It’s officially “Pacific Standard Time”
September 26, 2011
Pacific Standard Time starts this week in earnest, examining L.A.’s role in the postwar arts scene in venues as vaunted as the Getty Center and as modest as a Westside school for the arts.
Although choice sneak previews have been open for a few weeks at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and at smaller museums, this weekend marks the official opening of the massive arts initiative centered on Southern California. Whether you love art or just love L.A., the range of shows opening this week should, like the city itself, have a little something for everyone.
Highlights include the first major study of modern California design at LACMA, with an accompanying side exhibition at the A+D Architecture and Design Museum honing in on the work and philosophy of Charles and Ray Eames. The LACMA show, California Design, 1930-1965: “Living in a Modern Way,” will start with the origins of California modernism in the 1930s and include, along with important work by Richard Neutra and Rudolph Schindler, a vintage Airstream Clipper and a reconstruction of the Eames’ living room, which was dismantled piece by piece and moved to the museum from the Eames House in Pacific Palisades.
Another must-see show will be at the Getty Center, where Pacific Standard Time: Crosscurrents in L.A. Paintings and Sculpture will look at those two art forms in Southern California from the 1940s until the 1970s. The exhibition, featuring some 50 important L.A. artists, is in some ways the ground zero for the Pacific Standard Time initiative, which was launched as a joint initiative of the Getty Research Institute and the Getty Foundation.
The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles will also be in on the PST action, with a show that highlights its role as the city’s contemporary art venue before its art exhibitions were moved to LACMA in the mid-1960s. Among the featured artists will be John Baldessari, Ed Moses, Robert Irwin and Ed Ruscha.
The Hammer Museum will examine L.A.’s African American visual artists, ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives will look at the gay and lesbian art scene here and a show at MOCA’s Geffen Contemporary will show how L.A. art reflected the foment of the Vietnam War and the Watergate Era.
Meanwhile, a small show at the Sam Francis Gallery at the Crossroads School will explore the role of women art dealers in L.A. in the 1960s and 1970s.