Thursday, June 16, 2016


When I think of art, I think of beauty.  Beauty is the mystery of life.   
It is not in the eye, it is in my mind.   
In our minds there is an awareness of perfection.
 ~ Agnes Martin

There are three remarkable exhibits currently on at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. 

I loved the Agnes Martin Retrospective, the first in the U.S. since 1992, showing the full development of her influential minimalist work.  I was enthralled by her serene paintings, many of which were new to me.  Seen from a distance they have a luminous glow, moving closer the details, often her signature pencil grids, come into focus.  Beauty and simplicity.  I happily immersed myself there, losing track of time.

I have known about Martin since my student days, however seeing the work in person sparked an affinity and an interest in learning more about the artist, her work and writings.  Martin left New York behind in 1967, just as her acclaim was growing.  She stopped working altogether and moved to a remote New Mexico location.  She began making art again in 1973, going on to create a remarkable legacy over the decades. 

Organized by Tate Modern in collaboration with LACMA, Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Düsseldorf, and Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, this exhibit is a rare experience and not to be missed!  It runs through September 11, 2016.

More exhibits from another visit (it was almost too much for one day as both are extensive).   
Robert Mapplethorpe: The Perfect Medium explores body of work including early drawings, collages, sculptures, Polaroid photography, portraits, still life, and figure studies.  This is the companion exhibition to one at the J. Paul Getty Museum that I had seen last month.  Intense imagery, but again I appreciated his clear artistic vision.  Runs through July 31, 2016.

Zoot suit, collection of LACMA
Zoot suit, collection of LACMA

Reigning Men: Fashion in Menswear, 1715–2015 explores the history of men’s fashion. Drawing mostly from the amazing LACMA costume collection, this exhibit is beautifully presented eye candy.  Each era also includes a modern interpretation, which are fun to see.  Note: you can download some of the clothing patterns here.  What a great resource that would have been back in the days that I made some of my own costumes!  Open through August 21, 2016.


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