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Saturday, October 8, 2011

HOW LOS ANGELES MADE ITS REPUTATION AS THE ART WORLD’S OUTSIDER CITY





How Los Angeles made its reputation as the art world’s outsider city
By Andrew Berardini From issue 228, October 2011
Published online 30 Sep 11 (Features)

Los Angeles, one could say, is defined by its weather: clear sunshine streaming over palm trees gently swaying in balmy breezes. Or we could maybe wax poetic about the attractive beaches and the sandy girls, or perhaps even the picture industry and its glamorous denizens with their chilly artifice and febrile scandals. But we would not be the first. If Los Angeles were just these things it would be little more than superficial advertorial, empty truisms and false-ish cliches you could glean from a cheap postcard or two, a glossy developer’s brochure. It’s not so easy actually. Los Angeles is defined ultimately by what all cities are defined by, its people and the accumulated efforts of those individuals over time. Its art is no different.

Angelenos have been doing an awful lot of navel-gazing recently, prompted by a $10m grant from the Getty to do so on a grand institutional scale. “Pacific Standard Time: Art in Los Angeles, 1945-1980”, the initiative that absorbed the funds, includes over 60 exhibitions, a performance festival, a parade, the unveiling of all the information gleaned from collected archives, countless interviews, researchers gathering every show card and poster, letter and loan agreement that ever passed a significant or would-be significant hand. And of course, it’s not just questioning where we Angelenos have been, but where we are now and, maybe, where we are going.

Read full article here.

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