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Robert Irwin to create a major installation in Marfa, Texas

American installation artist Robert Irwin will create a major piece for the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas, the foundation announced on Thursday.

The project has been in the works for 13 years, Irwin said.

"I'm not going to count my chickens before they hatch," he joked. "I'll believe it when I see it."

He'll have to wait a couple of years until then. Construction on the installation will begin next year and isn't slated to be completed until 2016. It will be the first considerable addition to the museum's permanent collection since 2004, when the museum opened a gallery dedicated to the work of John Wesley, a painter who Chinati founder Donald Judd also greatly admired.  

Opened in 1986, the Chinati Foundation sits on 340 acres that used to be Army barracks. The museum will turn over to Irwin the building that had housed the barracks' hospital.

Irwin said the building has essentially fallen down and will have to be rebuilt. That's what will take the longest amount of time. Irwin's...

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Music Walk in Carlsbad and a 'Parade' at the Hammer

With a hot week endured and temperatures expected to moderate over the weekend, Saturday seems like an ideal day to stroll a beach town where you can encounter new music in nearly every nook and cranny. The Carlsbad Music Festival, founded by composer Matt McBain 11 years ago is, each year, more impressive.

McBain has moved on to the Brooklyn scene (what composer hasn’t?) but returns each year, often with other Brooklynites in tow, as well as old friends and mentors from USC.

A tradition is the Music Walk, Saturday from 3 to 11 p.m. Walk and listen. Musicians will be everywhere in parking lots, cafes, a Realtor’s office, a record store, a juice shop.

The more formal festival, itself, begins Friday night with a concert by pipa star Wu Man and includes various new music groups from San Diego and Los Angeles.

David Lang -- whose new percussion concerto, “man made,” will open the Los Angeles Philharmonic season at Walt Disney Concert Hall in October -- is Carlsbad’s featured composer....

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Beijing gets a taste of L.A.'s art world in 'The Los Angeles Project'

Southern Californians walking into the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing might wonder whether they’ve stepped through a time-space portal and been beamed back to Burbank or Hollywood.

Painted palm trees soar up the walls of a giant atrium. A large Oscar statuette, the kind that normally shows up along the red carpet on Academy Awards night, stands sentry on another surface. Nearby, there’s a life-size rendering of a portable trailer that would shelter a movie star on set between takes, and oh look -- there’s a two-dimensional studio-lot golf cart too.

On a recent weekday , L.A. artist Alex Israel was bouncing a bit nervously around the space as a team of Chinese scenic artists applied the finishing touches to his sprawling mural, “Star Waggons.”

Israel -- who normally works out of the Warner Bros. studio lot and often riffs on the themes of celebrity culture, entertainment and the Hollywood lifestyle -- is one of seven artists featured in the Ullens Center’s “The Los...

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Mary Weatherford receives Artists' Legacy Foundation Artist Award

Ojai-born, Los Angeles-based painter Mary Weatherford has won the Artists' Legacy Foundation 2014 Artist Award and will receive a $25,000 cash prize.

This is the eighth annual Artist Award given by the foundation, started in 2000 by painter Squeak Carnwath, community advocate Gary Knecht and sculptor Viola Frey. The foundation will celebrate Weatherford at a private ceremony Nov. 2 in Oakland.

The goal of the organization is to encourage the work of painters and sculptors and to protect the legacies of deceased artists. A bequest left by Frey after her death in 2004 launched the group's award, first given to sculptor Kathy Butterly in 2007.

Candidates are nominated without their knowledge and selected by jury. The jury that chose Weatherford included Jennifer Gross, chief curator of the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park in Lincoln. Mass.; Franklin Sirmans, curator at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and Jodi Throckmorton, curator of contemporary art at the Pennsylvania Academy...

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Getty Foundation launches effort to conserve modern architectural gems

The Getty Foundation has announced a major new conservation initiative for modern architecture, funding work on 10 landmark designs around the world including Jørn Utzon’s Sydney Opera House in Australia, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House in Chicago and the Ray and Charles Eames residence in Pacific Palisades.

The Getty campaign, called Keeping It Modern, is intended to conserve 20th century architectural gems through grants of $50,000 to $200,000. The other recipients are Hilario Candela’s Miami Marine Stadium, Louis Kahn’s Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Alvar Aalto’s Paimio Sanatorium in Finland, I.M. Pei’s Luce Memorial Chapel in Taiwan, Max Berg’s Centennial Hall in Poland, Dov Karmi’s Max Liebling House in the White City of Tel Aviv, and Le Corbusier’s apartment and studio in Paris.

"Modern architecture is one of the defining artistic expressions of the 20th century," said Deborah Marrow, director of the Getty Foundation, the arts grants branch of the J. Paul...

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David Lynch opens his museum exhibition in Philadelphia

He hasn't made a feature film since the murky and phantasmagorical "Inland Empire" in 2006, but David Lynch hasn't been idling away in obscurity.

In addition to developing online projects and proselytizing for Transcendental Meditation, the eccentric director has exhibited artwork in gallery shows in Los Angeles. The mixed-media creations were predictably Lynchian -- creepy, dream-like and often disturbing.

In perhaps the biggest display of his art to date, Lynch kicked off his first major museum exhibition in the U.S. at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia.

"David Lynch: The Unified Field" opened Saturday and is scheduled to run through Jan. 11. The exhibition features 90 paintings and drawings from 1965 to the present, as well as rarely seen works from early in his career.

In the late '60s, Lynch was a student at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, where he studied painting. (He has credited the city of Philadelphia for inspiring his feature film...

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Rome's Depart Foundation opens L.A.-area space with Gabriele De Santis

The Italian nonprofit arts organization Depart Foundation, which exhibits contemporary emerging and mid-career artists from around the world in Rome, is expanding its footprint, debuting a West Hollywood space Wednesday night with a show by Italian artist Gabriele De Santis.

Since launching in 2008 with the dual mission of adding to the Italian contemporary art scene as well as sparking an international art dialogue, Depart has premiered work by artists Sterling Ruby, Oscar Murillo, Nate Lowman, Frances Stark, Sam Falls, Amanda Ross-Ho and Lucien Smith, among others. It will open a new center in Rome in fall 2015 and is considering a Shanghai outpost.

Over the next few months at its 3,200-square-foot L.A. space, a former spa on the Sunset Strip, Depart will also put up exhibits by British painter Kour Pour, New York artist Grear Patterson and L.A.-based digital conceptual artist Petra Cortright. 

The inaugural Southern California show, “The Dance Step of a Watermelon While Meeting a...

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L.A. theater openings, Sept. 21-28: 'The 39 Steps' and more

A classic Hitchcock thriller is spoofed in "The 39 Steps" at Long Beach Playhouse, "Lost the Musical" sends up the hit TV series at the Lillian Theatre, and life is a "Cabaret" at North Hollywood's Crown City Theatre. Plus, Cicely Tyson reprises her Tony-winning role in "The Trip to Bountiful" at the Ahmanson.

Kiss Me, Kate Wayne Brady stars in the Cole Porter classic about a madcap musical production of Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew.” Pasadena Playhouse, 39 S. El Molino Ave., Pasadena. Sun., 5 p.m.; Tue.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 4 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 2 and 7 p.m.; ends Oct. 12. $47-$125. (626) 356-7529.

Marjorie Prime World premiere of Jordan Harrison’s drama about an elderly woman (Lois Smith) at an assisted-living facility who comes to terms with her life with the help of her daughter, her son-in-law and a mysterious stranger. Mark Taper Forum, 135 N. Grand Ave., L.A. Sun., 7 p.m.; Tue.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2:30 and 8 p.m.; next Sun., 1 and 6:30 p.m.; ends Oct. 19. $25-$70....

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Samuel D. Hunter: Playwright of spiritual longing, now a MacArthur 'Genius' fellow

Don’t look now, but a positive trend seems to be developing: A bumper crop of talented American playwrights more interested in artistic expression than commercial validation is being recognized with the most prestigious awards and lucrative fellowships available.

Yes, that’s right, playwrights, not screenwriters-in-the-making, not stage dabblers until HBO comes a-calling, but dramatists through and through. Best of all, they’re not being asked to wait until they’re mid-career, broke and demoralized by this country’s neglect of its artists.
 
The latest in this delightful trend is Samuel D. Hunter, who is one of this year’s MacArthur “genius” fellows. Last year, Tarell Alvin McCraney was selected for this prosperous honor, one that gives artists and intellectuals something only a whole lot of money can buy: unfettered time to think and create.
 
And who would have thought that the Pulitzer Prize board, usually so reluctant to acknowledge playwrights before they’ve been lionized everywhere...

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Stephen Adly Guirgis wins Steinberg Playwright Award

With their abrasive characters and often profane language, the plays of Stephen Adly Guirgis aren't crowd-pleasers in the conventional sense. The New York playwright specializes in chronicling the rougher side of city life, and has earned critical raves and a Tony Award nomination for his work.

On Tuesday, Guirgis received another accolade when he was named the recipient of the biennial Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award, an honor that comes with a monetary prize of $200,000. Guirgis is expected to pick up the award, which honors a playwright's body of work, at a ceremony in New York on Nov. 17.

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FOR THE RECORD
A previous version of this post misspelled Guirgis' middle name, Adly, as Adley, and said the award is biannual. It is biennial.
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The award is organized by the Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust. Guirgis said in a statement that he was humbled to receive the honor: "We live in a world of, 'Take the money and run.' This award is especially...

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Stratford Festival launching HD telecasts of Shakespeare plays

Following in the footsteps of Britain's National Theatre and the Metropolitan Opera in New York, the Stratford Festival in Canada is launching a new series of HD telecasts of its Shakespeare stage productions to cinemas around the world, though the screenings won't be live.

Leaders at the Stratford Festival announced Tuesday that they have chosen three upcoming Shakespearean productions that will be captured live in high-definition video and then edited before distribution starting in early 2015.

"King Lear," starring Colm Feore, is scheduled to hit cinemas in February, followed by screenings of "King John" and "Antony and Cleopatra," set for April and May, respectively.

The three plays will be captured in HD during their runs this fall at Stratford. Company leaders said they have committed to providing three productions each season, with the ultimate goal of recording all of Shakespeare's plays. 

In addition to distribution through cinemas, the stage productions will also be made...

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Angela Lansbury in 'Blithe Spirit' coming to L.A. in December

Angela Lansbury will reprise her 2009 Tony Award-winning role as Madame Arcati in Noel Coward's comedy "Blithe Spirit" in a North American tour that will begin in Los Angeles at the Ahmanson Theatre in December, producers announced Tuesday. 

The tour is scheduled to start performances at the Ahmanson on Dec. 9 and will run through Jan. 18. Other stops on the tour will include San Francisco, Toronto and Washington. Michael Blakemore, who directed the revival production on Broadway and London, is returning to stage the tour.

Lansbury won her fifth Tony for "Blithe Spirit" for playing the kooky medium Madame Arcati, who helps the characters Charles and his second wife, Ruth, make contact with the ghost of Charles' first wife. 

"It's going to be exciting to play Los Angeles for the first time in over 30 years," Lansbury said in a statement. "I can't think of a better place to start off this tour than with my family and friends here in my own backyard."

The touring cast includes actor...

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