Although now in Arizona, I wanted to catch you up on some art I encountered in Southern California. Darn good work can be found in a town in So. Cal. that is likely this morning having a really big parade with lots of petals hitting the asphalt. Happy New Year ya-all!
Pasadena California is an impressive environment for art-goers, period. Besides the Huntington, and the Norton Simon Museum with their world class collections, this time around I had a chance to explore the Pasadena Museum of California (http://www.pmcaonline.org/) and The Armory Center for the Arts (http://www.armoryarts.org/index.php). Despite living in California for five years in and out of undergrad, I am embarrassed to say I had never been to these two exhibition venues and now am wondering what I’ve missed in years past. Darn it.
The Armory Center for the arts had a 20 year retrospective of California artists that they had showed in the past. It featured some amazingly large scale work. Dan, Chris and I especially enjoyed negotiating two installations, one involving a space that mimicked the effect of being above the clouds at night, and another that made interesting ties between technology, childhood, simple plastic materials and space travel. I was a bad art viewer and did not write down the name of the artists of the two installations but believe the works were by Kim Abeles and Sarah Perry. Feel free to help me out and post a correction.
The Pasadena Museum of California art had a wonderful retrospective of the artist Wayne Thiebaud, but what really caught my eye was the amazing volume of portraits by Ray Turner in an exhibit on their top floor. A former local college professor of art, his paintings demonstrate the wisdom and skill of artists like Frans Hals and Robert Henri in his ability to draft a form in paint with apparently effortless strokes. Beyond that he employs a variety of palettes including ones similar to that of Matisse and the Fauves that are candy to the eye. Explore his website to enjoy the diversity of his talent: http://www.rayturnerart.com/por2.htm . In addition there is a very nice book of the exhibition you can pick up as well.
Welcome to 2010. Nothing like starting it out with a little art eh?