Exhibition Inquisition

The stuff you look at, but don't see.

Winter BCAM Shows

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Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Let’s follow up a long discussion of three shows at LACMA with a very brief discussion of three shows at LACMA.  The three winter shows in BCAM are: Blinky Palermo: Retrospective 1964–1977, William Eggleston: Democratic Camera—Photographs and Video, 1961–2008, and Color and Form (an installation not exhibition). Let’s make this quick.

Not so much to talk about.

Blinky (yes I’m going to cal him by his first name) is organized by the Dia Art Foundation and the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard.  The show’s first stop is LACMA, then it travels east to the Hirshhorn and then north to Dia Beacon.  Interestingly the show is presented by Christies (hmm) and the tour is made possible by Gucci (who knew the Italian fashion house was interested in contemporary art or that the Gucci marketing people are).  Above the entrance to the show is the only semblance of exhibition design, a stupid painted blue triangle.  The only interesting thing to note about this show was that the labels were meticulously hidden in the doorways between each room, limiting distraction.  I think LACMA knows how boring this show is and actually stooped this low in a sad effort to make it interesting.


The lenders were varied: a bunch of American and European museums: MOMA,  Dia, MOMA Frankfurt, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, Stadle Museum, MOMA Luxembourg, Kunstmuseum Krefeld, Kunstmuseum Bonn; and some private collections including (OH HEY) Julian Schnabel, that museum darling.

Eggleston is leaps and bounds more interesting than Blinky, which isn’t saying a whole lot.  Eggleston was organized by the Whitney in association with the Haus der Kunst Munich (a haus I would very much like to live in), and is presented with money that endowed Michael Govan’s position (thanks Wally Annenberg!).

Did Eggleston get a percentage of all album sales?

The color photographs (actually” exhibition prints,” so who owns them?) are organized into series: Democratic Forest, True Stories, Electric Eve, a section on his recent work (how recent is 2000?), and a section on William Eggleston’s Guide a series based on his first major show at MOMA.  A show people hated because they thought color photography wasn’t serious enough to be considered fine art.  But something that is undisputable art is photography for album covers!  Evidently musicians (or the people who control them) love Eggleston photography.  A display case holds a collection of actual record covers with Eggleston images on them.  Ooooh Eggleston is so hip; at least Jimmy Eat World and Spoon think so.

Redwood Mississippi

The retrospective was small enough to make easy comparisons between early and later work.  Like the Greenwood Mississippi photograph of a light bulb in a red room, a subject also documented in a later untitled 2000 photograph.  And like the blue triangle above the entrance to Blinky, they just had to do something quirky for the Eggleston show.  This came in the form of what looked like wood patterned contact paper (that stuff you line shelves with) that lined the doorways between each room: so rustic, so hick, so random.

No joke; wood-patterned contact paper.

Last up, and a floor up in BCAM was an installation of Broadworks.  The installation is simply called Color and Form and is just that, simple.  It features the works of five artists including Imi Knoebel.  Knoebel was a student of Joseph Beuys, like Blinky, and apparently the two were friends—so this is somehow justification for this installation.  The other artists in the installation are John McCracken, Christian Eckart, Gunther Forg and Peter Halley, who all deal with issues of form and color in their work. How damn interesting (read sarcastic).

Not so much color, not so much form.

These shows closed on the 16th, but oops Color and Form will be around until April. So you’ve got time to see this really really boring installation.

– H.I.

And because there can’t be just one Broad museum in town, check out the fly through video of “the Broad” in downtown.  I wonder if they’re change the name of BCAM—nah, they spent too much money already on the branding of it.

One Response

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  1. I have wood contact paper, but that’s because I’m a hoarder.


    January 19, 2011 at 6:41 PM

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