May 2012

Culture(d)—May 2012

edited by MAYER RUS


THE LADY VANISHES

Sex, power, asps, eyeliner—the true tale of Cleopatra VII has it all! More than 150 artifacts illuminating the life of the provocative historical figure go on view at the California Science Center. Cleopatra: The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt showcases the fruits of ongoing archaeological digs on land and sea that have yielded insights into the 1st century B.C. reign of the pharoah and her family (son Caesarion, above) but not yet the location of her tomb. Opens May 23. californiasciencecenter.org.

WHAT BECOMES A LEGEND MOST?

It’s that time again. La Cienega Design Quarter, L.A.’s boulevard of furniture, fashion and fabu-lousness, is hosting its annual Legends program, a three-day extravaganza of book signings, panel discussions, exhibitions, trunk shows and parties. This year, in keeping with the Windows to the World theme, international designers are flocking here to decorate the district’s vitrines. Free. May 9–11. lcdqla.com.

DRAWING ROOM

New York–based artist Carroll Dunham returns to the Blum & Poe gallery with a revelatory 30-year survey of works on paper executed between 1982 and the present. When viewed together, the nearly 400 drawings trace the evolution of the artist’s signature style and the visual language of biomorphic forms equipped with grinding teeth, phallic noses, top hats and guns. It’s a kaleidoscopic look into a truly singular mind. Through May 26. blumandpoe.com.

HOUSE CALL

Today’s high- and low-wattage Tinseltown stars would be well advised to check out Paul R. Williams: Classic Hollywood Style (Rizzoli) for a lesson in savoir faire. From the 1920s to the ’70s, the pioneering African-American architect designed spectacular homes for the likes of Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, Barbara Stanwyck and many of the most potent potentates of L.A. society. Written by Williams’ granddaughter Karen E. Hudson, the book features new photography by Benny Chan and a foreword by designer Kelly Wearstler.


The Lady Vanishes: Matt Prefontaine
Drawing Room: Courtesy Carrol Dunham / Blum & Poe, L.A.
House Call: Benny Chan