The Museum of Contemporary Art has received a $250,000 grant from the El Paso Natural Gas Co. to fund a three-year acquisition program of California art for its permanent collection. Acquisitions will focus on the work of emerging artists.

According to the terms of the grant, the museum will be responsible for selecting the artists, and the works will be purchased between January, 1986, and December, 1988.

At the close of each successive year, the museum will mount an exhibition of the acquisitions and possibly circulate the shows throughout California.

The acquisition program may be continued beyond 1988 in an extended collaboration between the museum and El Paso.


Santa Claus has been good to the Newport Harbor Art Museum. A generous gift from the Irvine Co. in the guise of a 10-year, $1 million commitment to the museum, is earmarked to annually underwrite major exhibitions planned through 1994. The initial $100,000 of this commitment was used to fund the museum’s current Wayne Thiebaud retrospective.

The museum has also been given two grants from the federal government: a $18,000 grant for the conservation of 14 important works in the museum’s permanent collection from the Institute of Museum Services, and a $40,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in support of ane exhibition, “Surrealism Into Abstraction,” to be presented July 11 to Sept. 14, 1986.

Billed as “the first comprehensive exhibition to explore, through 140 drawings, the end of European Surrealism and the formative years of American Abstract Expressionism, (1938-1948),” “Surrealism Into Abstraction” will consist of works by 22 artists.

The show subsequently will travel to the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis.


Two life-size portraits, one of singer/actress Lena Horne, the other of writer Dashiell Hammett, painted in the late 1940s by veteran Los Angeles artist Edward Biberman, recently were purchased by the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery.

A new, 17-foot sound-installation by artist Robert Wilhite is in place in Pershing Square through February. The steel-and-aluminum sculpture, “Gyro/Cone,” produces sound dependent upon environmental changes, such as traffic and weather.

The installation was sponsored by Pershing Square Management Association, Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association for the New Music America Festival. The sound piece was fabricated by Gary Knowlton.

Aperture’s monograph, “The Hudson River and the Highlands: The Photographs of Robert Glenn Ketchum,” was selected by the New York Times Book Review as one of the “15 best books for Christmas.” The list included one other photography book, Richard Avedon’s new collection of portraits.


The book was published in conjunction with a national traveling exhibition consisting of 52 prints by Ketchum, a Los Angeles artist, and circulated by Aperture. The show recently opened in New York and runs through Feb. 1 at the Shirley Burden Gallery.

Los Angeles artists out-of-town: Charles Christopher Hill is celebrating 10 years of solo shows in Italy and France. The artist recently concluded a show in Venice, Italy, and is holding an exhibition at the Baudoin Lebon Gallery in Paris through Saturday.

Kamol Tassananchalee was invited to show his “Asian Spirit in Contemporary Art,” at the Thai National Museum in Bangkok. While there, he will lecture and select contemporary work by Thai artists for a traveling exhibition in the United States.

Chris Burden and Llynn Foulkes are participating in “No: Contemporary DADA,” at the University of Washington, through Jan. 19. Burden has created an installation titled “Samson,” and Foulkes shows several Expressionist paintings. Also exhibiting in the same show are erstwhile L.A. residents Nancy Reddin and Edward Kienholz with their political satire/tableau “The Ozymandias Parade,” and Hans Haacke, with a political work, “Oil Painting: Hommage to Marcel Broodthaers.”