L.A. Summer Art Preview


John Baldessari's "Tips for Artists Who Want to Sell," 1966-68. Image via The Los Angeles Times.

John Baldessari: Pure Beauty @ LACMA through  09/12/2010

This summer, LACMA has put together a long overdue retrospective of one the most influential American artists working today.  “John Baldessari: Pure Beauty,”  features more than 150 works spanning the artist’s career from 1962 to the present and includes works on canvas, photography, videos and books.  Covering a career that spans from Conceptual Art in the 1960s to appropriation art in the 80’s and beyond, the exhibit is unified by Baldessari’s interest in language and the nature of communication.  This is an exciting exhibition, and also includes a special installation that was created expressly for this retrospective.  LACMA is open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from noon to 8:00 pm, Friday from noon to 9:00 pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm.

Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray @ Baldwin Park Arts and Recreation Center through 08/07/2010

In honor of Frida Kahlo’s July 6th birthday, a visit to the Baldwin Park Arts and Recreation Center for the exhibit “Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray”  could not be more timely.  The Center is the latest institution to host the 46 photographic prints that have been reproduced from the original negatives.  The photographs date back to 1937, when Muray, Kahlo’s friend, confidant and lover first began photographing her.  Though her image is familiar to us through her own extensive self-portraits, this exhibition is worth a visit for the unique perspective it offers on one of art’s most famous women.  The exhibit is available for viewing Monday through Friday from 3:00 pm to 8:00 pm, and Saturday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.

The Gela Krater @ the Getty Villa through 10/11/2010

The Getty Villa is lucky enough to have on loan and important work from the Museo Archeologico Regional in Agrigento, Sicily known as The Mixing Vessel with Greeks Battling Amazons, or the Gela Krater.  It will be displayed in Stories of the Trojan War (Gallery 110) alongside other works that illustrate the Homeric epics.  The monumental volute was used for mixing water and wine and is attributed to the Niobid Painter and stands and nearly two and a half feet tall.  Decorated in the red-figure technique, it depicts a battle between the armored Greeks and their female foes.  The Getty Villa is open Wednesday through Monday from 10:00 am to 5:00pm.  Admission is free, but an advance timed ticket is required for entry.

Spirits and Headhunters: Arts of the Pacific Islands @ the Bowers Museum of Cultural Art through 12/31/2010

Guest curated by photographer Chris Rainier, this exhibition encompasses art from the region collectively known as Oceania – including Micronesia, Melanesia and Polynesia. With a particular focus on New Guinea, the show presents masterworks that demonstrate how rich artistic traditions were infused into both daily and ritual life.  The objects featured are both visually complex and imbued with meaning, including masks, personal adornments, feast bowls, weapons, shell and feather currency, seagoing tools, the magic objects of the shaman, and even trophies taken by headhunters.  The Bowers Museum is open Tuesday through Sunday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.  Access to exhibitions such as this one available after purchase of Secrets of the Silk Road ticket.

Emmet Gowin: Beauty is Nothing @ Mark Selwyn Fine Art through 08/14/2010

Having made a name for himself first with intimate portraits, Gowin has expanded his repertoire to include depicting the devastation of Mount St. Helens, the emptiness of Petra, and now to aerial scenes of the impact of man on the environment.  Photographed in the United States, Mexico, Czechoslovakia, Asia and the Middle East, his show at Mark Selwyn Fine Art documents the effects of mining, weapons testing and irrigation on the Earth’s surface.   His silver toned gelatin prints remain starkly beautiful, even in his most alarming views of nature’s destruction at the hands of man.  The Gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.

– Kelly Boyd

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