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Posted inArt

WTF Is… Light and Space?

Earlier this week I posted a review of MCASD’s current show Phenomenal: California Light, Space, Surface. Reading this, you might have thought, “Cool! Perceptual deprivation! Now I’ll know what it was like doing LSD in the 1960s and 1970s without worrying about passing a drug test at work!” Which is all well and good. But you also might have wondered, beyond the entertainment factor, why should you care. What exactly is the Light and Space movement and why is it important?

Posted inArt

Messing With Your Senses With “Phenomenal” Light in California

SAN DIEGO — One of the most anticipated shows of Pacific Standard Time — the Getty’s epic initiative to “celebrate the birth of the LA art scene” and demonstrate that art history has also been made outside of New York — is the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego’s Phenomenal: California Light, Space, Surface. Spanning both the La Jolla and Downtown locations, Phenomenal seeks to investigate the artists working in the 1960s and 1970s who turned to light instead of form and addressed notions of perception. For artists playing with natural light, Southern California was the perfect place to work.

Posted inArt

Report from San Diego: Ai Weiwei, Sam Gilliam, Helen Pashgian

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is now two-for-two this spring in Southern California museum collector’s committee acquisitions, with the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego announcing Thursday the addition of his “Marble Chair” (2010) to their permanent collection through their annual acquisitions drive. This comes on the heels of the high profile event held less than a month ago at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, where big donors moved to add Ai’s “Untitled (Divine Proportion)” (2006) for a reported $400,000. Along with Ai Weiwei’s “Marble Chair” (2010), MCASD also scooped up a piece from Sam Gilliam’s colorfully suspended Dance Me, Dance You 2 series (2009) as well as a sleek, translucent sphere by artist Helen Pashgian, a pioneer of Southern California’s Light and Space movement.

Posted inArt

Everyone Wants to be First

There is apparently something about institutional street art shows that move museum folk towards declarations of their firstness. Street Art at the Tate Modern in 2008 was billed as “the first major public museum display of Street Art in London” while just last winter Hugh Davies, Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego, glowed that he was “really proud” to be “the first (American) museum to do an international street art show of this scale and scope.”

Art In The Streets, the latest and of course much buzzed exhibition opening at Los Angeles’s Museum of Contemporary Art is billed by MOCA Director Jeffrey Deitch as — surprise surprise — “the first exhibition to position the work … from street culture in the context of contemporary art history.”