November 2010

Culture(d)—November 2010

edited by MAYER RUS


A great Madonna never gets old. On November 5, Raphael’s 1505 jewel The Small Cowper Madonna makes its West Coast debut at the Norton Simon Museum in an exchange program with the National Gallery of Art. One of only a dozen or so works by the Renaissance master in U.S. collections, the painting—named for English aristo George Nassau Clavering, 3rd Earl Cowper—is installed next to the Norton Simon’s own Raphael, Madonna and Child with Book. Through January 24. 411 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, 626-449-6840,


The Architecture and Design Museum has mounted a retrospective dedicated to one of its founders—the late Stephen H. Kanner (1955–2010), a third-generation Los Angeles architect who headed the namesake firm founded by his grandfather in 1946. Kanner left his mark on neighborhoods throughout the city, in distinctly Southern California–flavored projects such as the United Oil gas station and car wash in Ladera Heights (above), the boomerang-happy In-N-Out Burger in Westwood and the sleek Sunset Vine Tower in Hollywood. Through January 16. 6032 Wilshire Blvd., 323-932-9393,


Before Louis Vuitton and Prada hopped on the camouflage bandwagon, Andy Warhol gave the beloved pattern a ride on his high-low rollercoaster. Honor Fraser gallery has curated a small, irresistible show of those very camouflage pictures, which includes a group of unique screen prints that served as trial proofs for Warhol’s classic, eight-piece camo portfolio published in 1987. Opening the same day is an Erik Parker exhibition of polychromatic still lifes that flirt with Fauvism. Through December 18 (Parker) and February 5 (Warhol). 2622 S. La Cienega Blvd., L.A., 310-837-0191,


For Sally McQuillan of Raoul Textiles, the allure of a retail store was in creating an environment that reflects her passions and the spirit of the business she launched nearly three decades ago with husband Tim. “We have a showroom in the Pacific Design Center,” she says, “but the shop is much more varied in its imagery.” Raoul’s new sun-filled emporium up the coast showcases the company’s signature hand-printed fabrics, along with George Smith furniture, antiques, African art and locally made accessories. “It’s grand in a pleasant, beachy way. It feels like a club.” 136 State St., Santa Barbara, 805-899-4947,


Twenty-five years is a long time in a town where you’re only as good as your last movie/series/concert. When Michael Kohn opened his gallery in 1985, the L.A. art world was more insular than it is in today’s era of Renzo Piano pavilions at LACMA, Jeffrey Deitch at MOCA and transcontinental migrations of prominent New York galleries. A native Angeleno, Kohn set up shop in his first location on Robertson after earning a master’s from NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts. “I couldn’t afford to redo the floors, so there was black shag carpeting for the first year,” he says.

Kohn’s original roster leaned heavily toward the East Coast, but over the years, his program grew to encompass a mix of established and emerging contemporary artists from New York and California, as well as the estates of seminal figures like Wallace Berman and Bruce Conner. Highlights include solo shows of Andy Warhol, James Rosenquist, Christopher Wool and Mark Ryden. Last year, he presented She: Wallace Berman and Richard Prince, featuring a 1986 El Camino embellished with photo reproductions from Prince’s Girlfriends series.

Characteristically eclectic, Kohn’s upcoming 25th Anniversary Show 1985–2010 (Nov. 20–Jan. 6) features high-profile artists and younger talents like Camille Rose Garcia and collaborators Case Simmons and Andrew Burke. Reflecting on the broad spectrum of styles, Kohn says, “It’s a show of visual non sequiturs—except they all happen in the context of me.” 8071 Beverly Blvd., 323-658-8088,


Stephen Sondheim emerges from behind the curtain for A Life in the Theatre, sharing his world in a discussion with KCRW’s Michael Silverblatt. His brilliant creations—A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Company, Sweeney Todd and Sunday in the Park with George, to name a few—revolutionized American musical theater, and this year marks his 80th birthday. Nov. 8. $43–$88, Royce Hall, UCLA Live, 310-825-2101,