As Angelenos gave themselves whiplash in their attempts not to miss any Oscar-week star sightings, the art world played a supporting role to Hollywood’s leading-lady position. Nevertheless, contemporary art made its presence known in the lead-up to Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony, notably with openings at Gagosian and Prism galleries.
The Getty has unveiled the theme for its second Pacific Standard Time initiative: “Los Angeles and Latin America,” or “L.A./L.A.” for short. Scheduled to open in 2017, the second iteration of PST will offer an in-depth exploration of the artistic connections between Los Angeles and Latin America. “Our city has had deep roots in Latin American, making it a nexus of cultural creativity between North and South,” said Getty President and CEO Jim Cuno.
This month, Milan gallery Cardi Black Box brings Los Angeles to Italy with the exhibition “Set Pieces” (February 8 through April 15). Gallery owner Nicolo Cardi invited L.A.-based curators Andrew Berardini and Lauren Mackler to create a show reflecting their city’s contemporary arts landscape, through both new and existing work by emerging and established artists. And while most of the artists included have exhibited internationally, “Set Pieces” stands out in its ambition to assemble a show abroad with only L.A.-based artists, under the direction of two Angelenos.
“I heard someone say this is a monochrome show, but I think it’s very colorful,” artist Mark Hagen said at the recent opening reception for “A Handful of Dust,” a group exhibition curated by Laura Fried, featuring work by Hagen and six other artists. At first glance to a visitor, “colorful” definitely isn’t the first word that springs to mind — the works on view at Santa Barbara Contemporary Art Forum (CAF) (through March 24) are dominated by earthy tones, sepias, and shades of white. But upon further contemplation, the eye adjusts and notices an array of tonal gradations and hues. This nuanced palette underscores the pared-down elegance of the exhibition, which examines time and material in sculpture, while also highlighting the importance of regional institutions in broadening Southern California’s contemporary art dialogue.
Los Angeles is touted as an important hub for contemporary art, and with good reason: from art school classes taught by famed artists such as Catherine Opie and Barbara Kruger to world-class institutions like LACMA and the Getty and small non-profit alternative art spaces such asLAXART and Public Fiction, the city’s artist community has the framework and venues in which to experiment with and showcase the visual and performing arts. But, when placing Los Angeles within a larger discussion on global contemporary art, what is often lacking is an international viewpoint. The majority of the city’s contemporary art exhibitions focus on the United States and Europe, with some examining work by artists from Mexico and Central and South America.
Artadia recently hosted a cocktail reception at Blum & Poe to announce the launch of the Artadia Awards in Los Angeles. Executive director Carolyn Ramo spoke to members of the L.A. arts community, including artist Rosson Crow, gallerist Mary Leigh Cherry, andForYourArt’s Bettina Korek about the organization, which has awarded over $3 million to more than 250 artists since its founding in 1997 by investment banker and art collector Christopher Vroom.
From February 6 to February 11, a select group of young art students across Los Angeles received a crash course in their craft through intense master classes and workshops with internationally renowned artists and art world professionals. All this through the National YoungArts Foundation, which just inaugurated YoungArts Los Angeles, a new program modeled after their signature annual program — YoungArts Week.