Wednesday, May 31, 2017
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
California’s wet, wet winter and a super bloom spring has inspired a much brighter palette. Even the paper I put down to protect my studio table was looking good. After cutting it up and collaging the scraps, this colorful collage is the result.
Prints, phone covers and other accessories are available with this image from Society 6, and today everything is 20% with free worldwide shipping.
This weekend’s museum visit was out to the Legion of Honor. We were there as the doors opened with timed tickets to catch the last weekend of Monet: The Early Years. Greeted by a mob of people — we immediately bypassed the first room where everyone were plugged into their audio tours and were able to enjoy the show. Knowing Monet’s work, it was fascinating to see how he got there. Many of his early works had these clear pockets of impressionism within the paintings – particularly the harbor scenes. As my friend commented, for Monet, water was the gateway drug. I tend to avoid these hyped-up crowded shows, but I was glad we persevered – this was one the best curated, big shows at the Legion in long time.
Then it was time to take in the Urs Fischer installations. It is a challenge to drop contemporary works of art into traditional galleries filled with older European art. That the content and style of the Fischer’s works are often disturbing and challenging in themselves, adds another layer of complexity for curators. In some cases, Fischer’s pieces work well as temporary installations. They are well placed and make visitors take in the museum’s galleries in a new way. The reactions of the public (or lack there of) enhance the exhibit. I took some snapshots of some of the more successfully installed pieces. Unfortunately, the installation, in its entirety gives the impression that everything sticking around Fischer’s studio was shipped out to California with the instructions to find a place for it. And with many of the pieces, the reaction could be, “What is that doing here?” The show will be there until July 2. It is always a pleasure to visit the Legion, but prepare yourself to be delighted and at times perplexed by Fischer’s installation.
Monday, May 22, 2017
Playa Los Muertos, 12”x9”, acrylic on paper
Back home in cool, foggy San Francisco — I am starting to experiment with a more tropical palette after an inspiring little trip down to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. More to come….
Saturday, May 13, 2017
However you add up the numbers, the Los Angeles metropolitan area has somewhere around 18 million people. And when a city has that many diverse people, many from all over the world, it is hard to be bored. There is no shortage of interesting things and urban exploration opportunities in L.A. — even if some freeway time is involved. I find that I-hate-L.A. San Francisco provincialism so tiresome.
Today’s L.A. adventure included Glendale and Pasadena, a mission I had never visited, a delightful little Polish restaurant and a trip to a delicious Armenian bakery for dessert. But the main goal of the day was a return to a favorite museum – the Pasadena Museum of California Art.
I’ve seen a number Gustave Baumann prints on trips to New Mexico but this was my first opportunity to see his lesser-known California work. I’ll spare you my poor snapshots when you can review the exhibit brochure here. It was a nice surprise seeing a view of my own neighborhood in San Francisco circa 1930. The show also includes some of his wood blocks and press (see above).
The Baumann show is one of the three exhibits at the museum right now that includes Joseph Kleitsch’s paintings and Interstitial, a multi-artist installation of sculpture including my personal favorite, Joel Otterson’s American Portable Pottery Museum (shown above).
All three show are up until August and worth a visit for your upcoming L.A. trips.
Friday, May 12, 2017
I always like discovering a “new” museum when I head to Southern California and also appreciate my NARM privileges. Today was my first visit to the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach. The Nickolas Muray photos of Frida Kahlo are stunning. It is a small how, but that alone was worth a visit to the museum. Before today, Frank Romero’s art was something I only really knew from books and online. It was great to see a large-scale retrospective of his diverse body of work. Check out the links for both shows.
There are plenty of big name museums in the Los Angeles area, but it is always worth exploring some the smaller ones as well, today’s trip to Long Beach was a good example.