A few weeks back, we shared news that we had a few Pacific Standard Time posters we were giving away as a farewell to the Southern California art movement. We heard from a lot of people sharing their experiences and favorite shows and how they see the work of the six (plus!) month art event carried on to this day. We had a lot of great entries that covered tons of great shows; but, there could only be six winners! See who won and what they had to say about Pacific Standard Time after the jump!
Our first winner is Sidney Matthews. Here’s what she had to say…
Now Dig This! changed my senior year of college. Specifically, seeing David Hammons’ body print works changed the trajectory of my senior year because I have been doing research on these works since Now Dig This! opened last fall. In my opinion, these body prints are so resonant because they explore the inseparability of black artist and black body, and suggest that the documentation of the physical body is a flawed means of documenting black identity. I think that the legacy of Now Dig This! lives on in the way that we study ‘black art’ in the field of Art History today. Artists featured in Now Dig This!, such as David Hammons, helped explode essentialist notions of black artistic identity, and the historical expectation of how this perceived identity should be visualized. I am currently writing my senior thesis on the post-body print works of David Hammons, and I really do owe this endeavor to seeing Now Dig This! last fall.
The second winner is Dung Ngo, whose favorite show was out in Santa Monica…
The Beatrice Wood show–Beatrice Wood: Career Woman-Drawings, Paintings, Vessels, and Objects–at the Santa Monica Museum of Art was eye-opening in so many ways. Not only did it show the prodigious breath of her lifework–from delicate to bold and brash to transcendent–it also show new paths for the future of ceramics as an art, already seen in many Los Angeles-based practitioners (such as Adam Silverman, who installed the show), but the reblurring of craft and art and design. Bravo!
Our third winner is Tanya Nolan, who echoed Sidney’s feelings…
I absolutely loved Now Dig This! The Hammer put on a great show, and they focused on a section of Southern California that is not discussed often – both socially and artistically (it seems that racial tension in SoCal only begins to be discussed by the population at large in the 80’s/90’s). The work shown was amazing, with exceptional craftsmanship and poignant social commentary. Not only did it inspire, but it also provoked thought and conversation – all of the things that great art exhibits are supposed to do. Not only is it one of my favorite from PST, but one of my favorite exhibits ever.
Jeff Haber is our fourth winner, who takes his favorite from LACMA.
I was not able to see every show, but of the shows I did see my favorite was California Design, 1930–1965: “Living in a Modern Way”. The show presented the confluence of place and time as it shaped architecture and design. The combination of mountain ranges, ocean breezes, and sunny temperate climate of Southern California was particularly influential. I was interested to see how the hand made met the factory, old materials met new materials and the evolution of aircraft manufacturing into the aerospace industry inspired the mid-century designers. I think what one will miss if they do not see this show is the extent of the influence this period had. California was a testing ground for innovation with a variety of technically imaginative and sensitively designed objects. Everyone knows the Eames furniture and Neutra and Schindler houses, what people don’t know as much about is the pottery, tapestries, graphic design, clothing and music. The dominant references of the time were not formal statements; rather designers aimed for timelessness, an incident in their environment. They were relaxed and unserious while fulfilling their intentions. As an architect I strive to provide the same innovation and structural honesty while celebrating the climate and landscape in my work.
Darren Wong broke things down for us in a very specific way, knocking out his favorite show, why it was his favorite, and the legacy the show leaves…
Breaking Ground: Chinese American Architects in Los Angeles (1945-1980)
Why is this show your favorite?
Being a Chinese American myself, it was great to see recognition of these great architects. They did a great job showcasing Architecture in a venue such as the museum. Documenting everything from Gilbert Leong’s Chinatown buildings to the Googie style of Helen Liu Fong, i found the work exceptionally inspirational. It helped inform me as well as made me appreciate the buildings that I see on a daily basis.
How do you see the legacy of the show in Los Angeles today?
I don’t live in Los Angeles, but I’ve seen the work of architect Gin Wong at the LAX as well as the CBS Television City. Living in the San Francisco Bay Area, I’m fortunate enough to be in close proximities to the Transamerica building, an iconic landmark in which Wong is the only surviving architect (from the show). I feel like we, the attendees of the PST Shows, are greatly influenced by all these artists. Not only Chinese Americans, but everyone can somehow relate and find personal relations to these vast varieties of shows. While they may not all exactly be in the history books (yet), we all will find inspiration and new appreciation.
Our last winner is Sue, who is the only person in our batch who picked a show from MOCA…
My favorite Pacific Standard Time Show was the Naked Hollywood: Weegee in Los Angeles exhibit at MOCA Grand. It’s my favorite show because it was the first time I saw Weegee’s photographs up close and in person. Weegee was one of the photographers I learned about in college and his surreal newsjournalistic style of photographing events had always intrigued me. Looking at his photographs from 1940s-50s Los Angeles was even more fascinating since I learned so much more about him that I didn’t know before–like the fact he moved to Hollywood. He never struck me as a celebrity-obsessed person, so I was glad to see (based on his photographs) that he didn’t fall into the paparazzi business and retained his shooting style by photographing the hilarious facial expressions of fangirls and strange side to Tinseltown instead. The exhibit fit into Pacific Standard Time and Southern California as a whole by capturing an alternative view to an era of Los Angeles that was at the peak of Hollywood production (as opposed to now where nearly all the big film studios aren’t even in Hollywood anymore). People who didn’t get a chance to see the “Weegee in LA” exhibit missed out on viewing pictures from an influential street photographer and from a period of classic vintage LA. The legacy of the Weegee exhibit in Los Angeles manifests itself in contemporary LA street photography exhibitions. I’m pretty sure most Angeleno street photographers of are aware of Weegee and have referenced his photographs to study how to capture particular moments and scenes. I feel I carry on the exhibit’s legacy itself by employing what I learned from Weegee’s documentary style in the pictures displayed at exhibit.
Now, with this post, we give our last official goodbye to Pacific Standard Time. It was a great six months and we loved being able to share cool events and shows that were a part of it. Now, onward to Made In L.A.!