I loved some of the recent LACMA Museum shows. From James Turrell’s sensational light work to David Hockney’s amazing video art and the incredible Calder mobiles that are so delicate for a flashback to the 20th century, this museum is always worth a frequent and long visit!
James Turrell: A Retrospective explores nearly fifty years in the career of James Turrell (b. 1943, Los Angeles), a key artist in the Southern California Light and Space movement of the 1960s and 70s. The exhibition includes early geometric light projections, prints and drawings, installations exploring sensory deprivation and seemingly unmodulated fields of colored light, and recent two-dimensional work with holograms. One section is devoted to the Turrell masterwork in process, Roden Crater, a site-specific intervention into the landscape just outside Flagstaff, Arizona, presented through models, plans, photographs, and films.
Considered one of the most innovative artists of the postwar era, British-born David Hockney (b. 1937) has, throughout his career in Los Angeles and England, adopted various new media in order to investigate perception. Embracing cutting-edge technology including Polaroids, iPad and iPhone drawings, and most recently film, Hockney explores new ways to depict movement through multiple perspectives of a singular event. This exhibition introduces Seven Yorkshire Landscape Videos (2011), in which eighteen cameras, fixed to Hockney’s car, record drives through Yorkshire’s landscape. The film is displayed in a multi-screen grid that generates a larger, intensified image. For Hockney, these multiple perspectives “force the eye to scan, and it is impossible to see everything at once… [It] gives back the choice to the viewer, and hence…brings about possibilities for new narratives.”
One of the most important artists of the twentieth century, Alexander Calder revolutionized modern sculpture. Calder and Abstraction: From Avant-Garde to Iconic, with significant cooperation from the Calder Foundation, explores the artist’s radical translation of French Surrealist vocabulary into American vernacular. His most iconic works, coined mobiles by Marcel Duchamp, are kinetic sculptures in which flat pieces of painted metal connected by wire move delicately in the air, propelled by motors or air currents. His later stabiles are monumental structures, whose arching forms and massive steel planes continue his engagement with dynamism and daring innovation. Although this will be his first museum exhibition in Los Angeles, Calder holds a significant place in LACMA’s history: the museum commissioned Three Quintains (Hello Girls) for its opening in 1965. The installation was designed by architect Frank O. Gehry.