Sunday, November 13, 2011

Pacific Standard Time: Weekly Update #5

Pacific Standard Time logo

Although my health has improved significantly, the wreckage of two days lost to illness has created a backlog of tasks and social obligations, crowding out most of my art appreciation time. I still managed to fit in a rich set of activities, but not to my customary "aesthete grade" desires.

I didn't see any new exhibits, but I did attend a couple of lectures. The Norton Simon Museum had two Pacific Standard Time events. First, I attended a spotlight talk on Claes Oldenburg's Fire Plug Souvenir- "Chicago August 1968" and the fireplug motif as expressed in his lithographed Notes 1968. It was an interesting contrast between Oldenburg's more familiar light-hearted "pop" pieces and his deceptively critical political/social works.

Then, I attended a lecture on Dennis Hopper's photograph, "Double Standard" (1961), given by Prof. Damon M. Willick of Loyola Marymount University. Using the photo as a jumping point, the lecture was a reading of the various trends salient in the Los Angeles art scene during the era of the photograph and of the ensuing decade. It was a broad examination, encompassing everything from LA car culture to emergent minority voices to the fetishization of image and surface content. It was a good intro talk for those new to the topic of Los Angeles art.

Double Standard (1961) by Dennis Hopper

Finally, I was able to attend a panel discussion, "High Voltage: The Watts Legacy", at the Hammer Museum. The panel was moderated by Dr. Darnell Hunt. The panelists were artists, John Outterbridge and Andrew Zermeno, and collector, Stan Sanders. It was an engaging conversation, bringing up topics of art as political speech, the art establishment's fluctuating level of acceptance for African-American artists, and the transformational role that the Watts Riots played in spurring artistic creativity.

So, focusing more on activities than viewings was a good change of pace. No doubt, I'll be back to my solitary gallery pacing next week, but I had a good time at these events. I'm very grateful to live in a civilization where experts are readily available to impart insight and information.

Operation Teacup (Tower Easter Week Clean-Up) (1965) by Milton Martinez

Here are the Pacific Standard Time exhibits that I attended:

Hammer Museum

"Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles 1960-1980"

Norton Simon Museum

"Proof: The Rise of Printmaking in Southern California"


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