Following a funicular ride to the Chemosphere, the octagonal flying-saucer-like home made famous in the 1984 movie "Body Double," Visionary Women held a cocktail reception and dialogue Oct. 15 with noted artist Julie Mehretu and Christine Y. Kim, associate curator of contemporary art for the Los Angeles County Museum of Contemporary Art.
An ideal spot for a talk about art, the ultra-modern house in the Hollywood Hills had been designed by noted architect John Lautner in 1960 and is now the home of publisher Benedikt Taschen and his wife, Lauren. From outside on the patios, guests mingled, enjoyed hors d'oeuvres and took in the sweeping views of the San Fernando Valley.
After adjourning into the house, Lauren Taschen welcomed everyone and talked of the group's mission of "highlighting, amplifying and celebrating the voices of women." She described the focus of the afternoon, sponsored by David Yurman, as the support of solo exhibitions by women at major museums. She then announced that Mehretu would have a major solo exhibition at LACMA that would be curated by Kim.
Mehretu is an internationally recognized artist, known for her large-scale abstract paintings and drawings. Born in Ethiopia, she has had works in museums throughout the world, with pieces selling for millions of dollars.
According to Kim, "[Mehretu] represents a younger generation of artists of color who came into prominence in the 21st century for pushing boundaries of abstract painting, by using a diverse variety of imagery and discourses around geopolitics, socioeconomics, the history of past civilizations, mark-making and art history."
During the event, Shelley Reid, the organization's president and an executive vice president at MGM, said, "It's really important for Visionary Women to support women in the arts. We are honored to have such a meaningful and celebrated artist as Julie Mehretu as our guest."
Those at the talk included TV producer Marcy Carsey, former U.S. ambassador to the Bahamas Nicole Avant, Brighton co-founder Terri Kohl, author Angella Nazarian, marketing consultant Veronica Grazer, former Beverly Hills Mayor Lili Bosse, art collector Chara Schreyer, photographer Joyce Ostin, Hammer Museum director Ann Philbin and Go Campaign co-founder Vicki Kennedy.
Ellen Olivier is the founder of Society News L.A.