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Old July 8th, 2008, 04:27 AM   #121
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International Art Gallery Sets Up Space in South Park

By Stephen Friday
July 7, 2008

Downtown’s reputation as a growing center for the arts take a huge leap forward this week with the arrival of PYO Gallery, a Seoul-based venue known internationally for exhibiting cutting-edge post industrial fine art.

In addition to curating works from notable names in East Asia, the gallery hosts touring exhibits from major museums and galleries worldwide. Jonathan Borofsky, whose public sculptures can be found in cities around the globe (including the Molecule Man here in Downtown and the famous Ballerina Clown in Venice), is currently showing at the gallery’s Beijing location.

South Park’s new branch of PYO Gallery — coming to the ground floor of Luma at 11th and Hope — will premiere Saturday, July 12 with an exhibit by Kim Tschang Yeul titled “Recurrence,” scheduled to run through August 16. Kim is a renowned Korean painter living in Paris whose decades of works fill the walls of art institutions from Chicago to Tokyo.

PYO Gallery
1100 S Hope Street (ground floor of Luma)
Suite 105
Los Angeles, CA, 90015
213-405-1488
Tues-Sun: 10:00am - 7:00pm
pyoart.com / info@pyogalleryla.com
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Old July 8th, 2008, 05:13 AM   #122
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I wonder why they chose SP as opposed to East Wilshire?
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Old July 8th, 2008, 05:30 AM   #123
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^ Because Downtown has a much more established arts scene, especially where galleries are concerned.
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Old July 9th, 2008, 01:33 AM   #124
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LACMA Acquires Landmark Oceanic Art Collection

By ARTINFO
July 8, 2008

LOS ANGELES—The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has announced the acquisition of one of the 20th century's largest private collections of Oceanic art. Featuring a significant number of works from Polynesia and Melanesia, the collection also boasts Micronesian and Australian objects.

A $5-million challenge grant from the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation funded the acquisition of 46 historic pieces, including an Easter Islands dance paddle and a Hawaiian drum collected in 1778 by Captain James Cook. The grant was matched by LACMA trustees David Bohnett, Jane and Terry Semel, Gayle and Ed Roski, and Camilla Chandler Frost. The works were purchased from Masco Corporation chairman Richard Manoogian and identified by Sotheby's. Prior to the acquisition, the collection appeared at several museums, including the Honolulu Academy of Arts and the North Carolina Museum of Art. The collection will be on view at LACMA in February 2009.
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Old July 9th, 2008, 01:51 AM   #125
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Originally Posted by Westsidelife View Post
LACMA Acquires Landmark Oceanic Art Collection

By ARTINFO
July 8, 2008

LOS ANGELES—The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has announced the acquisition of one of the 20th century's largest private collections of Oceanic art. Featuring a significant number of works from Polynesia and Melanesia, the collection also boasts Micronesian and Australian objects.

A $5-million challenge grant from the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation funded the acquisition of 46 historic pieces, including an Easter Islands dance paddle and a Hawaiian drum collected in 1778 by Captain James Cook. The grant was matched by LACMA trustees David Bohnett, Jane and Terry Semel, Gayle and Ed Roski, and Camilla Chandler Frost. The works were purchased from Masco Corporation chairman Richard Manoogian and identified by Sotheby's. Prior to the acquisition, the collection appeared at several museums, including the Honolulu Academy of Arts and the North Carolina Museum of Art. The collection will be on view at LACMA in February 2009.
Very nice.

Eli Broad is certainly one of the most influential collectors in the world today. ArtNews Magazine has of course listed him #1 in the world, not in the least because of the waves he generated quite recently. He is well known in Contemporary Art circles, but I am quite sure that Oceanic Art also suits him quite nicely.

I will see the collection in 2009 then...

Last edited by tpe; July 9th, 2008 at 02:00 AM.
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Old July 9th, 2008, 11:44 PM   #126
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MOAI KAVAKAVA: The male ancestor figure from
Easter Island, circa 1800, is made of wood, bird bone
and obsidian.


LACMA Acquires Oceanic Art Collection

The museum acquires a significant private collection of rare Pacific island art.

By Diane Haithman, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
July 9, 2008

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art has acquired a collection of Oceanic art considered to be one of the most significant private collections of its kind assembled in the 20th century.

The acquisition, announced Tuesday by the museum, comprises 46 rare works purchased from the Masco Corp. Foundation of Detroit. The purchase was made possible with a $5-million challenge grant from the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, with the balance funded by LACMA trustees Jane and Terry Semel, David Bohnett, Camilla Chandler Frost, and Gayle and Ed Roski.

LACMA director Michael Govan told The Times on Tuesday that the collection -- previously shown at the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth and other museums as part of a mid-'90s touring exhibition -- is expected to go on display at the museum in late spring 2009.

Govan declined to offer an estimate of the monetary value of the collection. But Michael Kan, a curator emeritus of African, Oceanic and New World culture at the Detroit Institute of Arts who was instrumental in acquiring the artworks for the former owner, said that rare individual items, including a moai kavakava (male ancestor figure) and rapa (dance paddle), both carved around 1800, and an 18th century Hawaiian drum collected by Capt. James Cook in 1778 would be worth $1 million or more apiece.

The collection is considered to be strongest in its objects from Polynesia and Melanesia.

"I was just delighted to hear about the acquisition, and it's just a miracle that the artworks will stay together," Kan said. "For example, the dance paddle -- I was recently offered one for $2 million that was in need of repair, and the one in this collection is in mint condition."

Govan described the acquisition as "one of the most exciting acquisitions the museum has ever made -- the quality of the art is super-rare in the world. Every piece is a museum-quality object. It's hard to find these things that have such an impeccable provenance. When a world museum is trying to connect the dots, these objects bear witness to a certain history."

Govan also noted the significant influence of the types of works in the collection on modern and contemporary artists, including Tristan Tzara, Man Ray, Max Ernst and others.

"They're so accessible, even in a modern age. It's the sheer power of the items that you don't see in any other culture," he said. "The dance paddle is a sensual, abstract object that has that sort of power to it. And they are not important just because of their influence on European artists. They are an alternate aesthetic and should be seen that way."

Govan added that the items also may inspire future collaborations between LACMA and the UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History.
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Old July 10th, 2008, 12:25 AM   #127
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Whats with his earrings and chin? Remind you guys of anything?
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Old July 10th, 2008, 01:34 PM   #128
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Derek Jeter?
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Old July 10th, 2008, 02:19 PM   #129
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Whats with his earrings and chin? Remind you guys of anything?
And notice the bird-like carvings on the head?

nygirl, there was a splendid exhibition of the Art of Easter Island at the Metropolitan in NYC a few years back -- perhaps the first ever substantial exhibition of the art of the Island. The catalogue contains some really wonderful information about the form and symbolism of the wooden sculptures (wood was extremely rare in the Island in the last few centuries, which made them very precious indeed.)


This is a wonderful acquisition by the LACMA. Acquisitions of entire collections by museums are increasingly rare nowadays...
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Old July 11th, 2008, 04:34 AM   #130
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July 9, 2008

blog.miragestudio7

Frank Gehry: the Bilbao Effect is bullshit

Ben Hoyle, Arts Reporter
The Bilbao Effect - the idea that one building can transform the fortunes of an entire region - was today described as “bullshit” by the architect who pioneered it.

Frank Gehry built the spectacular fish-scaled Guggenheim museum in Bilbao for less than $100 million 11 years ago.

It paid for itself within a year and spearheaded an economic, social and cultural revival of the Basque region, which is now one of the most popular destinations in Spain after years blighted by terrorist violence.

Ever since, ambitious city planners from Gateshead to Guanzhou have fallen over themselves to bag an iconic new building by a superstar architect in the hope that it will provide a similar upturn.

But this morning, speaking in front of the temporary summer pavilion he has designed for the Serpentine Gallery in Hyde Park, Gehry, 79, said that the so-called “Bilbao Effect” had been misunderstood.

“It’s a bunch of bullshit,” he said. “You do a building, you solve the problems, people are happy and that’s nice.”

However, a really successful building, like the Guggenheim, cannot simply be churned out to order. “It is kind of a miracle, you don’t quite know how it happens”.

“In the case of Bilbao, they asked for Sydney Opera House when we started but they had a comprehensive plan for the community. Foster did the subway system, Jim Stirling was doing a train station that never happened, Calatrava did the airport and everybody did a vineyard.

“So there was sort of an intent to change the community and it worked.”

Hyping the power of one building to revive an area is also a distraction from the real business of putting up good buildings, Gehry said. “I don’t think you start out to make a marquee development. They talk about “spectacle architecture” and I think people jump on these kind of things but from my point of view I don’t start out to do that.

“We have budgets, we have clients and time constraints. It is wonderful that every once in a while we can do something that people like.

“I do think architecture is a profession that deserves to have its masterpieces and occasionally somebody manages to eke one out. Not everybody can do it and, God knows, I didn’t know I could.”

Gehry is arguably the most sought after of a small coterie of jet-setting “starchitects” which also includes, among others Lords Foster and Rogers, Zaha Hadid and Herzog & De Meuron, the Swiss renovators of Tate Modern.

His stainless steel coated Walt Disney Concert Hall in downtown Los Angeles was recently adopted as the city’s new symbol by its Chamber of Commerce, replacing the hillside Hollywood sign.
Current work includes projects in Las Vegas, Manhattan, California, Pananama and Spain and he has achieved that modern cultural apotheosis: an appearance in The Simpsons.

However the Serpentine Pavilion is his first building in England (he has built a Maggie’s Centre for cancer patient care in Dundee).

It is the eighth such temporary pavilion to be built on the gallery’s lawn - a unique initiative that has brought some of the finest international architects to work in the country for the first time.

The timber glass and steel Pavilion was inspired by butterfly wings, beach huts and Leonardo Da Vinci’s designs for catapults. To the untrained eye it looks like a collapsing tower of Jenga bricks.

Opening on Saturday July 19 it will function as a cafe during the day and host live events, music, performance and debates at night.

Jack Pringle, former President of the Royal Institute of British Architects, said that Gehry’s Guggenheim had played a crucial role in rebranding Bilbao but agreed that it would not have had the same effect without other less heralded improvements: “Bilbao was a spectacular example of how to regenerate a city. The lesson to learn is that they had a strategy which included both infrastructure and iconic landmarks. It’s the combination of the two that works - a cocktail that can make the most amazing difference if you get it right.

The Times Online UK
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Old July 12th, 2008, 06:12 AM   #131
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Art Scene Expands with Three New Galleries

News Brief

Three new art galleries debuted in Downtown recently. PYO Gallery was scheduled to hold an opening reception on Saturday, July 12, for its inaugural exhibit featuring the paintings of Paris-based artist Kim Tschang-Yeul (Los Angeles Downtown News went to press before the event). Specializing in modern and contemporary fine art by Asian and international artists, PYO Gallery opened its first space in Seoul, Korea, in 1981 and subsequently started three others. Heidi Chang is director of the first U.S. branch at 1100 S. Hope St., Suite 105. On Thursday, July 10, Phyllis Stein Art debuted with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by 14th District Councilman Jos/ Huizar. The fine art gallery started by Phyllis Stein focuses on emerging artists. It received assistance from the Historic Downtown Retail Project to launch at 207 W. Fifth St. Up through Aug. 29 are paper sculptures by Eric Smail and paintings by Jesse Chapo. Compact/space Art Collective took over the space formerly occupied by Art Murmur at 105 E. Sixth St. last month. The gallery, which began in Berlin and now has an outlet in Geneva, is run by Art Center College of Design grad Glenna Jennings, who will tap her close ties with Southern California graduate art programs for exhibits. In addition, Spencer Douglass announced that Bonelli Contemporary, which showcases local artists, recently moved from its location on Mei Ling Way to a new space at 943 N. Hill St. in Chinatown.
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Old July 12th, 2008, 06:20 AM   #132
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Downtown Arts Organizations Receive Grants

News Brief

The Los Angeles County Arts Com-mission last week announced nearly $5 million in two-year grants to 155 nonprofit arts organizations, including some Downtown-based groups. The largest grant, for $374,000, went to the Los Angeles Philharmonic, based in the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Other Downtown recipients include the City West-based Great Leap, Inc., a performing arts organization that creates works in theater, music and dance, which received $22,000; the L.A. Contemporary Dance Company, a resident company of the Diavolo Lab in the Brewery Arts Complex, which received $10,400 for its rehearsal and performance space; and the Pharmaka gallery on Fifth Street, which received $21,700, to fund a program coordinator's position. The grants were approved by the County Board of Supervisors on July 1.
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Old July 12th, 2008, 07:32 AM   #133
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Since all the news I've posted up to this point have been from LA media outlets, and therefore may be a bit biased with their views, here are two articles from outside sources...
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Old July 12th, 2008, 08:02 AM   #134
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For those of you who are still in doubt of Los Angeles' cultural merit, here's what the New York Times had to say about LA in an article dating back to March 2007...



The Art’s Here. Where’s the Crowd?

By EDWARD WYATT
March 25, 2007

LOS ANGELES

JOHN BALDESSARI, the conceptual artist who has long made his home here, for years gave his college art students one piece of advice when they graduated: Go to New York, the capital of the art world.

Now, however, Mr. Baldessari has a different view. “I don’t think it matters,” he said recently. “More and more young artists leave school and stay here. The opportunities are better, and the cost of living is cheaper. People involved in art regularly come to L.A. It really doesn’t matter if they live in New York or L.A.”

Two decades after Los Angeles emerged as the nation’s second art capital, the city is reaping the benefits of a migration of artists, galleries, dealers and curators. In recent years more than two artists have moved to this city for every one that moved away, a net rate of gain that is higher than in any metropolitan area in the country, according to an analysis of Census Bureau statistics by Ann Markusen, a professor at the University of Minnesota.

In the process new centers of gravity have emerged for contemporary art and artists in a city that has suffered for years because of its lack of a central arts district. Now there is not one such geographic center but several: downtown, where a thriving gallery district operates in what used to be a nighttime ghost town, as well as in former industrial areas in Culver City and Santa Monica. And a new generation of curators have been lured to the major museums here. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the J. Paul Getty Museum and the Hammer Museum have each attracted energizing new talent in recent years.

Of course the city has long since emerged as an important center for the performing arts as well. The Los Angeles Philharmonic, regarded as one of the country’s most dynamic orchestras, gained added allure with its move to Frank Gehry’s 2003 Disney Hall on Grand Avenue, and the Los Angeles Opera is preparing for its first-ever “Ring” cycle next door at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

In architecture Los Angeles has been an incubator not just for Mr. Gehry but for the rising star Thom Mayne, and high-profile commissions by Renzo Piano at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and Steven Holl at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County are proceeding apace. And the boom in television and film production in Hollywood has created new opportunities for visual artists and dancers, many of whom also work for companies that perform in or have close ties to Pacific Rim countries.

Yet the city is still struggling to attract cultural tourists. While New York, London and Paris each attract 10 million to 15 million such visitors per year, Los Angeles draws only about 2.5 million, according to a 2004 study by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation.

“Why is that?” asked the philanthropist Eli Broad, the city’s most visible and generous champion of the arts. “Perception. We have not promoted cultural travel. That’s going to start happening, and that’s going to get the city more and more attention.”

Whereas 40 percent of visitors to New York and London take part in some sort of cultural activity — a museum visit, a theatrical performance or the like — and 85 percent of visitors to Paris do so, only about 1 in 10 tourists to Los Angeles visit a cultural site.

To remedy that Mr. Broad and other civic leaders are bargaining on their investment in the commercial and cultural districts that are taking shape downtown, like the Grand Avenue Project and L.A. Live, efforts that include hotels, restaurants, shops and entertainment centers.

“It will mean a big boost to the economy, and a big boost to how our city is viewed internationally,” Mr. Broad said. “It’s not simply sunshine, beaches and Hollywood here.”

But that effort hasn’t been easy. Two years ago Mr. Broad tried to raise $10 million in public financing to promote the arts here. While the city promised $2 million, officials at the county, state and federal levels balked, arguing in part that more private money should be raised for that purpose. For now the effort has stalled, although Mayor Antonio R. Villaraigosa said in an interview that he would like to create a public-private partnership to accomplish what Mr. Broad proposed.

The mayor’s initiative, however, awaits his appointment of a new general manager for the city’s cultural affairs department, a job that has gone unfilled since the previous department manager resigned nine months ago.

The department manager will be charged with fashioning a new cultural master plan for the city, a blueprint for encouraging both local investment in the arts and reaching out to areas of the city that are underserved by museums, theaters and the like. The master plan was last revised in 1991.

“I think there are a lot of people who want to get involved in the arts, and would if there was a conduit for it,” Mr. Villaraigosa said in an interview.

But that financial conduit is conspicuously absent, especially at a time when corporations are cutting their arts budgets or using them more for marketing than for philanthropy. That problem is aggravated by the relative shortage of major corporations here: Los Angeles has fewer Fortune 500 companies than Richmond, Va., or Charlotte, N.C.

Historically, said Kevin F. McCarthy, a senior social scientist at the Rand Corporation who is working on a study of support systems for the arts in cities around the country, Los Angeles has had three sets of business leaders: the first drawn from the downtown corporations, the second from the high-technology and aerospace industries on the west side, and the third from Hollywood.

“You could never get the entertainment industry to work with the other two guys, even though there were some people who had connections in both communities,” Mr. McCarthy said. The problem with Hollywood leaders, he said, is that “they’re so used to publicity and understanding the importance of marketing that they want to be the center of attention on all of this stuff.”

“I think they also have a very short-sighted focus, like much of the corporate sector, on profits,” he added. “And they tend to see this as a zero- sum game.”

Some Hollywood moguls are already big donors of course. David Geffen gave $5 million in 1996 to the Museum of Contemporary Art; it now maintains the Geffen Contemporary galleries as a separate part of its three-campus institution. Mr. Geffen also gave money for the renovation of a theater near the University of California at Los Angeles campus in Westwood that is now called the Geffen Playhouse. And Disney Hall was built with $120 million from corporations and private donors, along with an initial $50 million from Walt Disney’s widow, Lillian, and more than $100 million from Los Angeles County.

Mr. Broad says he is confident that Hollywood’s commitment will increase, in part through the goading of newly arrived museum directors, including Michael Govan. Mr. Govan arrived one year ago from the Dia Art Foundation in New York to take over as director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and has forged new connections with Hollywood. Among his additions to the museum’s board are Barbra Streisand; Michael Crichton; Terry Semel, the chief executive of Yahoo and former co-chief executive of Warner Brothers; and Willow Bay, the television reporter who is married to Robert Iger, chief executive of Disney.

Now, however, Mayor Villaraigosa may be in the best position to mobilize money into the arts, galvanize business leaders in Hollywood and beyond, and raise the visibility of the city’s cultural scene. “He’s got the kind of sex appeal that Hollywood wants,” Mr. McCarthy said. “He could bring these guys together,” in a way that the previous mayor, James K. Hahn, could not.

In 2004 Mr. Hahn floated the idea of doing away with the city’s cultural affairs department altogether. That effort was fought by Mr. Villaraigosa, then a councilman, earning him the support of many grass-roots arts organizations, which helped his 2005 election campaign.

“I think we can get Hollywood to be more active in the arts,” Mr. Villaraigosa said. “One of the reasons why we’re focused on finding a visionary leader in the area of the arts is because it’s going to take someone who’s got the wherewithal, the respect, the ethos if you will, in the arts community and can rally that community in support of new initiatives,” like cultural programs in the schools and greater citywide spending on the arts.

If anyone knows how hard it can be to attract that support, it is Mr. Broad, who seems to have a hand in almost everything that goes on in the arts.

He was the founding chairman of the Museum of Contemporary Art, and its present location on Grand Avenue downtown, near Disney Hall, is a direct result of his efforts. Mr. Broad is also a trustee of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which is currently building the Broad Contemporary Art Museum on its campus on Wilshire Boulevard, thanks to a $60 million gift from Mr. Broad and his wife, Edythe.

The Broads have also made a big impact on the art schools in the Los Angeles area. Last fall U.C.L.A. opened the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Center, a collection of studios, classrooms, offices and gallery space designed by the architects Richard Meier and Michael Palladino. Outside sits a Richard Serra sculpture commissioned by Mr. Broad for that purpose. And the Broads have donated money for buildings at the two other major art schools in the region, the California Institute of the Arts, known as CalArts, in Valencia, and Pitzer College in Claremont, Calif.

His efforts extend beyond the visual arts. He recently provided a gift to pay for the Los Angeles Opera’s staging of Wagner’s “Ring,” the first time the complete cycle will be produced here.

“Eli Broad really does seem to be the most strategic thinker right now about L.A. and the arts,” said Elizabeth Ondaatje, a Rand Corporation researcher who is directing the institution’s studies of the arts with Mr. McCarthy. “Every other month you read another investment they’ve decided to make.”

Mr. Broad (whose name rhymes with road) has generated a fair amount of resentment in some corners here for his outsized presence on the art scene. His devotion to the downtown projects have been criticized as ignoring pockets of the city that have less access to the arts, like the largely Hispanic sections of East Los Angeles and the areas south of downtown that have large African-American populations. And some of the resistance he faced in his most recent fund-raising effort came from people who wondered why a billionaire was asking for money from taxpayers to promote museums on whose boards he sits.

Ever an optimist, Mr. Broad dismisses those criticisms, saying he prefers to discuss why, despite the relative lack of major corporations here, he still believes that new money can flow to the art world. As evidence, he cited a $25 million donation announced this month by BP, the energy company, to the Los Angeles County Museum to finance a new entrance pavilion.

If it has been hard to attract investment and government support for cultural activities, the city’s vibrant visual arts scene might be seen as its own best advertisement.

“The rest of the world is promoting the city as well or better than L.A. does,” said Gary Garrels, the chief curator at the Hammer Museum, who moved here two years ago from the Museum of Modern Art in New York. “All of the curators and galleries that are dynamic are coming to Los Angeles and looking at what’s going on here.”

Downtown, which not too long ago was little more than a ghost town after 5 p.m. on weekdays, now bustles with activity around Fifth and Spring streets on Friday and Saturday nights, when art galleries typically schedule their openings of new shows. Similar scenes unfold around more established galleries on Wilshire Boulevard and among emerging contemporary galleries in Santa Monica and Culver City, the incorporated area south of Interstate 10.

Last year Los Angeles and its artists were the focus of a major show at the Pompidou Center in Paris, “Los Angeles 1955-1985: The Birth of an Art Capital.” This month the Hammer Museum here will feature 15 contemporary Los Angeles artists in a show exploring what it means to create here, playfully titled “Eden’s Edge.”

As a career art seems more realistic to graduate art students than ever before, said Patrick Painter, who owns a gallery in Santa Monica. “Students graduate here with a feeling they can live in L.A. and make a living in LA.,” he said. “L.A. will never be more important than New York, but it will be equal.”

And naturally some artists adopt Los Angeles precisely because it is not New York. Max Jansons, a Los Angeles painter who is a New York native, graduated from U.C.L.A., then returned to Columbia University for a master’s degree. He now lives in Santa Monica.

“I like having time to be in my studio without being surrounded by tons of different voices and seeing all these different shows and being part of that activity,” Mr. Jansons said. “There’s something very focused about your time here in the studio that I never really had in New York when I was there.”

Whereas New York presents more opportunities for the chance meetings with other artists that stimulate discussion, he added, it is easier to isolate oneself and get work done in Los Angeles. “Here you really have to make an effort to be part of something,” he said.

In large part that is because of the sprawl that so defines Los Angeles, said Michael Brand, who came here in 2005 as director of the Getty Museum. “The thing the city lacks is public transport and ease of access,” he said. “That, I think, is a major problem, unlike London, unlike New York, where you can just quickly go to other sorts of cultural organizations. It means people like myself and my colleagues in the end find it harder to maintain a face-to-face dialogue. You’ve got to plan ahead, and at a minimum it’s an afternoon.”

What Angelenos get in the trade of course is physical space. Sherin Guirguis, an artist who was born in Egypt and received her master’s degree from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, said she chose Los Angeles by necessity.

“I couldn’t afford to live in New York no matter what, not even in Brooklyn,” she said. “I’m able to have space here. I make very large work, and it’s very expensive to make.”

Meanwhile the path forged by Mr. Baldessari and others has brought a legitimacy to artists here, one that many people believe will be followed by increasing levels of financial aid.

“L.A. has been the model for another American city having a spot in the art world,” said Fredric Snitzer, the owner of a gallery in Miami who brought works by several of his artists to the “Art LA” show here in late January.

“In the old days California artists were like they were on another planet,” he said. “In the last 20 years that has changed. There are fabulous artists here who have to be reckoned with.”
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Old July 12th, 2008, 08:27 AM   #135
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This article from the Sunday Times takes quite a few cheap shots at LA. I guess it's in keeping with the theme of LA's "cultural revolution." Nevertheless, it's great that a major foreign media news outlet (London-based) is finally acknowledging LA's cultural merit. Hopefully, more articles such as this one and the one above will be enough to stir people's opinions of LA culture...

Art Attack in Los Angeles

Once a rambling city of suburbs, LA is reinventing itself. Chris Haslam reports on La-La land’s cultural revolution

Chris Haslam
February 24, 2008

There’s an enormous electronic billboard on the corner of Santa Monica Boulevard and Bundy. Somewhat predictably, LA has turned stopping at the traffic lights into an ad break: as you wait, you watch commercials for a shiny mobile phone for $35 a month, the latest chick flick and a hybrid car that can go from LA to San Francisco on one tank of good intentions.

Stay tuned and you’ll see Jesus – not Christ our Lord, but Rodriguez the tax attorney – and then, as the lights turn green, a fleeting glimpse of local-boy-done-bad Emigdio Preciado Jr, one of the FBI’s top 10 most wanted. It’s LA life boiled down to a series of messages from its sponsors, but LA culture is far harder to pin down.

Because Los Angeles has no centre – Dorothy Parker famously described it as “72 suburbs in search of a city” – any visit here is essentially a trip to the ’burbs. Universal Studios is in North Hollywood, the Getty Center is in Brentwood and the Huntington Library is way out in San Marino. The best hotels are in Beverly Hills, the best bars are in West Hollywood and the beach is over in Santa Monica.

And that’s the way it’s been since the automobile and the freeway allowed Angelenos to commute, with billionaire building contractors such as Eli Broad selling suburban living as the quintessential architectural expression of the American dream. The downside was that downtown became a desert, a nightmare on Main Street, abandoned after dark to the rats and the gangs.

Such urban heart disease used to be fatal, but these days there is a cure. It has worked – sort of – in London’s Southwark and it has given Bilbao a new lease of life. Valencia is undergoing treatment and LA, with its characteristic affection for medication, is already addicted. And it’s an easy pill to swallow: you build a Tate, a Guggenheim or a City of Arts and Sciences, and that stilled heart starts beating again.

Over the past 15 years, the city has poured a lot of money into its empty heart. There’s the $163m (£84m) cathedral – nicknamed the Taj Mahoney after its controversial cardinal – and Frank Gehry’s magnificent Walt Disney Concert Hall, part of a highbrow entertainment complex that is LA’s version of London’s South Bank.

A mile away down South Figueroa Street, beside the huge stadium of the Staples Center, is the Nokia LA Live complex – a $4.2 billion entertainment zone comprising a theatre, performance spaces, bars, restaurants and a 54-storey Ritz-Carlton (to open in 2010) – touted, somewhat depressingly, as “Times Square West.”

And that’s just the start. This summer sees the beginning of the Grand Avenue Project, a $3 billion reworking of the city centre, pitched as “the Los Angeles version of the Champs-Elysées”, and featuring a 16-acre park flanked by public buildings leading down to the Daily Planet tower of City Hall.

The man behind the plan is none other than Eli Broad, the builder who made his billions persuading Angelenos to live in the ’burbs, and the Grand Avenue Project isn’t his only scheme to drag them back into town.

The shallowest city on earth has been pimping its artistic attractions for years, but since that was like Burger King announcing it sold salads, nobody paid much attention. After all, this is the city where cultural tourism means finding Britney’s house on a map of the homes of the stars.

So when LA announced the gala opening of the Broad Contemporary Arts Museum (BCAM) on an old car park, my expectations were matched only by my enthusiasm. Or, as the locals say, I was, like, whatever, dude.

And then I was, like, wow, man. Forget the building: the architect Renzo Piano’s original concept is there somewhere, buried beneath layers of travertine and compromise (the locals are already calling it Pompidou Lite) – but what it contains is the distilled essence of contemporary American art.

The show starts on the third floor with a cabaret of Jeff Koons’s finest moments. Michael Jackson and Bubbles, in all their nauseating, Franklin Mint tackiness, recline in the shadow of an elephantine stainless-steel balloon dog, a 6ft cracked egg and a theme-park St John the Baptist. It’s the sacred and the plastic profane, side by side in a space that could be nowhere but LA.

Anterooms hide Warhol and Hirst, curiously out of context in the natural light flooding through the glass ceiling, and as you percolate downwards in the biggest lift I have ever seen, through six galleries rammed to the rafters with works from Rothko to Rauschenberg and Baldessari to Basquiat, it becomes clear that this is a world-beating collection.

All but a handful belong to Broad, who’d need another dozen BCAMs to display the full extent of his loot. Ludicrously, despite having his name above the door, the septuagenarian builder-turned-benefactor has now decided not to donate his hoard to the museum, lending the works on display for one year only.

The 178 pieces by 28 of the world’s most important contemporary artists might never be in the same place at the same time again, but that’s not the only reason why you need to visit LA this year. In a post 9/11, postcredit crunch, postmodernist and soon-to-be postBush world, there are few cities outside of Shanghai that are buzzing like the City of Angels.

This month, the breathtakingly beautiful Getty Villa (www.getty.edu) relaunched its theatre lab series, offering cut-price performances of reworked classical texts. Nothing quite overshadows the true-life drama of its former curator, Marion True, standing trial in Italy on charges of antiquity theft, but Oedipus Rex, reset somewhere between the State penitentiary and the barrios of East LA, comes close, in a Socrates-meets-the-Sopranos way. Performances of Icarus and Philoktetes run for the rest of the season, with tickets at just $7 (£3.50).

February also saw the opening of the $18m Chinese gardens at the Huntington Library (www.huntington.org), and this autumn sees the launch of the Grammy Museum (www.grammymuseum.org), charting the history of recorded music.

But, above all, you should come for the art. The New York Times has conceded that LA is “the centre of visual art making” in America, which must have really hurt. The Getty Center, that hilltop temple of high art, celebrates its 10th anniversary with the installation of the Stark collection of modern sculpture, comprising 28 pieces by the likes of Miro, Magritte, Léger and Giacometti. And the jewel that is the Museum of Latin American Art (www.molaa.org) has reopened after a three-year, $10m expansion.

Go visit the zeitgeist in his new LA home – and if you must see Britney’s place while you’re there, it’s at 12094 Summit Circle, Beverly Hills 90210.
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Old July 12th, 2008, 10:18 AM   #136
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Oh those are good!
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Old July 12th, 2008, 10:30 AM   #137
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Before reading this check Westy's 2 confirmation pages up north
Concerts, operas and theater at a discount

Stefano Paltera / For The Times

Esa-Pekka Salonen leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic at Walt Disney Concert Hall in May. The coming season, his 17th, will be his last as music director. Bargain-hunting concertgoers may be able to score seats right behind the orchestra at $40 apiece. The price drops to $15 two weeks before a performance.

Major performing arts groups in the area are making cheap or free tickets available to all, not just students and seniors.

By David Colker, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
July 13, 2008

Big discounts to cultural events aren't just for students and seniors anymore.

Some of the major performing arts groups in the Los Angeles area are cutting back or eliminating student/senior rush lines in favor of deep-discount programs available to all.

You can be in an opera -- as an extra Money-saving ways to get into...Discount performing arts tickets on the Web
The catch: Buy early.

"We had practically trained people to come at the very last minute," said Marjorie Lindbeck, general manager of the Los Angeles Master Chorale, which performs in Walt Disney Concert Hall. "That didn't do us much good."

Early ticket sales, discount or not, help set the course for marketing. And designating bargain seats in ground-floor, highly visible locations helps makes the auditorium look nicely full.

"You create the atmosphere that every concert is a hot ticket," Lindbeck said.

On Sept. 2, the chorale will begin selling $19 tickets -- about 100 per concert -- for seats directly off the right or left, near the back of the stage. Not as good as in front, but Disney Hall patrons will tell you that ensemble sound from that vantage point is pretty good and you're close enough to see veins pulsate on long notes.

Balcony seats, in contrast, start at $48.

The Center Theatre Group -- which produces seasons at the Ahmanson Theatre, the Mark Taper Forum and the Kirk Douglas Theatre -- has eliminated rush discounts altogether in favor of its Hot Tix program, which reserves up to 3% of tickets for the run of a show.

Some of these seats are in primo spots up front, others way in the back, but all are $20 apiece. They go on sale about three weeks before the first performance of a show and are available to all.

We offer a guide to discount programs -- egalitarian or not -- of the big performing arts companies in the area.

Culture seems all the sweeter when enjoyed at a bargain price. The performance can almost make you forget that outside, gas is $4.50 a gallon.

Los Angeles Times
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Old July 12th, 2008, 10:44 AM   #138
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Haslam is quite the ass, but you have to be in his position. Some of it was gratuitous and some was obviously spot on.
I would have removed my glove to strike his face, then I would have thanked him and his observation. (Poor ass is stuck here for the Times, poor baby
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Old July 22nd, 2008, 12:06 PM   #139
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Quote:
Santa Monica positively aGlow
GLOW festival Santa Monica


Stefano Paltera

Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
July 21, 2008

Wasn't that you dancing on the Santa Monica Pier last Saturday night?

The Santa Monica city website says that last Saturday's Glow festival was inspired by the Nuit Blanche ("White Night") festival in Paris, but the combination of beach, pier, and experimental music made it pure L.A. Over 200,000 people attended over the dusk-to-dawn, 12-hour extravaganza, with over 75,000 milling through the warm night at peak times to gaze at illuminated sculpture and installations, a "grunion run" remade in glow sticks in the sand, and pulsing light shows.

The soundtrack was provided by a big roster of artists pulled together by L.A.-based art collective SASSAS (Society for the Activation of Social Space through Art and Sound), including a published lineup of musicians Albert Ortega, Steve Roden, Unrecognizable Now and White Rainbow; video by Jessica Bronson, Cal Crawford, Carole Kim and Matt Sheridan; and beats by dublab DJs Ale, Katie Byron, Sam Cooper, Frosty, Hoseh, Carlos Nino and Jimmy Tamborello as well as Part Time Punks DJ Michael Stock. The shows went on from dusk to dawn, but the crowd stayed with it throughout.

One look at these photos and one starts wondering if perhaps this should be an annual event.
Did anyone here make it to this? The turnout seemed to be pretty good considering it was the first one...
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Old July 22nd, 2008, 07:43 PM   #140
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Originally Posted by VZN View Post
Did anyone here make it to this? The turnout seemed to be pretty good considering it was the first one...
Yeah I was there from 1-3:30. It was absolutely incredible to see that many people from all walks of L.A. life, all in one place.

That said, I wish this wasn't compared to more serious art events in other global cities. The art/music was sparse and trite. Just a sprinkling of ravey dayglo installations, none of which really had any impact or presence.

A lot of serious art-types criticized this event because it was so amateurish, even though it had been hyped as a "world-class art event." I was actually pleasantly surprised because when I heard "all night art event at the santa monica pier," my expectations were set pretty darn low...

But the people! It was almost a miracle to have such a large diverse crowd in LA. It showed how priceless the subway to the sea would be.
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