February 2010

Culture(d)—February 2010

edited by MAYER RUS

Los Angeles Nomadic Division, Via, Pacific Design Center


Prepare yourself. This month, the lobby of the Pacific Design Center will be “carpeted” in cement tiles adorned with...guns. It’s one of many installations produced by Los Angeles Nomadic Division (LAND), a public-art initiative founded last year by curators Shamim M. Momin and Christine Y. Kim. The first effort, Via, speaks to the transient nature of site-specific works as they coexist in city spaces and galleries. Via kicked off in January with a suite of projects by Mexican artists: Artemio (the PDC intervention, above, which addresses urban violence), José León Cerrillo (in R.M. Schindler’s Fitzpatrick-Leland house), Gonzalo Lebrija (whose film The Distance Between You and Me will play on two Sunset Boulevard video billboards) and Moris (who’ll create vinyl texts and digital prints at MOCA). nomadicdivision.org. —A. Moret

Brooks Hudson Thomas, Specific, art, architecture, cultured


Brooks Hudson Thomas, a former Blackman Cruz cicerone and éminence grise on the L.A. design scene, strikes out on his own with Specific, a furniture emporium specializing in idiosyncratic functional objects that straddle the art and design worlds. In addition to vintage pieces, the shop carries exclusive contemporary collections by artists such as Marie Christophe (right) and Tanya Aguiñiga. The range reflects the adventurous sensibility of the proprietor, who earned his master’s in painting from UCLA before wading into design. 7374 Beverly Blvd., L.A., 323-930-0220, specificmerchandise.com.

Assouline, Andree Putman, books, los angeles, cultured


Assouline, the French publishing house renowned for elegant tomes that celebrate art and beauty, has set up shop on Melrose Place, in partnership with Joe Pytka's ever-evolving restaurant, Bastide. The boutique occupies two small rooms—residential in both scale and ambience—situated between Bastide's Parisian-flavored courtyard and its lush garden/dining room. Happily, vestiges of Andrée Putnam’s original design can still be found in this salon for mind and body. 8475 Melrose Pl., West Hollywood, 323-782-4212, assouline.com.

Rachel Rosenthal, performing art, cultured


Rachel Rosenthal, 83, the Obie Award–winning doyenne of L.A.’s improv-theater world, breaks ground again. TOHUBOHU!—an “extreme theater ensemble”—blends dance, dialogue and on-the-fly lighting and design into wildly uncalculated sensory experiences. Not even her troupe knows where each show will go. A fitting companion is The DbD Experience (after her trademark workshops) book, in which she shares her journey to theatrical prominence. Begins Feb. 19, $20. Espace DbD, 2847 S. Robertson Blvd., L.A., 310-839-0661, rachelrosenthal.org.

getty museum, federick h. evans, cultured


Following last year’s excellent exhibitions of photos by Paul Outerbridge and Irving Penn, the Getty Museum presents two shows certain to exhilarate aficionados of the medium. A Record of Emotion focuses on turn-of-the-century British photographer Frederick H. Evans, best known for haunting architectural images of cathedrals. Fast-forward a hundred years to explore Urban Panoramas, three conceptually linked bodies of work by Catherine Opie, Jeff Chien-Hsing Liao and Soo Kim. Through June 6. getty.edu.

getty museum, federick h. evans, cultured


The medium and the message collide above the streets of Los Angeles in How Many Billboards? Art In Stead, a project of the MAK Center for Art and Architecture in which 21 contemporary artists invade a space typically reserved for commerce. Through March 12, billboards throughout the city will sport provocative images—some pointed, others obtuse—by talents including Ken Gonzales-Day (shown), Yvonne Rainer, Jennifer Bornstein and James Welling. An overview exhibition and an orientation station open at the Schindler House in West Hollywood on Feb. 23. howmanybillboards.org.