May 2011

Culture(d)—May 2011

edited by MAYER RUS


BEAUTY’S WHERE YOU FIND IT

Emerson said, “Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting.” Tolstoy had a different view: “It is amazing how complete is the delusion that beauty is goodness.” The Annenberg Space for Photography addresses the subject’s pleasures and paradoxes in Beauty Culture, a kaleidoscope of supermodels, celebrities, pageant queens and vamps, captured by the greatest of image makers. May 21–Nov. 27, annenbergspaceforphotography.org.

WITNESS FOR THE REVOLUTION

Michael Kohn Gallery pays homage to late L.A. photographer Charles Brittin in West & South. He served as an unofficial historian of Venice Beach’s 1950s Beat culture, particularly as it coalesced around artist Wallace Berman. Later, he championed civil rights as documentarian for such groups as the Congress of Racial Equality and the Black Panther Party. Through May 14. kohngallery.com.

SCREEN SAVER

Calling all Norma Desmond aficionados! The Los Angeles Conservancy marks 25 years of its Last Remaining Seats series with classic films screened in the baroque splendor of the four movie palaces in downtown’s Broadway Historic Theatre District. The slate kicks off at the 85-year-old Orpheum Theatre with Hitchcock’s Rear Window, preceded by a performance on the famed Mighty Wurlitzer. May 25–June 29. laconservancy.org.

AUTEUR THEORY

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art invites you to peek into the delightfully twisted psyche of filmmaker Tim Burton. Nodding to cult cineastes and blockbuster buffs alike, the retrospective showcases a trove of pop-surrealist gems spanning nearly half a century, including sketches from Burton’s Burbank childhood, his early work at Disney and costumes and concept art from trippy treasures Edward Scissorhands, Pee-wee’s Big Adventure and Alice in Wonderland. Last year, this show drew the third-highest attendance of any exhibition in MoMA’s history, behind Picasso (1980) and Matisse (1992). Oh, the times, they are a-changin’. May 29–Oct. 31, lacma.org.