Here's this with an explanation to follow.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
To all of those who may have counted this blog over and done with: au contraire! True confession, that list may have included me but I am back with the fall report.
|Timothy Corrigan's house in France, Château du Grand-Lucé.|
The season has kicked off with a fête thrown by the
chapter of the French Heritage Society in
honor of the publication of Timothy Corrigan's new book, An Invitation to
Château du Grand-Lucé The subtitle of
the book is, Decorating a Great Country French House but let's be clear,
this is beyond what you or I would call a house. Just take a look at the aerial
shot above. I've circled the house in red. The formal gardens are to its left
and the property includes the woods you see. See what I mean? Los
|That's my friend, Alix, in Timothy Corrigan's Los Angeles home.|
|Alix is standing in front of Timothy's (Jacques-Louis) David.|
It's a study for the central figure in Leonidas at Thermopylae which is at the Louvre, (doncha know!).
|Look, it's Timothy's book/cake.|
I don't know when they cut this. I must have left too early and I love cake!
Here's the twist. This French country house was bought by a Californian, that's Timothy Corrigan, and we just don't do stuffy and formal so the house was not only restored but made livable and comfortable by
standards. Timothy explains this
in the text of his book as he presents the story of the house as if you, the
reader, are invited over... to have some fun, serious fun! It was the same story
at Timothy's California house the night of
the book party. He was putting some candle lit lanterns out on the front walk
as I approached the house, greeted me, and invited me to go inside, find the
bar, go wherever you want, explore. Hello! What could be more welcoming? Hancock
|This is the chapter in Timothy's book where you get to explore the Pillement room. Not sure I could wait until day 2!|
Now there's something extraordinarily special about Château du Grand-Lucé. It has one of the few remaining rooms painted by Jean-Baptiste Pillement. That's especially significant to me because I've long admired his work.
|Here's the screen I painted in 1989 when I scarcely knew who Pillement was.|
|I've nothing but these casual snapshots of this work. |
I'm sure my photography and painting have both improve since then.
In 1989 just before moving to
I had a commission to paint a folding screen and I chose Pillement's work as
inspiration. Then sometime in the 90s I received another commission
and called on Jean-Baptiste once again. I think next I'll paint a whole room. It
could happen! California
|I painted this in the late 90s.|
|My screen in situ.|
|This was really fun to paint.|
|Here a couple of my preliminary sketches for the screen.|
Yes, I have a weakness for those fantastical surreal scenes that defy gravity and logic but where everyone , every plant, and all the architecture seems to be living a joyous life devoid of cares and woes.
And how is life in your world?
And how is life in your world?
Thanks so much to Edie Frère, Co-Chairman of the French Heritage Society's Southern California Chapter for inviting me to Timothy Corrigan's book signing and to my friend Alix Soubiran whose French Bubbles party actually kicked off the season a few nights before Timothy's party. That's where I met Edie and some of the French Expats who make L.A. their home. And to Timothy Corrigan, thank you so very much for a perfectly lovely evening!
Monday, September 16, 2013
Sunday, June 23, 2013
Venice, back to L.A., then out to Santa Monica under a super
moon. It wasn't as hectic as it sounds and in the evening a real treat. The occasion:
a gathering of artists and enthusiasts for dinner, drinks, discussion, and a
slide talk by one of the art world's slightly anachronistic painters, Julie
|A splendid mature mimosa strung with lights.|
Jon Swihart and Kim Merrill, both artists, generously open their home for these gatherings if you're on the list. I guess I'm on the list now and am glad to be. I only found out about it a few days ago when I was referencing Julie Heffernan's work in conversation to a fellow RISD alum whom I'd also just met. There are no coincidences some say.
|Jon Swihart's studio. A miniature portrait of Don Bachardy on the easel.|
|The artist collects, more of Jon's studio.|
|Julie Heffernan's painting (slide detail) and her own silhouette on the left.|
Thursday, June 6, 2013
Sunday, May 26, 2013
|Hanging lamps at Blackman Cruz|
German Expressionism: dark and moody, something you'd expect from a northern European country, right? Then how did it happen that dark and moody film noir flourished in sunny swaying palms
I think if you live here you catch on pretty quickly. Angelinos are dancers in
the dark and the light. After all you can't have strong shadows without strong
light. Know what I mean? L.A.
|Looking down on the design cognoscenti of L.A. @ Blackman Cruz|
This past Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights each had openings and I went to them all. So let's go back together and see what's on the bleeding edge of L.A. culture.
|The Blackman Cruz version of comfort: their spiked poof.|
|Capote was here? Anyway, it's a hand carved coffin.|
|Some of the adventuresome play with contrast and scale at Blackman Cruz.|
Thursday was Blackman Cruz which is not a gallery but Adam Blackman and David Cruz elevate furniture and objects for interiors to the level of a work of art on display. It seems like a slight to call their place a showroom or a shop because the interior architecture is so thoughtfully articulated. There's a marvelous change of scale from the two story tall great room you enter to the low ceiling upper floor rooms reminiscent of the
There's also open air deck with a view to the Soane Museum Hollywood
sign to remind you where you are.
|The space was once a disco and the giant mirror ball remains|
scattering flecks of light from the setting sun.
|Upstairs at Blackman Cruz there's a clubby feeling|
and a fresh take on Sir John Soane.
Their carefully curated collection has a jesting, slightly sinister principle of taste: bats, griffins, skulls, that sort of thing. And there's a marvelous play with scale to the furniture and objects that includes big and hulking as well as tiny and precious. The surfaces have the same sort of range of extremes from shiny and polished to matte pentimento.
|Here, literally are the dancers in the dark, well mostly dark.|
|Same as above, lit: Laura Owens' Gavin Brown Enterprise's Sci Arc Adjacent Alternative Art Space|
|The following night: time to get back to the garden.|
|Kayne Griffin Corcoran's new location on La Brea.|
Friday was a return to art school in the sense that the opening I went to was exactly like something I would have gone to as a student. No doubt there were a number of students or recent graduates there. The space is an enormous warehouse just over the
river from SciArc. The space is said to be Laura Owens' studio. Her paintings
are hung, though I didn't see any evidence that she actually works there. I
guess it's more of an extension of Gavin Brown's Enterprise, Laura's gallery in
NYC, as I hear he's footing a portion of the rent. Whatever it is, it's a nice
alternative gallery space that's a welcome edition to L.A. 's art scene. The location is industrial
á la Charles Sheeler and the dance performance on Friday night mirrored that
kind of stark stripped down esthetic. Following the live event: a selection of
videos which included the "By a Waterfall" number from Busby
Berkeley's Footlight Parade (1933). And the crowd roared approval as it
perfectly punctuated the evening's roster of high concept, art-world, in joke,
navel gazing. L.A.
|Detail of a James Turrell study for the crater.|
Last and by far the best was Saturday night at Kayne Griffin Corcoran. They could not have made a better choice to inaugurate their new location than the work of James Turrell who at age 70 is at the top of his game. Actually I guess James Turrell will be permanent fixture of the gallery as one of his sky spaces has been created in a room. There are specially designed reclining chairs to allow one to sit back and take in the sublime light bath but even standing and looking down at the polished stone floor you get a perfect reflection of the square apex. The changing palette of saturated color is intense and trippy like all of Turrells installations.
The main gallery space was devoted to James Turrell's magnum opus, the Roden Crater. The drawings, maquettes, photographs, and associated material defining and describing Roden Crater have a Duchampian feel and yet there's no pun here just sublime artistry. I'm telling you this setting and this show on a gorgeous spring evening in
, well, it's doesn't get any better. Los
|James Turrell's room at Kayne Griffin Corcoran.|
|Looking up from one of the reclining chairs.|
|As I looked down the color's were already changing.|
|You start to imagine that the air itself inside the room is saturated with color.|
|James Turrell's supporting materials for the |
|The scale topography is more apparent in the side view.|
Monday, April 15, 2013
Since moving to
a lot has happened and by that I mean there have been changes for the better in
the local cultural landscape. As a matter of fact the center of the
(contemporary Los Angeles )
art world has located itself a short distance from me. When one ventures out in
always preceded by a mental calculation: what route do I take to make it worth
it? So famous is that question that it's been parodied on SNL. L.A.
|Alan Kupchick's opening at Hale Arts.|
|This is the work of Andrea Bowers (marker on found cardboard) at Susan Vielmetter Gallery|
|Murakami Opening at Blum and Poe.|
|Murkami's huge paintings of ghosts.|
Closer to home I have a neighbor,