Pacific Standard Time Events
Who would have guessed that more than 60 arts institutions and 70 commercial galleries in Southern California could team up for anything? Yet “Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980,” which is just such a collaboration, is now underway. Conceived by the Getty Research Institute, PST celebrates the birth of the Los Angeles art scene in venues from Santa Barbara to San Diego.
“It’s a herculean, magnificent effort,” said John Baldessari at the Getty’s Oct. 2 Opening Celebration. One of many California artists featured in the various exhibitions, Baldessari said his works appear in 11 different shows.
As a side benefit to party people, the immense arts initiative has also generated an impressive number of Pacific Standard Time events, which started last month, hit a peak over the Sept. 30-Oct. 2 weekend, and will continue in the months ahead. Anne Hathaway, Chelsea Handler, Will Ferrell, Rosanna Arquette, Albert Brooks, Greg Kinnear, Perrey Reeves, Diane Keaton, Alex Van Halen and Stine were among those spotted at gallery or museum openings, or strolling through Art Platform – Los Angeles, an art fair at the L.A. Mart, which brought together 90 galleries.
Also seen at Pacific Standard Time events were Willow Bay and Robert Iger, Jane and Terry Semel, Kimberly Marteau Emerson and John Emerson, Dallas Price Van Breda and Bob Van Breda, Christina and Mark Siegel, Marti and Tony Oppenheimer, Linda and Jerry Janger, Lauren and Benedikt Taschen, Mera and Donald Rubell, Adrienne and Elliott Horwitch, Galila and Stanley Hollander, Lauren King, Maria Bell, Jeffrey Soros, Eugene Sadovoy, Pamela West, Grazka Taylor, Jamie Tisch, Darren Star, Bill Hair and others. Artists, too, turned up, including Ed Ruscha, Ed Moses, Betye Saar, Eileen Cowin, Ellen Brooks, Stephen Kaltenbach, Harry Gamboa, Jr., Rupert Garcia, Jim Melchert, Bonnie Ora Sherk, and many more.
PST began for me with the Kayne Griffin Corcoran Gallery in Santa Monica for the Sept. 15 opening reception for “Present Tense,” a show of Jame’s Turrell’s works involving light and space. To maintain the mood of one of the works, only a few guests could see the installation at a time. So guests lined up to experience the ethereal block of light, slowly changing in color and seemingly enshrouded in a mist. Many, too, spilled into the streets to meet the artist.
The next night, Joe Goode’s “Nighttime Series 1977-1978” opened at the Michael Kohn gallery in Los Angeles with a cocktail reception, followed by dinner at Lucques on Melrose. Kohn said he began planning the show of Goode’s historic black paintings more than a year ago. “When I heard Pacific Standard Time was starting in September, it made sense to coordinate my efforts,” he said, adding that one museum has already purchased one of the works and another has a piece on hold.
The Sept. 30-Oct. 3 official opening weekend featured receptions for “Under the Big Black Sun: California Art 1974-1981” at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA; “California Design, 1930-1965: Living in a Modern Way” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and “Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles 1960-1980” at the Hammer Museum. A special VIP program also offered visits to private collections, additional museum shows and studios of artists Friedrich Kunath, Catherine Opie, Walead Beshty and Larry Bell.
On Oct. 3 at Bell’s studio in Venice, the artist described the paintings, cube sculptures and vapor drawings he made during PST’s period, before inviting guests to see his current works in an adjacent studio, where the Sergeant Pepper album by the Beatles sat in one corner. The reason: one of the more than 70 faces on the cover was his. “Dennis Hopper took the picture,” he said, adding that British artist Peter Blake, one of the cover designers, included him along with writers, musicians, film stars, Indian gurus and other artists.
And there are more PST events to come in future weeks. So overwhelming did the sheer quantity of activities seem last month, that at one point, I packed up all the brochures, invitations and other papers and took them to a charity lunch, after which I planned to sort everything out over a cappuccino. Funny enough, after explaining my afternoon plans to another arts aficionado at the charity lunch, she confessed similar confusion and joined me for the sorting-out process.
To read about the Getty Center’s Oct. 2 Opening Celebration, click here, and for a schedule of future PST Los Angeles events, click here. For a more detailed article about Pacific Standard Time, here’s one from the L.A. Times by arts writers Jori Finkel and Reed Johnson.
Photos, from top: museum director Jeffrey Deitch with Anne Hathaway at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA reception (photo: Jessie Grant); James Franco’s video installation, among the offerings at Art Platform – Los Angeles, the neon sign, Franco-Ramirez, referencing Richard Ramirez, “the night stalker,” a role Franco will play in an upcoming film; lower photo: Chelsea Handler and Andre Balacz at the LACMA opening reception.
More photos from Pacific Standard Time events are in the gallery below.
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Pacific Standard Time Events
Published Oct. 7, 2011 – Ellen Olivier, Society News LA