Sunday, May 9, 2021

Huntington gets hip

San Marino, California. In a gallery, Thomas Gainsborough’s 18th-century oil painting, “The Blue Boy,” exits the ornate walls, passing right now A comprehensive restoration. In another gallery, an installation by a Los Angeles artist Monica Majoli Blueboy magazine explores, one of the earliest gay publications in the US Sultry pictures Wearing youth clothes.

When did Huntington get hip?

It is not the institution you thought you knew for its Beaux-Arts mansion, it houses a research library and elegant botanical gardens, including one inspired by Suzhou, China. It is now also a center of cutting-edge contemporary art.

for the first time, Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Garden Hammer joins museum to present biennial, “Created in LA 2020: A version, Which exposes videos, films, sculptures, performances and paintings by 30 Los Angeles artists.

The show, which opened when its host museum was able to welcome the public on 17 April, is clearly a departure for Huntington.

While the museum presents living artists such as Alex israel In 2015 and Celia Paul 2019, “Made in LA” is by far the most ambitious exhibition of contemporary art. And the show represents an effort to reach new audiences, diversify its programming and feature more artists of color.

“It’s a shot all over the bow,” said Christina Nielsen. Became director At Huntington Art Museum 2018. He sees the exhibition as “an opportunity to connect with the wider contemporary art community here in LA. It’s really opening doors.”

In 1903 rail and real estate magnate Henry E. Located outside Los Angeles on a vast former ranch purchased by Huntington, the museum opened to the public in 1928 and still offers a formal, European atmosphere. Even some artists participating in “Made in LA” were initially skeptical of showing their works.

“I felt it was a strange choice – I was a little worried,” Majoli said, his experience turned out to be positive. “It was meant to act almost like a rich soil; The work was well off. “

Majoli said she was impressed by the museum’s openness to its establishment, noting how she dealt directly with the themes of homosexual liberation and self-determination. She irresponsibly learns that she considers the “queer subtext of the Blue Boy”, a painting originally inspired by Flemish baroque artist Anthony Van Dyke.

Other artists also produced works that responded to Huntington’s historical collection. Ann Green KellyFabric-draped chairs depict draped garments, which embellish the 1859 marble sculpture of Palmyra’s third-century queen Huntington,Xenobia in the chain

“It turned out to be a great opportunity in terms of tension,” said Lauren Mackler, an independent curator who conducted “Made in La” with Myriam Ben Salah.

Artist Jill Moldy specifically requested that she Four paintings Located near Zenobia at the American Art Galleries of Huntington. They include a diptych, “Interior of a Forest”, which references a work by Paul Cézanne with the same title and also frames the Exenobia statue.

“It was interesting to work there,” Mulledy said, “not to change history, but to add layers.”

Artist Kehinde Wiley has talked about how his painting of Black men in Classical Regal poses became aware of the early experience of British portraits of Huntington. “To me was really impressive because of all the pomp and circumstance,” Willie Told At WNYC 2009, “Especially for me as a young black kid.”

To some extent, Huntington’s “Made in LA” shows a larger trend in the art world away from different lanes for different arts (as in Museum of Modern Art Has done away with the dismantling of its discipline galleries) and towards establishing historical art in contemporary places (as the Museum of Art and Metropolitan) Frick collection Done in the Breuer Building).

Huntington is expanding its contemporary art initiative. In 2016, it began Five For collaboration with cultural organizations such as the Vincent Price Art Museum at East Los Angeles College in Monterey Park, California.

The Huntington, in partnership with the Yale Center for British Art, is presenting a trilogy of shows on female artists curated by New Yorker magazine critic Hilton Ells. Starting with Celia Paul, the series will also feature Lynette Yiadom-Boacke And culminating in late 2022 with Najideka Akunili Crosby.

While the price can be a nuisance for museum-goers in Los Angeles (admission is $ 25 for adults, $ 29 on weekends), Nielsen said the museum sometimes does free days And it made the point that “going to Huntland to Disneyland is cheaper for a family of four.”

More efforts are still needed to help the museum achieve greater diversity in its audience, programming and hiring. (Los Angeles Times art columnist Carolina Miranda Recently questioned Can Huntington, as “Donor of the Guild Age Wealth” “Developed Later on George Floyd.”)

Nielsen said she plans to fill three curatorial positions with people of color and the museum is creating more work by women artists and people of color. The entire Huntington Institute, which includes museums, libraries, and gardens, has an annual operating budget of more than $ 50 million, with heavy endowments in excess of $ 550 million.

Huntington recently completed a new gallery dedicated to Chinese art, located in his Chinese Garden Expanded (There is also a Japanese garden). “We are located in the San Gabriel Valley, one of the largest Asian populations and Asian-American populations in this country,” Nielsen said.

Meanwhile, long-time museum loyalists have to get used to wandering from the staple period rooms of Savoneri carpets and sevres porcelain, such as in unsolicited establishments Sabrina Tarasoff’s haunted house “Made in LA”

“I would never say that we should go back to historical collections,” Nielsen said. “But I am also committed to showing how this historical archive resonates with contemporary issues.

“We need to rethink the past – that’s what the scholars here are constantly doing,” she continued. “We are a place where history is preserved and history is written. And this is a place where history is preserved and Againwritten.”

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