Honoring America’s greats: National Medal of Arts

Dance · Music · Theater · Visual arts
President Obama this morning honored some of our nation’s great artists in a ceremony at the White House. Receiving the 2010 National Medal of Arts were Robert Brustein, the theater producer and critic; Van Cliburn, the pianist; Mark di Suvero, the abstract expressionist sculptor; poet Donald Hall; and the pioneering dance organization, Jacob’s Pillow Dance ...

Abstract art show at Barnsdall Park

Film · Visual arts
Barnsdall Art Park — off Hollywood Boulevard not far from where D.W. Griffith’s studio once made celluloid art — sits on a hill over looking the Griffith Park Observatory, Hollywood sign, and picturesque Los Feliz neighborhood. All that beauty (click on photo for better view) — but a hideous strip mall sits adjacent to the ...

Kalman show closing soon at Skirball

Visual arts
The whimsical flotsam and jetsam of the graphic designer, magazine illustrator, children’s book writer and tchotchke collector Maira Kalman is on view at the  Skirball Center through February 13. The impressive show, “Various Illuminations (of a Crazy World),” displays Kalman’s prodigious output. Yes, I bought Kalman’s illustrated Strunk and White at the gift shop. Because ...

Happy 70th birthday, Captain Beefheart

Language & ideas · Music · Visual arts
Guitarist Gary Lucas‘s Captain Beefheart symposium was already in the works when he received a text message December 16 that Beefheart, aka Don Van Vliet, was no more. After years of suffering from multiple sclerosis, the enigmatic rock vocalist and musician, who had long forsaken music for painting, died at 69. Speaking to a theater ...

OCPAC reborn as Segerstrom Center for the Arts

Architecture & Design · Dance · Music · Theater · Visual arts
The erstwhile Orange County Performing Arts Center — Costa Mesa, California’s artistic mecca worthy of the 1.5- hour caravan southward from Los Angeles — entered a new era yesterday. In a burst of fireworks — $100,000 worth it is rumored — the center honored its founding patron Henry Segerstrom in a special way. Dropping its ...

L’Enfer: Clouzot’s movie project from hell 1

Film · Visual arts
Film director Henri-Georges Clouzot nearly lost his mind, as well as his career and even his life, obsessing over the Austrian-born multilingual actress Romy Schneider. In 1963, Clouzot, then one of France’s most acclaimed filmmakers, began work on “L’Enfer,” a tale of male jealousy and madness. A blank check from Columbia Pictures burning in his ...

Early Balanchine/de Chirico collaboration feted in Aussie costume exhibit 1

Architecture & Design · Dance · Visual arts
Ballets Russes expert Dr. Robert Bell, Senior Curator of Decorative Arts and Design at the National Gallery of Australia, shares these images of Giorgio de Chirico’s original costumes for “Le Bal,” an early Balanchine work based on a Boris Kochno libretto. The “Le Bal” costumes are part of an exhibit now on in Canberra of ...

Beato photography reveals beauty & brutality of the East-West encounter

Visual arts
Photographs by Felice Beato (1832–1909), an Italian-born rolling stone who roamed Asia in the latter half of the 19th century, are on view in a worthwhile exhibit at the J. Paul Getty Museum. Using his cumbersome camera and his good eye, Beato delivered to the West some of the first photo images of Asia’s exotic ...

Glendale’s Don Van Vliet, aka Captain Beefheart, dies

Music · Visual arts
Fine artist represented by Michael Werner gallery, New York & Köln. Van Vliet’s irrepressible California creativity captured in New York Times obituary — must reading. photo: anton corbijn

Bloody mamas: violence against women in art and life

Dance · Film · Language & ideas · Visual arts
Monday, November 15, 2010, was a grisly night for women in Los Angeles. Both in art and in life, the blood of women flowed unnaturally and to no good purpose. Shortly after midnight, Ronni Chasen, the owner of her own public relations firm and a hard-driving career woman, was found bleeding to death, crashed in ...