Saturday, November 11, 2017

Refuse the Hour


Like being at an event where Duchamp changes art forever. And then the Dada movement was born (Refuse the Hour is very much a Dada piece)

Being at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965 when Bob went electric.

Sitting through an eternity of a 10th inning in game 7 when the Cubs held on to win the World Series for the first time in 108 years (okay, not quite like that).

Thanks to a THB follower, BN, we scarfed up tickets to today's matinee, one of only three local shows of Refuse the Hour. If you anywhere nearby (say within 1500 miles), this show is worth the effort. 

Coincidence of a name? the dancer Dada Masilo with William Kentridge

80 scintillating minutes of a performance designed by the artist William Kentridge. 

There are 10 performers, magical staging, the philosophy of time, a terrific Trimpin-like percussion instrument hanging from the stage rafters, exotic dancing and singing, bizarre instrumentation, and one hell of an amazing piece of performance art.

Friday, November 10, 2017

PST LA/LA: November 8 & 9, 2017

Hello all:
Yes sport fans, you can collect buttons at various LA/LA sites

Hipsters hanging out in LA

Hipsters resting up before chasing more art

THB and DB head to Los Angeles to take in two days of mostly Getty sponsored shows focused on the influence of Latin American artists in and around Southern California. 

Since there are approximately 70 sponsored shows and many other ancillary shows in galleries and museums, two days barely scratches the art itch. It is possible to cover the whole set of shows if you give yourself 6 or 7 days and range from San Diego to Santa Barbara. Wait, that's if the shows are open 24 hours 7 days a week and you drive mostly between the hours of 10pm and 5am. Otherwise, figure 10 full weekends.

The guest room, above the garage

Perfectly comfortable, complete with an assortment of snacks and toiletries
We stayed with FB and BB in Claremont, taking in shows nearby to Claremont on day one and then art in downtown LA on day two. BB took the lead and did an excellent job in making an itinerary and arrangements. 

Here is some of their art (the overlap in our collections is centered on FB and DB's jewelry!). 

Here goes the art chase, mostly pics:

By appointment only, in Pomona (not far from Claremont)

Millard Sheets: Judithe Hernandez

The lead curator, Thomas Canavan,   gives us an intro to the show and then turns us loose to wander around all by our lonesome

 Pics by Hernandez first: 

Hernandez started out working on murals

Hernandez in front of a mural (probably 1986)

Not as many THB pics of work by Valdez, we did not like her work near as much as Hernandez's

Next stop: Amoca in Pomona, for their PST LA/LA show and the other exhibit on display in which the director, Beth Gerstein asked artists (before the DJT/HRC election) to submit work related to democracy in action. Beth gave us an intro to the two shows and turned us loose. There might have been one other person in the museum during our stay. 

Kukuli is the PST LA/LA featured artist at AMOCA and her 15 pieces on display are terrific!

The pieces are "self-portraits" of the artist; she can't really look like this!

Most of the work is about the same size, maybe 15" x 15"...and the attributions don't really make much sense, intentionally

The second exhibit (We the People, Serving Notice) is also very strong, and a number of the artists are in THB and DB's collection:

Nancy Selvin


Patti Warashina

Cynthia Clementine

Clayton Bailey

Boris Bally 

Beth Lo

Courtney Morrison
Next up: the Ruth Chandler Williamson gallery on the Scripps College campus, and the gallery registrar, Kirk Delman, gives us an overview. FB and BB know Kirk well, and we've met him before on prior visits (including a few years ago to see the Williamson PST, Art in LA 1945 to 1980 show). 

Kirk in the ceramics "stacks" in the basement of a nearby building

The show features three Latina photographers, all very strong:

Constructed with "overlays" in glass floating above the photographs that make the work three dimensional

From the early 1900s Mexican revolution

Possibly taken right before these men faced a firing squad
A short drive back to the B's house, a brief rest-up, and THB and DB walk 10 minutes to the Turrell piece on the Pomona campus. While we've seen this piece at sunset before, it still lives up to our expectations of movie magic!

Back for a nice quiet dinner and reflections on the art we've seen today: all strong shows, well worth a detour for those of you considering PST LA/LA.

Day 2: Downtown LA

Rather than fight the traffic to and from downtown, we take the train into downtown. All goes well until we are with a few minutes of Union station and an Amtrak train is occupying our train's platform. A half hour later, we're uber'ing about 3 miles to our first destination of the day.

The train station is humming, tons of people exiting the various platforms at 10:35. 

Our first stop of the day: Bread Lounge!

FB and BB have carefully scouted out our locations today, how did they decide to take THB to a bakery? THB carted around a whole wheat seeded loaf all day, now safely back in E-ville.

Jerusalem style bagel: huge and soft!

Pistachio danish

Almond Danish
The rest of the day is walking between venues, first up is ICA LA

 Institute of Contemporary Art

Another great show, featuring outsider artist Martin Ramirez



Some recreational shopping in the ICA pop-up store, and a short walk to lunch (lunch? we just ate breakfast, followed by mid-morning snacks at the Bread Lounge). We're undaunted, it is time to eat again. Remember, we're walking around in LA...that's a heavy metaphysical load, dragging a car behind us. 

You can order off the menu; the four of us go for the upscale salad and main dish counter. 

A bargain: $48 for four with many nice selections and drinks (and that leftover Jerusalem bagel is put to good use)

A nice outdoor seating area (that's FB studying our table and deciding it is sturdy enough to hold four heavy heaping plates, or maybe she's just modeling that stylish bag from the ICA LA pop-up store)

A short stroll to one of the pioneering downtown galleries, Hauser & Wirth. The primary exhibits are not PST related, and real duds. 

Even so, since it has been 20 minutes since we finished lunch, it's time to share an ice cream (how heavy was that metaphysical car?)

Coffee with chocolate slugs and coated nuts

There is a contingent of artists of  Japanese descent in Latin America and  some of their work is featured. Not as strong as we have seen elsewhere, still powerful in the context presented.

The Japanese museum does not feature Japanese toilets!

Right next door to the Japanese American National Museum is one of the MOCA sites around downtown

There was some confusion about the exhibit by an Argentinian artist, Adrian Villar Rojas. It is not part of PST, though PST is on at some of the other MOCA sites. That's not easy to tell when visiting the MOCA or PST LA/LA fact, they directly state this exhibit is part of PST.  

As best THB can tell, in the future large human beef will be featured at butcher shops near you. A large, gloomy/dim exhibition. 

Shots from around town:

A fountain in public space with art by Tom Otterness. FB worked really hard with the powers that be to get this installation to come to life ... it works great in the space (e.g., kids stand and play in the water)

"Matriculated Nature"

Another public art installation worked on by FB; tiles inlaid at a bus stop