ARTS IN LOS ANGELES
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March 2017

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ARTS!

Get Your Phil!

LA Philharmonic’s Jaap Van Sweden and Nixon in China

Get Your Phil!

  • By Andrew Fish
  • Photos Courtesy of LA Philharmonic

When President Richard Nixon visited China in 1972, it set in motion a major shift in the dynamics of the Cold War, signaling to Russia that we, too, would have dealings with the Soviet Union’s best frenemy, and that perhaps all three countries might come to an understanding — and end the war in Vietnam. You may be surprised to learn that this historic state visit was made into an opera. Indeed, in 1987 composer John Adams’ Nixon in China debuted at the Houston Grand Opera, and since then the oddly affecting piece has earned its place in the pantheon. If this strange story has piqued your interest, then hop on over to the L.A. Philharmonic website and get yourself tickets for a performance at Walt Disney Concert Hall.

Also at Disney Hall, the L.A. Phil will be performing “Beethoven & Shostakovich,” a duo of classic fifth symphonies — two powerful pieces from Ludwig van Beethoven and Dmitri Shostakovich. Written at the turn of the 19th century, Beethoven’s fifth symphony is an iconic work of art that stirs up emotion with relentless energy. Shostakovich’s fifth was written over 100 years later, in 1937, and was a subtle commentary on the trials and tragedies of Soviet Russia.

All this is to say that two fascinating performances are hitting Disney Hall this month — iconic and steeped in history. Mark your calendar!

For more information on the L.A. Philharmonic, click here.

CAAM!

Derrick Adams on view at CAAM (California African American Museum)

CAAM!

  • By Cynthia Lum
  • Photo Courtesy of CAAM

The California African American Museum (CAAM) is presenting four outstanding new exhibitions opening in March 2017, including two solo exhibitions of contemporary artists, a history exhibition commemorating the 25th anniversary of the 1992 Los Angeles Uprising, and a selection of works on paper from the Museum’s permanent collection.

Derrick Adams: Network: Using images of classic African American television shows, Network features mixed media collages, a performance video and installations where visitors can record themselves to critique consumerism, capitalism and raise questions about race, class and gender.

Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle: The Evanesced : The California based artist’s work brings attention to the painful subject of missing black women in America and the African Diaspora. Hinkle’s abstract “un-portraits” of elusive figures, drawn with handmade brushes as she improvises dance to blues, hip-hop and Baltimore Club music pivot between real and imagined narratives.

No Justice, No Peace: LA 1992 with powerful photographs and videos, historic documents, posters, flyers and other ephemera No Justice, No Peace: LA 1992 considers decades of complex socio-political history that contribute to underlying tensions among Los Angeles’ marginalized groups and communities, and examines race relations, socioeconomics, and equality in America today

Paperworks: Selections from the Permanent Collection showcases the radically diverse range of works on paper created by African American and other artists over the last two centuries, including drawings, prints, paintings and collages.

For more information on CAAM, click here.

Global Gorgeous!

Enduring Splendor Jewelry of India’s Thar Desert on view at UCLA Fowler Museum

Global Gorgeous!

  • By Kirsten Wasson
  • Photo Courtesy of the Fowler

Two splendid shows at UCLA’s Fowler Museum feature mouth-wateringly beautiful objects rich with history and culture. “Enduring Splendor: Jewelry of India’s Thar Desert” has opened; it is an exhibition including not only dramatic and ornate jewelry, but also sculpture and intricate paintings. The show presents historic and religious elements of a five-thousand-year-old tradition. Drawing on recent field research carried out in the city of Jaisalmer, a thriving center of jewelry production, curators Seligman and Balakrishnan explore the life and work of four sonis—silver/goldsmiths.

Similarly interested in how what wear we represents who we are is “African-Print Fashion Now! A Story of Taste, Globalization, and Style,” which opens March 26th. Two years in the making, the show has had the good fortune to be informed by local African women hailing from Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, and Sierra Leone. They have recorded interviews about family collections of print cloth and memories of favorite patterns. The colors and designs are sumptuous, and the show points to ways that diverse dress traditions of Africa have made increasingly vital connections to the international and contemporary art worlds. To celebrate the exhibition, the Ankara Festival Los Angeles and artworxLA are providing an array of educational programs for adult and K-12 audiences.

For more information, click here.

Pop Art Design!

George Nelson’s Marshmallow Sofa at OCMA

Pop Art Design!

  • By Cynthia Lum
  • Photo By George Nelson

The Orange County Museum of Art is presenting an eye-popping exhibit of Pop Art. Featuring a large number of important works by leaders of the movement, Pop Art Design explores the dialogue between art and design, highlighting one of the most influential art movements since 1945. This is the first comprehensive exhibition examining the inspirations and influence of the movement on furniture, architecture, graphic and industrial design.

Most often associated with Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s soup cans or Roy Lichtenstein’s comic book like paintings, Pop Art was actually born in Britain in the mid 1950s by group subversive artists who called themselves the Independent Group. British curator Lawrence Alloway invented the term Pop Art as a way to describe this new form of “Popular art” which characterized the imagery of consumerism and popular culture.

Pop Art Design looks at the influence of the movement on furniture, architecture, and design featuring a number of works by Warhol, Oldenburg, Lichtenstein, Ed Ruscha and Richard Hamilton, juxtaposed with works by designers such as Charles Eames, George Nelson, Achille Castiglioni, and Ettore Sottsass. In addition to modernist furniture pieces such as George Nelson’s Marshmallo sofa, the graphic design section showcases a mix of posters and album art from the Beatles, “Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits” by Milton Glaser and the 1968 Mexico City Olympics.

For more information on OCMA, click here.

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