Exhibitions and Installations, Getty Center, Getty Conservation Institute, Getty Research Institute, J. Paul Getty Museum

Countdown to Pacific Standard Time

Pacific Standard Time at the Getty – www.getty.edu/pacificstandardtime


This morning we launched a new website dedicated to Los Angeles art from 1945 to 1980. Here you can get acquainted with Pacific Standard Time, the region-wide collaborative project that will tell the story of the L.A. art scene and its impact, and snap up reservations for fall events. The website also features details on the four related exhibitions soon to open at the Getty Center.

The heart of the site is an in-depth browsable archive of the artwork, people, and places central to the stories told by these exhibitions. Meet 63 personalities, explore over 100 artworks—including paintings, assemblages, happenings, and more—and see archival photos of the postwar L.A. art scene as it unfolded. You can also visit historic art-world locations via a Google Map.

The website features oral-history video clips, too—there are already 12 videos with key players in the historic L.A. art scene, including this one with artist Betye Saar, who speaks about the art of transformation and her girlhood discovery of “the freedom to make something out of nothing.”

We’ll be adding 30 more videos, 12 more people profiles, and over 100 more archival photos in late September.

At the Getty Center itself, the countdown to Pacific Standard Time is happening quickly. Already installed in the Museum Entrance Hall is Robert Irwin’s 40,000-pound granite sculpture Black on White; and on September 13, the Getty Conservation Institute opens From Start to Finish: De Wain Valentine’s Gray Column, featuring a meticulously polished, twelve-foot-tall massive polymer slab.

Also throwing open its doors on September 13 is the Pacific Standard Time Information Room in the West Pavilion, where you can explore a timeline and an interactive map on our multi-touch table—or unplug and read.

Coming over the next month is a free iPhone/Android app featuring an image-and-audio tour of our exhibitions. We’ll update you here and via the initiative-wide Twitter feed, @PSTinLA.

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  1. Sandra Ceballos
    Posted August 31, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    Great website! can’t wait to check it out!!

  2. Hugh Bellas
    Posted September 2, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Yes, we had Bird living here for awhile, and many other worldclass musicians. Those born here included Eric Dolphy, Dexter Gordon, Hampton Hawes, Billy Higgins, Bobby Hutcherson, Etta James and dozens more of the greatest artists this country every produced,in our only true creative art form, jazz.
    Oh, your talking visual arts? Gotta go north to teh Bay area in teh post war era for that, not much doins here. Just a buncha entittle dhwite kids goofin around pretending to be artists, when really just soft of mind, body and soul kids whinin. oh, thats who you are talking about?

  3. Susan Edwards
    Posted September 6, 2011 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Sandra — Hope you enjoy the site! Let us know what discoveries you’ve made and how you liked it.

    Hugh — You might be surprised by the doins in L.A.’s postwar art scene! Many of the exhibitions will present work not seen before in museums, not recognized, and in some cases even thought to be lost. Since you’re talking about jazz, I’ll mention two Pacific Standard Time exhibitions that explore the work of African American artists: the Hammer’s “Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles 1960–1980,” which connects visual art to ideas and events in the wider world of creativity and politics here in L.A.; and the California African American Museum’s “Places of Validation, Art, and Progression,” which tells the story of people and places that fostered L.A.’s African-American visual artists. There will be a lot to discover.

  4. hugh bellas
    Posted September 6, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    What does black visual arts in LA have to do with jazz? Very seldom do the two meet, and African American art, outside of a few like Romare Bearden, from Harlem, are anywhere near this level, and yes his was music based art, as all true creative art is either poetic or musical, not the prosaic and psychobabble of decadent times, as we have just went through.
    No, this is a lily white affair. Where is the Watts Towers? Even though build single handedly by a 4’11” Italian immigrant, it is ignored, because of its location below the Wilshire line. The “cultural’ institutions of LA ignore its people. The “doins’ between Wilshire and Ventura have been pretty insignificant outside of the movies, This is an entertainment town, not art. The are yin and yang, bot necessary but separate.

  5. Susan Edwards
    Posted September 7, 2011 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    Watts Towers is participating in the Pacific Standard Time Performance Festival in January 2012. “Civic Virtue: Watts Here and Now” will be a daylong event featuring spoken word, jazz, and public art sculptures in the spirit of important historical works by artists Noah Purifoy, R. Judson Powell, and John Outterbridge. Should be a really interesting exploration of the connections between the musical, visual, and literary arts.

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  • […] Post-War Los Angeles served as a veritable petri dish for the development of modern art in the United States, but we hear little of the West Coast artists, who were often overshadowed by the Cedar Tavern New Yorkers. In the category “Best Use of a Historic Archive” I’m nominating Countdown to Pacific Standard Time. […]

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      William Pope.L

      Tell us a bit about how and why you became an artist.

      I used to blame my being an artist on my grandmother, but that was my younger self looking for a scapegoat. At one point in undergrad, I had a moment, a crisis where I thought it was my job to save my family and the best way to that was to be a commercial artist—but I had to let go of that. Truth be told, being an artist is something I choose every day. Of course, maybe I choose art because I’m afraid of theater—too much memorizing and being in the moment and shit.

      A lot of your work deals with racial issues—perceptions of “blackness,” “whiteness,” the absurdity of racial prejudices, the violence of it. Why do you address race in your work? Do you think art can be an agent of change?

      I address race in my work ‘cause day-to-day in our country it addresses me. Yes, art can change the world but so can Disney—so there is that. I think the real question is not can art change the world, but can art be changed by the world? Would we allow this?

      Humor, with a touch of the absurd, seems to be an important component in your artistic practice. What role does humor play in your work?

      I like to use humor in my work ‘cause it answers/deals with questions in ways that are very unique. Humor answers questions with an immediacy and creates a productive amnesia of the moment in the receiver—but then the wave recedes, the world floods back in with its pain, confusions, and crush but the humor remains like a perfume or an echo or a kiss inside beneath one’s skin.

      More: Artist William Pope.L on Humor, Race, and God

      From top: Obi Sunt (Production Image from the making of Obi Sunt), 2015, William Pope.L. Courtesy of the Artist © Pope.L; Gans-Nelson fight, from the album ‘Incident to the Gans-Nelson fight’ (Page 40-3), Goldfield, NV, September 3, 1906, William Pope.L. Courtesy of Steve Turner and the Artist; Tour People, 2005, William Pope.L. Courtesy of the Artist © Pope.L; Failure Drawing #301, NYU/Napkin, Rocket Crash, William Pope.L. Courtesy of the Artist © Pope.L.


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