Looking at Los Angeles

Porkchop, a DPW crew member, pounds a T-Stake into the desert floor, helping to build the fence that surrounds perimeter of Burning Man's temporary metropolis, Black Rock City. Courtesy John Curley.

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles | Working for The Man: Building Burning Man’s Infrastructure

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles | Working for The Man: Building Burning Man’s Infrastructure

  When I first found out about the Black Rock City Department of Public Works, it was like finding out that Santa Claus did not exist. I was disappointed, and …

Ed Ruscha, "Standard Station, Amarillo, Texas," 1963, Oil on canvas. © Ed Ruscha

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles | Boosterism

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles | Boosterism

  Dave Hickey has called us out. “It’s corny,” the critic told the New York Times, referring to Pacific Standard Time, L.A.’s current, Getty-funded initiative to canonize L.A.’s post-war art …

Big Haul: Janne Larsen's installation at Hi-Lite, 2011. Courtesy Carol Cheh.

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles | The Language of Materials: Janne Larsen and Sibyl Wickersheimer’s “Big Haul”

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles | The Language of Materials: Janne Larsen and Sibyl Wickersheimer’s “Big Haul”

  Editor’s Note: This week, Los Angeles-based writer Carol Cheh fills in for Lily Simonson, who is travelling. Cheh is a writer and curator based in Los Angeles. She is …

Kienholz and his team installing Five Car Stud in the parking lot of Gemini G.E.L. in Los Angeles © Kienholz, photographs by John Romeyn, Bob Bucknam, Malcolm Lublinder, and Adam Avila, 1971

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles | Five Car Stud

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles | Five Car Stud

  “All the ghosts are assembling for the party.” That’s what Claire Danes says in the movie The Hours, when her mother, played by Meryl Streep, throws a dinner that …

Installation view, Rethink/LA, opening reception, Architecture + Design Museum Los Angeles, 2011.  Courtesy Wild Don Lewis.

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles | “Rethink/LA” Exhibition Envisions Future Transformation

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles | “Rethink/LA” Exhibition Envisions Future Transformation

  Los Angeles has a reputation for not only its excess, sprawl, and exploding population, but also for its unruly, anarchic and highly changeable landscape.  Rethink/LA: Perspectives on a Future …

L: Carl Andre, "Eighth Reversed Steel Corner," 1978, 36 parts, steel; Photo: Krzysztof Zieliński / European Art Projects. R: Lynda Benglis, For Carl Andre, 1970, pigmented polyurethane foam

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles | Lynda Benglis, The Anti-Kitchen Artist

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles | Lynda Benglis, The Anti-Kitchen Artist

Once, when artists Liam Gillick and Sarah Morris had legendary minimalist Carl Andre over for dinner, Andre drank a bit much and let his tongue loose. To Morris, he said, …

Chain Letter, Shoshana Wayne Gallery, July 2011, Installation view.  Courtesy Shoshana Wayne Gallery.

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles | Curators Gone Viral: “Chain Letter” at Shoshana Wayne

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles | Curators Gone Viral: “Chain Letter” at Shoshana Wayne

Did you receive any unusual email forwards this month?  Unrelated to funny cats?  Initially sent out by Christian Cummings and Doug Harvey, a chain letter has been circulating among artists …

The proposed "South California." Via SFist

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles | Since When Is Red a Conservative Color?

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles | Since When Is Red a Conservative Color?

At a meeting on Tuesday, July 12, officials in California’s Riverside County decided seceding from the rest of the state might not be such a good idea after all. The …

Lisa Adams, Stump Without a Pot, Unfinished Painting, 2011 Oil on panel 30" x 36"

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles | Revealing “Unfinished Paintings”

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles | Revealing “Unfinished Paintings”

The nature of painting – its objecthood, its permanence — demands a level of resolution and wholeness to which other more ephemeral art practices need not always answer.  Hence the …

Barbara Kruger, The Globe Shrinks, 2010, video installation. Installation Photo: Joshua White/JWPictures.com, Courtesy L&M Gallery.

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles | Barbara Kruger, Shafted and Shining

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles | Barbara Kruger, Shafted and Shining

In 2008, when Eli Broad opened his big, brazen inaugural BCAM show on the Los Angeles County Museum’s Campus, Barbara Kruger (Season 1) was shafted, stuck accenting an elevator while …

Nicole Eisenman, "Guy Artist," 2011.  Oil and collage on canvas, 76x60 inches.  Image courtesy Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects.

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles | Nicole Eisenman and Wynne Greenwood

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles | Nicole Eisenman and Wynne Greenwood

Digging through Nicole Eisenman’s current show at Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, one begins to understand why it’s so perfect that the artist presents us with 77 different titles for …

Teresa Margolles, Untitled (2010), October 28, 2010 - August 2011, Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles: Islands on Land

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles: Islands on Land

Late last night, a friend and I decided to find a restaurant we’d seen once, over a year ago, when walking through Virgil Village to Silver Lake. We remembered the …

2010, set for performance, courtesy of the artist. Photo by Brian Forrest.  Courtesy MOCA.

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles | Flat Affect

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles | Flat Affect

As I was walking through William Leavitt: Theater Objects, the LA-based artist’s first museum retrospective, a MOCA security guard stopped me. “Are you a writer?” It took me a moment …

Reyner Banham, the Silurian Lake south of Death Valley in San Bernardino County, California. Photo: Tim Street-Porter. Via archpaper.com.

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles | Architects on Bicycles

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles | Architects on Bicycles

Reyner Banham, the British architectural historian whose blatant enthusiasm for Los Angeles nearly got him blacklisted in an era in which the cultured loved to hate this city, revered crisps, …

Vija Celmins, "Time Magazine Cover," 1965, Oil on canvas, 22x16 in., Private Collection c/o Ms. Laura Bechter, Image Courtesy LACMA.

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles | Vija Celmins’s Visions of Violence

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles | Vija Celmins’s Visions of Violence

Last Saturday, March 19—the day that the US began air strikes in Libya—I passed an anti-war demonstration while driving to LACMA to see Vija Celmins: Television and Disaster, 1964-1966. It …

William E. Jones, "Killed," 2010, video still.

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles: Killed Posterity

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles: Killed Posterity

Roy Stryker, the man who ran the Historical Section of the Farm Security Administration (FSA) and sent some of the best-known 20th century photographers out on their first assignments, “didn’t …

Jorge Macchi Vanishing Point 2005Acrylic paint on paper. Variable dimensions. Collection of Michael Krichman and Carmen Cuenca, San Diego.  Via hammer.ucla.edu

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles | Ephemerality and Eternity in “All of this and nothing”

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles | Ephemerality and Eternity in “All of this and nothing”

“It’s really about the magical and the mysterious in the everyday,” says Hammer senior curator Anne Ellegood, in the online video introducing the museum’s newest exhibition, All of this and nothing.  …

Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe. Courtesy Patti Smith Archive.

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles: Owning Robert Mapplethorpe

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles: Owning Robert Mapplethorpe

  “I don’t know why my pictures come out looking so good,” photographer Robert Mapplethorpe once told his brother. “I just don’t get it.” He had that innate knack for …

Agitprop The Third Party, 2010 Mobile interview cart: plywood, fabric, foam, amplifier, microphones, and hardware 72 x 30 x 42 in. Installation at Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, CA Photograph courtesy of Colin Young-Wolff

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles | The California Biennial: Collectives, Conversations, and Collaborations

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles | The California Biennial: Collectives, Conversations, and Collaborations

I first experienced the California Biennial in 2008 as a participant in Mary Kelly’s Flashing Nipple Happening.   Kelly had recruited around five dozen young women to gear-up in black …

Eli Broad at the unveiling of the Broad Art Foundation contemporary art museum designs in Los Angeles on Thursday. Photo: Jae C. Hong.

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles: Big, Broad Bunker Hill

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles: Big, Broad Bunker Hill

Eli Broad, Los Angeles’s most aggressive philanthropist, nearly always wears solid, primary colored ties. Last Thursday, he wore a red one to unveil the plan for his new museum on …

Tony Bennett, whose nom de paintbrush is Anthony Benedetto, has painted throughout his life.  Courtesy benedettoarts.com

Looking at Los Angeles

(Looking at Los Angeles) Top 10 of 2010: Entertainers Who Moonlight as Artists

Looking at Los Angeles

(Looking at Los Angeles) Top 10 of 2010: Entertainers Who Moonlight as Artists

Since last year’s Top 10 list was posted, we have seen the passing of two individuals who have greatly impacted both the art world as well and entertainment world.  Dennis Hopper …

Itlian President Giorgia Napolitano at Milan's La Scala Opera House on December 7, 2010.

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles: Senators with No Talent

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles: Senators with No Talent

I woke up Wednesday morning to news of fracas at the opera. The La Scala opera house in Milan had just hosted its annual gala, the sort of event heads …

M.A. Peers, Valentina. 1996 Oil on found sofa upholstery fabric (vinyl), foam stuffing 123 x 74 inches. Image via Rosamund Felsen Gallery.

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles: Whippet Good! M.A. Peers at the Pomona College Museum of Art

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles: Whippet Good! M.A. Peers at the Pomona College Museum of Art

During last week’s panel discussion in conjunction with M.A. Peers‘s exhibition at the Pomona College Museum of Art, Peers recalled a pivotal moment during her graduate studies.  Painter Linda Day told her …

Mary_Cassatt

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles: Seen and Felt

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles: Seen and Felt

When I first encountered the warm voluptuousness of Mary Cassatt’s paintings, it annoyed me. Then I realized the artist had never married, living much of her life frequenting Paris salons, …

Cal Poly Pomona students and staff march to the CLA building as they respond in an uproar to last weeks recommendations to cut the fine arts program at the school May 4, 2010. Image Via The Inland Valley Daily Bulletin.

Looking at Los Angeles

Students, Faculty, and Community Members Fight for Fine Art as University Administrators Question its Value

Looking at Los Angeles

Students, Faculty, and Community Members Fight for Fine Art as University Administrators Question its Value

00

Liza Minnelli in "Liza with a 'Z'", 1972.

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles: Fixed Up

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles: Fixed Up

A hair was stuck in the main camera when Liza Minnelli first filmed Liza with a “Z” (1972), a supposedly live special for NBC. Minnelli and crew refilmed, using paid …

Monica Majoli. Hanging Rubberman #1, 2006. Watercolor and gouache on paper. 123 x 51 in. Photo: Brian Forrest. Image via hammer.ucla.edu

Looking at Los Angeles

Dark Undercurrents in the Hammer Contemporary Collection

Looking at Los Angeles

Dark Undercurrents in the Hammer Contemporary Collection

Last week, Art21 treated Angelenos to the very first preview screening of William Kentridge: Anything is Possible at the Hammer Museum‘s Billy Wilder Theater.  As Art21’s executive director Susan Sollins …

Emilie Halpern, "Midnight Sun,"   Installation view  LA>

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles: Summer Love

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles: Summer Love

Last weekend, I stopped at a red light and rolled forward into the intersection to turn right. I didn’t see the pedestrian who was about to cross, and came frighteningly …

Furries reclining in Marnie Weber's "Furry Womb" at "A Night of Growth and Discovery." Image via For Your Art.

Looking at Los Angeles

Burn, Baby, Burn: Furries Join Baby Ikki on a Voyage of Growth and Discovery

Looking at Los Angeles

Burn, Baby, Burn: Furries Join Baby Ikki on a Voyage of Growth and Discovery

Last month, I opened my email to find a “Call For Furrie Interns.” The call came from LA artist Marnie Weber and was forwarded to me by a mutual friend …

Stephen Shore, Andy Warhol with Kip Stagg, Beauty # 1. 1965-1967.

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles: Summer Social

Looking at Los Angeles

Looking at Los Angeles: Summer Social

Kip[p] Stagg, nineteen years old and a Columbia undergraduate, was walking in New York one night in 1965 when he heard a man’s voice shouting names at him from somewhere …

John Baldessari, 'The backs of all the trucks passed while driving from Los Angeles to Santa Barbara...', photography, 1963. Courtesy a-n.

Looking at Los Angeles

Baldessari 2.0: Jumping the Lobster

Looking at Los Angeles

Baldessari 2.0: Jumping the Lobster

Upon entering Pure Beauty at LACMA, I overheard a fellow museum-goer tell his companion, “That’s cool — it looks like a lot of my iPhone pictures.”  The viewer was responding …

demariathree450

Flash Points

Looking at Los Angeles

One Day Only De Maria

Flash Points

Looking at Los Angeles

One Day Only De Maria

In 1969, when Lee Lozano began her Dialogue Piece, a project for which she simply invited artists and others to talk with her, she called Walter De Maria twice, once …

Tim Hawkinson Apples and Bananas, 2010 Apple cores, banana peels, grape skin, twist ties, bread tabs, orange peel and bronze 9 1/2 x 4 x 3 1/2 inches. Courtesy Blum & Poe.

Looking at Los Angeles

Bikes, Bodies, and Blastulas: Tim Hawkinson Talks About His New Work

Looking at Los Angeles

Bikes, Bodies, and Blastulas: Tim Hawkinson Talks About His New Work

From intimate sculptures to mammoth collages, Tim Hawkinson (Season 2) gracefully creates tension between the playful and the profound.  His current exhibition at Blum & Poe continues longstanding threads while …

Kathryn Andrews, "Gaylen Gerber," 2010. Installation view. Courtesy Thomas Solomon Gallery.

Looking at Los Angeles

Support Group

Looking at Los Angeles

Support Group

If you type the phrase “I need support” into Google, the first hit is a letter addressed to “Dear Sugar.” Sugar is the advice columnist for the Pop Sugar spin-off …

childrencover_1_large

Looking at Los Angeles

Breaking the Rules: MOCA Reaches Out to a Younger Audience

Looking at Los Angeles

Breaking the Rules: MOCA Reaches Out to a Younger Audience

Last month, MOCA published a new book dedicated to engaging children with its permanent collection.  Aimed at children age 8-12, Breaking the Rules: What is Contemporary Art? exploring works by …

Liz Larner, 2010. Courtesy Regen Projects.

Looking at Los Angeles

Wholeheartedly Real

Looking at Los Angeles

Wholeheartedly Real

Judith Butler, the always agile theorist responsible for Gender Trouble, often says diplomatically dense things like, “a lesbian is what I have been being since college.” She would not say, …