Tag Archive: LACMA

LACMA Acquires Marclay & Ai Weiwei Works


Following a period of planning and fundraising, and largely due to the efforts of its Collectors Committee event, LACMA has acquired Christian Marclay’s 24-hour video “The Clock,” a series of spliced images mimicking an actual clock’s hand movement in real time. The museum is planning an inaugural West Coast screening at its Bing Theater in May.

Additionally,  the museum has procured a 2006 spherical sculpture (pictured) by Chinese artist/political activist Ai Weiwei–a particularly relevant piece given Ai’s current detainment by Chinese authorities. The sculpture, whose mortise-and-tenon construction harks to the use of a type of rosewood known as huanghuali in traditional Chinese woodworking, was purchased from New York’s Friedman Benda Gallery.

Find more at the LA Times.

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Shows: Cubes and Anarchy @ LACMA


Currently on display at LACMA, Cubes and Anarchy explores the work of American sculptor David Smith. Based on the artist’s personal concept of “basic geometric form,” the exhibition reveals how he employed abstract constructions to reconcile his self-proclaimed low status as a laborer with his identity as a modern artist.

Cubes and Anarchy features over 100 works, juxtaposing the largest grouping of Smith’s monumental Cubis and Zigs with his earlier works for a comprehensive collection of sculpture, drawings, paintings, and photographs.

For more information, visit LACMA.

David Smith: Cubes and Anarchy

5905 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036

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LACMA Looking to Buy Marclay’s “The Clock”


After a highly successful run at New York’s Paula Cooper Gallery, Christian Marclay’s “The Clock,” a 24-hour video that splices thousands of media clips to tell viewers the current time, has become a coveted potential acquisition for LACMA, among two other museums.

According to the Art Newspaper, LACMA director Michael Govan plans to project the video on the facade of one of LACMA’s buildings, serving as a sort of virtual clock tower. Expressing further commitment, the museum’s contemporary art department will present the work to donors this month in hopes of generating funds.

Govan stated, “Because it compiles a virtual history, though not chronologically, of film, it meets many criteria at once in terms of being a great artwork and a great artwork for LACMA.”

Find more at the LA Times.

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Ai Weiwei Installation to Tour U.S.


In a rare turn of events, a new installation by contested Chinese artist Ai Weiwei will tour the U.S. starting in May. While Weiwei seldom exhibits his work in the U.S., his “Circle of Animals/Zodiac Heads” will make its first appearance in May.

The installation, which consists of 12 800-pound mounted bronze animal heads of the Chinese zodiac, is based on the fountain clock at the Yuanming Yuan, an 18th-century royal retreat outside Beijing. Its first scheduled destination will be near New York’s Plaza Hotel in Central Park (May 2 to July 15), possibly followed by a stop at LACMA, Houston’s Hermann Park, the Warhol Museum & Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, and the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C. Additionally, Weiwei has created an identical installation to be presented at the Somerset House in London from May 12 to June 26.

Visit the LA Times for more.

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Bjarke Ingels Lecture @ LACMA (3.3)


As the LA Times recently noted, high-profile architects promise to be this week’s focal point in the Los Angeles art world. Among them is internationally renowned Bjarke Ingels, who will discuss his work at LACMA’s Bing Theater tomorrow night. Ingels, whose Denmark-based firm Bjarke Ingels Group was recently commissioned for a torqued, 600-unit residential complex in Manhattan, is famed for such projects as the Danish Pavilion at the 2010 World Expo and an innovative Waste-to-Energy Plant/ski slope in Copenhagen.

Visit LACMA for more.

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Shows: Vija Celmins: Television and Disaster @ LACMA (3.13)


The work of Vija Celmins, a Latvian-born painter of refined representational images, covers a broad spectrum of carefully portrayed developments. While she currently depicts gentle phenomena of nature, including night skies and spider webs, Celmins’s early work, the focus of LACMA’s sixteen-piece Television and Disaster, 1964-1966, revolved around the visuals of destruction, from war planes to smoking guns.

Unified by themes of patience and attention to detail, Celmins’s mid-sixties paintings exhibit equal parts pop artistry and Conceptualism. Her featured work examines the first televised war, revealing how such imagery can be manipulated with mediated representations.

For more, visit LACMA.

Vija Celmins: Television and Disaster, 1964-1966
Opening: Sunday, March 13
5905 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036

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LACMA Receives $500,000 for Watts Towers Conservation Project


LACMA, which seems to be holding a monopoly on current local art news, is continuing to pepper periodicals with stories of large-scale partnerships. Yesterday, the museum anounced that, after joining forces with the city of Los Angeles in efforts to conserve Simon Rodia’s folk-art masterpiece the Watts Towers,  it has received a $500,000, one-year grant from the James Irvine Foundation to execute the project.

The amount of the grant sounds especially striking when compared to the $150,000 budget originally planned by the city. The decision to partner with LACMA, whose history with the James Irvine Foundation established a more fertile ground for grand receipt, proved a solution to the city’s problem of low funds.

Portions of the grant money will be used for programming at the Watts Tower Arts Center and Charles Mingus Youth Arts Center, as well as tours and transportation to the Towers.

Find more at the LA Times.

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LACMA and Getty Acquire Mapplethorpe Art & Archive


This week, LACMA and the Getty Museum finalized a joint acquisition of over 2,000 photographs and prints by the late Robert Mapplethorpe, as well as archival materials.

The gift to the institutions, donated primarily by the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation, boasts one-of-a-kind signature silver gelatin prints, Polaroid studies, personal letters, and documentation of the 1990 Cincinnati-based obscenity trial that elevated Mapplethorpe’s status as a leading figure of artistic controversy. Pieces from the archive will be available at the Getty Research Institute, and these developments will likely foreshadow Mapplethorpe exhibitions at both museums.

Find more at the LA Times.

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Shows: Larry Fink, Hollywood 2000-2009 @ LACMA (2.13)

2006 Oscars

A photographer whose 40-year body of work centers on social events, Larry Fink has mastered the process of immortalizing the fleeting moment.

Fink’s work, which covers a wide span of socioeconomic identity, reached its most recognizable between 2000 and 2009, while he was under contract with Vanity Fair magazine to capture its annual Oscar night party. In Larry Fink, Hollywood 2000-2009, LACMA presents this photographic collection as a multi-faceted document of contemporary celebrity–and its inherent humanity.

Visit LACMA for more information.

Larry Fink, Hollywood 2000-2009
Opening Sunday, February 13
5905 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036

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LACMA Launches Free App


Following the precedent set by MoMA, LACMA has launched a new free mobile app, accessible through iTunes and eventually through Blackberry Torch and Android. The multimedia app will facilitate visit planning, providing information on exhibitions and installations, film screenings, concerts, tours, shops, restaurants, and other amenities.

Additional features include an interactive map of the museum’s campus, detailed schedule information, paperless ticketing, and image sharing via Facebook and Twitter. Current compatible devices include the iPhone and iPod Touch.

Visit “Mobile LACMA” for more information.


R.B. Kitaj’s Covers for a Small Library @ LACMA


Starting December 18, LACMA will open its Arts of the Americas building to artist and bibliophile R.B. Kitaj’s literary collection of photographic prints. The exhibition will revolve around the artist’s arguable magnum opus: a portfolio of 50 screenprints of select books entitled In Our Time: Covers for a Small Library After the Life for the Most Part.

Each of Kitaj’s prints depicts signs of wear and age, presenting worn bindings, torn book jackets, and stained pages. Displayed pages derive from a variety of genres and sources, ranging from Ezra Pound’s How to Read to the city of Burbank’s annual budget for 1968-69, evincing the scope of the artist’s fervent appreciation.

The portfolio will be displayed in its entirety, demonstrating a novel understanding of book as object and a comprehensive connection between literature and visual arts.

Find more at LACMA.

R.B. Kitaj’s Covers for a Small Library
5905 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036

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Continued LACMA Construction Postponed Due to Funds

Shortly after the October opening of the Resnick Pavilion, LACMA officials have stated that the museum’s three-step “Transformation” program of reconstruction has been put on hold until another $100 million can be added to the current donation total of $320 million.

A financial review issued last week by Moody’s Investors Service both explains and has prompted the building halt. Nearly two years ago, LACMA representatives stated that the next scheduled project (incorporating offices and more gallery space from LACMA West) had been delayed as an economic ramification, but no fundraising limit had been associated with the undertaking until last week.

The Moody’s review predicted financial turmoil for the museum, suggesting its rating may drop from “stable” to “negative” due to some of the fine print in complex bond transactions. To make its tax-free bonds more appealing to investors, LACMA purchased a guarantee called a letter of credit from a consortium of banks. The banks promised to pay off the bondholders should the museum default, and LACMA agreed to maintain a some financial liquidity to ensure that no default would occur. However, construction spending has eaten away at the museum’s liquid assets, and the bad economy has stalled the fundraising needed to replenish them.

LACMA is $130 million away from the campaign’s general goal and $63 million short of sustaining its bonds, which will impose an annual interest rate of over $10 million.

Read more at the LA Times.

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Shows: Blinky Palermo Retrospective @ LACMA


Blinky Palermo, a lauded figure in the European post-war abstract school, has never been widely recognized in the U.S. A new retrospective of the artist’s work currently on display at LACMA, however, aspires to change that.

Palermo’s most famed work in Europe includes minimal, monochromatic paintings and “fabric paintings,” or lengths of colored material stitched and stretched over a frame. Expanding upon these, Blinky Palermo: Retrospective 1964-1977, examines Palermo’s four principal groups of work after his graduation from Germany’s Dusseldorf Art Academy in 1964: the Objects, Cloth Pictures, documentation of in situ Wall Paintings and Drawings, and late Metal Pictures.

This is the first comprehensive retrospective of the German artist’s work in the U.S. Its run at LACMA marks the first location of its national tour.

Visit LACMA for more information.

Blinky Palermo: Retrospective 1964-1977
5905 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90036

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