Pacific Standard Time
Public art on the rise in Los Angeles
Major artists projects and performances planned for PST
By Bonnie Rosenberg. Web only
Published online: 30 September 2011
Large-scale public works are popping up in Los Angeles and many promise to be hard to miss. This is largely down to a growing number of organisations that focus on public art, such as West of Rome Public Art and Los Angeles Nomadic Division, according to Kris Kuramitsu, the production manager of the Pacific Standard Time Performance and Public Art Festival. Furthermore, working outdoors often allows galleries and organisations to realise artists' projects more quickly. According to Lauri Firstenberg, the director of LAXART, temporary public projects bypass the red tape associated with permanent public art. “We have been able to move more swiftly, often realising an artist's first project in the public realm,” she said. Here is a selection of public works on view:
A billboard by John Outterbridge on La Cienega Boulevard is part of the sculptor's solo exhibition, “The Rag Factory”, at LAXART, the non-profit space founded in 2005 (until 22 October). The installation is part of LAXART's Public Domain programme, which produces projects in unconventional contexts.
Land artist Michael Heizer's Levitated Mass, conceived in 1969, is due to go to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Lacma) in November. The 340 tonne, 21 ft-tall boulder, which Heizer found in a quarry in Riverside, California, is due to be installed in a 456 ft-long trench behind the museum’s Resnick Pavilion. The piece will become part of the museum’s collection.
Pacific Standard Time’s Public and Performance Art Festival (19-29 January 2012) is due to include the restaging of a selection of works originally created by Los Angeles artists between 1945 and 1980:
Lacma, together with University of California, Los Angeles' (UCLA) Chicano Studies Research Center and Fowler Museum, has commissioned a mural by Willie Herron, inspired by art collective Asco’s 1972 Walking Mural performance. Visitors will be able to take bus tours to the historic murals in the east of the city.
LAXART and the Getty Research Institute are recreating Mark di Suvero’s Artists' Tower of Protest, 1966, a six-storey structure built by di Suvero and fellow artists Lloyd Hamrol, Ed Bereal, Mel Edwards and Judy Chicago. The work was originally erected on a plot on Sunset Boulevard to protest against the Vietnam War. The 2012 version will feature new works by some of the project’s original participants as well as mid-career and emerging artists who have not been selected yet.
Materials & Applications, a Los Angeles architecture and landscape research centre, will reinvent Disappearing Environments, a 1966 project by Judy Chicago, Lloyd Hamrol and Eric Orr. The piece stacks 37 tonnes of dry ice into a temporary public sculpture, which emits a fog that grows as the blocks slowly evaporate. It will sit at the entrance of the Art Los Angeles Contemporary fair at Barker Hanger.
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