Friday, August 31, 2018

Urbanism: L.A. Rising

(Drivebycuriosity) - Los Angeles is infamous for being a sprawl. The metropolis spreads over a huge area with seemingly trillions of flat houses. But L.A. is changing. There are growing clusters of high-rises and skyscrapers. On my recent visit of L.A. I spotted huge construction zones all over the city. This is caused by a growing economy, which encourages & finances investing in real estate, and altered zooming laws, allowing the construction of higher buildings.

Being an ambitious amateur photographer I took a lot picture of L.A.´s skyscrapers. Many of them are quite beautiful. They look elegant & powerful like the works by artists like Richard Serra, Anish Kapoor and other contemporary artists.

Some of these majestic & phallic constructions are quite impressive.

I like especially the geometric shapes and the colors which fit well into L.A.`s sunny environment.

                                                              Productive Clusters 

I am also impressed by some of the classy residential buildings.

The  construction boom is raising the density of L.A., lifting the number of people per square mile. Studies show that a rising density fosters economic growth because it hikes the productivity of the residents  ( newyorkfed  vox   bloomberg). "Packed city centers are correlated with economic growth, talent levels, and diversity" notices the city expert Richard Florida  (citylab). "When people cluster more tightly together, they become more productive", explains Bloomberg commentator Noah Smith (bloomberg).

This process will foster the growth of social & cultural infrastructure (health facilities & services, theaters, art galleries, nightclubs, cafes, bars, cinemas, shops etc) and will make L.A. even more attractive. 

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Contemporary Art: The Broad - A Reason To Go To Los Angeles

(Drivebycuriosity) - If you like contemporary art and you are in Los Angeles, then you should visit "The Broad" (221 S. Grand Avenue in Down Town LA thebroad). The private institution has a spectacular collection - and the admission is free. No wonder that "The Broad" is quite popular and reserve advance tickets for free general admission are recommended (tickets). But as my wife and I visited the museum last week, there was no line and we got immediate entry even without an advance ticket.

The contemporary art museum is founded and owned by the billionaire Eli Broad,  who had build two Fortune 500 companies in different industries: KB Home & Sun America. It seems that the founder and his curators have an excellent taste. There are a lot of amazing art works to see.  The building is spacious and the large white walls give the  - often monumental - paintings enough room to impress.

The tiny icons on this page can give a just a foretaste. You have really to go there to experience the art works. I show here just some favorites, as usual a very subjective selection. On top of this post you can see "In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow" by Takashi Murakami (2014) followed by Jenny Saville`s "In the Realm of the Mothers II" (2014, Charcoal on canvas) & Juli Mehretu`s "Cairo" (2013)

The pop artist Roy Lichtenstein belongs to my favorites. Above his "I...I`m Sorry!" (1965-66, Oil and Magna on canvas).

The girl above is admiring Richard Diebenkorn`s "Green Park #902 (1976).

I was happy to spot some works by Mark Tansey, who is one of my favorite painters (mark-tansey). I admire how he mixes reality with fiction and plays surrealist games on canvas. Above you can see his "Four Forbidden Senses"  (1982, oil on four canvas panels) &

Above another painting by Tansey: "Wake" (2003, oil on canvas).

I discovered another favorite of mine: Neo Rauch (here my post about the Neo Rauch show @ David Zwirner driveby). The artist, born in 1960, grew up in the communist Eastern Germany, influenced by the so-called socialist realism, a style of realistic art that was developed in the Soviet Union, and studied figurative painting (artinamerica).

Rauch, like Tansey, mixes realism with fantasy and also plays surrealist games on canvas. According to Wikipedia his "paintings mine the intersection of his personal history with the politics of industrial alienation. His work reflects the influence of socialist realism, and owes a debt to Surrealists Giorgio de Chirico and René Magritte" (wikipedia). You can read more about the artist on the Broad website (neo-rauch).

Above you can see "Fundgrube" (2011, oil on canvas)  followed by "Der Laden" (2005, oil on canvas) plus a detail shot.

Above more details from Murakami`s fascinating "In the Land of the Dead, Stepping on the Tail of a Rainbow" which is stretched over 2 walls.

Another Murakami, called: "My arms and legs rot off"

I really like Ed Ruscha ( ruscha). Above you can see his: "Angry Because it's Plaster, Not Milk" (1965, oil on canvas) & "No End to the Things Made Out of Human Talk" (1977, oil on canvas)

I am not the biggest fan of Jean-Michel Basquiat. But some of his wall-filling graffiti murals are quite impressive (basquiat). She is studying "Eyes and Eggs" (1983, acrylic, oilstick and paper collage on cotton).

Above Sam Francis`"Summer #1" (1957, oil on canvas) followed one of Terry Winters` Set Diagram (2000)  plus David Salle`s "Demonic Roland" (1987, acrylic and oil on canvas)

There are some Warhol´s of course. Above "Single Elvis [Ferus Type]" (1963, silkscreen ink and spray paint on linen).

I am also a fan of Anselm Kiefer. The German "is one of the most imaginative, original and serious artists alive", writes The Guardian ( theguardian). I agree. I am fascinated by his vast pictures, often covered with massive paint, ashes & condiments like sunflower seeds. Above his wall filling

The Broad is a reason to come back to LA.