ForYourArt Breaks Down Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980, So You Don’t Have To
If you’re into photography or printmaking for that matter, these shows are for you. Plan your art-viewing itinerary using our regional exhibition breakdown.
Pacific Standard Time offers us an unprecedented in-depth re-examination of the birth of the L.A. art scene, but within the plethora of exhibitions emerge several pronounced themes that encompass a variety of topics. For those interested in the specifics, don’t miss out on seeing these museum shows and picking up a catalogue. Want more info? Prime yourself with a selection of DAP books on related content and expand your art library.
Photography and Printmaking:
In Los Angeles, artists pushed the boundaries of photography and printmaking to new extremes, exploring new ideas and expanding the expectations of what these mediums could include. Don’t miss the following exhibitions on the Eastside investigating the impact of both photography and printmaking on the L.A. art scene.
Speaking in Tongues advances our understanding of two seminal Los Angeles artists by bringing them into close conversation for the first time, examining how they both bridged modernist and emerging post-modernist trends by ushering in the use of photography as a key element of contemporary art. Placing Berman and Heinecken in the cultural context of 1960s and 1970s Southern California, which fueled and amplified their creative approaches, the exhibition and its accompanying catalogue trace the evolution of a new visual language, which placed photography and its representational contingencies at the heart of contemporary art.
Identity and Affirmation: Post War African American Photography will consist of 145 images produced by Los Angeles artists, exploring modernist tendencies in the work of the artists as they embraced and depicted the vibrant development of the arts, music, politics, family, and social life in the Black community and Los Angeles at large. The innovative improvisations of jazz, of particular importance during this period, 1945 – 1980, can be seen in the work of these photographers in both their subjects and approaches to photography.
In 1947, the tabloid photographer known as Weegee relocated from New York City to Los Angeles. In doing so, he abandoned the grisly crime scenes for which he was best known and trained his camera instead on Hollywood stars, strippers, costume shops, and naked mannequins, sometimes distorted through trick lenses and multiple exposures. Following the photographer’s lead, the MOCA exhibition, which is the first museum exhibition ever devoted to the body of work Weegee produced in Southern California, as well as the accompanying book document the lurid, irresistible undersides of stardom, fandom, commerce, and self-promotion in mid-century Los Angeles .
Formed in 1974 “to encourage the growth and appreciation of photography as an art form,” the Los Angeles Center for Photographic Studies (LACPS) was the regional incarnation of a national phenomenon that saw artist-run photography organizations spring up in regions and major metropolitan areas across the country. This exhibition, taking into account for the first time the history of LACPS and an examination of the national rise and decline of artist-run organizations and spaces in the 1960s and 70s, seeks to rectify the former and begin a dialog to understand the latter.
Trouble in Paradise explores the pop music scenes of Los Angeles, and their related culture, politics, and popular art, during the years of 1945-1975. In addition to a wide-range of iconic images from the period, the exhibit will also feature a cross-section of ephemera (album art, handbills, concert posters, etc.), music, and filmed interviews with key figures of the scene. The exhibition zeroes in on the tensions between alluring myths of Southern California paradise and the realities of social struggle that characterized the years following WWII.
The first goal enumerated upon the founding of the Tamarind Lithography Workshop in Los Angeles in 1960 was to “create a pool of master artisan-printers in the United States’” in an effort to revive the method of fine art lithography. With those words, and the dedication to create a workshop that would educate printers, artists, curators, and collectors alike, Tamarind sparked a renaissance in the graphic arts—one that spread well beyond Los Angeles and the medium of lithography—establishing and legitimizing all methods of printmaking as viable and valuable forms of art making, even for the most avant-garde of post-war artists. Proof will explore the significance of printmaking and its new possibilities as first re-envisioned in post-war Southern California.