Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Day 5: JOB's Den of Lebruns

A series of prints and a drawing by Rico Lebrun of LA Raw fame, proudly displayed on JOB's (THB's mom, complete with her own nickname!) wall, along with a re-posting of the mural by Rico on the Pomona campus (too big to fit on mom's wall)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Day 4: Pasadena to the next block from Mom to Santa Monica and Venice

Day 4: Pasadena to the next block from Mom to Santa Monica and Venice

Advertising is the greatest art form of the 20th century. Marshall McLuhan

Pics: Two by David Regan, two by Akio Takimori, David Reekie, Hank Adams, early Voulkos, early Kienholz, front and back of another Santa Monica utility box, art-loving dog, the bus

Fitness center and cereal and berries for THB, yogurt parfait for DB, double lattes for both, and the check comes to more than our allotted $42. $5 added to included total.

We are driving today because we need our car when we get back to the west side, and thus are 20 minutes in front of the bus (see pic) for our first stop at a collector’s condo, which just happens to be a few blocks from THB’s mom and in the same building where THB’s uncle used to live. In fact, the collector knew THB’s uncle! The collection is massive, jammed into a relatively small space, and is made up of works on paper, photography, glass, ceramics, and a huge selection of unique walking canes (and several other collections THB can’t remember). It includes artists in our own collection (eg, Reekie, Adams, Takimori - see pics - and Rosdol) and artists that we have done studio visits with on past trips (David Regan, in Missuola, and no surprise here since Frank Lloyd, of Frank Lloyd gallery, represents David and has arranged this visit; see pics). There is also a curator for the works on paper, and he takes half the group at a time into the bedrooms and bathrooms to itemize what we are seeing. Overall: very impressive, and the collector very gracious!

From there we travel via car to Frank’s gallery in Santa Monica, which is participating in PST and has works owned (and in some cases made) by Peter Voulkos (e.g., another Kienholz!) for sale. This also allows us to wander among the many other galleries in Bergamot Station, some of which are showing artists and work related to PST. Lunch is at the Bergamot CafĂ©: sandwiches (excellent), make it yourself Arnold Palmers, and dessert, included.

After lunch is a curator-led tour of an exhibit of Beatrice Wood’s ceramics and art work. Beatrice lived to 105, spanning the 20th century. She knew the surrealists (mostly through Duchamp) and then settled in Ojai and started to make a living at age 40 with her uniquely glazed pieces.

From Santa Monica, the group meanders slowly to our last destination: Larry Bell’s studio in Venice. We leave a bit after 2 pm, traveling a distance of less than 5 miles. It is a warm, clear Saturday and just about anyone with a car in greater Los Angeles has decided that going to the beach is a terrific idea. THB does some minimal things to make sure we get to this last stop on the tour: U-turns, going down one-way streets the wrong way, circling for hours looking for a parking spot within a mile of the studio, stuff like that. All for art! Let’s see: THB has done a rough calculation, and we traveled around 7 miles per hour.

Larry (also represented by Frank Lloyd) is also participating in PST as he has been part of the LA art scene since the 70s. The good news for him: this is the only studio visit and several in the group buy small work (it would have been great news for Larry if they bought the big work since those go for $60-75,000; Larry wasn’t quite that fortunate). Note: this is where we find a dog has joined our group (see pic).

The bus heads to the airport, THB and DB head out to meet-up with DB’s dad and Miriam, the day continues to warm up (in the 70s after 7pm) and tomorrow we breakfast with Mom and then head back for a retirement party in the city.

Next up: art trips to Seattle in March and NY in April

Friday, January 27, 2012

Day 2 and 3: Claremont and Pasadena

Day 2: Claremont and Pasadena

Pics: Fitness center and non-defunct elliptical, Duchamp repeated, lots of Voulkos, including the worst piece he ever made, a great Bennett Bean piece at AMOCA, our group practicing standing on one leg, Orozco and Lebrun murals, DB demo’ing how to sit in a Maloof chair, THB’s fave piece from the Norton Simon,

By now, you’ve figured out that THB got help solving the internet connection problem: Late last night, THB takes the HP Mini to the front desk where they diagnose the problem: IE works for connecting, Firefox does not work for connecting. Ah, it is a Microsoft world out there.

Fitness center and breakfast (huevos rancheros for THB, oatmeal and double latte for DB, included. First stop: American Museum of Ceramic Art IAMOCA, see pic). DB and THB were here a few years ago with S&M, it has moved since then into much larger and nicer quarters, including a huge (HUGE!) mural by Millard Sheets running the length of the main gallery. Millard was big in these parts during the 30s, 40s, and 50s, and many of the artists highlighted in PST got their start from his encouragement from his base at Scripps and other art schools, his running the art side of the LA County Fair (a big deal), and his stature as an artist.

While the work on display is not exactly scintillating, it is an extensive overview of the early work of important artists. From AMOCA we head to Claremont and Scripps College for a curator-led tour of a show highlighting early work by Voulkos, Mason and Price. Not a lot of work, most of it exceptional (see pics of mostly work by Voulkos, including one awful early piece Peter might wish had never been found).

Lunch at Walters, THB and DB share fish tacos and a Mediterranean salad and THB gets the chocolate chip cookie for dessert, included. From lunch we continue on to Pomona College and a tour of of their current PST exhibit (they are going to have three separate shows, each covering just a few years), a review of work from the early 70s and the influence of Hair, hippies, and happenings are all over the walls. A strong show, and a bunch of artists THB was not familiar with.

We then tour campus to see two huge murals, one by the now-everywhere Rico Lebrun (see pic) and the other by Orozco (see pic); there’s a cute back story to Orozco, it’s in the dining hall and at one point both the men and women objected).

We dawdle until around 5 and then hang out for over an hour at the Turrell (see prior posting for pics); we are starting to build up such a collection of Turrell viewings that THB is going to have to put together lists similar to those for the national parks and baseball parks. Several other people wander over during the showing, looks like some of them might come often (one brought a towel to support her back on the stone benches…truly a veteran).

We dine at Maison Akira in downtown Pasadena: French miatress d and Japanese chef. Food is pretty good though THB orders chicken in a wine sauce so he can’t really pick up that Japanese fusion thing. DB has salad (definitely Japaness-influence) and tuna tartare with sashimi, one glass of wine, approximately $45/person (there were three others with us).

Day 3: Pasadena

Pics: see above

Fitness center and shredded wheat with berries for THB and yogurt parfait and latte for DB, included (note: we are given coupons for breakfast, a value of $21, and this allows us to order just about anything on the menu…today, the Langham definitely makes money as they get reimbursed for $26 to cover food, tax, and tip no matter what we have for breakfast).

Our first tour of the day is at the Huntington Library, and the curator leads us through a show of Sam Maloof furniture (note: here’s how connected Millard Sheets was: he and his wife look like the guests of honor at Sam’s wedding, if there can be such a thing). The show is extremely well displayed: they have set up little household tableaus with Sam’s furniture and art and craft from the period on the furniture and walls.

Hal, the curator, has arranged for us to have lunch at The Athenaeum, where he is a member. It’s huge, and easily swallows up our group. It is so big, they don’t mind if we order off the menu. THB has a Vietnamese pork and chicken sandwich (Banh Mi) and DB goes slightly more traditional with a cheese sandwich and tomato soup (both excellent, and DB’s soup is definitely not the canned Campbell’s of our youth). Included

Off to the Norton Simon, formerly the Pasadena Art Museum (we seem to be collecting former sites of this museum as well); this time a paid docent led tour of the lithography exhibit. In this case, the connection to PST is through the legion of printers trained by the Tamarind Lithography Workshop so many well-known international artists are represented. Included is a work by Keinholz that is in part a print of the Five Card Stud. There were five made, and it turns out the Oakland Museum owns one as well.

Next up: a visit to a private collection where the couple has amassed several collections that will/have ended up at the Huntington Library. What they have in the house is an interesting mix of a few very high quality pieces (Kaneko, Woodman, Akimori), Native American pottery, Thiebaud lithos, large ceramic work by a relative, British woodcuts, a Maloof rocker. Not too many of anything, all displayed well, and no real clutter.

Closing dinner at the Langham: THB has a bad steak, poor salad and semi-decent dessert, DB has gnudi, decent salad (though it is the same as THB had, views differed on quality), and a semi-decent dessert (in this case the views aren’t different: DB doesn’t know, THB had half of each dessert). Included

Day 2: James Turrell installation in Pomona

Day 2: James Turrell installation in Pomona

Sunset at a Turrell "open" pavilion on the Pomona campus. Turrell is a graduate of the school, this piece was installed in 2007 (installation started in 2005). THB and DB have hit a number of his pieces, they are all different, all mesmerizing.

Pics in chron order, from before sunset until after. Note some of the pics are blurry, THB cannot find a camera that totally eliminates essential tremors tremoring!

Note: the ones that look all dark have a faint hint of the sky through the skyscape