Entertainment & Arts

Newsletter: Essential Arts & Culture: Kusama-palooza, Getty Center’s birthday, censored Hollywood public art

Reflecting on Yayoi Kusama at the Broad museum
“Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors” lands at the Broad museum this weekend. The show also features her sculptures.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

At the Broad, it’s all about infinity. A key Los Angeles institution marks two decades of existence. And a work by Erika Rothenberg in Hollywood is censored in the wake of the sexual harassment scandals. I’m Carolina A. Miranda, staff writer for the Los Angeles Times, with the week’s essential arts and culture everything:

Kusama’s infinite best

It’s on, Los Angeles! Artist Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirror Rooms have landed at the Broad museum and Times reporter Deborah Vankin got a sneak peek. The Japanese artist is known for her psychedelic, repetition-based work that toy with color, form and perception. “I believe that people are attracted by the infinite mysterious beauty that the artwork has,” Kusama tells Vankin. Los Angeles Times

Reflecting on Yayoi Kusama at the Broad museum
Looking into “Infinity Mirrored Room — Love Forever” (1994) at the Broad museum.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times )

The Getty Center at 20

This fall, the Getty Center marks two decades in Brentwood. Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne looks at how the museum — set in architectural isolation on top of a hill — has launched programs such as Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA that allow its presence to be felt all over the city. “It has,” he writes, “threaded itself into the contemporary cultural life of Los Angeles and Southern California.” Los Angeles Times

Advertisement The GETTY CENTER as seen from a distance with the 405 freeway on the left.
The Getty Center, overlooking the 405 Freeway in Los Angeles.
(Los Angeles Times )

Plus, Hawthorne has a look at the Natural History Museum’s plans for a makeover in Exposition Park by the Los Angeles firm Frederick Fisher and Partners Architects. Los Angeles Times

Pacific Standard Time happenings

And since we’re on the subject of PST: LA/LA, here’s what’s doing in all things Los Angeles and Latin America:

Times classical music critic Mark Swed has been tuning into the “CDMX” music festival at Walt Disney Disney Concert Hall — featuring Los Angeles Philharmonic performances of work by contemporary Mexican composers (such as Diana Syrse and Arturo Márquez), as well as collaborations with indie darling Natalia Lafourcade and rockers Café Tacvba. The topline? The future, writes Swed, is in the hands of the women. Los Angeles Times


LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 12, 2017: Conductor Gustavo Dudamel greets pop singer Natalia Lafourcade o
Gustavo Dudamel and singer Natalia Lafourcade at the opening concert of CDMX.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times )

Times contributor Tim Greiving reports on the evening of music devoted to Mexican film scores — which featured emblematic music from the silent era to the present. Los Angeles Times

And The Times’ James Reed reviews the Café Tacvba/LA Phil match-up. The show, he reports, got cooking when the band transformed Disney Hall into a rock arena. Los Angeles Times

In the visual arts department, Times reviewer Sharon Mizota writes about Clarissa Tossin’s “Ch’u Mayaa,” a video on view at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery that toys with the Mayan themes that inspired the architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Hollyhock House. Los Angeles Times

A still from Clarissa Tossin’s “Ch’u Mayaa” (“Maya Blue”) at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery.
(Clarissa Tossin )

She also has a look at “Video Art in Latin America” at LAXART, where José Alejandro Restrepo’s rotting banana grove installation speaks to corporate greed. Los Angeles Times

In the meantime, I got a gander at ProyectosLA, a pop-up installation by 18 Latin American-focused galleries at a warehouse in Chinatown, featuring works both historic and contemporary. Los Angeles Times

“Superficial Exercises” by José Carlos Martinat, at ProyectosLA.
(Carolina A. Miranda / Los Angeles Times )

Plus: Playwright Luis Valdez and members of the movie cast “Zoot Suit” gathered to reminisce about their experiences as part of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences PST: LA/LA film program. Remezcla

Censorship in the wake of Weinstein

Artist Erika Rothenberg’s “The Road to Hollywood” at the Hollywood & Highland Center is a meandering art installation inspired by the Hollywood dream. Its endpoint: a daybed for people to reflect on. But in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal it was removed after being described as a “casting couch.” Times art critic Christopher Knight says this is possibly an illegal act of censorship. It’s also, he writes, “a testament to how our new digital mob-ocracy operates.” Los Angeles Times

Erika Rothenberg’s “The Road to Hollywood” at the Hollywood & Highland complex.
(Christopher Knight / Los Angeles Times )

Sort of related: An installation by artist Omer Fast in New York’s Chinatown has critics accusing him of presenting “racist ‘poverty porn.’” Critic Holland Cotter says the show is a “serious misfire,” but also looks at how some of its more compelling elements are getting lost in the hubbub. New York Times

Fast responds to his protesters. Hyperallergic

The Hammer’s gala

The Hammer Museum held its annual Gala in the Garden last weekend and in her speech, honoree Ava DuVernay honored men who choose to “uplift.” Also honored was Pulitzer Prize-winning critic Hilton Als. The Times’ Jessica Gelt was on the scene with the celebrities and the tres leches cake. Los Angeles Times

Ava DuVernay at the Hammer Museum’s Gala in the Garden.
(Valerie Macon / AFP / Getty Images )

Sly comic activism

“Scandal” actor Joe Morton is taking on the guise of late comedian and political activist Dick Gregory in “Turn Me Loose” at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. “‘Turn Me Loose’ pays homage to [Gregory’s] sneaky genius and unwavering commitment,” writes Times theater critic Charles McNulty, “and Morton’s portrayal reveals the anger, love and devastating sanity that set this prophetic comic apart.” Los Angeles Times


BEVERLY HILLS, CA. OCT. 11, 2017. Joe Morton starring in Turn Me Loose, a new comedic drama about th
Joe Morton stars as Dick Gregory in “Turn Me Loose” at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.
(Lawrence K. Ho )

Plus, McNulty profiles theater and television actress Carrie Coon (“Fargo” and “The Leftovers”) who is currently starring in Amy Herzog’s “scintillating” theater drama “Mary Jane” in New York. Los Angeles Times

Chicago in the O.C.

The Chicago Symphony recently took to the stage at Henry Segerstrom Hall. The show, writes Mark Swed, was “yawningly conventional.” But “the homogeneity of instrumental texture [conductor Riccardo Muti] achieved couldn’t be beat. Liquid winds blended with stirring brass. Fabulous strings played as one.” Los Angeles Times

SANTA ANA, CA - OCTOBER 16, 2017: Italian conductor Italian Muti, right, acknowledges the crowd aft
Riccardo Muti takes a bow after conducting the Chicago Symphony at Segerstrom Concert Hall.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times )

Swed also reviews Bang on a Can at the Ford Theatres — which represented the premiere of its new work “Road Trip,” marking the 30th anniversary of the innovative New York composers collective. Los Angeles Times

Around the performing arts

Times dance reviewer Lewis Segal catches up with the award-winning Dorrance Dance at the Wallis, which fuses tap and other genres. Los Angeles Times

Byron Tittle performs “Myelination” during the Dorrance Dance program at the Wallis.
(Kevin Parry / The Wallis )

Broadway actress Tonya Pinkins is known for her parts in “Jelly’s Last Jam” and “Caroline, or Change.” Now she is taking on the role of a woman mourning her son in Alessandro Camon’s “Time Alone” at the Los Angeles Theatre Center. Times contributor Margaret Gray sits down for a chat. Los Angeles Times

And Richard Ginnell takes in the Los Angeles Opera’s production of Verdi’s “Nabucco” — which gets totally meta as an opera within a play, with nods to the opera’s 1842 debut at La Scala in Milan. Los Angeles Times

Twist and turns in Boyle Heights

Rory Carroll has a report on the anti-gentrification protests in Boyle Heights. Some of the core protesters include white artists such as Dont Rhine, a faculty co-chair at the Vermont College of Fine Arts (who doesn’t live in the neighborhood), and Walt Senterfitt, a scientific researcher with a Yale PhD Some in the community say the protests have been hijacked by outsiders. Others say it’s racist to imply that whites are controlling resistance efforts. The Guardian

A gallery in Boyle Heights was vandalized by anti-gentrification protesters in 2016.
(Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times )

Which makes me wonder how protesters will respond to the proposed transformation of the Sears building in Boyle Heights. Let’s just say the plans involve the word “artisanal.” Curbed

In other news…

— A trove of Yiddish artifacts, hidden from the Nazis, have emerged from the basement of a church in Vilnius. Among the finds: a postcard written by painter Marc Chagall. New York Times

Donald Trump continues to insist that a painting by Renoir he keeps in his home is real — despite evidence to the contrary. Vanity Fair

— A tourist killed by falling masonry at the Basilica di Santa Croce raises questions about the state of the country’s aging monuments. The Guardian

— “The architectural equivalent of a Camry.” Critic Mark Lamster takes on Toyota’s new, very suburban headquarters in Dallas. This is really good. Dallas Morning News

— At the tender age of 35, playwright Lauren Gunderson, has already had more than 20 works produced. The New Yorker

Playwright Lauren Gunderson in New York in 2007.
(Robert Caplin / For the Times )

Matthew Desmond’s Pultizer Prize-winning book “Evicted” will be the subject of an exhibition at the National Building Museum in April. Citylab

— When graphic novelist Brian Fies lost his home to the fires in Santa Rosa, he began drawing. San Francisco Chronicle

— In related news: glass sculptor Clifford Rainey, chair of the California College of Art’s glass program, lost everything to the fires. San Francisco Chronicle

Lin-Manuel Miranda has teamed up with the Warhol and Rauschenberg Foundations to aid Puerto Rico. Artnet

— Why the freakiest monsters are always hybrids. Nautilus

And last but not least …

A guy cosplaying New York’s Jacob Javits Convention Center while inside the Jacob Javits Convention Center. @Ssnyder1835

Sign up for our weekly Essential Arts & Culture newsletter »


Get our daily Entertainment newsletter