"Pacific Standard Time", the sprawling museum extravaganza looking showcasing California art and design, kicked off in Los Angeles over the weekend of Sept. 30-Oct. 1. The arts initiative, initiated by the Getty Trust, will see the opening of 60-plus art exhibits throughout Southern California by early 2012. PST puts in focus the creative work of SoCal arts innovators between the periods of 1945 and 1980.
At the Getty Museum in Brentwood on Oct. 2, the official kick-off party began with a stunning video montage of images of artworks and other cultural touchstones spanning the 40s to the 70s, all displayed on the walls of the museum. More than 1,500 guests attended including Cheech Marin (a noted collector of Chicano art), entertainment attorney and art collector Alan Hergott and the Gersh Agency’s Bob Gersh. The Getty's new show, Crosscurrents in L.A.: Painting and Sculpture, 1950-1970, includes major works by John Baldessari, Ed Ruscha and Judy Chicago.
Other events over the weekend included the launch of the inaugural Art Platform — Los Angeles art fair at the L.A. Mart, the opening of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's California Design show and the Museum of Contemporary Art's Under the Big Black Sun looking at art in the 70s. Among the many cultural institutions across Southern California who are part of PST are the Autry National Center, the Watts Towers Arts Center, Long Beach Museum of Art, Pomona College Museum of Art, the Museum of Latin American Art and the Pasadena Museum of California Art.
Here's what Hollywood is saying about "Pacific Standard Time":
Angela Lansbury at the Getty Museum, Oct 2:
"I was absolutely blown away by it. To see these great paintings which have been hidden in people's houses and other museums to suddenly all be available for us to see here at the Getty is quite phenomenal and absolutely thrilling. I've never been more excited by an art museum in my entire life. It’s absolutely staggering. Everybody who is anybody in the art world is here tonight."
Jeremy Bruckheimer, who, along with with wife Linda, loaned two cermamic pieces by Beatrice Wood to the retrospective of the potter's work at the Santa Monica Museum of Art:
"Any opportunity to display Beatrice Wood’s wonderful works of art to as wide a public as possible is a real treat. Linda and I were honored to assist the Santa Monica Museum of Art in this effort, where this incredible Renaissance woman lived and worked for so many years."
Randy Phillips, president and CEO of AEG Live, who is also an avid collector of mid-century design:
"My interest in mid-century modernism dates back to my childhood in New York when I marveled at the future through the eyes of an 11 year old at the World's Fair in Flushing Meadows. I loved the feeling of space and undefined boundaries of the architecture and the lightness and whimsical nature of the art and furniture. After I moved to Los Angeles, I rediscovered my passion with a vengeance. Southern California in the late 1940s through the mid 1960s was the real life laboratory for some of the greatest visionaries of the genre from Schindler to Neutra to Charles & Ray Eames to Koenig to Lazlo, etc. Their interpretation of 'modern' had a profound effect on the world as did their optimism and vision of the future. In fact, as I grew older I started to gravitate to the more decorative side of the period culminating in my collection of some of the finest pieces of furniture by movie-star turned decorator, Billy Haines, who expressed both architectural fluidity and Hollywood elegance in his designs. I plan to spend as much time absorbing the California Design, 1930-1965: ‘Living In A Modern Way’ showcase at LACMA's Pacific Standard Time exhibition as I can afford. My anticipation is that it will both educate those who are new to the period and entrance people like me who have made their personal living space an homage to mid-century modernism.”
UTA's Jeremy Zimmer at the Hammer Museum's Gala in the Garden and preview of Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles 1960-1980, Sept. 24:
"Pacific Standard Time is organized in a way that really reflects Los Angeles and the L.A. art community. There's not really a center to it, the way there’s not really a center to L.A. Like Los Angeles, you have to be willing to get in your car and go looking and when you do you find amazing cultural opportunities everywhere, but they are not concentrated in a single place."
Matt Groening at the Hammer gala:
"I saw someone who said she was going to do every show and I thought, 'That’s a pretty good goal'. I can’t wait."
Anne Hathaway at the Ruinart Private Art Auction Benefiting Art of Elysium, Oct 2:
"I went to the MOCA exhibit a few nights ago and to be honest it was a little much to take in the show. Aspects of it are very heavy, especially the civil rights room. It's a lot to take in and I wasn’t quite able to do it in the party environment so I'm gonna go back. There was a piece by William T. Wiley that was just so layered and he wrote these wonderful phrases through out it and I could have just spent hours falling into it. It reminded me of one of my favorite artists, Bernard Buffet. I'm somebody who will go to galleries and I cry and will sit on the floor and just weep for hours. I'm not really the most fun person to bring to an art opening. (At the Ruinart auction, held at the London Hotel, the actress bid on and won a piece by Johnny Robles; the money raised goes toward the charity's programs bringing creative workshops to children with serious medical conditions.)