It’s Reigning Men at LACMA! And no I’m not talking about the Weathers Girls song from 1983, but reigning… as in occupying the throne like a King.
With over 300 years of regal wear, it would be hard not to find something to love at this exhibition. I’ve chosen my faves which represent the more genteel of garments from France, England and Italy. However, this show also features everything from a 1952 ‘Aloha Shirt’ to a 2014 Tom Ford Silk Dinner Jacket, to a 1970 Unisex Caftan.
One of the stunning things I truly loved about the exhibit were the meticulously crafted wigs by milliner Deborah Ambrosino. It took her two years to create them, with the help of assistant curator Clarissa Esguerra who did the research. The white wigs are correct for each specific period, without being a distraction to the final presentation of the garment.
When it came to the 131 mannequins required for these three centuries of mens garments, costume and textile specialist Melinda Webber Kerstein took 28 months to laboriously create the proper mens silhouettes from 5 basic mannequins. Over 40 mannequins were cut down and re-sculpted to fit the extant garments. Over 275 yards of batting and 400 yards of tulle were used to pad out the mannequins and mounts in the show, as well as 300 pairs of queen size control-top panty hose.
This exhibit runs until August 21, 2016 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Click HERE for more info on the show, and click HERE to read more about what it took to bring these Reigning Men to life.
Oh, and in case you have no clue about the Weathers Girls, you can watch their iconic 80’s video below.
I recently returned to LACMA for my second viewing of the Expressionism Show, From Van Gogh to Kandinsky in Germany and France and I loved it even more the second time.
There are many scholarly reviews online about this exhibit, however, this isn’t one of them. That said, I simply can’t say enough good things about this show. It made me feel something, and I found myself standing in front of several paintings, drinking them in, luxuriating in their use of color and their bold brush strokes. I’ve traveled the world and seen many great shows, and many great paintings. Therefore, I yield to my eyes better judgement, and trust my instincts. Great art is great art, and when you see it you know. If a curator or scholar tells me it’s brilliant and I don’t get it, then so be it. The bottom line I ask myself is, would I want to live with it? And with this exhibit, I offer a resounding yes!! Please Please Please give me that Kandinsky in the black frame!! (Fourth image down) Some scholars are saying this show isn’t meant to be a blockbuster exhibit, but rather a bridge from Post Impressionism into Expressionism, spanning the periods from 1900 – 1914. All I know, is that this show resonates with me in a very profound way and is one of my favorite exhibits I’ve seen at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art during the last decade. My other other fave was the block buster 2006 Magritte exhibit: Magritte and Contemporary Art: The Treachery of Images, which included carpets of clouds on the floor, and wall paper on the ceiling of Los Angeles Freeways. Both of these shows have created total environments, which totally appeals to the interior designer in me.
One of the elements that I LOVED was the use of black walls with navy blue insets, that made the paintings jump off the wall. And I also loved how intimate works on paper were juxtaposed next to oil paintings from different periods. It’s the same way a sophisticated home owner would create groupings in their home if they had this caliber of work. While I know there’s an intellectual order to the way this show was hung, I simply have to say that this layout makes the entire exhibit warmer and easier to absorb. This show is also much more varied than the title suggests. I was surprised to learn that there are more than 40 artists in this exhibit, and works from different periods, such a Post-Impressionism, Fauvism, and Cubism. In total there are 90 paintings, and 45 works on paper.
Don’t be intimidated if you don’t know a thing about art. You don’t need to, all you simply need to do is show up, and start educating your eye. I guarantee you’ll find something that excites you here, which in return, may teach you a little something about yourself.
LACMA: Expressionism: From Van Gogh to Kandinsky – Germany and France. Closes September 14, 2014