95 years ago Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks and D. W. Griffith founded United Artists. They took their destinies into their own hands and began something the world would never forget.
The second edition of Printed Matter’s LA Art Book Fair kicked off last night in The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA as the fledgling of the famed NY Art Book Fair.
Over 250 international outfits are taking part in the assembly, and the range of offerings is highly impressive. Everything is egalitarian, sharply presented and extremely tempting.
Hometown heroes Ooga Booga, KesselsKramer, and Arcana — who are making waves on the international scene — are paired with their out-of-town peers, simultaneously repping their work and acting as ambassadors.
The fair is going on until Sunday and is free to enter and enjoy, thanks to the selfless contributions of many. For more information and for the full schedule for screenings, panels, lectures and special events visit laartbookfair.net.
Dave Hickey wrote and sent this over before his book signing yesterday.
I am interested in the survival of the art world now that the distinction between the fine arts and popular arts has dissolved — now that the one-time congeniality of the cottage industry that created most of the great art of the twentieth century has been infected by the relentless, aggressive habits of corporate and institutional culture — now that the underground which once provided a home for cultural rebels has been obliterated. For the past one hundred and fifty years, the marketplace has censored popular art. What is popular is popular art. During the same period, high art has been defined by its ability to censor its audience to a knowledgeable and sophisticated audience defined by its ability to tolerate difficulty and dissonance.
During this period, popular art was always more popular than high art. Peter Max was always more popular than Andy Warhol. Andrew Wyeth was always more popular that Alex Katz. Salvador Dali was always more popular than Georges Braque. So how does high art survive when it can be censored by its “popularity.” In this new art world, difficulty and dissonance are routinely suppressed. Writers like myself whose livelihood has been grounded in the interpretation of difficult art are rendered obsolete. Scholars devoted to assessing the historical impact and viability of difficult art are rendered obsolete. The small contingent of dealers and collectors who take chances on behalf of difficult art are rendered inconsequent. Artist devoted to pushing the envelope are de-prioritized.
So what becomes of the tradition of dissonance and difficulty? It survives, I think, but nobody thinks about it. Art is simply defined by its opacity and left opaque, so there are no historical consequences to work that might be difficult to understand. It simply dwells in the tides of fashion as the sort of thing we don’t understand and don’t care to. So, difficult art will continue to be made but no one will notice. This leaves a space for a new underground where people might pay art more careful attention to the world before their eyes.
On January 29, we are helping to welcome art critic, essayist and academic provocateur Dave Hickey, who’ll be celebrating the release of his new collect Pirates and Farmers with a talk and book signing at Grand Central Market in Downtown Los Angeles.
Dave Hickey’s decades-spanning career as a cultural commentator playfully straddles the barriers between high and mass art, music and celebrity culture — a sly irreverence that’s won him a fair share of both favor and controversy, not to mention a MacArthur Fellowship.
If you’d like to drop by, be sure to RSVP via the MoCA Website.
The Theatre at Ace Dtla will be embarking on its maiden voyage February 14 with Spiritualized at the helm — performing their landmark album Ladies and Gentlemen We are Floating in Space live with full orchestra and gospel choir.
If you missed out on the band’s sold out two-night stand, you might still be in luck: nonprofit Los Angeles Conservancy — devoted to preserving the great historic places of Los Angeles — is giving away a pair of tickets to the show on February 14, along with a room at Ace, for a flawless Valentine’s Day, Los Angeles style.
With a common commitment to the revitalization of Downtown Los Angeles’ artistic and cultural vitality, we’re very excited to announce that we’ve joined forces with our friends at L.A. Dance Project. We’re so pleased to welcome such a passionate and inspiring team into our beloved Theater — a magical space we feel fits hand in glove with the company’s world-renowned artistry. It’s a match made in heaven.
On February 20, 21 and 22, the collective — founded by renowned choreographer and dancer Benjamin Millepied, along with founding producer Charles Fabius, composers Nico Muhly and Nicholas Britell and art consultant Matthieu Humery — will perform three works at The Theatre at Ace Hotel. The program includes U.S. premieres of Reflections choreographed by Benjamin Millepied with music by David Lang and visual concepts by Barbara Kruger, and Murder Ballads by Justin Peck with music by Bryce Dessner of The National and visual concepts by Sterling Ruby. These two works will be paired with an exclusive sneak-peek of a new piece by Hiroaki Umeda, in preparation for its upcoming premiere in Paris in March 2014.
We cannot wait to see it, and all that’s sure to come.
Pre-sale tickets for L.A. Dance Project’s residency at The Theatre at Ace Hotel will be available to Ace’s A-list mailing list subscribers on Wednesday, January 15th, with sales to the public beginning on Thursday, January 16th. More information and tickets can be found at acehotel.com/theatre.