George Legrady, an artist who calls himself an “anti-mall person,” is about to move his private studio into a shopping mall.
“I’m interested in public contact and interchange,” said Legrady, who will transplant his equipment into the USC Atelier in the Santa Monica Place shopping mall Tuesday. “It’s demystifying, you bring out into the open what is hidden and private.”
Legrady, a photographer who also works with video and computers, intends to videotape the movements of mall shoppers. He will then transfer those images into his computers (installed at the gallery), freeze the images, then manipulate them electronically. He will exhibit the still photographs at the Atelier in “From Noise to Signal” from Aug. 8-30.
“I’ll walk around and see what kind of social behavior patterns I detect or how the environment is orchestrated visually,” said Legrady, an assistant professor of photography at the USC School of Fine Arts. “The way plants or posts are positioned, for instance, seems to affect circulation, or how people are channeled together or are forced to move in certain directions. There’s a certain kind of structure that seems to have been planned.
“Once I transfer the video images into the computer, I can chop them up and rearrange them. For instance, I could do a single still photograph composed of bits and pieces of people maneuvering in a certain area of the mall or what kind of gestures they do.
“From an anthropological perspective, I see the mall environment as an extension of the old market place or town square, a communal spot where people came to meet each other.
“But today malls are about consumerism rather than social interaction. . . . I usually stay away from that kind of environment but I’m going to put myself into this to see what kind of images it brings to the surface for me.”
GETTY LECTURES: Did artists of the Romantic Age share a common goal or, in the wake of the French and Industrial revolutions, was the only constant a belief in the supreme importance of individuality?
A J. Paul Getty Museum summer lecture/concert series, exploring the age of Romanticism through its visual art and music, attempts to answer these and other questions. Tickets for the free lectures, delivered to capacity audiences in June, are still available for this month’s talks and those in August. All are at the museum, 17985 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, on Thursday at 8 p.m. Reservations are required: (213) 458-2003.
Here are the upcoming lectures:
July 16: “Murder and the Fine Arts: Investigating a Painting by Richard Dadd,” by Louise Lippincott, Getty Museum associate curator of paintings.
July 30: “Gericault at the Getty,” by Lorenz Eitner, director, Stanford Museum, and chairman and professor, Stanford University department of art.
Aug. 13: “Photography as a 19th-Century Idea,” by Peter Galassi, photography curator, New York’s Museum of Modern Art.
Aug. 27: “French Romantic Sculpture: Aspects of the Romantic Period from 1820 to 1840,” by Jacques de Caso, art history professor, UC Berkeley.
For information about the series’ music concerts, call the museum.
POLLOCK/KRASNER PAPERS: The personal papers of Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner, artists whose work led the post-World War II emergence of the United States as the major international force in abstract painting, are available for research at the Archives of American Art at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.
Pollock’s papers, donated by his wife, Krasner, before her death in 1984, contain letters from artists Clyfford Still, Thomas Hart Benton, Tony Smith and other friends. Also included are rare photographs, the artist’s notes and doodles, a scrapbook, transcripts of interviews and business letters.
The Lee Krasner collection contains papers pertaining to her own artistic career and to the work of Pollock, who died in 1956.
Approval must be obtained from the Smithsonian Institution Archives to use the Pollock-Krasner papers. However, microfilm copies of the papers are available at the archives’ regional center in San Marino at the Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens.
SUMMER BREAK: The California Museum of Photography at UC Riverside is closed through Sept. 23 to allow staff members to prepare for the institution’s move to downtown Riverside in the fall of 1988.
The museum, which plans to relocate to the Kress Building on Riverside’s Main Street Mall, will reopen in September with new hours: Wednesday-Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.
Meanwhile, the museum has recently issued one of the more innovative editions of its quarterly publication. The CMP Bulletin is an audio cassette of 16 songs about photography created by Tom Nixon, disc jockey of the offbeat KPFK radio show “The Nixon Tapes.”
“The Photo Album” cassette features rock, rhythm and blues, calypso and country songs recorded since 1929. Among them are “If I Had a Talking Picture of You” by Belle Baker, “My Baby’s 3D” by the Dominoes and tunes by Louis Armstrong, Elvis Costello, Patsy Cline and the Who.
Nixon often features music on his 13-year-old radio program based on a single theme, such as food or birds. He produced “The Photo Album,” funded by a grant from the California Arts Council, in collaboration with museum director Charles Desmarais and curator Dan Meinwald.
The cassette may be obtained for $9 through the California Museum of Photography, (714) 787-4787.
CALLING ALL ARTISTS: Watercolor artists are invited to submit slides of their work to enter the Brand Library Galleries “Brand XVII” juried national art competition.
Artist William Hemmerdinger, former professor at Cal State Long Beach and Otis/Parsons Art Institute, will jury the competition, which will result in an exhibit running Dec. 5-Jan. 5.
This year’s 17th annual competition, co-sponsored by the Associates of Brand and Home Savings of America, offers purchase awards and prizes totaling more than $3,000. Past competition/exhibits have featured print and ceramic works.
Artists may submit as many as three slides, with a $6 fee for each one. Deadline for submission is Aug. 31. For a prospectus send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to “Brand XVII,” 1601 W. Mountain St., Glendale 91201. Information: (818) 956-2051.
RECENT ACQUISITIONS: The Ahmanson Foundation has given the Los Angeles County Museum of Art a red chalk drawing by Italian Baroque master Tanzio da Varallo. “Studies of the Virgin, Drapery and the Hand of Saint John the Baptist Holding a Shell,” is a study for the museum’s painting by da Varallo “Adoration of the Shepherds with Saints Francis and Carlo Borromeo” (circa 1628).
The J. Paul Getty Museum has acquired “The Adoration of the Shepherds,” an engraved book illustration by Peter Paul Rubens from Breviarium Romanum, published in 1614. A Neoclassical secretaire a abattant , or clothing cabinet, by French cabinet maker Philippe-Claude Montigny has also been added to the museum’s permanent collections.