Category: Pasadena Museum of California Art

It's not too late to catch many Pacific Standard Time shows

April 4, 2012 |  2:58 pm

Last Saturday, several local museums offered free admission as a way to mark the end of the sprawling six-month-long exhibition festival Pacific Standard Time. But don't throw away your little red guide to the PST shows quite yet.

As could be expected from such an unwieldy event involving many different institutional schedules, several exhibitions are spilling beyond the official six-month mark, giving people a little more time to fill in gaps in their knowledge of Southern California art history.

Here's a list of shows that run beyond this week: 

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Revisiting the work of June Wayne, who died this week at 93

August 25, 2011 | 10:31 am

It's one thing to read that the intelligent, eloquent and generally fearless artist June Wayne, who died this week at age 93, was a hub figure in the growing L.A. art scene of last century. It's another to see her deeply textured and spirited work, from lithography to tapestry, for yourself.

Local museum-goers will have the chance to do so this October when the museum behemoth Pacific Standard Time, meant to celebrate the birth of the Southern California art scene, kicks into high gear. Culture Monster has confirmed that these five Pacific Standard Time shows will include Wayne's work in one form or another.

"Proof: The Rise of Printmaking in Southern California" at the Norton Simon Museum. Opens Oct. 1.

"Doin' It in Public: Feminism and Art at the Woman's Building" at the Ben Maltz Gallery of the Otis College of Art and Design. Opens Oct. 1.

"Artistic Evolution: Southern California Artists at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, 1945-1963" at the Natural History Museum. Opens Oct. 2.

"Civic Virtue: The Impact of the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery and the Watts Towers Arts Center" at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery. Opens Dec. 15.

"L.A. Raw: Abject Expressionism in Los Angeles, 1945-1980, From Rico Lebrun to Paul McCarthy" at the Pasadena Museum of California Art. Opens Jan. 22.

— Jori Finkel

June Wayne dies at 93; led revival of fine-art printmaking

Her mellow? Not a chance

Photo: Times image of June Wayne in her Hollywood studio, 1989.

Eve Babitz kicks off L.A. '60s art world tribute

August 4, 2011 |  3:45 pm

Eve Babitz

Eve Babitz, the intrepid author and unofficial muse and midwife to L.A.'s 1960s nascent modern art scene, helped transport a Wednesday night Hammer Museum audience back to the psychedelic era when Ed Ruscha, Ed Kienholz, Robert Irwin, David Hockney, Stephen Stills and Jim Morrison were cruising the Sunset Strip and making pop-culture history.

Her interlocutor onstage was Hunter Drohojowska-Philp, a journalist, occasional L.A. Times contributor and author of the just-published "Rebels in Paradise: The Los Angeles Art Scene and the 1960s." The Hammer event served as an unofficial launch for Pacific Standard Time, a marathon initiative of art exhibitions, performances, lectures and screenings focused on L.A.'s emergence as a major art-production center in the years between 1945 and 1980.

Funded by the Getty Foundation, Pacific Standard Time will take place this fall and winter at 60 venues across Southern California, including the Getty, the Hammer and LACMA. 

In an interview before the talk at the Hammer's Billy Wilder Theater, Drohojowska-Philp said that when she began researching her book she hadn't planned for its publication to coincide with Pacific Standard Time. But her editor and publisher saw the mega-art-happening's potential and pushed for a summer release date.

"After I finished my book on Georgia O'Keeffe I was looking to do another book, and really the only book that came up for me was a book about L.A. and the '60s. And I did an interview with Walter Hopps, and the week after I interviewed him he passed away," Drohojowska-Philp said of the well-known art curator and co-founder of L.A.'s Ferus gallery. "And I thought, well, that's really a sign that we need to tell these stories before these incredible people [disappear]."

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The Claytons: SoCal's painting brothers

May 7, 2011 |  7:00 am

ClayRob and Christian Clayton enjoy a killer view of the San Gabriel Mountains from their La Crescenta studio, but the brothers rarely gaze into the distance for inspiration. The source material for their twitchy exercises in Social Surrealism lingers just outside the door of their Honolulu Avenue  storefront.

Christian remembers the impetus for one recent show: “This horrible motorcycle accident happened right out front. We ran out and saw the guy who got banged up. After the ambulance came and got him we came back in here we were both ‘Arrgghh, my God!’ and started talking about the idea of diagnosing our paintings from this sense of urgency, as if we were both EMTs.”

And by “diagnose,” Christian means one brother paints over, reworks, adds to or takes away from whatever the other one comes up with. The my-turn/your-turn methodology results in jittery, candy-colored dreamscapes peopled with anxious characters that have earned the brothers a growing corps of followers. Part of a Southern California cohort of artists who erode distinctions between fine art and populist graphics, the Claytons infuse impish surface charm with currents of dread, discontent and intimations of mortality. A sampling of their work will be on display at Pasadena Museum of California Art’s “Clayton Brothers: Inside Out” retrospective beginning May 15.

Dressed in near-identical newsboy caps, paint-splattered jeans and track shoes, their arms saturated with tattoos applied by musician-inker “Big Frank,” the brothers radiate a go-with-the-flow alertness that makes it easy to picture them 30 years ago, when, as teenagers on spring break from hometown Denver, they’d rent a cheap motel room in Santa Monica and soak up the city’s skateboard and punk rock scene.

For the Arts & Books profile, go here.

— Hugh Hart


Brothers Christian, left and Rob; Credit:Michael Robinson Chavez/LA Times

'Westways' cover art at the Pasadena Museum of California Art

December 18, 2010 |  3:00 pm

Sawka In 1926 Touring Topics (the predecessor to Westways), the magazine of the Automobile Club of Southern California, was changing directions. The editors shifted gears from a solely automobile-related publication, expanding their focus to regional culture and travel destinations. The guiding force behind this transition was editor Phil Townsend Hanna, who initiated the cover art program and showcased images from California artists to reflect the content and mission of the magazine.

More than 40 pieces from the Westways art collection are on display at the Pasadena Museum of California Art exhibition, "Scenic View Ahead: The Westways Cover Art Program, 1928-1981," through Feb. 21.

Hanna, a former editor at the Los Angeles Times, commissioned works from novice and established artists reflecting movements of the period. Beginning with the March 1928 issue, he presented 12 landscape scenes from plein-air artists, including Alson Clark, John Frost and Maynard Dixon. "Dixon was a famous and sought-after artist at the time," said Matthew W. Roth, co-curator and archivist for the auto club. "All 12 covers in 1930 were by him."

Hanna unwittingly became a patron of local artists. From March to December 1929, he hired female artists to paint the covers, including Henrietta Shore, Mary DeNeale Morgan and Donna Schuster.

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Art review: 'Millard Sheets: The Early Years (1926-1944)' at Pasadena Museum of California Art

March 16, 2010 | 11:44 am

Millard Sheets, Sunset Tenements, 1930, Watercolor on Paper, Stone Family Collection 
Anyone who has driven around Los Angeles in the last 50 years knows Millard Sheets' art, even if they don't know his name. For Home Savings of America, he designed the distinctive white marble branch banks and their artistic decorations, sometimes collaborating with others, beginning in 1952. (Later many of those buildings became branches of Washington Mutual and now Chase bank.) The stripped classicism of the architecture is enlivened by Sheets' specialty: stylized mosaic murals and wall reliefs.

The decor has a certain period charm, even if the already shaky conceit of a prosperous, postwar American equivalent of Renaissance era Medici bankers as art patrons has inescapably curdled in our era of too-big-to-fail banking scandals. But there was never any doubt that Sheets, who died in 1989, believed in the notion. He was by most accounts as conservative in his political outlook as he was in his art.

At the Pasadena Museum of California Art, a useful if rather uninspiring exhibition of 23 oil paintings and 60 watercolors looks at the roots of Sheets' undeniably prolific career. An artistic prodigy born on a Pomona farm in 1907,  he was institutionally well-connected. Sheets taught at Chouinard Art Institute, Scripps College and Claremont Graduate School; helped choose participants in the Public Works of Art Project that employed artists during the Great Depression; directed (for a couple decades) the annual art exhibition at the Los Angeles County Fair, and was an illustrator and artist-correspondent for the U.S. Air Force and Life magazine. He ran Otis Art Institute, now Otis College of Art and Design, where the library is named for him.

Sheets got around. And he started young.

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Monster Mash: It might be Shakespeare; Oz's next Dorothy; campaigning for Carol Channing

March 16, 2010 |  8:53 am

Andrew --Vote of confidence: Dismissed or disregarded for nearly three centuries, "Double Falsehood; or, the Distrest Lovers" is being published in the Arden Shakespeare series of scholarly editions, lending support to claims it is a lost original work by William Shakespeare. (Times of London)

--Over the rainbow: English musical-maker Andrew Lloyd Webber and Irish comedian Graham Norton will return to the BBC for another TV talent search, this time in pursuit of a young actress and dog to play Dorothy and Toto in a West End production of "The Wizard of Oz." (Daily Telegraph)

--Drumming up support: Lily Tomlin, Lucie Arnaz, Chita Rivera and Tommy Tune are among the stars trying to persuade the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to include wide-eyed, raspy-voiced actress Carol Channing in its list of recipients of the 2010 Kennedy Center Honors. (Playbill)

--Blood money: Just in time for the Ides of March, a rare gold coin that celebrates the assassination of Julius Caesar will go on display at the British Museum. (Guardian)

--Digital dilemma: To the chagrin of librarians and archivists, authors' computer manuscripts and other electronically-created materials are proving unexpectedly tricky to preserve. (New York Times)

--Chronicling history: Photographer Charles Moore, whose searing coverage of the civil rights movement for Life magazine helped change public opinion, has died at 79 in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. (Washington Post)

And in the L.A. Times: Art critic Christopher Knight reviews "Millard Sheets: The Early Years 1926-1944" at the Pasadena Museum of California Art; NEA chairman Rocco Landesman visits skid row; artist Ai Weiwei makes a rare U.S. appearance to talk about digital activism in China.

-- Karen Wada

Photo: Andrew Lloyd Webber will help lead a TV talent hunt looking for an actress to play Dorothy in a West End "Wizard of Oz." Credit: Sang Tan / Associated Press


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