We’ve done it, guys: the Los Angeles art scene is on the map. Every other city now knows that, yes, our city needs attention paid to it and that, yes, there is history here–even art history. Pacific Standard Time has reshaped everyone’s thoughts on Los Angeles and Los Angeles art. And, The Getty’s Pacific Standard Time: Crosscurrents in L.A. Painting and Sculpture, 1950-1970 is the movement’s thesis show (if you will).
Crosscurrents examines painting and sculpture created in Southern California between the period of the (late) 1940s through the (early) 1970s. Using The Getty’s large wingspan to gather works (many of which are on loan from international collections), they have created a show that features nearly fifty of the most integral artistic voices responsible for shaping post-war Southern California art.
Torn Cloud Painting 73, 1972, Joe Goode. Oil on canvas. 72 x 96 in. Joe Goode and Hiromi Katayama © Joe Goode.
The show is built in a circle of sorts, which really does represent the crosscurrents in the Southern California art world and art world in general that originated from these local points of view. The start of the show carries “rougher” sculptures like Ken Prices’ Avocado Mountain and Peter Voulkos’ Little Big Horn, both pieces from the 1950s that represent a period where ideas were shifting in art making practices, hinting at the conceptual directions to come. The sixties marked a change in tone and approach in art making as artists moved into more refined and “sexier” work, with works like George Herms’ The Librarian, Helen Lundeberg’s Blue Planet, and Ronald Davis’ explosive Black Tear. By the time the year 1970 arrived, everyone was ready for Bruce Nauman’s Four Corner Piece, De Wain Valentine’s Red Concave Circle, and Peter Alexander’sUntitled (Leaner), all of which erupt in new artistic techniques.
For more on the awesome Pacific Standard Time show at The Getty, check out the Pacific Standard Time blog!
Top Photo: The Los Angeles County Museum on Fire, 1965–68, Ed Ruscha. Oil on canvas. 53 1/2 x 133 1/2 in. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., Gift of Joseph H. Hirshhorn, 1972. © Ed Ruscha. Photography by Lee Stalsworth