the exuberant, vibrant art of American culture in all its bawdy and commercial badness.
September 6, 2001 |
Andy Warhol, spooky, off-the-wall, form-shaping avatar of blankness and cultural keenness, meets biographer Wayne Koestenbaum, poet, celebrity explicator and rollicking gay theorist. A lovely match. Warhol's work, this writer argues forcefully, is about desire and the passage of time, a theme all the more unsettling when you realize that the artist has been gone for 14 years, indeed that this waif wayfarer was a child of the Depression, born in 1928.
December 6, 1992 |
Thirty years have passed since Pop art burst upon the scene, causing contradictory shrieks of delight or bellows of doomsday condemnation from invariably wide-eyed observers. All the while, the new art grabbed unprecedented media attention for American art--simply because Pop spoke in a visual language the media knew so well.
March 6, 2011 |
Over the last 40 years, William Leavitt has made a name for himself as an influential artist while staying so far out of fame's spotlight that his hard-to-categorize works have been all but invisible to the public. That's not how it works in Hollywood, where fame and fortune go hand in glove. Nor is it how it often goes in the art world, which has become so infatuated with market-savvy celebrity that making a name for oneself has become an art unto itself ? and not a particularly interesting one. But Leavitt is a misfit.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 25, 2003 |
Bruce D. Kurtz, an influential art critic and curator who explored the complex intersection of high art and popular culture and was an early champion of video art, died Saturday in Phoenix of complications from AIDS. He was 59. Kurtz had been an outspoken activist in the fight against the disease. In 1990, he founded a Phoenix chapter of the organization ACT UP.
September 25, 2011 |
So there's my name, on Page 1 of "Pacific Standard Time: Los Angeles Art, 1945-1980," the Getty's massive overview catalog for its monumental effort to get Southern California modern art into the heretofore New York-centric history of American modernism. The mention isn't so much about me as about my 1974 book, "Sunshine Muse: Contemporary Art on the West Coast" (which was reissued by the University of California Press as "Sunshine Muse: Art on the West Coast, 1945-1970" in 2000)
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 9, 2000 |
Legend has it, half-mistakenly, that Pop Art was a grand gesture of appeasement from the high quarters of culture to the baser ranks of "low" culture and mass media. It was the movement, so we are led to believe, that sought to bring down the barrier. But that isn't exactly right, and the wisdom of hindsight allows us to recognize the truer relationship. Consider it a handshake between strata of culture, but one with a joy buzzer involved. And the smile may conceal a sneer.
May 10, 2012
ART Damien Hirst is one of the most controversial yet iconic names in art right now. His droll Pop Art sculptures, "spot" paintings and, famously, his grinning diamond skull engage with questions of death and commerce and pure aesthetics. While they've made him wealthy, some wonder what, exactly he really has to say. See for yourself at this new exhibit of silkscreens, "spot" paintings and his much-liked butterfly-based mixed media work. Ikon, Bergamot Station, 2525 Michigan Ave. G4, Santa Monica.