Southern California art exhibits

W.S. Di Piero's eye on museum exhibits in San Diego and Los Angeles. For a list of all current exhibits, see our directory of museums.

Life as meat

Post–World War II London artists dabbled with expiration date

In the years following World War II, the biggest art conversation was about abstraction and what to do with it. The critical center was New York and the artists in question were Pollock, Rothko, de ...

Beautiful disgusts after some masterpieces

By the 18th Century, mighty Venice had become what Goethe called “the drawing room of Europe.”

Many of us seek and cherish essences when traveling to foreign places: a food, a shop, a fall of light, an open-air market, the peculiar curve or steep of street or hillside, the play of ...

Noisy Margaret Noble seeks friend not foe

Sound to give back silence

Every scene in a drama, according to the late director Mike Nichols, is either a fight, a seduction, or a negotiation. He added, as a footnote, the same is true in life. The thrill, or ...

The reviews of Jonathan Saville

The Reader's longtime reviewer of theater, classical music, and art

Why no one don’t know nuthin abut music around here Since a large proportion of current high school students graduate unable to speak or write correct English, and with no effective knowledge of history, it ...

Abstract works by NASA science illustrator on display in North Park Gallery

A New Stellar Order shows through June 18

There’s a an artistic universe squeezed into a little gallery space tucked between a residential home and a tattoo parlor on the eastern edge of North Park. The space is called Teros Gallery, the same ...

Bawdy shots

Mapplethorpe’s work “moves toward a kind of perfection — it’s just a matter of refining.”

I was 11 or 12 when I befriended an older neighborhood boy who was a fanatical bodybuilder. Johnny pumped iron in the basement and would interrupt any conversation to do handstand pushups against a wall. ...

Sex and psychedelia at the intersection of sight and sound

Listening station invites you to interpret a Miles Davis tune with paper and pens

San Diego Museum of Art’s Art of Music exhibit welcomes visitors with a giant ceramic auricle and protruding ear trumpet that, upon detecting the voices of passersby, proceeds to emit Beethoven’s “Grosse Fuge.” It’s a ...

German art right before Hitler

How it was, how it is

In many of these photos, things have an existential aura of their own and seem to be observing us.

Passionate energy just this side of anarchy at San Diego Museum of Art

Coney Island was designed to overcome

Coney Island: Visions of the American Dreamland, 1861–2008 is a game, splashy exhibition.

Sparky, hectic, unmediated inventiveness on display

This way to Radium Girl!

The Self-Taught Genius exhibit at the Mingei, artifacts from their conversation with the world

Stunning but remote physicality in Essaydi’s women

The poses matter.

Essaydi’s women don’t “present” to the viewer: each has an inner life made visible but unavailable to us.

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