On Wednesday evening, François Delattre, French Ambassador to the United States, proclaimed: “Los Angeles is without doubt a cultural center worldwide.” This set the celebratory mood at the opening reception of the exhibition “Lost (in L.A.),” kicking off “Ceci n’est pas…,” a 5-month long contemporary arts exchange between France and Los Angeles.
The champagne flowed and docents kept a cautious eye over the multimedia work as festive partygoers mingled. These included French cultural attaché Adéläide Barbier, exhibiting artist Vincent Ganivet (his first visit to the United States), Palais de Tokyo director Jean de Loisy, and Isabelle Le Normand of the Parisian contemporary arts non-profit Mains d’Oeuvres.
The evening brought out such a large and diverse group of L.A. art insiders that one guest said, “It’s like the organizers shook up the whole town and everyone’s come out to this.” Attendees included critic Andrew Berardini, artist Sarah Cain, Charlotte Eyerman of the French Regional American Museum Exchange, art collector Homeira Goldstein, Pilar Tompkins Rivas of 18th Street Arts Center, and gallerist Annie Wharton.
The exhibition, a visual and experiential narrative inspired by the television series “Lost,” is curated by former director of the Palais de Tokyo Marc Olivier Wahler and features historical artists such as René Magritte and Man Ray alongside contemporary artists such as Mike Kelley and Jim Shaw.
The exhibition, presented by the France Los Angeles Exchange in partnership with Palais de Tokyo and the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, is on view at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery at Barnsdall Park through January 27, 2013.
— Yasmine Mohseni, ARTINFO Los Angeles
(Photo: Aritsts Nathan Hylden and Heather Cook, curator Marc-Olivier Wahler, Ellen Wahler, and artist Luc Tuymans. Courtesy FLAX, France Los Angeles Exchange.)