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Archive for the ‘Art’ Category

Review: Francis Alÿs’ Fabiola Portraits at LACMA

  The Fabulous Fabiolas At LACMA Through March 29, 2009 An overwhelming sea of red greets visitors entering the Francis Alÿs’ Fabiola exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Arts. The darkly colored room on the museum’s second floor houses a hushed shrine. The LACMA pilgrim entering the room is struck at first glance by the undeniable likeness between more than 300 veiled women, mostly in red, mostly in profile. Upon closer observance, however, the hundreds of Fabiolas play with the viewer, exposing their differences. Some Fabiolas stare ahead somberly. Other lips convey the hint of a smile.  One fetching Fabiola resembles a 40’s movie star. Another typifies a Plain Jane. One is etched onto velvet, while another is comprised of beans. The exhibit transports the sacredness of iconography into the profane territory of flea markets, ceramics, and beans.   Francis

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The best exhibit in Los Angeles. Hands Down.

If there is only one exhibit you see in Los Angeles this year, this is IT: J. Michael Walker walks where Angelenos fear to tread All the Saints of the City of the Angels The City of the Angels is a commuter city. We spend time enclosed in cars, in serpentine lines of traffic crawling around our city’s landmarks. Freeways form boundaries- the 110, 405, 134, 101, 10- a plethora of numbers dividing East from West, Suburb from Metropolis, Have from Have-Not. What if we could just get out? Out of our cars. Out of our enclosures. Remove our armor of road rage and glide through out city like Angels. With J. Michael Walker as our guide, we certainly can. His exhibit, All the Saints of the City Of the Angels, holds court at the Gene Autry Museum until September

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Mingei East and West at the Pacific Asia Museum

East Meets West: The Mingei Exhibit at the Pacific Asia Museum The East and West have often been at conflict on the political stage. Even today, geo-political grandstanding mars the 2008 Summer Olympics in China as titans prove unwilling to give up an inch of their superpower. During the first half of the 20th century, the Pacific Rim was also a chessboard where the East and West fought for dominance. The exhibit Mingei East and West, however, evinces the power of art to transcend political borders. In a century when Japanese Americans lived in internment camps, and Americans lost their lives at the hands of Kamikaze pilots, the exhibit illustrates a unity of spirit and respect between artists on opposite ends of the Pacific. Mingei East and West shows the positive impact of Mingei on the California Arts and Crafts movement as well

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“Declarations of Love in Music and Image”- The J. Paul Getty Museum and LA Opera

On May 3rd The J. Paul Getty Museum in conjunction with LA Opera, hosted a conference on the “Declarations of Love in Music and Image.” Speakers included: Michael Walsh, music critic for TIME magazine, Mitchell Morris, UCLA Musicology Professor, and Scott Allan, assistant curator in the Department of Paintings at the J. Paul Getty Museum. The conference concluded with a dynamic and moving performance by LA Opera. Soprano Tammy Jenkins, Tenor Robert MacNeil, and pianist Daniel Faltus performed selections from Puccini’s Tosca, Suor Angelica, and La Rondine. Scott Allan illuminated the Getty exhibit on Fragonard’s “Allegories of Love”, a departure from the artist’s earlier, frothier Rococo style. Love becomes elevated from frivolous entanglements to a new state of spiritual ecstasy. The exhibit compared Fragonard’s Sacrifice of the Rose with Bernini’s Ecstasy of St. Theresa.  Allen also noted that in the Allegories, Fragonard’s

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Making the Fig and Other Artistic Insults

An Eye for an Eye, a Fig for a Fig Even noble literary figures need to blow off steam. Shakespeare’s Capulets and Montagues deliver the shocking, duel-provoking insult of thumb-biting.  Only a duel could avenge such a slur on one’s honor.           Sampson: I will bite my thumb at them, which is disgrace to them if they bear it. Abram: Do you bite your thumb at us, Sir?’   Romeo and Juliet. Act I. Scene I.   Melee ensues.  Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy contains another impish affront,“Making the Fig.”  This slur involves thrusting out the thumb between the first and second fingers to express anger or disdain.  In Dante’s Inferno, Vanni Fucci, a thief convicted of stealing from the Church of San Zeno, “raises his hands, points in mockery, and cries, ‘Take them, God.’” (Canto XXV)

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Get Lost! (Lost in Battery Park, that is)

monuments_sphere

                                                      Fritz Koenig’sThe Sphere           It is the stillness after the storm, a place for reflection on the violence that occurred nearby in lower Manhattan. It is what Mayor Michael Bloomberg called a symbol of the “power of art to heal.”             The Sphere, a globe sculpted by the German artist Fritz Koenig, is the only structure to survive and remain standing after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. The 45,000-pound steel and brass work, its face dented, chipped, fragmented, scuffed and scratched, now rests in a quiet place in Battery Park, a short distance from Ground Zero.             More than survivor,

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