Culture: High & Low
With Carolina A. Miranda
Object Lesson: Two images, two photography roads taken

They are two photographers whose paths crossed repeatedly over the decades, but who never met until a combined exhibition of their work opened at the Yale Center for British Art this past summer. 

Bruce Davidson and Paul Caponigro were both born in the United States in the 1930s. They are both known for their meticulous attention to the craft of photography. And they both spent formative periods shooting in Britain and Ireland. But their subject matter couldn't be more different. Davidson leans toward crackling urban and industrial settings. Caponigro chooses pastoral landscape and ruin: megalithic boulders, crumbling walls, the shells of early Christian churches.

Now the work of these two photographers stands side by side in an ongoing exhibition at the Huntington Library in San Marino: "Bruce Davidson/Paul Caponigro: Two American Photographers in Britain and Ireland." 

"At first, the pairing might seem odd," said Jennifer Watts, the Huntington curator who helped organize the...

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Mark Bradford's Art + Practice to bring art, social services to Leimert

The eastern side of Degnan Boulevard and West 43rd Place in Leimert Park at first glance seems like just another crestfallen Los Angeles block. Doors are closed. Gates are shut. Plywood obscures the windows on a magnificent corner building, an ornate Art Deco-era structure that is topped by a stupa-like tower. 

But walk closer and you'll hear a hive of activity: the frenetic buzz of workers sanding, painting and figuring out exactly where the light switches will go. A singular art and social services collaboration is being constructed. 

Art + Practice, as this unusual project is called, will showcase museum-grade contemporary art exhibitions, while also offering a menu of services for youth in the city's foster care system.

"This is the bookstore," says Allan DiCastro, the organization's interim director, as he leads me through an empty Degnan Boulevard storefront that is in the process of being lined with wood panels. "We're adding a second floor right there — that's where the...

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Roundup: Botched restoration, Nazca Lines damage, auction house turmoil

Environmental activists anger archaeologists and the Peruvian government, a botched restoration draws pilgrims in Spain, the struggle to preserve a woman-built artist-environment in Wisconsin, as well as an iconic brutalist architectural icon in New York. Plus: an interview with MOCA curator and carnitas-lover Helen Molesworth, chief executive shuffle at the auction houses and the many mirrors of Craigslist. Roundup has moved to Monday. Here’s what we’re reading:

— Peru is seeking criminal charges against environmental activists from the group Greenpeace for damage to the fragile Nazca Lines archaeological site after they entered the protected grounds to install a massive pro-renewable-energy sign that could be seen from the air. 

— Over a period of 15 years, a curator and two other employees at an Uzbek museum sold off some of its most significant works and replaced them with copies. If this weren’t such a travesty, I’d say it was a cheeky work of conceptual art. 

— It’s not just the...

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Regen Projects, at 25, has grown into a fixture in L.A. art world

Early Thursday morning in Hollywood, Regen Projects gallery feels like a theater in the hours before the launch of a new production.

Works of art sit patiently in corners and hallways, waiting to be called to their places. Here, a visceral sculpture by conceptual wunderkind Matthew Barney; there, a meticulously assembled geometric canvas by Sergej Jensen.

A photograph by German artist Wolfgang Tillmans of some imperceptible body part rests on the polished concrete floor. Sounds of drilling and audio tests for a video installation by British artist Gillian Wearing echo throughout.

Shaun Caley Regen, the gallery's founder slips gracefully through the din, accompanied by the charming Lulu, a sociable gray shephard mix who trots about the space blissfully unaware of a sign by the office that reads: "Please Do Not Let Lulu in the Gallery."

"We're a bit busy," says Caley Regen demurely, as she heads up a flight of stairs to her office.

That is an understatement. Not only is she overseeing...

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Nortec's Bostich & Fussible on Tijuana cuisine, art and their final album

In 2001, a group of DJs from Tijuana unceremoniously released an album that shook up the world of electronica. The music fused the digital sounds of synthesizers and drum machines with the brassy oompah beats of Mexican norteño. The result was a style of music that managed to be both hot and cold, laid-back and bouncy, full of deep dark synth and bright fluttering accordions. There was nothing else like it out there.

That album, "The Tijuana Sessions: Vol. 1", earned accolades in the pages of Time Magazine, Rolling Stone and the L.A. Times for the Nortec Collective, as the loose affiliation of Tijuana DJs and musicians came to be known. Follow-up albums, such as "Tijuana Sessions, Vol. 3," "Tijuana Sound Machine" and "Bulevar 2000," pushed the genre even further, including live collaborations with Mexican regional musicians. (Signs you're at a Nortec concert: there's a tuba player diving into the audience.)

Over time, the collective's membership has ebbed and flowed. But the two...

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Datebook: Videos about secrets, photography about rising tides

Visceral video pieces about secrets, a show devoted to the ways in which man is contending with rising seas, and a photographer who takes on L.A.’s bus system. Plus: an anniversary show and a video about hallways. It’s all happening in L.A. and beyond:

Gillian Wearing, “Everyone,” at Regen Projects. Wearing is a British artist known for creating riveting video and other pieces that play with ideas of truth, secrets and lies. The show features a new video, “Fear and Loathing” — Wearing's first produced in the United States — with an array of Angelenos divulging closely held secrets while donning masks. It makes for surreal and enthralling viewing. Opening reception Saturday 6 p.m.; runs through Jan. 24. 6750 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood, regenprojects.com.  

“Sink or Swim: Designing for a Sea Change,” at the Annenberg Space for Photography. A new exhibition of photographs organized by KCRW’s “Design and Architecture” host Frances Anderton shows the ways in which humans have been...

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