Last week MAN previewed the fall exhibition season — but left out the Getty-funded series of 60-odd Pacific Standard Time shows across Southern California. PST is a Getty initiative by which a series of exhibitions will examine the rise of contemporary art in Southern California, a contemporary art-making center typically overlooked by Eastern critics and art historians or regarded as some kind of not-New York, not-Europe ‘other.’
I’m sure I’ve left out a few gems — Wallace Berman and Robert Heinecken at the Armory Center for the Arts? — but this should be a good start. Here’s the complete list from the Getty (which has failed to include hyperlinks to the actual shows, so if you want to find exhibitions not on this list, prepare to Google).
Seismic Shift: Lewis Baltz, Joe Deal and California Landscape Photography, 1944 – 1984 at the California Museum of Photography at the University of California, Riverside. In less than two generations — Ansel Adams to Baltz — California artists redefined landscape photography in America. This exhibition proposes to show how. Opens: October 1. [Image above left: Joe Deal, Colton, California, 1978.]
Mapping Another L.A.: The Chicano Art Movement at the Fowler Museum at UCLA. Nothing less than a history of the Chicano art movement in Los Angeles. A spectacularly overdue show. Opens: October 16.
Pacific Standard Time: Crosscurrents in L.A. Painting and Sculpture 1950-1970 at the J. Paul Getty Museum. This seems to be intended as the ur-show of the Getty’s funding initiative. The museum promises a “fundamental reappraisal and reinterpretation of postwar Los Angeles art” from the late 1940s until the early 1970s. I’m not sure why post-war southern California art ends in the early 1970s, but I suppose we’ll find out? Opens: October 1. [Image at right: David Hockney, A Bigger Splash, 1967. Collection of Tate.]
Greetings from L.A.: Artists and Publics 1945-1980 at the Getty Research Institute. Southern California artists didn’t rely on a Chelsea-like system to share and show their work. This show shows how artists such as Chris Burden and George Herms got their art over. The GRI is one of the most smartly curated small spaces in America; count on this one to be one of the sleeper hits of the fall. Opens: October 1.
Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles 1960-1980 at the Hammer Museum. One of the things that PST may do is motivate a substantial re-writing of American post-war art history. This exhibition, which will feature the likes of David Hammons, Noah Purifoy and Betye Saar, may be a good example of why and how. Opens: October 2. [Image, below left: Betye Saar, Black Girl's Window, 1969.]
Best Kept Secret: UCI and the Development of Contemporary Art in Southern California, 1964-1971 at the Laguna Art Museum. OK, maybe. Certainly sounds like it could be interesting. But: In his first review of a PST show, Christopher Knight cracked that the exhibition “It Happened at Pomona” had a “wince-inducing title, incidentally, that sounds as if it was cooked up by an institutional development department.” This show too. Opens October 30.
Exchange and Evolution: Worldwide Video Long Beach 1974-1999 at the Long Beach Museum of Art. The Long Beach Museum of art was an early video art pioneer? Yes, right down a a studio and materials it made available to artists. This show may demonstrate how a museum and its resources can help artists do what they want to do. Opens October 7.
Under the Big Black Sun: California Art 1974-1981 at the Museum of Contemporary Art (Geffen). Art in Los Angeles between Californian Richard Nixon and Californian Ronald Reagan. This will be the show that demonstrates how sociopolitically and geopolitically engaged California artists were during a period when California was ascendant — but America’s place in the world was not. Some of the work in this show — including Ed Ruscha’s late 1970s work and Bruce Nauman’s ‘hanging chairs’ have been discussed in just that context here on MAN. Expect this to be the most talked-about PST exhibition that’s actually in Los Angeles. Opens October 2.
Phenomenal: California Light, Space, Surface at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. This two-venue survey of “perceptual investigations” in post-war art is almost certainly the most-anticipated PST show. Given that light-and-space art was was at least as much about temporal perception as it was objecthood and permanence, it’ll be fascinating to see how MCASD makes the past return. Opens September 25. [Image: Doug Wheeler, untitled, 1965. Collection of MCASD.]
MEX/LA: ‘Mexican’ Modernism(s) in Los Angeles 1930-1985 at the Museum of Latin American Art. A California-centric revisionist survey of Mexican modernism. Another possible sleeper hit. Opens September 18.