“At the tone, the time will be . . .”


EAR TO the ground, if it were a train, you would have felt it coming months ago. Pacific Standard Time celebrates the birth of the Los Angeles Arts scene — from 1945 to 1980. This extensive, much anticipated collaborative multidisciplinary (whew!) look at Los Angeles and the arts, jumps off this weekend with several opening-weekend events stretching across Southern California

Among the museum/gallery shows opening is “Under the Big Black Sun” at the Geffen Contemporary (still known among die-hard, long-timer Angelenos simply as “The Temporary”), which features work by more than 100 artists, including Ed Ruscha.

Under the Big Black Sun: California Art 1974 – 1981

Under the Big Black Sun: California Art 1974-1981 will constitute the most comprehensive survey exhibition to date to examine the exceptional fertility and diversity of art practice in California during the mid- to late 1970s; a period bracketed by Richard Nixon’s ignominious resignation and retreat to Southern California in 1974, in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, and the landslide election of California Governor Ronald Reagan and his ascent to the American Presidency in 1981. Organized by MOCA Chief Curator Paul Schimmel, Under the Big Black Sun: California Art 1974-1981 will feature works by approximately 125 artists working in a wide array of mediums and styles. The exhibition seeks to demonstrate how collective loss of faith in government and other institutionalized forms of authority yielded a pluralistic spirit of freedom and experimentation that reached its artistic apex in California, already a fertile ground for creativity and non-conformity.

Several of the museums and galleries that are participating in the collaborative show are offering free museum admission today, Sunday.

I’m really looking forward to several months of visual art, music, discussions that will not just braid the city together in a different sort of way but also help to flesh out its depth and contours.

For more info click here for a full calendar of events.

And here is a pretty extensive and well-reported account from KPCC (89.3 FM) about the show’s scope and intentions:

(image Standard Station (Red), by Ed Ruscha via UBS Art Collection)


One thought on ““At the tone, the time will be . . .”

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