The L.A. photographs of Robert Rauschenberg, images by female photographers and a benefit exhibition that pays tribute to filmmaker Isaac Julien. Plus, Los Angeles graffiti artists and a talk about the evolving streetscape of American cities. Here are six things to do in Los Angeles and beyond this week:
Robert Rauschenberg, “Photos: In + Out City Limits,” at the Huntington Library. The museum is showcasing 15 photographs that the artist took in Los Angeles in 1981 — images of shapes, landscape and odd pockets of the city. They are being shown in the museum’s American Art galleries, next to the Rauschenberg combine, “Global Loft (Spread)," from 1979, which the Huntington acquired three years ago. Through June 2. 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, huntington.org.
“Trio: Kathleen Johnson, Laura London, Lisa Rosel ,” at C. Nichols Project. This intimate Mar Vista gallery is showing the work of three women photographers from Los Angeles — touching on portraiture, the staged, in-between spaces...Read more
In 1965, a university professor at Cal State Long Beach teamed up with an Israeli artist to organize a symposium that paired artists with industry (such as the local Bethlehem Steel works) to create a series of monumental pieces that would reside on the university's campus. Nine artists participated, producing massive abstract pieces made from concrete, earth and steel -- works that dot the campus to this day.
But half a century is a long time, and some of the pieces are starting to show their age with peeling paint, structural issues and problems with moisture (from the sea air and lawn watering). To mark the 50th anniversary of the sculpture symposium, the University Art Museum has teamed up with the Getty Conservation Institute to survey and help conserve the collection.
"For us, it provides an opportunity to have practical case studies that exemplify the challenges of working with outdoor sculptures," said Rachel Rivenc, a scientist at the institute. "These are quite different to...Read more
There are pile-ons. And then there are pile-ons involving Spandex, face-paint and atomic knee drops.
The retrospective devoted to the career of the singer, composer and musician Björk at the Museum of Modern Art has generated a full-on media smack down involving burning and pillaging. OK, so there hasn't been any pillaging — but this week one major art critic who hated the show burned his MoMA press pass and posted the image of his card in flames on Twitter.
It all started with the reviews — which, to put it mildly, have not been kind. New York Times chief critic Roberta Smith describes the show as a "scant, cramped overview" ... "jammed into a tacky little two-story pavilion." She concludes: "Björk should have said no — not because her work isn’t museum-worthy but because, as proved here, the Modern is not up to the task."
Jason Farago of the Guardian describes "a weirdly unambitious show, with definitely, definitely, definitely no logic," while ...Read more
The video is like a feverish dream of Los Angeles. Beneath the sprawling, horizontal cityscape, a marching band grooves on an empty field. Young boys drip-dry after a dip in the pool. A woman with a tower of gray hair and a kindly gaze stands before a cooler of beer. Muscular, tattooed men pose for a group portrait. A horse gallops down a dim city avenue. And a man hangs upside-down, vampire-like, from a street light at night.
The 15-minute piece, titled "m.A.A.d.," is now on view at Los Angeles's Museum of Contemporary Art. And it is hypnotic: a stirring, cinematic tribute to the city of Compton, and a beguiling non-linear paean to everyday moments of life, death and magic — all set to the textured, often abstract lyrics of Compton-born rapper Kendrick Lamar. (Sample line: "I'm hoping that I can borrow a piece of mind / I'm behind on what's really important.")
The man behind this stunning short film is Kahlil Joseph, a young Los Angeles-based artist and director who keeps a...Read more
Since 1972, land artist Michael Heizer has been obsessively reshaping a patch of desert in Nevada's Garden Valley into a truly monumental work of land art. "City," as the piece is titled, is 1 1/4 miles long and more than a quarter of a mile wide. In terms of size, it's up there with Washington's National Mall. In its proportions, it resembles an abstracted pre-Columbian pyramid complex.
Heizer owns the land on which he is building "City," but the future of the land around it remains very much in question. And over the years, there's been talk of developing it into a missile site, an oil-and-gas exploration site, and a location for a nuclear waste rail line.
Now a campaign called Protect Basin and Range aims to get the land around the piece some sort of environmental protection. Garden Valley, it turns out, isn't just home to Heizer's magnum opus. It also harbors desert ecologies and ancient rock art.
Some arts institutions are beginning to throw their weight behind this cause (which...Read more
Copyright laws in England ... green roofs in France ... destroyed pyramids in Peru ... Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera in Detroit ... the spiritual aspect of TED Talks .... grappling with zoning issues in Houston and Los Angeles. Here’s what we’ve got in the Roundup:
— Britain is passing some heinously retrograde copyright laws that would make copyright infringement a criminal, not a civil, infraction. Eileen Kinsella from Artnet has the scoop.
— Finding that lost pre-Columbian city in the Honduran jungle was the easy part. The hard part, writes Los Angeles Review of Books founder Tom Lutz, will be figuring out what to do next. What seems inevitable: The site will be looted.
— Peru’s Ministry of Culture has lodged a criminal complaint against a pair of companies that tore down a 20-foot pre-Inca pyramid outside of Lima. The Peruvian daily El Comercio has images of the damage (and it’s not pretty).
— A key painting made by Frida Kahlo in Detroit will not be part of an exhibition of the...Read more