Ahmanson Building. LACMA

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Ahmanson Building, Los Angeles County museum of Art (1965 – 2020)

Designed by architect William Pereira (1909-1985) and built by Del E. Webb in 1965, the four-story Ahmanson Building at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) is an iconic example of Los Angeles’ 1960s modernist architecture.

One of three original buildings (it was originally called The Lytton Gallery until 1968) at LACMA, it is slated to be torn down and replaced with an entirely new complex of buildings and exhibition spaces.

On a recent visit, the exhibition spaces within the building had been closed in anticipation of its demolition in 2020.  Adieu.

 

 

 

Unsettled: the New Frontier

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Close-up of artwork from the current Palm Springs Art Museum exhibition, Unsettled: Art on the New Frontier.

a sweeping presentation of contemporary art by more than 75 artists living or working in the Greater West, the exhibition features works by Ed Ruscha, Gerard Murillo, Sonia Falcone, Ana Teresa Fernández, Da-ka-xeen Mehner, Edgar Arceneaux, Andrea Zittel, Nicholas Galanin, Georgia O’Keeffe, Agnes Pelton, and many other artists.

Herb Alpert, Kwakiutl, & Sunnylands

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We made a stop at Sunnylands in Rancho Mirage, California this morning to see an exhibition of Herb Alpert’s amazing art – from painting to sculpture – as part of  “Reach for the Sky: Tradition + Inspiration”.

The exhibition blends the art by three generations of the Hunt family, members of the Kwakiutl tribe of British Columbia, Canada — brightly-colored totem poles, ceremonial masks, and wall plaques — with Alpert’s contemporary paintings and vertical, abstract bronze sculptures.

For all you kids out there…. Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass was a popular band in the 1960s that your parents (and grandparents) liked to listen to. Cameras weren’t allowed into the exhibition, so I snapped this vintage-style photo of the exterior of Sunnylands to help remember the experience.

The 200-acre property was owned by Walter and Leonore Annenberg as their private winter retreat beginning in 1966. Today, the estate is managed by the Annenberg Foundation.  It’s a cool place to visit when you’re in the neighborhood.

The desert sculptures of Ricardo Breceda

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Southern California artist Ricardo Breceda created and installed over 130 huge fanciful sculptures across the Borrego Springs, California desert landscape, each made of rugged iron and steel.

With a temperature of over 105 degrees outside, we only had the stamina to get out of the car and photograph a few of Breceda’s works. One of my favorites was this 350-foot long serpent, which undulates up then under the nearby road.

Dennis Avery (heir to the Avery label fortune) commissioned Breceda to create each of the sculptures. Avery eventually donated most of the land to California, becoming part of the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, and set-up a trust fund to maintain the works after his death in 2012.

Breceda is still alive and continues to make sculptures from his studio near Temecula.

Windseeker soars to meet Jet Airplane

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I came across this photo taken back in February 2012 when I joined the younger and more adventuresome members of my family for a day at Knott’s Berry Farm to celebrate a birthday. As everyone knows, or should know, I don’t do thrill rides.

While I waited for the family daredevils on the ground, I snapped this picture of them spinning around on the Windseeker ride 300 feet in the air as a jet passed overhead.

The photo was published later that week by the Los Angeles Times as their selection for “photo of the day”, making it my first official (and probably last) published “art photography”…

It was a ton of fun to hang with everyone that day, and still like the photo, and trying to identify which danging feet belongs to which family member…