We get daily doses of automotive snippets, articles, anything funny, cool and seksi on various social networks. Yet, it has been a few months now since an artsy feature graced our web blog. There are instances where a break from the usual may seem appropriate to rejuvenate the creative juices – to be inspired as well as to strengthen the imagination. Often than not during these spontaneous artsy visits, a person catches sight of something that “more than meets the eye.” It forces one’s self to understand what he/she set eyes on. A person often tends to ask questions about a particular piece -sculpture or painting; wanting to experience the underlying meaning the artist wants to share. Time and again, even observing the characters or reactions of people around you tells a story that makes you wonder. Since I’ve written automotive features lately, to slightly change it up I’d share a visit to LACMA.
Sometime in 2011, I had a chance to visit Eric Haze’s “New Mathematics” exhibition held at Known Gallery in LA. Not too far from Known is the Los Angeles County Museum of Art – or more commonly known as “LACMA.” Established in 1910; located on Wilshire Boulevard – Los Angeles, California, LACMA is one of the largest art museum in western United States. It is highly recognized internationally where approximately one million guests show up and accommodated yearly. LACMA has an array of exhibitions, public programs, and research facilities that attract visitors around the world. The exhibitions, collection and the campus of LACMA have considerably grown during the decade. At least a day of touring the seven-building campus need to be put aside to completely immerse yourself from tons of artistic perspective from various artists.
The “Urban Light” by Chris Burden is one of the most popular spot at LACMA. The simplicity of the 2008 large-scale assemblage sculpture welcomes many especially when the lights are lit. There are 17 styles of cast iron street lamps that Chris Burden collected starting from December of 2000. The two hundred and two street lamp collection are solar powered that turn-on at dusk. The lamps mostly came from Southern California – Hollywood, Glendale and Anaheim while others were purchased from Portland, Oregon. The Urban Light is fast becoming a popular landmark and favorite for commercials and movies.
One of the highlight exhibitions during the visit was “In Wonderland: The Surrealist adventures of women artists in Mexico and the United States.” The exhibition was dedicated to female Surrealists that explored the expression of their subconscious – unusual visual images. Influenced by Surrealism, artists regard their work as an expression of the feminist movement. It demonstrated how women are often times boxed and portrayed in certain cultures or sometimes by men. The exhibition featured iconic figures such as Louise Bourgeois, Leonara Carrington, Frida Kahlo, Lee Miller, Kay Sage, Dorothea Tanning, Remedios Varo and newly discovered practitioners.
In another area, a hall was filled by the voice and hands of artist, Bruce Nauman. Two video image displays of Nauman’s hands performing the combinations of the four fingers and thumb – extended and retracted. Bruce Nauman said it best as he described his creation, “If I was an artist and I was in the studio, then whatever I was doing in the studio must be art. At this point art became more of an activity and less of a product.” The ghostly nature felt while hearing Nauman’s voice as it reverberated the hall created an eerie atmosphere; when providing verbal instructions of the different combinations. Nauman used the simplest gestures that we often take for granted to connect with his observers – a play of words and actions, the physical and the mental; moreover time and space.
The “Metropolis II” is another assemblage put together by Chris Burden. This piece showed a completely different vibe from the “Urban Light”. While the “Urban Light” assemblage felt more serene and warm, the “Metropolis II” demonstrated chaos and complexity. This display depicted living in the modern city where there were various roadways, interconnecting freeways as well as train tracks. Miniature cars travel around the Metropolis at 240 scale miles per hour, every hour. Burden explained that, “The noise, the continuous flow of the trains, and the speeding toy cars produce in the viewer the stress of living in a dynamic, active and bustling 21st century city.”
Here are other galleries that can be found at LACMA –
The Jane and Marc Nathanson Gallery
Abstract Expressionism Gallery
LACMA has definitely put together an amazing collection of the creative minds – known and upcoming. From sculptures to paintings to ancient artifacts – the vast collection opens the imagination to new horizons. Some people may find a gallery or museum un-enticing and continue to confine their thoughts with the usual. On the other hand, a few will seek to exercise their wits to new levels – And a place like LACMA may just inspire and launch that “Artist” in you.
Until the next one… Peace!