November 2009

Culture(d)—November 2009

edited by MAYER RUS

Comtesse d’Haussonville, Ingres, norton simon museum, frick collection, los angeles, cultured


One of the delights of the fall season is an import from New York’s Frick Collection currently on view at the Norton Simon Museum: Ingres’ 1845 portrait of the Comtesse d’Haussonville, representing the first loan in an art-exchange program between the two institutions. An attendant exhibition, Gaze: Portraiture After Ingres, showcases works ranging from his contemporaries to 20th-century masters Picasso and Warhol. 411 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, 626-449-6840,

quentin shih, ancient paths modern voices, laphil, cultured


In a remarkable East/West Coast collabo, the Philharmonic Society of Orange County and Carnegie Hall have joined forces for Ancient Paths, Modern Voices, a wide-ranging festival of Chinese culture that features a show of photographs by Quentin Shih, presented by Christian Dior at South Coast Plaza (on view through November 7). Other highlights include Silver Spear, a “digital opera film” by Yuan Huiqin, at the Bowers Museum. The event ends on the 24th with a performance by pianist Yuja Wang and the Shanghai Symphony at Segerstrom Concert Hall.

pee-wee herman, gary panter, cultured


Meka leka hi! Meka hiney ho! Pee-wee Herman is on his way back for a four-week engagement at Club Nokia at L.A. Live. Along with the master, expect to see old favorites like Miss Yvonne, Jambi the Genie, Mailman Mike and, of course, the lovable Chairry. Alas, Kap’n Karl has gone on to his great reward, but he’ll never be forgotten. The 2010 Pee-wee Herman Show is fun for kids of all long as they happen to be over 16. Jan. 12–Feb. 7. $29.50–$125, 800-745-3000,

Glimmering Twilight, ford street studio, cultured


Bad things can happen when designers of furniture and decorative objects aspire to make high art, but Brad Davis and Janis Provisor of Fort Street Studio seem to have cracked that nut. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of their China Workshop, the husband and wife have designed Glimmering Twilight and Glimmering Dawn, two fantastical carpets woven of silk and gold yarn, in a nod to the floor coverings of the Qianlong Emperor’s private quarters in the Forbidden City. The designs have all the subtlety and nuance of Chinese watercolors, as they capture the play of light across water and air. Regardless of their utility, these poetic, dreamy rugs are more than worthy of your walls. 8687 Melrose Ave., Ste. B213, West Hollywood, 310-855-9832,

rose tarlow, melrose home, los angeles, cultured


This fall, Rose Tarlow’s venerable furniture showroom, Melrose House, moved into the erstwhile home of the Heritage Book Shop on Melrose Avenue, after years on Melrose Place. We asked the legendary designer to weigh in on the new space and the state of her brilliant career.

1. Has the spirit of Melrose House changed now that it’s in a different location?
There is a buzz of fresh energy. Nothing is more exciting than a new love—be it a house, a project or a friend. Anticipation is exhilarating. I’m even beginning my second book.

2. What does living graciously mean to you?
In one of Dorothy Sayers’ delightful Lord Peter Wimsey books, she writes, “Every step he took was a conscious act of enjoyment.” Luxury is just a matter of being aware of the beauty that surrounds me at every moment.

3. If you could change anything about L.A.…?
The billboards—I’d get rid of them all.

4. Do you have a dream job?
I’d love to design a tiny hotel, from the architecture to the sheets on the beds.

5. If taste could be legislated, what’s the first thing you’d outlaw?
Bad taste is when you are consciously unkind to others. Good taste is what we all have when we recognize what we like.


Heigh-ho, heigh-ho, it’s off to New York we go for the unveiling of White Snow, Paul McCarthy’s twisted take on the 19th-century Snow White fable at Hauser & Wirth. The show includes a series of diminutive pencil sketches with the grace of Old Master drawings, as well as massive pieces using pages from catalogs, tabloids and porn magazines. Riffing on notions of purity, Snow White is rendered as a masturbating maiden surrounded by phallus-nosed dwarfs. Heigh-ho, indeed. The L.A.–based artist returns home in 2010 with the inaugural show at L&M Arts’ new Venice gallery. Nov. 5–Dec. 24,