Hello Los Angeles

Last weekend while I was in Los Angeles, I went to the LACMA, MOCA and The Hammer. Here are the highlights!

LACMA

Lately in art, I have seen paintings and sculpture depicting books and records. There is this nostalgia or yearning to keep these analog artifacts alive. So it was exciting to see Steve Wolfe’s work. I thought the pieces were the actual books and records, though when peering closer, I was surprised to see they oil, enamel, and lithography.

For the last twenty years, Steve Wolfe has created objects and drawings that investigate intersections among material culture, intellectual history, and personal and collective memory. Wolfe’s art represents objects of cultural mass dissemination—books and records. His painted objects employ the tradition of trompe l’oeil, and often literally fool the eye on first inspection.

To see more, www.lacma.org

**The italicized text and photos are from LACMA.

While Blinky Palermo’s reputation as one of the foremost post-war abstract painters is well established in Europe, his work is rarely seen in North America. Beginning its yearlong tour at LACMA, this is the first comprehensive retrospective of the work of this German artist in the United States.

The exhibition provides an in-depth examination of the evolution of Palermo’s aesthetic, illustrating the significance of his contribution to post-war art. It surveys the four principal groups of work, created after he graduated from Joseph Beuys’s class at the Dusseldorf Art Academy in 1964, that comprise his oeuvre: the Objects; Cloth Pictures; documentation of in situ Wall Paintings and Drawings; and examples of his late Metal Pictures.

For more information, www.lacma.org

**All images and text are from the LACMA website.

MOCA

Doug Aitken

Mike Kelley

Florian Maier-Aichen

Larry Bell

The Artist’s Museum

This exhibition was pretty interesting, I was especially interested in the little blurbs each artist was quoted saying under their name and title of their piece. There was a good mix of artists and media which provided an engaging viewing experience. My most favorite piece was by Doug Aitken. There were 3 video pieces going on at the same time in each room that were so powerful and inspiring. It made me want to go home and start making videos. You should go see this exhibition just for his piece.

The Artist’s Museum showcases works by 146 artists who have helped shape the artistic dialogue in Los Angeles since the founding of MOCA over 30 years ago. Based on MOCA’s world-renowned permanent collection, supplemented by key loans from local collectors and artists, this special presentation features over 250 works, including a number of new projects made especially for this occasion. Representing the diversity and uniqueness of the Los Angeles community, the exhibition highlights important works from legendary L.A. artists who remain vital and influential alongside those emerging from renowned local art schools, visionary artists associated with various street cultures and subcultures, and crossover artists connected to performance, music, and film. The Artist’s Museum marks the MOCA premiere of Doug Aitken’s electric earth (1999), a hyperkinetic fable of modern life in the form of an eight-channel video installation; and also includes work by artist Robbie Conal; Thomas Houseago’s monumental sculpture Sprawling Octopus Man (2009), a new acquisition; Mike Kelley’s large-scale installation Pay for Your Pleasure (1999); an installation by Amanda Ross-Ho based on Double Tragedy Wall (2007) from MOCA’s collection; and a performance by Vaginal Davis. Jim Isermann created a site-specific installation for the Eli and Edythe L. Broad Reception Hall at MOCA Grand Avenue, and artist Pae White designed the graphic identity for the exhibition. Organized for MOCA by Associate Curator Rebecca Morse, in collaboration with a curatorial team that includes Director Jeffrey Deitch, Director of Publications Lisa Gabrielle Mark, Curator Alma Ruiz, and Curator Bennett Simpson, the exhibition expands on a collection show originally conceived by Chief Curator Paul Schimmel, that considered the work of Los Angeles artists in a local context, following Collection: MOCA’s First Thirty Years, which presented Los Angeles artists in an international context.

For more information, www.moca.org

The Hammer

The Hammer Museum and the Aspen Art Museum have co-organized Mark Manders: Parallel Occurences/Documented Assignments, the first North American tour of this acclaimed Dutch sculptor’s work. Through his sculptural practice, the artist seeks to bypass language, translating his thoughts and obsessions directly into three-dimensional objects—existing and self-made—and tableaux that incorporate figures, animals, household furniture, archeological fragments, everyday objects, and architectural components. Transformed by their proximity to one another, these mundane sculptural elements collectively evoke a mysterious world of daydreams and fairy tales. In exhibition after exhibition, Manders furthers his monumental project, initiated in 1986, entitled Self-Portrait as a Building, which endeavors to map out his identity using this distinct personal iconography. For this exhibition, the artist will create a completely new body of work, encompassing sculpture and works on paper.

For more information, hammer.ucla.edu

**All images and text are from The Hammer.

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