Magazine article Artforum International

"Love in the Ruins." (Long Beach Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California)

Magazine article Artforum International

"Love in the Ruins." (Long Beach Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California)

Article excerpt

LONG BEACH MUSEUM OF ART

To most people, Los Angeles is a city of perpetual sunshine and eternal optimism. Historically, artists and the art business have stuck to the East Coast and West Coast art has always enjoyed a strangely tangential relationship to this "center" of the art world. Embracing a refreshing sense of the absurd that contrasts with the high-seriousness of the New York art world, and framed by a culture of unreality (the film business), art in California has often seemed like an antidote to the high-art ideals of the mainstream art world.

Artists like Edward Ruscha, John Baldessari, Alexis Smith, Llyn Foulkes and, more recently, Mike Kelley and Jim Shaw, have all, at one time or another, been victims of this idea of the West Coast art world as marginal. With a somewhat jockey, self-parodying attitude that contrasts with the rigorous intellectualism of the international mainstream, these artists have also been key figures in making this marginality center stage.

After a year of violent earthquakes, debilitating floods, and uncontrollable forest fires, Los Angeles seems to be a culture in crisis, on the verge of collapse. Informed by this sense of an impending crisis, "Love in the Ruins: Art and the Inspiration of L.A.," poses a challenge to older mythologies of the city. Here the harsh realities of a city in economic and cultural crisis, one built in an environment hostile to human beings (the desert), is depicted as a volatile place that can no longer sustain a mirage born of dreams, blinding sunlight, and historical innocence. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.