The Reischtag burns in our collective memory 1

Visual arts
“It wasn’t really about finding something.” So claim German artists Ulrike Mohr and Susanne Weck recounting their cross-continental trek in search of a lost panorama, “Die Schlacht um den Reichstag,” (“The Battle of Berlin”). The two artist-partners voyaged from Berlin to Moscow at great effort to maybe find the gone-missing circular art work — but ...

Renoir show still on view

Visual arts
It’s the last week to catch LACMA’s “Renoir in the 20th Century” focused on the last three decades of Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s career prior to his death in 1919. Of the 80 paintings, sculptures and drawings, in the portrait-laden show, this beautiful Riviera landscape was my favorite (click for better view). Also heartbreaking and inspiring were ...

Own a masterpiece. Buy a stamp.

Visual arts
Please don’t say the U.S. government does not support the arts. We have art stamps. Or is it stamp art? The postal service launched the Abstract Expressionist postage stamp series in March. See them here. I just got mine. They’re very groovy. Just the thing to smack on my late tax return. The vibrant stamps feature ...

“The Art of the Steal” @ LACMA

Film · Visual arts
The Barnes Foundation, established in 1921 by collector Dr. Albert C. Barnes, holds one of the world’s largest collections of impressionist and post-impressionist paintings, valued at 25 billion dollars. The documentary, “The Art of the Steal,” raises provocative questions about money, culture, and ethics as it chronicles the legal and political efforts used to break ...

Lawrence K. Ho’s dance photo

Dance · Visual arts
This superlative dance photograph, taken by Los Angeles Times photog, Lawrence K. Ho, was published in tandem with my review of the Beijing Dance Academy at the Ahmanson Theatre this weekend. Here are more of his photos in a slideshow. Researching Mr. Ho, I was impressed but not surprised to learn that he has won ...

bobrauschenbergamerica at [inside] the ford

Reviews · Theater · Visual arts
"Art was not a part of our lives," states a figure representing the famous artist's mother in bobrauschenbergamerica, now on view at [Inside] the Ford, the friendly cavernous indoor space tucked below the Ford amphitheater on the Cahuenga Pass. It's the first-ever Los Angeles staging of the 2001 play written by Charles Mee. Describing her ...

Panorama-kan at Velaslavasay 1

Architecture & Design · Visual arts
The ever-charming Velaslavasay Panorama, located in L.A.’s Pico-Union neighborhood, was the site of media art scholar Machiko Kusahara’s talk, “Panorama-kan of Meiji Japan,” on a recent scholarly Saturday night. Dr. Kusahara discussed the  popular entertainment halls — called panorama-kan in Japanese. They were a “craze,” to borrow the lecturer’s expression, from 1890-1910.    Dozens of the rotundas sprang up ...

Rudi of the sixties 2

Fashion · Visual arts
Not Rudolf Nureyev — although Rudi N also swung very hard in the sixties. Our guy is Rudi Gernreich (1922-1985) the Vienna-born, Los Angeles-based fashion designer known for his zestful, pared down aesthetic. His clothes celebrated the youth and action in American culture. Gernreich’s look screams swinging sixties. Today, the clothes remain clean, classy, and ...

A slice of Lewis Klahr’s life

Film · Reviews · Visual arts
“Cake equaled love in my family,” said filmmaker Lewis Klahr following a cinematic magical mystery tour of his childhood memory bank. I understand this statement. I also get the intense spewing of fetishized objects — artfully collected, cut and pasted, and then animated — in Klahr’s amazing films. Critic J. Hoberman in the Village Voice ...

Bill Stern’s keen eye for California design

Visual arts
For about half a century starting in the 1890s, California orange and lemon growers branded their wares using vivid and outstanding graphic design. The fancifully imagined, richly colored paper labels adhered to wooden packing crates. When (pre-printed) cardboard boxes replaced the crates, labels fell into disuse. Warehouses were full of them by the early 1950s. Now they are valued art objects. ...