March 2012

Culture(d)—March 2012

edited by MAYER RUS


Architect Cliff May and photographer Catherine Opie—two great tastes that taste great together. Now, UC Santa Barbara’s Art, Design & Architecture Museum, as part of the Pacific Standard Time arts initiative, is mounting Carefree California: Cliff May and the Romance of the Ranch House, the first major retrospective dedicated to May’s considerable impact on postwar residential design. As an adjunct to the exhibition, the museum commissioned Catherine Opie Photographs Cliff May, wherein the artist shot two of May’s signature 1950s abodes—one in a Long Beach development, the other in Brentwood. (Fun fact: The latter is now owned by Modern Family’s Ed O’Neill.)


With vague echoes of the 1931 Beaux Arts Ball, for which prominent architects came dressed as their own buildings, L.A.’s Architecture and Design Museum is frolicking at the intersection of fashion and design at its annual fundraiser, Celebrate: The Wearable. The concept is straightforward: Boldface names in architecture, decorating, graphics, industrial design and art create fantasy frocks and bijoux to be displayed on live models before being auctioned. The lineup includes Richard Meier, Robert A.M. Stern, Karim Rashid, John Baldessari for Gelila Couture and the tasty contributions of Wolfgang Puck. Mar. 10. Tickets start at $50


Decadence and despair march hand in hand in Ballyhoo Hullabaloo Haboob, a new Rosson Crow exhibition at the Honor Fraser Gallery. Her latest paintings move from triumphant ticker-tape parades to desolate Dust Bowl towns to Texas oil fields. Haboob, an Arabic term meaning severe dust storm, refers here to the ecological disasters that struck American prairies in the 1930s, as well as the more recent tempests that have roiled the Southwest—a symbolic nod to the great economic woes of both yesteryear and today.

Rancho Deluxe: East Mezzanine Way #2, 2011 (top), Old Ranch Road #4, 2011 / Courtesy Regen Projects, LA; Ill Winds: Jackie’s Strength, 2011 / Courtesy Honor Fraser