LACMA - Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Venue  |  Exhibitions  |  Reviews

In Long-Awaited Museum Survey, Toba Khedoori Drafts Exquisite Solitude

by Emily Nimptsch
It is odd to think that minimalist Toba Khedoori’s solo exhibition, currently on display at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, is her first major museum presentation in her adopted hometown of Los Angeles, considering that she has been a staple and original voice in the city’s art scene since the early 1990s. This long overdue survey, featuring work spanning 25 years, beautifully highlights Khedoori’s career and intricate draftsmanship. It also delves into a significant theme in her work:... [more]
Posted by Emily Nimptsch on 9/29/16

The Sensual Writ with Blood: Catherine Opie’s O Series Exposes Intimacy in S&M Photography

by Sola Agustsson
For the first time in Los Angeles, the entirety of Catherine Opie’s black-and-white photogravures from her series is on display at the Hammer Building at LACMA. In conversation with two other shows Opie currently has up in Los Angeles—700 Nimes Road at MOCA and Portraits, also at LACMA—as well as with Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Medium, on view now at LACMA, the seven images are contextualized in a larger photography moment. Opie’s work has long mediated the contradictions between... [more]
Posted by Sola Agustsson on 3/15/16

Our Man in Berlin

by Christina Catherine Martinez
In a Marsden Hartley painting beats the dark heart of the twentieth century. The thin slice of globe-trotting work from 1913-1915 presaged some of the most ecstatic and iconic tropes to come. In a Marsden Hartley painting is the synthetic seed of Pollock’s urgency and John’s cool, detached symbology. Both men seemed to filch from Hartley’s rainbow palette, alternately whipped into creamy pastels or shot through with matte, inky blacks. The brief period straddling the outbreak of World War I... [more]
Posted by Christina Catherine Martinez on 8/30/14

A Hard Edge Barely Contains Them

by Ed Schad
It may be hard to find, but Dave Hickey did a little catalogue for Karl Benjamin in 2007 (published by Louis Stern Gallery) that contained a sort of palate cleansing line that bears repeating. Actually it bears writing out in pen or maybe even reserving a little space on your pegboard: “One need only consider Abstract Expressionism, for just a moment, as just another style to see with a great deal of clarity that, in the Post World War II period, geometric abstraction, or op art, or hard... [more]
Posted by Ed Schad on 1/25/14


by Andrew Berardini
I've always wanted to make a light that looks like the light you see in your dream. —James Turrell, excerpted from James Turrell: A Retrospective   Art is always stumbling into someone else's dream. At LACMA, be warned of lines and guards; turns out someone else's dream forces you to book a place months in advance, pay $45, sign a waiver to lab-coated girls in exchange for ten or so minutes with flickering lights. Just one of a dozen logistical hiccups. The precision of other... [more]
Posted by Andrew Berardini on 6/4/13

Caravaggio's John the Baptist in the Wilderness, c. 1604

by Andrew Berardini
I almost want to fuck him. Is this John the Baptist? The big JC's notable cousin, claimed second-coming of Elijah and pre-ambler to the messiah, the fiery Jewish prophet, whose head a mere few paintings away gets plattered for the sexy, slithery, fourteen-year-old sexpot Salome? This pale northern European beauty never burned in a Judean summer or strained too strenuously under an imperial Roman yoke; this John, who in the gospel is in the deserts till the moment he manifests to Israel, seems... [more]
Posted by Andrew Berardini on 11/28/12

What's On Now: Stanley Kubrick

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (The Academy) are pleased to co-present the first U.S. retrospective of filmmaker Stanley Kubrickdeveloped in collaboration with the Kubrick Estate and the Deutsches Filmmuseum, Frankfurt, on view till 30 June 2013. The exhibition provides access to the director’s extraordinary vision and working methods while illuminating the network of influences and conditions that came together to make his films... [more]
Posted by Abhilasha Singh on 11/15/12

Muse in the Mirror

by Kate Wolf
A painter, draftsman, sculptor, and later, a writer of fiction and poetry. The accomplished Dorothea Tanning, before her death at the age of 101 last Tuesday, saw the success of the suffragists, the emergence of the avant-garde, the fall-out of two world wars, the civil rights movement and just perhaps, the slow transformation in the world at large of her obligatory title as a “woman artist”—a moniker she reportedly detested—to simply, “artist.” Currently at LACMA, the exhibition... [more]
Posted by Kate Wolf on 2/7/12

Space Age Trigger

by Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer
Some of us (all of us) in Los Angeles who take deep, sometimes guilty, pleasure in the domestic sphere of the material world, have looked forward to LACMA’s main Pacific Standard Time exhibition with real excitement. In a way, and for whatever reasons still not entirely clear to me, my anticipation was vaguely more urgent (i.e. rooted in desire, internal) than usual, while also being less externally contrived, less informed by my own professional considerations and duties. It is strange how... [more]
Posted by Sarah Lehrer-Graiwer on 11/2/11

Why I’m Not Going to See Five Car Stud at LACMA

by Ed Schad
I’d just finished my freshman year of college in Texas when I heard about the brutal murder of James Byrd, Jr. in Jasper, Texas. Mr. Byrd was dragged by his ankles behind a pickup truck for almost three miles. What was left of his body was dumped in front of an African-American cemetery. I tear up remembering the event and the details of the murder even now. The legislation which arose from the crime, the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, was signed by President... [more]
Posted by Ed Schad on 10/10/11

Packing My Library

by Andrew Berardini
I’m packing my library to move. Yes, I am. I get to handle each of the thousands of books I own, the dust coating my hands, the acrid smell of bookstores and thriftstores and basements and the bright scents of fresh ink and the perfumes of the people who have owned them before me caught in between the yellowing pages, called “sunning” in the trade. Some I’ll turn over in my hands over and over like a gemstone plucked from the morain, some I’ll grab by the stackful and unceremoniously shove... [more]
Posted by Andrew Berardini on 5/24/11

Deceiving the Eye: Kaz Oshriro and Steve Wolfe Part 2

by Ed Schad
        Steve Wolfe focuses on books, and his aims might be considered more personal than philosophical. His 2-D drawings and sculptures feature the cheap, well handled paperbacks that are stuff of serious readers. These books, with their dog ears and tears and bloated contents, have been read over and over — the attention that is paid by Wolfe to his trompe-l'œil detailing matches the detail that the apparent readers have paid to each book. Like Oshiro, the touches, the evidence of... [more]
Posted by Ed Schad on 12/14/10

The Playful Art of Blinky Palermo, Part I

by Ed Schad
          Blinky Palermo was born Peter Schwarze in 1943, subsequently adopted  he became Peter Heisterkamp. And, as far as I know, there are at least two origin stories for why, around 1964, his name changed again to Blinky Palermo. First, some say his teacher Joseph Beuys gave him the moniker because of Heisterkamp’s resemblance to the famous gangster and boxing promoter (Beuys loved boxing), and this makes a certain amount of sense: origin myths and the magic of names (his name... [more]
Posted by Ed Schad on 11/2/10

The Playful Art of Blinky Palermo, Part II

by Ed Schad
          While Beuys would make a metaphysical postulations about primal conditions of heat and conservation, Palermo just seems to ask questions like, “Can I get something from the Utopian forms of Malevich without buying into his mysticism?” or “Can I just have the dynamism of basic shapes playing intuitively on a canvas, sensing a purpose in the play yet not needing a reason?” Palermo’s funky result is , 1964. When Kiefer is walking Germany, taking pictures of himself in the... [more]
Posted by Ed Schad on 11/2/10

Staring Out at the World: The Photographs of William Eggleston

by Andrew Berardini
      Ambling through gallery after gallery of photographs snapped by William Eggleston’s Democratic Camera, I realized that I really like to stare at people. Generally speaking, I’m too well brought up to engage in such a scurrilous behavior as openly gawking at strangers, but being naturally curious, I look just a beat or two longer than I ought. It’s difficult not to be in wonder of the strange behaviors and endless variations of my fellow humans. Really, I’m sort of in love with people.... [more]
Posted by Andrew Berardini on 12/21/10

“not a painter, but a force”

by Ed Schad
      I am fascinated by Walt Whitman’s thought that Eakins was “not a painter, but a force.” Eakins didn’t strike me, in LACMA’s , as much of a force, but more a careful, diligent student of life, tempted by the forceful, the muscular, and the dramatic, hardly eager to let the stormy extent of those things play their way into melodrama or spectacle. He lived at a time when the robust inheritance of America was starting to stretch its legs with its factories, architecture, and bridges, the... [more]
Posted by Ed Schad on 9/7/10

On a Few of Baldessari's More Important Points

by Calvin Phelps
          John Baldessari has left me feeling sensitive. Maybe not John himself, the snowy-haired giant (both in literal and figurative stature) of art in Los Angeles, but his work. Though Baldessari has had retrospectives in the double-digits, this latest one has been billed as “long overdue” and as one of the most important, not just because of its scope (which is broad) but also because of its timing and location, coming near the end of Baldessari’s long and rich career here in his... [more]
Posted by Calvin Phelps on 7/12/10

Four Anthropologies

by Marcus Civin
One Students currently occupy the attic of the Broad Contemporary Art Museum at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Students are translating all instances of language in holdings of works by Joseph Beuys. Students are translating the words and sentiments of the German artist into languages from Korean, to Armenian, to Spanish, to English, to Arabic. These bilingual students are writing translations of Joseph Beuys: declarations to accompany hopeful/absurd gifts... declarations now... [more]
Posted by Marcus Civin on 12/28/09

"Your Bright Future" at LACMA

by Sarah-Neel Smith
Go to the LACMA website and a wheezing chord welcomes you to a blank white screen. A large black text appears, read out with unexpected vehemence by a synthesized voice: Hey, where'd all the smart guys go? The self-doubting conspiracy theory which follows – the work of artist duo Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries, commissioned by LACMA for – is propelled along by sporadic drums and accelerating chords, in a series of short texts which gain in size and urgency.You know the smart guys, the ones... [more]
Posted by Sarah-Neel Smith on 8/10/09

West Retro

A figure of international stature whose work includes sculpture, installation, and design, Franz West appears in his most comprehensive form to date in this retrospective exhibition, with objects ranging from early interactive works from the 1970s to large installations comprised of bright aluminum and epoxy objects that dramatize their surroundings with bold colors and oversize scale. For the past three decades, West has played a critical role in contributing to developments in post-1965 art,... [more]
Posted by ArtSlant Team on 6/2/09

Gonzales-Day at LACMA

by Ed Schad
Ken Gonzales-Day has taught at Cal Arts for years, and certain circles of Cal Arts, both in the conceptual projects of its professors and the new work of its recent graduates, have long been drawn to lost histories and cultural memories that have faded from view or have been covered over. Call these histories what you will - repression, sublimation, political suppression - but the fact is some things are forgotten. In 2006, Gonzales-Day published through Duke University, , a book that is the... [more]
Posted by Ed Schad on 4/27/08

Dali in Hollywood

Destino is the major work explicated by dozens of storyboard drawings in ink, with full-scale paintings in oil on Masonite to solidify such an image as the ball surrounded by a Dalinian landscape. The film as realized five or six decades later is but a fraction of the work intended, as the digital technique is incapable of rendering many subtleties and the direction overlooks them (the observing eyes in Dali’s sketch look so intensely that one projects a hand and arm from its eyeball, this... [more]
Posted by mulrooney on 1/1/08

Tender Statues

The Impressionists painted what they saw, these artists what they knew, rather.   So much for “the myth of both Californias”.   Ron Davis’s Roto and Big Blue, Ron Cooper’s great untitled translucent resin-canvas of ’68-’69, Larry Bell’s Cube and Magic Boxes and stretched hexagon of absconded orange acrylic around bare canvas, Old Cotton Fields Back Home, and his large untitled angle of hypercoated glass, Craig Kauffman’s Yellow Orange raincloud, John McCracken’s rectangular red surfboard... [more]
Posted by mulrooney on 11/14/07

Tender Statues

The Impressionists painted what they saw, these artists what they knew, rather. So much for "the myth of both Californias". Ron Davis's and Big Blue, Ron Cooper's great untitled translucent resin-canvas of '68-'69, Larry Bell's Old Cotton Fields Back Home (a bare canvas, trimmed at two corners, ornamented with vertical stripes left and right. tapering inward or flaring, orange) and Magic Boxes (a similar canvas, black around the periphery, then white, the center an inlaid construction of... [more]
Posted by mulrooney on 3/12/08

On and Off Art

The tragic implications, such as they are, occur to Flavin early on in a meditation concerning wounded Apollinaire, he imagines light poles manifesting an “on and off art” (Flavin at this time is a great abstract painter somewhere between Motherwell and Francis). The first step (always on paper, documented upstairs) is a 45° Constructivist homage to Brancusi in a single yellow (“gold”) neon tube with its bare fixture. The transitional works literally take off from the canvas plane with light... [more]
Posted by mulrooney on 6/16/07

The West

Let us say that a painting-and-photography exhibition has to have the text that serves to establish the fact of letters among the interleaves, and the text in the catalogue amounts to all that By a trick, Thomas Moran takes the scenic route with the photographers, Marsden Hartley and Stanton Macdonald-Wright achieve the oneness and the high that are outlasting, the barroom brawlers and itinerant preachers give you on the wagon train of Jackson Pollock’s drip-cans Clyfford Still. We have it... [more]
Posted by mulrooney on 3/14/07