Femmes are front, center, and all around in Los Angeles' Architecture and Design museum’s third installation of its summer series, Come In! Usually a fun-filled event, this year’s exhibition strikes a chord in an industry often criticized for not being more gender equal. Issue aside, this year’s Come In! Les Femmes exhibit offers a look into the unique perspective of 25 women from varied art and design disciplines. As expected, in dealing with gender, one can’t escape the occasional critique of women’s roles in society and this exhibition is no exception. By juxtaposing blissful bridal images with symbols of domestic drudgery like irons and cookware, graphic designer Petrula Vrontikis asks us to contemplate the thin line that divides princess from domestic peasant in what she calls, “Brides = Maids.” Meanwhile, rather than using a standard canopy, installation artist Amy Jean Boebel fashioned a charcoal aluminum wire mesh into a giant frilly top in “Noesis.” Inside, a television set broadcasts the changing roles of women through the years. Apparel was also architect Doris Sung’s starting point. Inspired by age-old corsets, Sung creates a sculpture made out of thermobimetal that contracts and expands according to ambient heat. Other artists chose to co-opt traditional women’s implements, turning them toward new uses. Tanya Aguiniga, known more for her rope necklaces and textiles, surprises with a beautiful surface treatment inspired by cake decorating. Soft peaks and swirls dyed in subtle colors twirl and churn on an otherwise boring wall. While Aguiniga wields the cake decorator, Gwen Samuels takes to needle and thread, stitching together digital images of little cities, appropriately called “Metropolis.” Still others took an environmental stance. A strange machine of tubes, vacuums, and pink and blue liquid mysteriously stands on the far end, blurring the line between organic and man-made. A work of Alison Petty Ragguette, it looks almost human one minute, mechanical the next. Minarc's entry was more straightforward. Fashioning a waterfall of water bottles, the exhibition sheds light on humanity’s continual disruption of nature’s water cycles. Not everyone was quite so serious. Design, Bitches, in collaboration with Meiko Takechi Arquillos, designed a photo booth complete with props to recreate design’s most iconic shots. Think Eameses on a motorcycle. Paper becomes play object in artist Rebecca Niederlander's “The Devil’s Workshop.” Niederlander asks visitors to take part in some dastardly deed by adding to an ever-growing papercut installation that crawls from the wall to the ceiling. While we’re being tempted to add to the chaos, Jennifer Wolf quite literally waves a pink flag. Wolf hung huge textiles dyed red and pink from cochineal extract attached them to the museum’s posts and turned the small Wilshire space into a small ship ready to set sail for destinations unknown. Much like the effect of Wolf’s installation, this year’s Come In! is a tour de femme of discovery. A walk around the gallery will surely get you wondering and pondering, “What will these women think of next?” As part of its annual exhibition, A+D, the LA Forum, and the Association for Women in Architecture + Design are hosting a Pecha Kucha event celebrating women architects, designers, and artists in Los Angeles. Femmes Fatales VI will be held on July 26, 2012 at the A+D Museum. Details here. Click on a thumbnail to launch the slideshow.
Posts tagged with "A+D Museum":
Last Thursday, we visited the opening of the A+D Museum's new show, Drylands Design. While politicians squabble about oil and other resources, the show drives home the point that water is the reserve that will become the most fraught in the future as populations increase and climate change worsens. The Arid Lands Institute at Woodbury University culled the exhibit from the winners of their Drylands Design Competition, which encouraged architects, engineers, and urban designers to respond to the challenges of coming water scarcity. While some were a bit too complex for the average museum-goer, most proposals could improve aesthetics and quality of life while also addressing water issues. Professional Honor Merit Award Winner, Tom Kasbau, proposed re-introducing "vernal pools," nutrient-rich wetlands, along the LA River corridor and near freeway underpasses and other infrastructure. Solar panels along such infrastructure (i.e. the river's banks) would power desalinization systems, returning freshwater into the city's reservoirs and into adjacent farms. Student Honor Merit Award winner Rebecca Lederer proposed "New Man's Land," a system of wetlands, treatment facilities, riparian community spaces, and groundwater wells along the length of the US-Mexico Border. The focus will be on 14 "sister cities" along the border, which would share water resources and, just as important, create a sense of community across the international divide. To see more of these proposals visit here or better still go to the A+D Museum before the show closes on April 26.
This Saturday, LA’s A+D Museum will host its annual fundraising banquet, Celebrate. This year's event will not only include music from KCRW DJ Raul Campos (himself a trained urban planner) and some impressive celebs (including our favorite architecture fan Moby), but it will feature a runway show with custom clothing and accessories by architects and designers like Richard Meier, Neil Denari, Predock Frane, BMW Designworks, Karim Rashid, Robert A.M. Stern and many others. The runway show and live auction will be hosted by LA humorist Charles Phoenix and by Frances Anderton, host of KCRW’s DnA. Click on a thumbnail to see the slideshow of the uber fashions.
Every once in a while forces converge and we get an epic architecture weekend. One of those weekends is happening now. Here are some of the events going on in LA this weekend: 1.) Hollywood Wilshire Boulevard Focus Weekend, featuring free admission at the A+D Museum, Hammer Museum, Craft and Folk Art Museum, MAK Center, Fowler Museum along Wilshire Boulevard as well as events at all the institutions. All revolve around the Getty's epic Pacific Standard Time series of exhibitions. These include: A discussion called The Legacy of the California Design Exhibitions at LACMA; a talk with Deborah Sussman about Eames Designs at A+D; a panel about Mapping Another L.A.: The Chicano Art Movement at the Fowler, a discussion about Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles 1960 – 1980 at the Hammer; and a about Sympathetic Seeing: Esther McCoy and the Heart of American Modernist Architecture and Design at the MAK Center. 2.) Launch of the exhibition, Architecture—A Woman's Profession at WUHO Hollywood and a Saturday panel discussion at the MAK Center, moderated by AN's Sam Lubell and featuring author Tanja Kullack as well as Barbara Bestor, Monica Ponce de Leon, Dagmar Richter, and Ingalill Whlroos-Ritter. 3.) Inglewood Open Studios, featuring visits to the studios of more than 30 artists (and a few architects) in this emerging arts district, but showing off great arts spaces like the 32,400 square foot Beacon Arts Building.
Los Angeles is a shifty creature, ever-changing and re-inventing itself. As memories of the perfect weekend (aka Carmageddon) fade into memory, a collaboration of creative professionals is looking to re-focus our collective consciousness on Los Angeles’ past, present, and what it might look like in fifty years. Opening this Thursday at the A+D Museum on Wilshire Boulevard, Rethink/LA's Perspectives on a Future City captures the voices of local Angelenos—writers, city planners, policymakers, and artists—through sound installations, collages, and videos. “We wanted to see what people in this city had to say,” said co-curator Kellie Konapelsky of Rethink/LA. “Most of the time, the people that live here don’t actually get to communicate how they would want to see the city. We wanted to get people talking and have them join the conversation.” Perspectives on a Future City grew organically from Rethink/LA’s DNA. An idea on the minds of graphic designer Konapelsky and architect Jonathan Louie, Rethink/LA soon became very, very real. “When we started talking, people from different backgrounds wanted to jump into it,” said Louie, “All of a sudden, it wasn’t just architects and graphic designers, but multimedia artists, web designers, event planners, social marketing people started getting interested as well as planners and architects.” Within a mere six months, a full-fledged exhibition came out of the chaos of activity. At the show: KCRW radio host Frances Anderton, TIME Asian bureau’s Kai Ma and AN's own West Coast Editor Sam Lubell ponder on a piece of Los Angeles; see photographs of LA now and collages of what those same locations could be in the future; play with interactive installations meant to provoke a new vision for Los Angeles. “There’s a diff between a citizen and a consumer. I would argue that more people need to be citizens, more active in the city and interested in the issues of the city,” said Louie. Rethink/LA hopes this would be one step in the right direction. What’s more, on August 11 Rethink/LA is challenging Angelenos to forget their precious cars for a night to attend its Moving Beyond Cars Party, a (hopefully) car-free celebration now on its second staging (here's a description of the first party). Join Rethink/LA in its opening exhibition August 4. Ditch your car and make your way to A+D car-free for the Moving Beyond Cars Party. More details here.
Come In! 2: SURF.SKATE.BIKE. Architecture and Design Museum 6032 Wilshire Boulevard Los Angeles Through July 24 Tomorrow night LA's A+D Museum will host a wild reception for Come In! 2: SURF.SKATE.BIKE. It's a collaborative exhibit featuring site-specific works from 19 of the city’s young designers. The show, which continues through July 24, fuses architecture, graphic design, illustration and other multidisciplinary art forms into a project that is part art-installation-in-action, part party and part interactive experience. The entire museum is fair game as the designers take over the galleries, offices, storage closets, bathrooms. If you happened to stop by the museum over the last few weeks, you probably got to see the artists at work. Last week, the guys from Electroland were spray-painting pieces of their virtual skate park installation, which will incorporate a symphony of skateboarding sounds coupled with “smart lights” that mimic the motion of skaters. We also caught a glimpse of the DTA Posse team fine-tuning their sticker-covered vignette and of multimedia artists Eder Cetina and Victor Solomon setting-up their foam core skate ramp. Heyday Partnership is creating an interactive piece using old school exercise bikes in which visitors can create their own wall art. Other participants include Aguiniga Design, Andrew Lewicki, The Art Dump, Ashkahn Shahparnia, Axis, Conart, Creatures of Comfort, DKNG Studios, Shannon O’Connor / Girls Drawing Girls, H.I. Design, Eric McHenry / INSIGHT, Maker USA, Patrick O’Dell and Push Offices. The reception, otherwise known as THE PARTY, will include the L.A. Derby Dolls roller derby team, a real skate park, hands-on screen-printing and live music by Health and Beauty. More glimpses of the in-progress exhibition below.
I had the pleasure this year of being on the jury for the annual 2x8 Competition, organized by the AIA/LA, which (thanks to more than ten sponsors) handed out more than $8,000 in scholarships to outstanding student entries from throughout California. Normally I only get to see work from household names like SCI-ARC, USC, UCLA, etc. But the competition introduced me to projects from equally talent-rich schools like Los Angeles Institute of Architecture and Design, Pasadena City College, Woodbury, Otis, Cal State Long Beach, Cal Poly Pomona and several more. Seven winners were named in all, receiving scholarships from $600 to $3,000. Projects ranged from tiny puzzles to giant urban interventions. See the winners here and more pix here., The exhibition of their work is on display at the A+D museum until June 3.
LA's A+D Museum tomorrow evening launches an exhibit celebrating the work of its founder, Stephen Kanner. Kanner died this summer at age 54, a tragic loss for the LA architecture community. The show will feature images and models of Kanner Architects' work and several of Kanner's personal artworks and sketches. Many will be surprised by the depth of Kanner's talents—he could sketch almost any building or neighborhood with exact precision, his cartoons were artful and hilarious, and he excelled at painting, model-making, and even carpet design— or even the breadth of his architecture, so this show is a must-see. A memorial service for Kanner will be held immediately following the opening.
Unfortunately we have to share the tragic news that our good friend, the excellent architect Stephen Kanner, has passed away. Kanner, principal at Kanner Architects and founder of the A+D Museum, died after a short battle with pancreatic cancer. We plan to publish an obituary shortly, but until then we thought we'd share this wonderful tribute by Frances Anderton. Kanner really left us too soon. We wish his family our most heartfelt condolences.
As promised yesterday, we are going paparazzi. We have pix of the architecture event of the week: the opening of LA's A+D Museum. (See Slideshow Here). The event drew hundreds into the museum's brand new space, a beautiful white jewel box located on the ground floor of a midcentury office building. Guests were treated to tunes from KCRW DJ Tom Schnabel, and bid on works of art and sculpture created by some of LA's biggest architects and cultural icons. Big names contributing work included Bruce Mau, Max Neutra, Lorcan O'Herlihy, Thom Mayne, Richard Meier, Hitoshi Abe, and many more. And so it begins for a museum that has for years been known for not having its own space. Welcome home.
LA's A+D (Architecture and Design) Museum is hosting its final exhibition at its current space at 5900 Wilshire Boulevard. The museum leaves its digs on April 15, and will move to a new (still undisclosed) location in the fall. The show, called Other Works, features the artwork of LA architects Wes Jones, Eric Kahn and Gary Paige. All three explore complexity, color, abstraction, and layering, and in general appear to enjoy getting to play in a less constrictive environment than architecture. This is especially true of Jones, whose childlike, floating red buildings are the antithesis of his carefully studied architectural drawings. Kahn and Paige, meanwhile, have both managed to evoke spirituality and rich depth from apparently (but not really) simple collages of color, texture, and in Kahn's case, letters and symbols. More info on the future of the A+D Museum coming soon... And more pictures after the jump..