Arts

Where Hollywood's Art World Partied During Oscar Week

L.A.'s art scene has its own unofficial Oscar Week, which drew James Franco, Mila Kunis, John Waters, Vera Wang and more to three days of openings, dinners and after-parties.
"Terry," 2011, image courtesy of the artist and OhWow Gallery

What New York City gallerist Larry Gagosian started in 1996 — a star-studded L.A. opening timed to the Academy Awards — has grown into a full slate of openings around town.

This Oscars, that meant three full days of openings, dinners and after-parties drawing actors, high-powered collectors and scenesters in droves.

It kicked off Thursday, Feb. 23, at Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills (456 N. Camden Drive), with works on view by mind-bending Swiss artist Urs Fischer. Guests checking out the Beds & Problem Paintings show included Vera Wang, producer Steve Tisch, Val Kilmer, Russell Simmons, actress Alice Eve, John Waters, actor Danny Huston and Peter Morton.

PHOTOS: The Art World's Own Oscar Week

The action shifted on Friday to West Hollywood's OhWow Gallery (937 N. La Cienega Blvd.) which debuted photographer Terry Richardson’s Hollywood-themed Terrywood, which, says friend and fan Jared Leto, “captures the soul of this seemingly soulless town.” Lines snaked down more than a block with visitors waiting to get into see the show, which includes sculptures of Richardson as a very familiar gold statuette (seen here), created from body scans of the artist. There's also what gallerist Al Moran calls a "paparazzi machine." Triggered by motion sensors, it sets off flash bulbs and shutter clicks when you walk by it. Guests at the exhibit included Pamela Anderson, Tom Ford, Rick Rubin and Rachel Zoe. The after-party at Chateau Marmont was equally jammed -- with some guests who weren't being let in promptly by the doorpeople getting increasingly agitated. Those inside Bungalow One, where In-N-Out burgers were being served, included Kesha, Lindsay Lohan, Leto, fashion designer Jeremy Scott and Paz de la Huerta.

The biggest night for art-viewing unfolded on Oscar eve. On Feb. 25, Ace Gallery (5514 Wilshire Blvd.) presented new work by iconic L.A. painter Ed Moses. “His current use of textures, fabrics and color is pure joy,” says actor and collector Julian Sands. Also on view: works by painter Mary Corse and sculptor Carl Andre.

The same night, Prism (8746 W. Sunset Blvd.) lured its gorgeous scenester crowd to see paintings and sculptures by Brazilian duo Os Gemeos, comprised of identical twins Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo. We spotted jeweler Loree Rodkin and writer Bob Colacello checking out the show, which included lamps attached to the floor and painted with faces, murals, paintings and the walls and floors of the entire two-story gallery done in bright red.

PHOTOS: Oscars 2012 Arrivals

Down in Culver City, Blum & Poe (2727 S. La Cienega Blvd.) opened a show looking at the late-’60s/early-’70s Japanese movement Mono-ha, while at Honor Fraser (2622 S. La Cienega Blvd.), artist (and fashion plate) Rosson Crow unveiled her abstracted scenes of dust storms and ticker-tape parades. Says entertainment lawyer Don Walerstein, a collector of Crow's paintings: "Aside from her enormous talent, I was attracted to her penetrating reimagining of distinctive events or periods on a grand scale."

Style fanatics hit the Museum of Contemporary Art's Pacific Design Center location (8687 Melrose Ave.) for the invite-only opening of a show of pieces by avant-garde fashion pioneer Rudi Gernreich. The exhibit features original photos of his model muse, Peggy Moffitt, in the clothes; the shots were taken by her late husband William Claxton. Gernreich famously invented the topless bathing suit in 1964.

"I think he was a certifiable genius," says Moffitt. "He really has gone from somebody who was regarded as wacky and weirdo to someone whose designs have stood the test of time."

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Vintage fashion maven Cameron Silver not only curated the exhibit but was there filming his upcoming Bravo reality show with his Decades business partner Christos Garkinos. Following the opening, MAC Cosmetics sponsored a VIP dinner for the likes of Mila Kunis, producer Celine Rattray, Michael and Eva Chow, China Chow (in an original Gernreich coat), Bill and Maria Bell, Vidal and Ronnie Sassoon, Wolfgang and Gelila Assefa Puck, Michel and Sally Perrin, architect Ron Radziner, J. Alexander, Estee Lauder's John Demsey and Monique Lhuillier.

Three other photography exhibits have just opened: A show of shots of Hollywood greats, including Audrey Hepburn, Frank Sinatra, Clint Eastwood, Marlene Dietrich and Orson Welles, shot over four decades by celebrated lensman Phil Stern, on view at his own Phil Stern Gallery (601 S. Los Angeles St., downtown); a retrospective exhibit of never-seen-in-America shots of Brigitte Bardot at the Hotel Sofitel Los Angeles (8555 Beverly Boulevard); and an exhibit of about 60 Ansel Adams photographs of circa 1940 Los Angeles, including a bowling alley, a hot dog stand and Santa Monica's Ocean Park pier, exhibted at drkrm gallery (727 S. Spring St., downtown).

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