Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Ed Ruscha: "Standard," at The Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Ed Ruscha, USA, Standard Station, 1966, Screenprint 
Ed Ruscha, USA, Hollywood, 1968, Screenprint

"Ed Ruscha's influence can be seen in graphic design, cinema, architectural theory, and urban history. His art depicts everyday objects – gas stations, street signs, billboards, commercial packaging – yet often triggers philosophical reflection about the relationship between words, things, and ideas. The word “standard” is a case in point: it can be a banner or rallying point, an established level of quality, and an oil company’s brand name. In his depictions of Standard stations, Ruscha points to each of these definitions and more. LACMA's collection includes more than 300 works by Ruscha." LA County Museum Website

This current exhibition will run until 1/21/2013, with a film & a lecture about the show happening on Friday, 10/26 in LACMA's Bing Theater at 7:30 PM. Titled, The Intersection of Art & Film, the lecture includes Mad Men creator Matt Weiner, film historian, critic & curator Elvis Mitchell, and Britt Salvesen, LACMA curator and department head of prints and drawings, for a discussion about the interplay of art and film in conjunction with the exhibition. A screening of Ed Ruscha’s short films Premium (1971/24 min.) and Miracle (1975/28 min.) will follow.

The cost is $14 for students with valid student ID's; for tickets call: 323 857-6010 or purchase online from the Museum's website.

Dirk Hagner at the L.A. Print Fair

“Dirk Hagner’s large scale woodcuts have long addressed his interest in artists, poets, writers, and actors – always with some very personal fascination. These people are celebrities – although, some are rather obscure. There is inherent romanticism in Hagner’s work, which, perhaps, is not surprising for an heir of German expressionism: Hagner believes in magic. He subscribes to the moment of illumination – or transcendence – when a work of art gets inside of you, and you feel euphoric. It would be a mistake to perceive Hagner’s homage’s as analogous to Warhol’s celebrity worship. One of Hagner’s portraits in this show is of German printmaker Horst Janssen; Hagner’s interest as an artist is akin to a man’s interest in his forebears.” - Christopher Michno

Area artist Dirk Hagner will be both presenting his work and giving two talks about his imagery at the LA Printers Fair, in the International Printing Museum's Front Gallery at 11am and 2pm on October 6, 2012. Other work may also be seen at his booth, #B50. The address is 315 West Torrance Blvd., Carson, CA. The phone number (should you need further information on the fair) is: 310/515-7166.

You can purchase tickets on-line for the fair, by using Paypal & going to The fair will run from 9 - 5 PM, & is a one day only affair, and tickets cost $6.00. Their web-site recommends parking across the street in the K-Mart shopping center lot. Hopefully, they've worked this out in advance with K-Mart.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Oscar Cueto - "Solitude," Walter Maciel Gallery

This exhibition closes on 10/27/12. The Maciel Gallery is located at 2642 South La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles. Hours of operation are from 11 - 6 PM, Tuesday - Saturday, call 310/839-1840 for further information. I've included a description of the watercolor color drawings by Mexico City based artist Oscar Cueto from the official Press Release.

"Oscar Cueto will present 18 small format drawings executed in watercolor and based on different symmetrical patterns and shapes found in the Rorschach psychological tests.  The stains are cleverly placed within landscapes taken from photographs of Cueto’s travels including city streets, urban parks and the ocean.  The mysterious blots become monstrous creatures that create a fantasy of terror for the impending peaceful scenery.  In one drawing a young boy is shown walking down a curvy path of a public park only to be greeted by the perfectly placed Rorschach monster.  Depending on how the blot is interpreted, it looks both like a tree (in keeping with the surrounding forest) and a grotesque beast with flailing arms and feet.  In another drawing the Rorschach stain is placed above the horizon line of the ocean appearing like a bat flying into the moody sky.  In all of the drawings, the psychology of the ink blot forms is reversed as they themselves become the horror that impends on the otherwise serene and peaceful quality of each landscape.  The series continues Cueto’s morose fascination with American horror films and their celebrity subjects as well as the demented capabilities of the human mind all within a humorous intent."