Arts Preview: Museums look beyond So Cal this fall
Last year, the 800-pound gorilla in the Southern California art world was the Getty-sponsored, multi-institutional initiative, "Pacific Standard Time."
This year, there's no such beast. Rather than intensely focusing on one geographic area, Southern California museums and art institutions are looking beyond the Golden State and offering more eclectic fare. From "Curatorial Exchange" at the Irvine Fine Arts Center to Japanese American artist Macha Suzuki at the Laguna Art Museum, visual art institutions are reaching out – and in some cases, reaching in.
Let's start with our neighbors to the north. From fall to early 2013, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is presenting retrospectives on contemporary artists Ken Price and Ed Ruscha, and is also exploring French ceramics, surrealist drawing, filmmaker Stanley Kubrick and legendary Italian painter Caravaggio.
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles is hosting a pair of broad-based group shows: "Destroy the Picture: Painting the Void, 1949-1962" from Oct. 6-Jan. 14, and "Blues for Smoke" from Oct. 21-Jan. 7.
On Oct. 9, the Getty Conservation Institute is unveiling the famous David Alfaro Siqueiros mural, "América Tropical," which was originally painted in 1932. That's going to be a newsworthy event. Expect Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to be present.
The Getty Center is featuring "Florence at the Dawn of the Renaissance" starting Nov. 13, and "Looking East: Ruben's Encounter with Asia" in March.
Closer to home, Orange County museums are conducting the same examinations of international art offerings. But they're also exploring art collected within county lines and stored in permanent collections.
The Orange County Museum of Art is presenting "OC Collects" – selections from private collections in Orange County and curated by OCMA chief curator Dan Cameron and director Dennis Szakacs.
Laguna Art Museum is offering another look at its permanent collection of California art, this time curated by new executive director Malcolm Warner.
The Grand Central Art Center in Santa Ana is presenting artist-in-residence Constantin Hartenstein through Oct. 14, a Cal State Fullerton student ceramic and glass exhibition and sale Nov. 3-Jan. 14, and an "MFA Residents Exhibition" Feb. 2-April 21.
Nearby, the often overlooked Long Beach Museum of Art is presenting "Catherine Opie – Twelve Miles to the Horizon" Oct. 5-March 24, and "A Tribute to Karl Benjamin" Oct. 19-Dec. 30.
It's going to be a fascinating year in visual art. Just remember, it's up to you to go out and see what's going on.
'Ken Price: A Retrospective'
Sculptor Price died earlier this year, but his legacy lives on. He was a pioneer at transforming traditional glazed and painted clay and making boundary-bending contemporary sculpture. This exhibit, designed by friend and architect Frank Gehry, covers 50 years of his career and illuminates his influence on other artists. Sept. 16-Jan. 6, 2013. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. Free-$15. 323-857-6000. lacma.org
Giant Robot Biennale 3
The Japanese American National Museum is presenting the third incarnation of the popular biennale. Eric Nakamura, owner of the Giant Robot magazine and stores, has organized a large group show that continues to push the envelope with creative, fresh and interactive experiences. Artists include Rob Sato, Deth P. Sun, Ako Castuera, Eishi Takaoka, Sena Chao, Saelee Oh, Zach Gage and Albert Reyes. Sept. 23-Jan. 20. Japanese American National Museum, 100 N. Central Ave., Los Angeles. Free-$9. 213-625-0414. janm.org
'Lola Álvarez Bravo: The Photography of an Era'
Wife of the world-famous photographer Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Lola had a prolific career that spanned nearly 50 years. She experimented with photomontage and photo collage and used her medium to expose the social and political issues of her time. While her work was overshadowed by her husband, Lola Álvarez Bravo had a significant impact on the development of modern Mexican photography, and this exhibit helps uncover her many contributions. The exhibit, "Sociales: Debora Arango Arrives Today" will coincide with this show. Sept. 23-Jan. 20. Museum of Latin American Art, 628 Alamitos Ave., Long Beach. Free-$9. 562-437-1689. molaa.org
'Graphic Design – Now in Production'
This international exhibition explores how graphic design has broadened its reach over the past decade, expanding from a specialized profession to a widely used tool. Featuring work created since 2000, "Graphic Design" explores design-driven magazines, newspapers, books, posters, branding programs and showcases recent developments in the field. Sept. 30-Jan. 6. Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. Free-$10. 310-443-7000. hammer.ucla.edu
'Destroy the Picture: Painting the Void, 1949-1962'
This exhibition will concentrate on artists' 20th century assault on the picture plane – from ripping and cutting to burning and affixing objects to the canvas. Curated by former MOCA chief curator Paul Schimmel, this group show will feature more than 90 works by 26 artists from Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. It's Schimmel's swan song – go see it. Oct. 6-Jan. 14. Museum of Contemporary Art, 250 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles. Free-$12. 213-626-6222. moca.org
From the start of the museum in 1962, Orange County residents have shown an interest in both modern and contemporary art and have been adventurous in their interests and collecting endeavors. This show highlights works by many artists who have exhibited in the museum, many of whom are represented in OCMA's permanent collection. Some, however, are totally new to the museum. Together, this show presents works by more than 50 artists from Southern California and abroad. Oct. 7-Dec. 30. Orange County Museum of Art, 850 San Clemente Drive, Newport Beach. Free-$10. 949-759-1122. ocma.net
'Spanish Masters: Goya Picasso Dalí'
Where would the art world be without Spain? This exhibition will feature Francisco Goya's complete set of "Los Caprichos: Dreams of Reason and Madness," Pablo Picasso's "Etchings of Love and Desire," and 60 authenticated Salvador Dalí hand-signed lithographs, "Selections from the Collections." A black-tie masquerade is scheduled for 6 p.m. Oct. 6. The exhibit officially runs Oct. 14-Jan. 6. Muzeo, 241 S. Anaheim Blvd., Anaheim. Free (for children under 3)-$13. 714-956-8936. muzeo.org
'Read My Pins: The Madeleine Albright Collection'
The Albright collection consists of pins that the former Secretary of State wore before, during and after her years of public service. Shortly after becoming a diplomat, Albright discovered the power of jewelry to convey a foreign policy message. The stories of these brooches embody the secretary's sense of humor and her humanity. Oct. 20-Jan. 13. Bowers Museum, 2002 N. Main St., Santa Ana. Free-$15. 714-567-3600. bowers.org
'Robert Mapplethorpe: XYZ'
The late photographer was a main character in Patti Smith's National Book Award-winning memoir "Just Kids." This exhibit offers an opportunity to assess Mapplethorpe's bold, confrontational photographs through three series of prints, X, Y and Z. This show will run concurrent with "In Focus: Robert Mapplethorpe" (Oct. 23-March 24) at the Getty Center. Oct. 21-Feb. 3. LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles. Free-$15. 323-857-6000. lacma.org
This international and multigenerational group show will consider the continued relevance of mimetic realism in contemporary art. In other words, the artists focus on making stuff that looks real, but isn't. Artists will include Vija Celmins, Charles Ray, Gerhard Richter, Ai Weiwei and others. Feb. 24-May 27. Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, 700 Prospect St., La Jolla. Free-$10. 858-454-3541. mcasd.org
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