ARTS IN LOS ANGELES
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July 2018

Celebrating the Arts since May 2012

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ARTS!

Becoming LA!

Becoming LA at Natural History Museum (Master altar maker Ofelia Esparza Photo Deniz Durmas)

Becoming LA!

  • By Cynthia Lum
  • Photo By Deniz Durmas

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHMLA) has reopened their extraordinary permanent exhibition Becoming Los Angeles with an expanded section on Indigenous Angelinos, fresh objects from NHMLA’s history and anthropology/archaeology collection and newly commissioned works by local artists. The groundbreaking exhibition, which originally opened in 2013, takes visitors on a tour through the city’s five centuries of development from a small pueblo to a booming metropolis. This fascinating history of our city weaves Los Angeles’ natural and cultural developments into a single narrative to show how people’s actions have a direct impact on their environment and how the environment has impacted their actions, and explores the rich history not only of Los Angeles but the groups of people that have made the city their home.

From the opening section, First Angelinos which provides glimpses into the lives of Indigenous Angelinos before the arrival of Spanish Colonial settlers to its closing section with the spectacular newly commissioned Ofrenda by master alter maker Ofelia Esparza, and her daughter artist Rosanna Esparza Ahrens, Becoming Los Angeles is a treasure trove of rarely seen objects and information. There is a visibly used saddle and riata lasso that would have been used by a Mexican vaquero (cowboy) more than 150 years ago and a red tutu from World War ll’s favorite pinup girl, Betty Grable from the 1945 movie Diamond Horseshoe. This is an exciting, unique and interesting history lesson that’s much more fun than reading it in a book.

For more details, click here.

Going Strong!

Grammy Museum’s Cheech & Chong Up in Smoke exhibition …celebrating 40 years on view now through Spring 2019

Going Strong!

  • By Jon Steely
  • Photo Courtesy of Grammy Museum

It’s hard to believe it’s been 40 years since iconic comedy duo Cheech & Chong released their unforgettable 1978 feature film debut Up In Smoke. To this day, I can still remember some of my more fortunate junior high school classmates roaring with laughter as they imitated scenes from the movie and shared it’s now legendary bits with those of us with parents who wouldn’t allow us to watch it.  A few years later, when I finally managed to see the film, I didn’t realize I was engaged in a generation-defining cinematic experience. I just knew that my schoolmates were right when they said it was hilarious and that they’d never seen anything like it before.

Now, 40 years later, the Grammy Museum is proud to present “Cheech & Chong: Still Rollin’ — Celebrating 40 Years of Up In Smoke.” On display since (of course) 4/20 — and continuing through the Spring of 2019 — this enjoyable exhibit showcases the groundbreaking work of Richard  “Cheech” Marin and Tommy Chong by focusing on the making of the Grammy-wining duo’s smash hit Up In Smoke.

Those who attend can expect to enjoy a variety of interesting items, including the film’s original shooting script, the master tape of the movie’s soundtrack and a portion of Cheech Marin’s “Blazing Chicano Guitars” art collection. Like the film itself, this exhibit offers high times you definitely shouldn’t miss. Catch “Cheech & Chong: Still Rollin” — Celebrating 40 Years of Up In Smoke” on display at The Grammy Museum through Spring 2019.

For more details, click here.

Genghis Khan!

Ghengis Khan at the Reagan Museum

Genghis Khan!

  • By Arlene Winnick
  • Photo Courtesy of Reagan Museum

For most of us, history portrayed Genghis Khan as an evil conqueror and barbarian, but the new exhibition at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley reveals a very different, very civilized aspect to the 13th century Mongolian.

Yes Khan conquered and dominated three times more land in his lifetime than either Julius Caesar or Alexander the Great and he was a great military strategist uniting warring tribes to form a powerful cavalry.  The extensive displays of his intricate weapons, saddles, and armor were quite remarkable.

But he also introduced such modern innovations as paper money, skis, violins, bakhlava, the pony express, cannons, pants and other items to the West.  He created the nation of Mongolia and its written language and actually introduced a Mongolian-style democracy to the world. The exhibition at the Regan Library allows you to truly explore the daily life of this ancient civilization through the eyes of a Mongolian resident by presenting each visitor with an identity card (you might be a spy, a warrior or a princess).   Discover daily life of a nomad on the high plateaus of Central Asian.  Enter the walled city of Karakorum.  Explore the trade routes along the Sill Road where the first exchanges of goods and ideas between cultures originated.  Be amazed by the sumptuous Chinese palace of Xanadu.

There are more than 200 objects on display including rare and sophisticated weapons, costumes, jewels, ornaments, instruments and other fascinating relics, treasures and artifacts that reflect the diverse religious and cultures that flourished in the region.

For more details, click here.

Matisse @LBMA!

Matisse Drawings on view at (LBMA) Long Beach Museum of Art (Henri Matisse, Large Head, 1949, Ink On Paper, 24 × 16 Inches, Collection Of The Pierre And Tana Matisse Foundation Collection)

Matisse @LBMA!

  • By Cynthia Lum
  • Photo Courtesy of LBMA

The Long Beach Museum of Art is presenting an extraordinary exhibition showcasing the mastery of draftsmanship by two of the most significant artists of the twentieth century. Matisse Drawings: Curated by Ellsworth Kelly from the Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation Collection offers  visitors a rare opportunity to experience the work of one of Europe’s most beloved Modern painters through the lens of Ellsworth Kelly whose deceptively simple use of color and shape made him one of the 20th century’s most significant and enduring abstract American artists

Curated by Kelly in 2014 the exhibition speaks to Kelly’s admiration for Matisse, as well as to the centrality of drawing in both artists’ practices. In addition to the forty-five rarely exhibited works by Matisse, Kelly selected nine of his own lithographic drawings that derive from his time in France when the American artist studied Matisse’s sketches and studies of nature and human figures.

The Matisse drawings span fifty years of his career ranging from 1900 through 1950 providing new insight into the graphic work and range of creativity as a draughtsman of the French master. For this survey of Matisse, Kelly has chosen sketches, line drawings charcoals and ink brush drawings as well as finished pieces revealing Matisse’s process and ideas.

For more details, click here.

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