September 2010

Culture(d)—September 2010

edited by MAYER RUS


The Autry National Center exhibition Siqueiros in Los Angeles: Censorship Defied arrives at a particularly opportune moment, given the current debate over immigration. Siqueiros, a titan of the Mexican mural movement (along with Diego Rivera and José Clemente Orozco) painted three murals over seven months in L.A. in 1932: Street Meeting, at the Chouinard School of Art; América Tropical, on Olvera Street; and Portrait of Mexico Today, in a private home in Pacific Palisades. The first two were soon painted over, their themes of imperialist oppression, worker solidarity and Chicano identity deemed too inflammatory. The show examines Siqueiros’ output during his L.A. sojourn in the broader context of political and social history. Sept. 24–Jan. 9. Adults, $9; students and seniors, $5; children, $3. Museum of the American West, 4700 Western Heritage Way, Griffith Park, 323-667-2000,


Armando Lerma and Carlos Ramirez (aka the Date Farmers) marry commercial iconography and political content deeply rooted in the artists’ Mexican-American heritage and California’s pervasive Latino culture. Now they’re spinning out their kaleidoscope of references—street murals, graffiti, revolutionary posters, prison art, tattoos—in a multimedia exhibition at the Ace Gallery. Opens September 24. Free. 5514 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills, 323-935-4411,


Like every great painting or opera, a great house rewards return inspections with fresh insights and revelations. Living Architecture (Assouline), by Dominique Browning and Lucy Gilmour, examines the most celebrated American houses of the 20th century from the perspective of the 21st. Monuments such as Fallingwater and Mies’ Farnsworth house emerge from the fog of history and hagiography when seen through the lenses of maestros of modern photography. The book includes a very incisive (and not at all selfserving) foreword by Mayer Rus (yes, me). $75


Glow, the biennial all-night art festival, returns to Santa Monica on September 25. Luminous sculptures and interactive installations, designed specifically for the event by a wide range of artists and architects, will transform the beach into an ethereal evening playground of surf, sand and light. It’s like a beautiful acid trip—without the acid. The festival spills out from the shore into the downtown area, where shops and restaurants will remain open late for revelers. 7 p.m.–3 a.m. Free.