The West Coast
Just want to say that I am really enjoying this new practice of museums and artists making video previews to promote their upcoming exhibitions. Very entertaining and, apparently, very effective. For instance, last year, I was pretty excited for the Carnegie International, but when they started dropping intriguing and crisply edited trailers a few months before the show opened, my excitement turned into unadulterated obsession. Have a look at them. Really great.
When my plane broke through the Los Angeles smog on an afternoon in early spring, I imagined I had willed the town into existence by nothing more than my arrival. It’s the city’s foundational myth—perpetually born yesterday. I was there to cover an art fair called Paris Photo, which was being held at that most mythic of L.A. landmarks—Paramount Studios—and to report on the city’s art world. If New York had a say in the matter, it was something of an accident of history that there were ever artists in Los Angeles at all. The dealers and collectors were always in New York. And who could force the entertainment industry to care? For decades, the most noteworthy thing about successful Los Angeles artists—aside from a core group—was that they left for the East Coast.
The reality is more complicated. New York changed. Downtown ceased being a squatter’s free-for-all and became an outdoor shopping center. The S&M clubs and taxi garages of Chelsea gave way to galleries stacked on top of one another. Increasingly, the creatively minded transplants who migrated each day to New York from all over the country came with expiration dates. Ten years would go by, if you were lucky, before the inevitable fatigue set in. So many migrants have gone to California as a solution to some problem that it’s become an American trope. But in a town where the front page of the largest daily newspaper reports the unsubstantiated rumor that industry blogger Nikki Finke would be fired from Deadline Hollywood, the arts have quietly carved out a home. New York just got more and more expensive.
Los Angeles’s Hammer Museum announced today that it has hired Connie Butler to serve as its chief curator, taking the place of Douglas Fogle, who stepped down about a year ago. Ms. Butler was already bound for L.A. to curate the museum’s 2014 “Made in L.A.” biennial with Michael Ned Holte. She had served as chief curator of drawings at the Museum of Modern Art since 2006.
Los Angeles’s Hammer Museum announced that L.A.–based curators Karin Higa and Michael Ned Holte have been selected to curate the sophomore outing of its biennial, “Made in L.A.” The first edition of the exhibition closed at the beginning of this month.
For the past few months, following Los Angles Times writer Jori Finkel’s lead, we’ve noted the fact that none of the scores of shows about postwar art in Southern California, organized under the aegis of the Getty’s “Pacific Standard Time” initiative, were scheduled to travel to New York.
Author and artist Miranda July is selling vaguely artistic curios at the pop-up store Partners & Spade over on Great Jones Street. [AnimalNY]
Martin Gayford, chief art critic for Bloomberg Muse, has written a book about David Hockney that focuses, at least in part, on the artist’s iPad drawings. [Bloomberg]
On the difficulties of marketing Jesus at the Detroit Institute of Art. [Detroit Free Press]