CULT STATUE OF A GODDESS, PROBABLY APHRODITE
Greek, South Italy,
425 to 400 BC
The larger-than-life goddess of love, one of the greatest Greek sculptures in America, is a work whose provenance remains cloudy and under scholarly review. As such, the J. Paul Getty Museum's prized 7-foot, 6-inch marble-and-limestone statue will be the face of the larger, hot-button issue of looted antiquities. A Getty visitor favorite, the work is one of the most prominent antiquities to be caught up in Italy's tug-of-war for ownership.
Despite cult-fave status in the art world, New York-based Mary Heilmann has never been a household name. Heilmann, born in 1940, became one of only a few women to break into the boys' club of 1960s abstraction. Her bold, deceptively simple paintings are executed with an unsentimental approach and infused with pop culture and craft traditions. From May 20 through Aug. 12, the Orange County Museum of Art will offer a Heilmann retrospective: 75 works from 1972 to the present, including key earlier pieces. (Bottom, "Surfing on Acid," a 2005 oil on canvas.)
Works by the progenitor of the art movement called Superflat, with its influences from manga, graphic design and pop culture, are as likely to be found on the runway as in the gallery. At Los Angeles' Museum of Contemporary Art, a large-scale retrospective running Oct. 1 through Dec. 29 promises to play to both crowds. The exhibition, spanning the early 1990s to the present, will include Murakami's early political works critiquing Japan's consumer culture and talent industries, works showing the artist's evolving anime alter ego DOB, and his otaku-inspired figure projects of the late '90s, as well as new work that centers on an animated film. And for the handbag crowd, a fully functional Louis Vuitton boutique will highlight Murakami's collaboration with that company.
-- Lynne Heffley