A show about the boundary-pushing art of radical Latin American women and another devoted to the science fiction of the Americas are just two of 43 exhibitions and events receiving $8.5 million in grants from the Getty Foundation as part of Pacific Standard Time: Los Angeles/Latin America, scheduled to kick off in fall 2017.
The awards, to be formally announced at a Wednesday morning event in downtown Los Angeles, will help to fund Latino- and Latin America-themed shows across Southern California — an unprecedented series of exhibitions that will add to the scholarship of an under-researched area of art history, organizers said.
"Los Angeles is deeply linked to Latin America in its history and in its current demographics," Getty Foundation Director Deborah Marrow said. "No one has ever put so many Latin American shows together at one time, especially side by side with shows by Latino artists — so people could dialogue about it."
The grants include $425,000 for the Hammer Museum in Westwood for its show on radical women artists, $310,000 for the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego for a survey of how artists in Latin American countries reacted to political oppression during the 20th century and $225,000 to the UC Riverside Artsblock for an exhibition devoted to art and sci-fi.
Among the top recipients is the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which will receive almost $500,000 for its trio of exhibitions: a retrospective of the L.A. artist Carlos Almaraz; a design show that will look at the historic connections between California and Mexico; and a survey devoted to genre-busting contemporary artists. That last show will be developed in partnership with the 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica, which is hosting artist residencies and which will also have a related display.
"We've brought educators, registrars, people responsible for programming — we've brought them together around intellectual issues to discuss what is Latin American art, what is Latino art, what is the relationship," Marrow said, later adding: "When the curators get together, they develop activities together and share information."
This will be the third wave of PST shows in Southern California. The first, in 2010, was focused on 20th century art from Los Angeles and was supported by $11.5 million in grants from the Getty Foundation. The second, staged in 2013, was devoted to Modern architecture in Southern California. That effort received $3.7 million.
Two years ago, the foundation awarded $5 million in research grants to 40 Southern California arts institutions to help them research and initiate planning on PST: LA/LA. The new grants will support a couple of exhibitions whose future was uncertain.
The foundation originally granted $170,000 to the Orange County Museum of Art in Newport Beach for a show of Latin American kinetic art organized by curator Dan Cameron. But Cameron and other museum staffers were laid off in 2015 when a new director took over the museum. In addition, a planned construction project at OCMA threatened to make staging the show in the museum's galleries impossible.
The exhibition, "Kinesthesia: Latin American Kinetic Art, 1954-1969," has now found a home at the Palm Springs Art Museum, with Cameron still at the helm.
"It had a happy ending," Marrow said. "The Orange County Museum of Art graciously agreed to continue overseeing the research grant until we could find a location for the show."
Also up in the air was a show of the work of outsider artist Martín Ramírez at the Santa Monica Museum of Art, which had received a $90,000 research grant. The institution has been without a gallery space since departing its longtime home at Bergamot Station last summer, but the Ramírez exhibition is set to go on — thanks in part to a new $175,000 exhibition grant.
The exact location of that show, however, remains a bit of a mystery.
The show will be at the museum's to-be-announced permanent space in Los Angeles, a museum spokesperson said by email: "Details will be forthcoming soon."