A Selective Guide to the Arts in Los Angeles

Image from the exhibit "California Design, 1930-1965: Living in a Modern Way" at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Beginning on Oct. 1, “Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A., 1945-1980” brings together more than 60 cultural institutions throughout Southern California to tell the story of the rise of the L.A. art scene and its impact on the art world. This colossal collaboration was initiated by the Getty Foundation, and the Getty Center has organized four exhibitions and an installation, along with films, lectures, panel discussions, classes and more, continuing into 2012.

Participating museums, galleries, educational institutions and other venues span L.A., Pasadena and Long Beach and extend as far as San Diego, Santa Barbara and Palm Springs. Exhibits and events cover a wide variety of artistic developments — everything from pop, post-minimalism and modernist architecture to Chicano performance art, Japanese-American design and African-American film. Important L.A. artists featured in various exhibits include John Baldessari, Judy Chicago, David Hockney, Ed Ruscha and Betye Saar. A jam-packed website provides opportunities to browse by exhibit, location, date and type of art and suggests complementary exhibits of interest as you explore.

Given the number and range of events related to “Pacific Standard Time,” the historical overview exhibit at the Getty is a good place to start: “Pacific Standard Time: Crosscurrents in L.A. Painting and Sculpture, 1950-1970” runs Oct. 1, 2011, through Feb. 5, 2012, concurrently with another exhibit revealing how artists at that time disseminated their work, “Greetings from L.A.: Artists and Publics, 1950-1980.”

In addition to a photography exhibit called “In Focus: Los Angeles, 1945-1980,” which will be on view Dec. 20, 2011, to May 6, 2012, visitors to the Getty can see De Wain Valentine’s “Gray Column,” a 12-foot-high column of polyester resin, and Robert Irwin’s “Black on White,” a monumental wedge of granite, through March 2012.

Image from the exhibit “California Design, 1930-1965: Living in a Modern Way” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Monarch Bay Homes, Laguna Niguel (Outdoor Dining Terrace) (1961). Carlos Diniz Ladd & Kelsey. Screenprint 20 1/8 x 26 in. LACMA, Gift of Gilbert Ortiz and Edward Cella Art + Architecture, M.2010.76.2 Photograph ¬© 2011 Museum Associates/LACMA.