Saturday, December 15, 2012

Dec 14, 2012: LA Art Day

Day 1: Los Angeles

Quotes of the day:
Tip the world over on its side and everything loose will land in Los Angeles.
Frank Lloyd Wright

From the South Bay to the Valley
From the West Side to the East Side
Everybody's very happy
'Cause the sun is shining all the time
Looks like another perfect day

I love L.A. (We love it)
-          Randy Newman

Weather:  Very clear, cool, light drizzle late in the day

Pics:   LA Louver gallery, sofa free, Canter’s, LACMA (including “the Rock”)

We’re in town for a few days, attending parental units, and E&J fly down to join us for a day of art. From the airport, we slide easily into Venice for a stop at LA Louver, featuring an artist that E&J own, Celaya. Big (BIG!) paintings, couple of bronzes, and one or two smaller works.

From there, we head towards LACMA (county art museum) for the Ken Price show (ceramicist who started out working with Voulkos and then went his own way with color and abstract(ed) pieces. However, it is getting near lunch time, and thus we end up eating great pastrami sandwiches, pickles, sodas, and sharing a giant cookie (see partial in one of the pics) at an LA institution, Canter’s. As THB sez: just standing inside the front door is enough, the smells are some of his childhood’s best memories. Lunch: E&J treated! Cookie and loaf of rye bread, $6.25.

There is a docent led tour at 2pm, so before that we take in a huge Walter De Maria piece, made up of individual concrete forms that laid end to end are 1K long and weigh a combined 1 ton, plus visit the Broad wing (a sliver of the Broads’ collection) where the main room contains huge photos of rocks with weight and size (see note below why this is show is up).

Ken Price work is almost entirely displayed in chronological order, from newest to oldest. Not sure why, Frank Gehry (close friend of Price, who died this year) did the arranging. Turns out that the most recent works, done after Price knew he was dying, are some of his best works: larger, less abstract, simpler coloring process. Sorry, they don’t let you take pictures. If you want to see way more than we did, check out this site:

After Price, outside the museum, is one of the more recent installations: Levitated Mass, by Michael Heizer. From the side, it looks like a fairly large rock resting in the middle of a brown gravel patch. When you get closer, you realize it is resting on top of a long “slot” where you can walk down and stand underneath the rock; very powerful!

A short tour of the tar pits (next door and surrounding the east side of LACMA), and then a drive south to the Blum & Poe Gallery, also showing large work, this time by a Japanese installation/sculpture artist, Kishio Suga (see link below to get a sense of the work). Since the four of us are planning a trip to Japan in Fall, 2013, we add this guy to our “maybe we’ll find him” list, which is starting to grow longer than time available.

Finally, it is getting dark, starting to rain, and time to head to LAX and a flight back to Oakland. Draft brewskies, apples and pears, cheese, a shared pizza, one glass of wine ($25 for one beer and wine!), and time to saunter slowly to the gate and an easy flight home.