Pacific Standard Time: Los Angeles Art, 1945-1980

Pacific Standard Time: Los Angeles Art, 1945-1980

5.0 1
by Rebecca Peabody

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
This is the flagship publication in a large, multimuseum, multipublisher initiative to make a record of Los Angeles art. Arguing that Los Angeles was “in danger of losing the historical record of its art,” the editors set out to strenuously document the movements, artists, and issues that shaped the scene. And what a scene it was—the performative aspect of the art is not lost on the editors. The book is studded with stories of such artists as Ed Ruscha, Betye Saar, and Patssi Valdez; gallerists like Irving Blum and Patricia Faure, curators like Walter Hopps, and institutions that came to L.A. to reshape artistic traditions; the Otis group redefined ceramics by employing industrial equipment to enable the creation of large-scale ceramics, to name just one example. The best essays come in the form of brief, focused sidebars that give life and personality to an otherwise rigorous scholarly history. An essay called “Tooth” describes the dentist-to-the-artists who, almost accidentally, acquired a world-class art collection in exchange for his skills. Another, “Air,” traces L.A. smog as a creative theme. While the design is less than distinctive (marked by white italic headlines on blue backgrounds), the book is heavy on gorgeous reproductions of iconic L.A. artwork, and, ambitious in scale and scope, represents a significant effort and achievement.(Oct.)
From the Publisher
 "As a journal of record, the volume fills in innumerable lacunae.  The post-war New York art scene has dominated the text books for far too long; this necessary resource redresses the balance with authority, wit and academic rigour, convincing the reader that it is indeed time for this history to be set down."—The Art Newspaper

 "The book is heavy on gorgeous reproductions of iconic L.A. artwork, and, ambitious in scale and scope, represents a significant effort and achievement."—Publishers Weekly 


"Consider [Pacific Standard Time] the missing general textbook on the rise, fall and transformation of post-World War II art produced in Los Angeles."—Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times

“As Pacific Standard Time amply documents, L.A. had its share of epochal moments during the three and a half decades following the end of World War II.”—Peter Plagens, Los Angeles Review of Books

“It is, to date, the most comprehensive effort to document L.A.’s emergence as a major locus of important art creation and presents an irresistibly rich panorama.”—Library Journal, starred review

“With informative, insightful chapters, this book is an excellent addition to the developing history of 20th-century art in the U.S. Highly recommended.”—Choice 

Winner of the Gold Medal for Fine Art at the 2012 Independent Publisher Book Awards

Glenn Goldman Award for Art and Architecture book, Los Angeles Times, 2012

Product Details

Getty Publications
Publication date:
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Product dimensions:
9.30(w) x 11.80(h) x 1.40(d)

Meet the Author

At the Getty Research Institute, Rebecca Peabody is manager of research projects; Andrew Perchuk is deputy director; Glenn Phillips is principal project specialist and consulting curator in the Department of Architecture and Contemporary Art; and Rani Singh is senior research associate in the Department of Architecture and Contemporary Art.

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Pacific Standard Time: Los Angeles Art, 1945-1980 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Grady1GH More than 1 year ago
Finally the exhibition all of Los Angeles has been waiting Pacific Standard Time: Timeline 1945-1980 opens and this is the catalogue that captures the essence of a multifacted experience that incorporates museums, art galleries, music ensembles such a s the LA Philharmonic, theater etc. It is a blockbuster an the book manages to distill the events well. to quote the PR, 'When organizers say that Pacific Standard Time, which focuses on four or so decades of LA art, is "the largest cultural collaboration ever undertaken in the region" they are in no way stretching things. The mega, multi-museum, multi-month show has been years in the making. And the participating institutions? There are over 60 of them around the Southern California area. Imagine trying to wrangle 60 people on one project. Not easy. Now imagine coordinating 60 museums and galleries, venues that have various goals and projects and budgets and space availabilities. The planning and the scheduling have all dovetailed nicely. The book outlines the timeline to be studied very well. 1945: Neapolitan immigrant Simon Rodia is midway through building the biggest, weirdest and least commercially viable sculpture in Los Angeles in the historically black neighborhood of Watts, the Watts Towers. Rumor has it that an alternate site was where the Beverly Hilton is in Beverly Hills, which, some argue, would have been a better long-term real estate deal for Rodia. 1947: Artist Kenneth Anger makes Fireworks, one of his few surviving early films. The Santa Monica native, onetime child actor, avowed occultist and author of movie-industry scandal compendium Hollywood Babylon, with his mix of glamour, power and sexuality, is our first truly significant homegrown Los Angeles artist, even if most people think of him only as a gay magician. 1955: The future co-founder of CalArts opens the most ridiculously successful art project in the history of mankind: Disneyland. It isn't known if any art critics attended the opening. 1956: Venice-based Charles and Ray Eames (that's husband and wife, not brothers) design the Eames lounge chair, the first and only chair inspired by a first baseman's mitt. 1957: Curator Walter Hopps, artist Ed Kienholz and poet Bob Alexander open Ferus Gallery, seen as the origin myth for contemporary art in the city -- especially if you're talking to Irving Blum, who quit selling furniture to take over the gallery in 1958 and turned this ragtag bunch of beatniks into an excellent business decision. 1962: Walter Hopps, now curator at the Pasadena Art Museum, curates the first museum exhibition of American pop art, followed in 1963 by the first retrospective of Marcel Duchamp. His amazing vision, compounded by his practical inability to show up on time, gets him fired in 1967. 1964: David Hockney moves to Los Angeles, ostensibly to better research two important subjects of his work: pools and boys. 1968: Bruce Nauman moves to Pasadena, where he figures out one of the most important breakthroughs in modern art, which later wins him a Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale: Pacing around and drinking too much coffee can be art. 1970: John Baldessari cremates his paintings, brings his "happenings" West, David Hammons prints his body, CalArts opens as perhaps the first conceptual art school and Paul McCarthy settles in Los Angeles. A pretty damn good year. 1971: Although Channa Horwitz was tacitly included in LACMA's famous "Art and Tech