Cathy Breslaw's Installation

Cathy Breslaw's Installation
Cathy Breslaw's Installation:Dreamscape

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Scottish Rite Masonic Temple Los Angeles Transformed into 110,000 Sq Ft Contemporary Art Center

Marciano Art Foundation, Los Angeles
Inaugural Exhibition: Unpacking and The Wig Museum

Opens May 25th to the public

Article by Cathy Breslaw

The decision to create the new Marciano Art Foundation in Los Angeles began in 2013 when
the wHY architects and designers were tasked to redevelop the Scottish Rite Masonic Temple
into a new center for contemporary art. The 110,000 square foot building, originally designed by artist/designer Millard Sheets in 1961, originated with the vision of Maurice and Paul Marciano, co-founders of  Guess? Inc. 

The Marciano brothers moved to Los Angeles from southern France in 1981, where they founded the small denim company that would become a world-renowned brand. While living in Los Angeles, they became increasingly drawn to the burgeoning artist community and began developing close ties with artists as they visited studios around the city. During the 1990’s they began collecting art and by 2012, the Marcianos had amassed a large collection that they wanted to share with the public.

The Marciano Collection includes over 1,500 works and 200 artists, including established, mid-career and emerging artists from around the globe.  In keeping with the foundation’s original intent to create an  ‘art playground’ , the brothers have a particular affinity with Los Angeles artists and seek to reserve spaces in the building for collaborations, and to encourage experimentation.

The inaugural exhibitions opening May 25th, are Unpacking curated by Philipp Kaiser and The Wig Museum, a solo exhibition of the work of Los Angeles artist Jim Shaw. Unpacking draws over 100 works from the collection, including an international and multigenerational roster of artists. A site reflective work by Ruan Trecartin and Lizzie Fitch, Ledge engages with the site itself, which has proven inspiring to several artists in the collection.  There is a multi channel sculptural theater featuring a film created at the temple itself in 2014, prior to renovations.  A powerful 22 minute film Inferno by Yael Bartana combines the qualities of a historical epic and the drama of a Hollywood blockbuster through narrative motifs blending researched facts with mythic accounts relating to ancient Jerusalem’s first temple whose violent destruction during the Siege of Jerusalem to the subsequent Jewish diaspora of 6th century BCE.  Also included are paintings by Christopher Wool and Albert Oehlen, works by multi media artists Sterling Ruby and Mike Kelley, as well as post-pop figurative works and paintings by Paul McCarthy and Takashi Murakami.  Other artists in the exhibition are: Huma Bhabha, Latifa Echakhch, Mark Grotjahn, WadeGuyton, David Hammons, Thomas Houseago, Alex Israel, Louise Lawler, Sherrie Levine, Glenn Ligon, Goshka Macuga, Laura Owens, Cindy Sherman, Paul Sietsema, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Danh Vo, Kelley Walker, Mary Weatherford and Jonas Wood.

Jim Shaw: The Wig Museum, curated by Philipp Kaiser, highlights Shaw’s engagement with America’s social, political and spiritual histories through the nation’s mainstream and fringe cultures. Included are paintings, sculptures, drawings and installations.  Shaw’s creation of The Wig Museum, fashioned after a museum you would see on Hollywood Blvd, relates to the Masons who frequented the building previously used as a temple, and is a comment on the decline of wig-wearing Masonic and Anglo –Saxon power. Shaw spent time in the building during renovations sketching and photographing, and his works involved the appropriating of found images and objects used by the Masons - there are several hand painted theatrical backdrops that Shaw located and left by the Masons on display.

Former lounges, banquet halls and a 2,000 seat theater have been transformed into spaces for contemporary art. There is also a bookstore and relic room, organized by Susan L. Abert, Bard College professor, featuring objects and ephemera left by the Masons acknowledging the history of the site. There is an outdoor sculpture garden and café. Visiting the Marciano Art Foundation is free to the public.

Cindy Sherman  Untitled #549-E   pigment print on photo tex adhesive fabric  2010

Jim Shaw   The Wig Museum   mixed media    2017

Mike Kelley  Kandor 18B  foam coated with Elastomer, blown glass
with water based resin coating, tinted urethane resin, wood, found objects
and lighting fixture   2010
Adrian Villar Rojas   Two Suns (II)  Site Specific Installation    2015

El Anatsui   They Finally Broke the Pot of Wisdom   found aluminum,copper wire   2011

Seven Actor/Musicians Charm Us with Story-Telling, Shadowplay, Puppetry, and Music

The Old Man and the Old Moon
Old Globe Theater, San Diego
Through June 18th

Article by Cathy Breslaw

 The west coast premier of The Old Man and the Old Moon is a charming and romantic musical play for audiences of all ages.  From the moment the audience is seated, they are entertained with original folk music  played by the actors on a combination of various instruments. This unusual beginning immediately bonds the audience to the actors on stage. With minor technical exception, this play directed by PigPen Theater Company(and Stuart Carden) could have been produced long ago.  There are no whistles and bells of high technology and yet the production is highly entertaining for contemporary audiences.  Using a combination of shadowplay, puppetry, and physical acting, seven talented actor/musicians bring to life a mythological tale of a husband whose job it is to monitor the moon, refilling the light that spills out each night. His wife, feeling neglected and alone, decides to leave home on a journey by boat.  When her husband learns this, he sets off on a journey to find her and bring her home.  He leaves his post as “moon caretaker” and the world plunges into darkness. The play centers on the husband’s voyage across land, air and sea and the challenges he encounters along the way.  Throughout the play the seven actors play a variety of instruments including guitars, banjos, accordions, drums, and piano – to original folk music. The creative team brings an imaginative and magical experience with lighting (Bart Cortright), Scenic and Puppet Design(Lydia Fine), Sound design( Mekhail Fiksel, and Stage Production (Libby Unsworth). The seven actors began their unique brand of theater and music while attending Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama in 2007. The synergy and connection among the ensemble is palpable as the play moves naturally through the fabled tale they weave. (Alex Falberg, Ben Ferguson, Curtis Gillen, Ryan Melia, Matt Nuernberger, Arya Shahi and Dan Weschler) The Old Man and the Old Man is a musical folktale taking audiences on an odyssey of highs and lows, humor and touching moments.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Art Alive Mesmerizes with a Landscape of Thousands of Fresh Flowers at The San Diego Museum of Art

Art Alive
The San Diego Museum of Art
April 28 – 30, 2017, last weekend event

Article by Cathy Breslaw

Art Alive is an entertaining and magical experience.  Having just completed its 36th annual set of events, (April 28-30), it is certain that the thousands of people who attended will not forget their time spent at The San Diego Museum of Art. As an artist and writer, the museum is very familiar, as I’ve frequently attended exhibitions, yet as my first time attending Art Alive,  I found it unique, fun and mesmerizing.  The “buzz” and energy surrounding the museum was palpable, as throngs of people gathered both outside and inside the museum to experience  the beauty and awe that living plants and flowers brought to the museum’s indoor spaces.  The award winning floral designer Carlos Franco used 20,000 flowers to create  FloraMorphic: A Sky of Colors by transforming both the outside entrance and inside two levels of the rotunda into a mesmerizing visual cacophony of color, and suspended organic forms covering ceilings, and corners of wall entrances with thousands of flowers in an array of types, sizes and colors.  The scent of fresh flowers was everywhere. This year’s event had 95 southern California floral designers participating in a process of interpreting a selected artwork in the museum’s collection, using flowers and accessories to exhibit alongside each art piece.  It was fascinating to see how each designer chose to illustrate what they saw and felt when viewing the selected artworks.  There was a range of paintings, sculptures, and artifacts from the museum’s collection including artists Hieronymus Bosch, Gustav Corbet, George Braque, Henri Matisse, Renee Magritte, Goya, El Greco, Diego Rivera, Gustav Klimt, the Edwin Binney 3rd collection of Indian paintings, Rufino Tamayo, Raoul Dufy, Robert Henri,  Thomas Hart Benton, Thomas Moran, Hans Hoffman, Ben Shahn, Frank Stella, Howard Hodgkin, Georgia O’Keefe, Roy Lichtenstein, Alice Neel,  Deborah Butterfield, Richard Deacon and more.  It is estimated that over 12,000 visitors attended throughout the weekend’s events including the Member’s Preview, Museum Store show, Bloom Bash, garden activities and related events. It is expected that this year’s Art Alive raised over a million dollars which is expected to support arts education, outreach, and special exhibitions.