Art & Literature Reviews

Portraits of intimacy at the Norton Simon

Portraits of intimacy at the Norton Simon

Regardless of size, a good art show can transport an audience outside of its everyday reality and into another space of consciousness, however briefly. If a small-scale exhibition does this, the possibility of a meaningful emotional connection between a viewer and the artist increases exponentially....

Play and replay

Play and replay

“Everyone dies with secrets, why can’t I?” Convalescing at home after a fall, Lilith Fischer, age 87, is snappish with her son on the phone, rude to her in-home aide and determined to keep the memories of her youth buried.

Pasadena painter's traveling show knocks the ball out of the park

Pasadena painter's traveling show knocks the ball out of the park

To call the sandy-haired Terry Cannon a baseball fan is to damn with faint praise. He's a baseball obsessive. But Cannon is no Rain Man with batting averages, career wins and losses, and career RBIs rolling around in his head. He's fascinated with the little-known sociopolitical aspects of the...

Glendale artist's work featured at Art Share L.A.'s Black Panther exhibit

Glendale artist's work featured at Art Share L.A.'s Black Panther exhibit

When the Black Panthers in Los Angeles fought for change in the 1970s they started with the soil, planting an edible oasis in the heart of South Central. Today at 34th Street in Exposition Park, a garden dubbed Community Services Unlimited still draws neighbors together, inspiring an image of love...

True film buffs know them by name

True film buffs know them by name

Cemeteries aren't usually thought of as hotbeds of activity, but last Saturday night at the Forest Lawn Museum, atop the memorial park's Glendale grounds, proved the exception. As a blues band blared and colored lights splashed off the white walls of an adjacent chapel, several hundred guests ate,...

Alfred Ramos Martinez: A modernist who revered the peasant class

Alfred Ramos Martinez: A modernist who revered the peasant class

Lester Bowie, the late Art Ensemble of Chicago trumpeter, once dissected how Louis Armstrong purveyed his art in American culture: "The true revolutionary that's out waving a gun in the streets is never effective; the police just arrest him. But the police don't ever know about the one that smiles...

Peter Adams: Between the sun and the darkness

Peter Adams: Between the sun and the darkness

Artist Peter Adams likes a challenge. He has passions and procedures that make his paintings significantly more difficult than they might otherwise be. Known for his landscapes, Adams often likes to paint in nature, trying to capture a piece of the changing light. That's not terribly unique but as...

A balanced mission statement: Junípero Serra exhibit at the Huntington Library

A balanced mission statement: Junípero Serra exhibit at the Huntington Library

If you missed it over the summer or fall, there's still time to explore the remarkable exhibition, "Junípero Serra and the Legacies of the California Missions," at the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino.

Goya risked art's edges to capture Spanish society

Goya risked art's edges to capture Spanish society

If it's a truism that art reflects the surroundings and the time that it's made, there's another accompanying truth equally durable: All artists have to navigate in the surroundings they work in. Da Vinci could schmooze wealthy patrons, and Michelangelo had no talent for it. Pollock's exposed-...

Charles Phoenix: Celebrating that SoCal style

Charles Phoenix: Celebrating that SoCal style

Charles Phoenix, humorist, author, food-crafter and gleeful guide to pop culture at its kitschiest and most off-beat, will serve up his one-of-a-kind look at mid-20th century building design in “Charles Phoenix: Architecture in LA!” on Sunday at Art Center College of Design's Ahmanson...

Works deliver Bob Zoell's unique, spot-on design

Works deliver Bob Zoell's unique, spot-on design

If you should wander into the Boone Art Gallery at Pasadena City College, you'll see a grouping of large paintings that, at first glance, could be the work of a child. So simple are the spare arrangements of different colored circles and ovals in the show.

Pottery collection casts an eye on continuity

Pottery collection casts an eye on continuity

The modern art of the 20th Century didn't arrive fully formed without antecedents. In the case of the Art Deco movement of the 1920s, the style drew on the geometry, sleekness and minimalism of classicism. While Deco may have had a primary stronghold in Germany's Bauhaus, its gospel spread far and...

A Renaissance origin story: Huntington exhibit demonstrates Flemish influence on Florence

A Renaissance origin story: Huntington exhibit demonstrates Flemish influence on Florence

If you've ever snoozed through art history classes, you probably heard a lot about the Italian Renaissance. The lectures in those courses often give the impression that something in the national Italian character, coupled with the rise of a prosperous middle class, resulted in an unprecedented...

A century of color and variation: The Latin American art world

A century of color and variation: The Latin American art world

The small exhibition installed in the alcove gallery near the ticket desk at the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena is somewhat unexpected. In recognition of Hispanic and Latino Heritage Month, an institution noted for the depth of its European, Indian and Southeast Asian collections has mounted a...

Taking the Offramp to art

Taking the Offramp to art

When it comes to art openings, Southern California audiences have a shared experience. It usually involves driving a fair distance and arriving at the exhibition space with an attendant amount of stress. Once inside, a visitor is often greeted by steely-eyed art-types in mandatory black attire, each...

Rude imagination: Lurid, horrific artwork blends B-movie sensibility with professional design

Rude imagination: Lurid, horrific artwork blends B-movie sensibility with professional design

At a towering 6 feet 4, artist Bill Rude is a figure somewhat akin to the grotesque and menacing characters which populate his extraordinary work. A full-time effects, graphics and animation professional in film and television, Rude leads a shadowy Jekyll & Hyde double life, dividing his time...

The nuances of Korean digital media at Pacific Asia Museum

The nuances of Korean digital media at Pacific Asia Museum

Our national art consciousness has long had at least a vague sense of contemporary art (and a few individual artists) in Asia.

Retrospective follows Sam Francis' color evolution

Retrospective follows Sam Francis' color evolution

Galaxies of color. Organic, graphic and cellular forms. Image-defining, contemplative white space.

Experiences become Edith Hillinger's art

Experiences become Edith Hillinger's art

Artists often divulge and explore personal histories in their work: sometimes overtly, sometimes covertly. A theme, a process, a recurring motif, a fetish object — even a color scheme — can be used to wrestle with issues and/or celebrate something about themselves. It's rare, though,...

Dennis Reed to discuss 'Japanese American Photography' book at Glendale Central Library

Dennis Reed to discuss 'Japanese American Photography' book at Glendale Central Library

Back in 1977, Dennis Reed read something that intrigued him: There once had been a vibrant society of Japanese American photographers, including first-rate modernists, but with the advent of World War II and U.S. internment camps, all of their work had been lost. “Nothing survived,”...

Armenian American painter Arthur Pinajian being shown and sold locally

Armenian American painter Arthur Pinajian being shown and sold locally

For decades, artist Arthur Pinajian created vivid, abstract canvases under the cover of anonymity, painting thousands of landscapes and figure studies in varying abstract Expressionist styles. He worked out of a small cottage in Bellport, N.Y. that belonged to his sister Armen — it was here...

The Second City comes to Glendale's Alex Theatre

The Second City comes to Glendale's Alex Theatre

A staggering amount of modern American comedy has passed across the stages of The Second City, the acclaimed improv group headquartered in Chicago. Its alumni stretches from Oscar-winner Alan Arkin to Stephen Colbert and generations of “Saturday Night Live” cast members — John...

'Odysseo' is 'like a beautiful dream'

'Odysseo' is 'like a beautiful dream'

"In all my life I have always wanted to challenge what exists, wanted to bring together something no one has ever seen ... to challenge what exists in performing arts," says Normand Latourelle.

Annie Abbott's 'Giving Up Is Hard To Do' at the Victory Theatre Center

Annie Abbott's 'Giving Up Is Hard To Do' at the Victory Theatre Center

Getting back into the dating scene "when you're 100 years old — or might as well be," isn't for shrinking violets. Neither is breast cancer, losing your beloved husband unexpectedly, watching two brothers deal with mental illness, and hoping the bikini top that you're expected to wear for a...

Victory Theatre Center's one-man show 'Who's Your Daddy?' heading to New York

Victory Theatre Center's one-man show 'Who's Your Daddy?' heading to New York

The Victory Theatre Center's one-man show “Who's Your Daddy?” written by and starring Johnny O'Callaghan is heading to New York — a first for the Burbank company.

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Columns

Read On: People need to stop with the 'selfies'

Read On: People need to stop with the 'selfies'

This is probably going to sound odd coming from a guy who has a giant picture of himself running with his column, but I don’t really get the whole “selfies” thing. If I could...

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