Exhibition Inquisition

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

Posts Tagged ‘Ring Cycle

Chapter 1 (Part 1): One Eli Broad Too Many, Or Not Enough?

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“Eli is not the problem. The problem is that we don’t have enough Elis in Los Angeles to balance out his generosity and the power of his influence.”[i]Ann Philbin, Director, Hammer Museum

A vestigial Victorian on Bunker Hill in 1966.

A vestigial Victorian on Bunker Hill in 1966.

Photographs of Los Angeles from fifty years ago capture an unfamiliar city. In the 1960s, downtown’s Bunker Hill was still occupied by a row of quiet Victorian houses. Since then, the Victorians have been cleared away and the city has experienced a population boom often illustrated as a mushroom cloud-shaped diagram, and now boasts a population of 9.86 million.[ii] While established in many ways, Los Angeles’s philanthropic culture is still in its infancy.  Despite ranking the second most populous city in America, the quantity of powerful philanthropists is insignificant at best.  Those who are active give to educational, environmental, health, and political causes.

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Myths, Legends, and Cultural Renewal: Wagner’s Sources

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Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Wilhelm Trübner’s Greeting of the Valkyries - A cultural source

In case you’ve been living underneath a rock, there is this small thing happening in Los Angeles this summer called the Ring Festival LA Coinciding with the Los Angeles Opera’s production of all four operas in Richard Wagner’s Ring Cycle, cultural institutions around Los Angeles have planned events and programming.  Museums have planned special exhibitions including LACMA, which has organized Myths, legends and Cultural Renewal: Wagner’s Sources.  The exhibition is installed in the space reserved for the Robert Gore Rifkind Center for German Expressionist Studies.  The exhibition was organized by the Rifkind Center, and showcases many works from its collection.

Freaky postcards promoting the Alps

The exhibition is a typical one for the Rifkind Center, combined with a special installation of works from LA Opera.  The title wall is located on the far wall from the entry way requiring a visitor to cross the entire room to read it.  There were several series of prints and other works that were hung as small collections.  A collection of Emile Nolde postcards were grouped on one wall, and a large series of Ernst Barlach prints hung in smart black frames on another wall.

Barlach prints, take up an entire corner

What set this exhibition apart was the combination of Rifkind works with the special installation by Achim Freyer, the creative designer of the LA Opera’s Ring cycle.  His sketches are hung on the walls alongside the other works.  A huge sculpture, the Walkurenritt, horse dominates one corner along with other costumes and from the show.

Promoting LA Opera

This exhibition did an excellent job of showcasing the cultural sources used by Wagner for his opera’s and also at making me really really regret not going to see any of the productions in the opera cycle.

– H.I.