Aki

Art Safari: Experience Southern California’s LIGHT & SPACE

Southern California’s expansive vistas and ethereal light have an unspoken power. If it were a sound, I would imagine it to be a deep cleansing exhale, like a cool breeze blowing off the ocean on a warm sunny day. If it were to be conveyed as an image or object, it is undoubtedly captured in the body of work created by a group of artists from the region in the 1960’s, who were part of an art movement known as Light and Space.

The transcendental experience of being in Southern California – the deep blue Pacific Ocean and the glowing light that pervades every corner of the unsuppressed landscape – inspired regional artists to create art objects that depict this beauty. Now, through an unprecedented initiative that examines this and other influential art movements spawned in Southern California from 1945-1980, the Getty Institute in Los Angeles, along with 68 other institutions, has mounted a collaborative region-wide exhibition series called Pacific Standard Time.

Two of San Diego’s museums are taking part in this initiative:

Step into light and space. Don't miss 'Phenomenal' at MCASD.

The Museum of Contemporary Art has organized their largest exhibition to-date, Phenomenal: California Light, Space, Surface, which encompasses both the downtown and La Jolla locations. The exhibition features exemplary works by vanguard artists that shaped the Light and Space movement, as well as site-specific installations that predominantly use the medium of light. In addition to the unique atmosphere of Southern California, the emergence of the iconic car and surf culture in the 1960’s gave way for artists to experiment with new materials – acrylic polymers, resins, enamels and new plastics – to create immaculately slick surfaces that  gave the movement its alternative name, Finish Fetish. The exhibition at both locations will be on view through January 22, 2012, so you’ll have plenty of time to plan your trip to San Diego to take in this awe-inspiring exhibition.

 

See the whimsical creations of San Diego's foremost artist craftsmen at the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park.

The Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park presents San Diego’s Craft Revolution – From Post-War Modern to California Design, which opens October 16, showcasing important contributions of San Diego craftsmen from the 1940’s through the 1970’s. The exhibition traces the progression from sleek modernism to unconventional handcrafted functional objects, showcasing whimsical presentations of furniture, doors, jewelry and ceramics. This exhibition will be up through April 15, 2012, so be sure to include this exhibition in your next San Diego vacation itinerary.

Plan your Southern California Art Safari by visiting the official Pacific Standard Time website for more information, and a full schedule of participating exhibitions.

Candice

Video Tour: Finding San Diego’s Hidden Art

September is Arts Month here in San Diego, and we’re celebrating with everything from art walks to film festivals. But regardless of what month you visit, San Diego is a top destination for lovers of all forms of art.

Some of the city’s most intriguing artworks take a little bit of sleuthing to discover. Fortunately, you’ve got your own personal guide right here! Join me for a video tour as I search out some of San Diego’s hidden artistic treasures.

 [iframe width=”500″ height=”311″ youtube src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/bl7tHQE23L0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen]

Want to track down these works of art yourself? Visit these helpful sites and put together a do-it-yourself San Diego arts scavenger hunt:

 

Brent Bernasconi

Art & Culture Throughout San Diego this September

ArtWalk on the Bay

During the whole month of September, visitors and locals alike can enjoy the vibrant local arts communities and help celebrate “Arts Month San Diego” with a variety of exhibitions and events taking place across the county.

You can find out everything you wanted to know about Arts Month San Diego here. Below are few highlights:

  • ART SAN DIEGO Contemporary Art Fair, Sept. 1 – 4
    Held at new the Hilton San Diego Bayfront in downtown San Diego, the event showcases works by more 500 artists and 60 local and international galleries. In addition to the gallery booths, special features include curated exhibitions, contemporary furniture design displays, solo-artist exhibits, video-based works, live performance art, art in public spaces and a lounge designed by noted architect Jennifer Luce.
  • Kettner Nights, Sept. 9
    An evening of art, design and shopping, this progressive exhibition is free and open to the public and offers the opportunity to stroll through all of the Kettner Art & Design District’s innovative galleries and cutting edge home design shops located in downtown San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood. Complimentary beverages and hors d’oeuvres are served.
  • ArtWalk on the Bay, Sept. 10 – 11
    Held at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront park, ArtWalk on the Bay pairs extraordinary art with an extraordinary setting. Visitors can meet and purchase art directly from the artists on display; the festival also includes live music and hands-on activities at a special “KidsWalk” area. Continue reading
Bruna

High Fidelity Summer at MCASD, La Jolla

The Museum of Contemporary Art takes a breath this summer with the exhibition High Fidelity: Selections from the 1960s and 1970s and you can, too, through September 5. Presenting mostly formalist selections from the museum’s permanent collection, the survey’s consistency emits minimal distortion, contrasted with the intensity of its predecessors Mexico: Expected/Unexpected and Here Not There: San Diego Art Now. 

Centered on the time, the show is as much about a reconfiguration of space. The galleries seem airier with their two-dimensional focus. Even selected work by Joseph Cornell, Untitled (Robert Cornell Modification, Rabbit), is framed, not shadowboxed, and Martin’s Untitled progressively disappears in patches in characteristic Martin fashion. Time’s passage, or timelessness, becomes most apparent, however, peering at the horizon through Robert Irwin’s punctured window, 1°2°3°4°, 10 years since its last installation.

Robert Irwin, 1⁰2⁰3⁰4⁰, 1997, Apertures cut into existing windows, collection Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. Museum purchase in honor of Ruth Gribin with funds from the Ruth and Murray Gribin and Ansley I. Graham Trust, Los Angeles. © Robert Irwin. Artists rights society (ARS), New York. Photo: Becky Cohen

High Fidelity portrays the era as a thoughtful one, with a definite counterpoint to abstract expressionism. John Altoon, Robert Irwin, and John McLaughlin explore surface tension, positive and negative space, and limits or edge of painting, while Sol Lewitt, Alfred Jensen, and Donald Judd employ systems to determine their compositions. In the company of their art, the work of Vija Celmins, Bruce Connor, Edward Keinholz and John Baldessari, defined as “grittier and more informal,” become almost polite.

Phenomenal Previews

Previews of the must-see fall exhibition Phenomenal: California Light, Space and Surface will be available at the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Kettner location until its official opening at both venues on September 25. Irwin’s work returns for this show, with the perceptual experiments of Larry Bell, Mary Corse, Bruce Nauman, James Turrell, and Doug Wheeler. Phenomenal is part of “Pacific Standard Time”, a major region-wide initiative funded and spearheaded by the Getty Foundation; more than 50 cultural institutions across Southern California will tell the story of the birth of the Los Angeles art scene.

James Turrell, Stuck Red and Stuck Blue, 1970, Construction materials and fluorescent lights wall: 180 x 168 in. (457.2 x 426.7 cm); aperture: 90 x 26 in.© James Turrell. Photo by Philipp Scholz Rittermann.Collection Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Museum Purchase, Elizabeth W. Russell Foundation Funds.