The ABCs of being Eli Broad

Architecture & Design · Visual arts
Los Angeles is blessed with a surfeit of alphabet-soup acronyms for its world-class museums, famously, LACMA and MOCA. Both derive from the mother of all art-museum acronyms, MOMMY, er … MOMA. In a Huffington Post blog item, bad-boy Coagula Art Journal editor Mat Gleason posits options for Uncle Eli’s swank new warehouse of contemporary art. ...

Royal couple of California modernism to be honored

Architecture & Design · Visual arts
The extraordinary — and never open to the public — Case Study House #9 designed by Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen for “Arts and Architecture” magazine publisher, John Entenza in the Pacific Palisades will be the venue for the Museum of California Design’s October 3rd Award Benefit and Auction honoring Charles and Ray Eames. Christopher ...

MOCA’s Arshile Gorky show to close 20 September

Visual arts
I was entranced by a Sunday afternoon visit to MOCA, where the historic Arshile Gorky retrospective is still on. Beautiful, strange, powerful paintings. It’s slated to come down in one week — on 20 September. Recommend that you make the effort and see this show. Thursday night is free night. Gorky was the Armenian-born precursor ...

Philippe Petit, wired, even when not on wire 2

Dance · Language & ideas · Visual arts
Co-published on Huffington Post arts page “Falling is not my specialty,” quipped Philippe Petit in verbal jousting with “extreme” choreographer Elizabeth Streb during “Hammer Conversations” at the museum’s Billy Wilder Theater last week. Streb was describing how dance “must be extreme or no one will notice it as action.” In amazingly fluent English, Petit rejoined, ...

Legendary dancer/director Arthur Mitchell visits L.A. 1

Dance · Visual arts
In tandem with the soon-to-close “40 Years of Firsts,” a loving and comprehensive art gallery retrospective of Dance Theatre of Harlem, Arthur Mitchell, the troupe’s artistic director emeritus, will appear at the California African American Museum the evening of June 30. The multimedia exhibit, organized by the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, ...

George Segal @ Skirball Cultural Center 1

Visual arts
Now on view at the Skirball Cultural Center, where they run top-notch exhibitions, is “The Expulsion,” an installed tableau of Adam and Eve driven from Garden of Eden created in 1986 by George Segal. The artist, a major player in early pop art, passed away in 2000. A recent gift to Skirball, the mise-en-scene features two ...

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 ...

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 ...

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. ...

Saving the village: our struggle to save LACMA’s film program

Film
On 28 July, 2009 the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) announced that CEO Michael Govan’s vision for more comprehensive treatment of cinema at the museum required the axing of a superb 40-year-running film program. That kind of logic reminded me of the Vietnam War general explaining that the U.S. army had to “destroy the village in order to save the village.” But our little hamlet of Los Angeles ...