I was fortunate to be able to pause during the end-of-year/holiday rush, to spend a few mild days in LA last week. In addition to visits with some very special friends and lovely long walks in Santa Monica, my husband and I immersed ourselves in art experiences that were marvelous. If you are in LA or can get there, I hope you’ll enjoy some of these treasures.
LACMA has never disappointed, and this visit was no exception. I always love exploring the galleries devoted to their exceptional modern art collection (Matisse's ceramic installation, that was based on his paper cut-out art, is marvelous, and is exhibited near amazing works by Picasso, Magritte, Léger, Mondrian and other brilliant artists of their era). The galleries include a fabulous enormous canvas by Motherwell, and works by Rothko, Kandinsky, Pollack and Oldenburg (to mention just some of my favorites on view). We then discovering gems in their special exhibits.
Larry Sultan's photographs were new to me, and quite wonderful. And, in the special show titled Variations: Conversations In and Around Abstract Painting, it was a delight to see works by Mark Bradford, whose current show at the Rose Museum at Brandeis had recently introduced me to this great contemporary master.
Our visit to MOCA (LA’s museum of contemporary art) was also a treat. The special exhibition, Andy Warhol: Shadows, was exceptional. He painted 102 canvases in 1978-79 that were hung dramatically in the enormous gallery. It was a fascinating exploration of a simple shadow in Warhol's studio, expressed in varying colors and subtle textural variations. The rhythm and breadth of the installation were fabulous to see.
We continued at MOCA and found ourselves surrounded by works in an exhibit titled Concrete Infinity, and then moved on to see selections from their permanent collection. The range of expression was wonderful, thought-provoking and fascinating. For a visit to a small museum, we were well rewarded!
Across the street from MOCA the dramatic Walt Disney Concert Hall demands your attention. We had been told there was free a self-guided tour available and we truly enjoyed the experience of being in and around Frank Gehry's architectural tour de force. The only thing we did not get to see was the inside of the concert hall performance space (a rehearsal was underway). On our next trip we’ll try to hear the LA Philharmonic perform.
While I love sharing photos of these marvelous works of creation, and reflecting on them again myself, there is truly magic in experiencing them in person. Whatever art you are able to explore this season, I hope that you feel a similar thrill.