“The Cranbrook Vision, 1925-1950,” featuring 75 examples of architecture, furniture design, textile, ceramic, painting and sculpture by artists and designers who trained at or taught at the Cranbrook Academy in Michigan comes to the University Art Museum, Cal State Long Beach, Tuesday through Oct. 20.
Cranbrook was the brainchild of George G. Booth, a civic-minded philanthropist and Midwestern newspaper publisher whose family of British craftsmen in Cranbrook, Kent, inspired in him a respect for the arts and handicrafts.
Booth visited the American Academy in Rome in 1922 where his ideas for a master-apprentice experimental art community jelled. On property he owned in Michigan’s rolling countryside, he envisioned gathering people who could work and train others in art and design. They would live and work in an artists’ haven, which would combine a school with studios and workshops. A year later, Booth’s son Henry, who was studying architecture at the University of Michigan, met the noted Finnish architect Eliel Saarinen, who was teaching there. Henry Booth introduced him to his father.
Saarinen and Booth’s father shared an enthusiasm for the integration of fine arts and crafts, an idea that first surfaced in Europe in the ideologies of De Stjil and the Bauhaus movement. Together they planned Cranbrook and, shortly after their meeting, Saarinen began drawing up the plans.
Eventually, the Cranbrook community included the Cranbrook Academy of Art, Cranbrook School, Cranbrook Institute of Science, Kingswood School Cranbrook, Cranbrook House and Estate, Brookside School Cranbrook and Christ Church Cranbrook.
Among distinguished members of the arts and architecture communities who were associated with Cranbrook are Eliel and Eero Saarinen, Charles Eames, Florence Knoll and Harry Bertoia.
Two new exhibitions of work by emerging artists open this week. On Tuesday, at the Municipal Art Gallery, “Newcomers’ 85" presents paintings, sculpture, photography and mixed-media constructions by Don Anton, Lewis de Soto, Eduardo Oropeza, Richard Gerrish, Bill Gorton, Charlene Knowlton, Sandra Martinez, Rebecca Newman, Christopher Schumaker, Mark Stock and Lorraine Zeyha. The show will run through Oct. 20.
Opening Wednesday at the Los Angeles Institute of Contemporary Art is a group show of works by Dennis Balk, Uta Barth, David Cunningham, Larry Johnson, Luciano Perna and Claudia Walther.
The exhibition, titled “Proof and Perjury,” seeks to challenge assumptions commonly held about language and photography as methods of telling the truth about reality. While working in a medium that promises an inherent veracity, these six artists use photography (at times paired with words) to manufacture ironies and contradictions that place the work somewhere between documentation and deception. Also on view are paintings by Nancy Evans in Gallery A, a “Painting of the Month” by David Trowbridge and James Antonie’s “Microgallery” in the window space. All continue through Oct. 19.
The institute’s new director, Ben Marks, will be there to greet you on opening night.
Titled “Eight Artists,” the new exhibition at the Southwest Museum features paintings by eight contemporary Native American artists: Joe Baker, David Bradley, Harry Fonseca, G. Peter Jemison, Dan Namingha, Jaune Quick-To-See Smith, Randy Lee White and Emmi Whitehorse. Their varied tribal/cultural backgrounds, as well as the difference in geography from Eastern Iroquois to Western Hopi, influences their imagery.
The exhibition runs today through Jan. 5.
Los Angeles artists out-of-town: “California Painting/New Directions,” an exhibition of works by 35 artists, opens Monday at the Visual Arts Center of Alaska. Selected by critic/curator Pamela Hammond, the show includes paintings by Craig Antrim, Joe Clower, Candice Gawne, Scott Grieger, Scott Hess, Larry Hurst, Tom Jenkins, Mary Jones, Patsy Krebs, Janice Lowry, James Melchert, Margaret Nielsen and Janet Tholen.
Walter Askin, Tony DeLap and Ruth Weisberg are among 19 artists invited to participate in the “Modern American Printmaking” exhibition that made its debut at the Amerika Haus in Hanover and is traveling to other major German cities, ending its tour in Madrid, Spain.
Kerry Marshall is the recipient of an Artist in Residence Fellowship at the Studio Museum in Harlem. The one-year residency starts in October.