15th of March to 10th of June 2012 – Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin
The exhibition project “Pacific Standard Time – Art in Los Angeles, 1950-1980” traces the development of the Los Angeles art scene during the post-war period, when the city on the Pacific hosted an impressively varied and versatile art scene, thus proving that it was more than Hollywood and a sprawling metropolis in the land of sunshine and palm trees. “Pacific Standard Time” features such internationally esteemed artists as John Baldessari, David Hockney, Edward Kienholz or Ed Ruscha as well as protagonists that are yet to be discovered like the abstract painters Helen Lundeberg and Karl Benjamin, the ceramicists Ken Price and John Mason, and sculptors such as De Wain Valentine.
The mega show – over 60 institutions and galleries in Los Angeles were involved – is taking the two main core exhibitions of the Getty Museum and the Getty Research Institute to Europe. The sole European venue is the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin.
What was the feminine element in the avant-gard movements of the West coast? This is an interesting filter to place on the exhibition “Pacific Standard Time” Whether we refer to performances to protest against the war in Vietnam (Suzanne Lacy and Leslie Labowitz-Starus), the vitality of the campuses as nests of creativity(with Martha Rosler in San Diego) or even the commitment of audacious collectors (in the footsteps of Betty Asher), a history of art in America after the war can surely not be drawn up in the masculine gender. But male chauvinists need not worry: with John Baldessari to Richard Diebenkorn, including Bruce Naumann and Edward Kienholz.
The section of the exhibition that was to be seen in Los Angeles’ Getty Museum under the title of “Crosscurrents in L.A. – Painting and Sculpture, 1950-1970”, presents painting and sculpture. In the second part that was to be seen in Los Angeles under the title of “Greetings from L.A. – Artists and Publics, 1950-1980”, posters, artists’ catalogues, postcards, invitation cards and other memorabilia are shown which offer a deeper insight into the networks of the Los Angeles art scene at that time. For Berlin the show has been supplemented to include photographs by Julius Shulman, whose architectural shots defined the image of the Californian lifestyle in the 1950s. His incomparable sensibility and intuitive feel for composition and the ‘critical moment’ established him as a master of his craft.