Southern California art exhibits

States of Mind

Photography is a great dumping ground of sentimental clichés. Lovebirds, autumn leaves, maternity-ward prune-faces, sublime mountain streams, birthday antics... Fill in the list. Grand illusion-maker that it is, and connoisseur of the uncanny, photography is ...

Poet of Joy

By the 1880s, Renoir was well established and well to do. He’d already fought what he called les combats de l’impressionisme and triumphed as the impressionist with the most glamorous palette, the sunniest disposition, and ...

See For Yourself

Tough times, tightened belts, tighter budgets — from households and big industry to small businesses and major museums. No surprise that in a time of unstable markets, museums everywhere — threatened by leaner endowments, stiffer ...

Rembrandt All Over

In the late 1640s and 1650s, the Netherlands’ prosperous Golden Age dimmed. Hundreds of businesses failed, and a major recession enfeebled the entire society. Even Rembrandt, renowned and rich, hit a wall, partly of his ...

Claiming Space

A few years ago, when the Museum of Contemporary Art downtown converted the Santa Fe Depot’s old baggage-claim area, it did what museums all over the country have been doing in recent years, from remote, ...

Shooting the Moon

One of Ansel Adams’s most familiar and famous images, Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico, is the photographic equivalent of Aaron Copeland’s orchestral suite Appalachian Spring, John Ford’s movie Stagecoach, or Edward Hopper’s painting of a corner ...

Considered Beautiful

In 1810, a black Khoisan woman from South Africa named (by her slave-master) Saartjie Baartman was brought to London and became an entertainment sensation. Kept in a cage, she was exhibited seminude in sideshows and ...

How Many Words Is a Picture Worth?

Photographs and words have been doing their rather stiff box-step dance since the beginning. In the 1840s, Henry Fox Talbot, inventor of the negative-to-positive process, published The Pencil of Nature, a collection of photographs accompanied ...

Vaporous Volumes

Asilk thread seams together the Irish poet William Butler Yeats, the tarot, feminism, and Alfred Stieglitz, the photographer whose impresario activities in the early 20th Century promoted American modernism and the careers of Charles Demuth, ...

The Ghost Brought Inside the Flesh

I’ve seen every cut of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, and yet when I watched his new-absolutely-last-I-promise director’s cut, I’d never felt so pierced by the importance of photographs in the movie. The Terrell Corporation manufactures ...

Oversoul

When the painter Asher Durand first journeyed to New York as a teenager in 1817, from his rural home in Essex County, New Jersey, the city was a knockabout place of 10,000 souls — without ...

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