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The J. Paul Getty Museum presents exhibition of memorable images of Los Angeles

December 22, 2011 by  
Filed under Photography

LOS ANGELES, CA.- As part of the region-wide Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A., 1945-1980 initiative, The J. Paul Getty Museum presents In Focus: Los Angeles, 1945–1980, an exhibition of photographs from the permanent collection made by artists whose time in Los Angeles inspired them to create memorable images of the city, on view at the Getty Center from December 20, 2011 – May 6, 2012.

“This exhibition features both iconic and relatively unknown work by artists whose careers are defined by their association with Los Angeles, who may have lived in the city for a few influential years, or who might have visited only briefly,” said Virginia Heckert, curator, Department of Photographs, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and curator of the exhibition.

Garry Winogrand American 1928 1984 Los Angeles 580x388 The J. Paul Getty Museum presents exhibition of memorable images of Los Angeles
Garry Winogrand (American, 1928 – 1984), Los Angeles, 1964. Gelatin silver print, 22.9 x 34.1 cm © 1984 The Estate of Garry Winogrand. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

The photographs are loosely grouped around the themes of experimentation, street photography, architectural depictions, and the film and entertainment industry. Works featured in the exhibition are from artists such as Jo Ann Callis, Robert Cumming, Joe Deal, Judy Fiskin, Anthony Friedkin, Robert Heinecken, Anthony Hernandez, Man Ray, Edmund Teske, William Wegman, Garry Winogrand, and Max Yavno. Two of the works in the exhibition by Anthony Hernandez and Henry Wessel Jr. were acquired with funds from the Getty Museum Photographs Council.

Drawn from the Museum’s permanent collection, including several recent acquisitions inspired by the Pacific Standard Time initiative, the exhibition offers visitors the opportunity to familiarize themselves with a broad range of approaches to the city of Los Angeles as a subject and to the photographic medium itself.

One of the most well-known works in the exhibition is Garry Winogrand’s photograph of two women walking towards the landmark theme building designed by Charles Luckman and William Pereira that has come to symbolize both Los Angeles International Airport and midcentury modern architecture in popular culture. Though a quintessential New Yorker, Winogrand made some of his most memorable photographs in Los Angeles, where he chose to settle in the final years of his life.

Also included in the exhibition is Diane Arbus’ dreamily lit photograph of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland park in Anaheim. Although technically not located in either the city or the county of Los Angeles, Disneyland—and Arbus’ photograph—continues to capture the notion of entertainment and fantasy that has come to be so intrinsically associated with the city.

Other photographers in the In Focus: Los Angeles exhibition who produced the majority of their most creative work in the city include Edmund Teske, with his experimentation in the darkroom and his complex double solarization process; Robert Heinecken, with images that are equally complex but often incorporate existing printed materials, such as negatives; Anthony Hernandez, whose portraits of Angelenos on the street emphasize the isolation of the individual in an urban environment; and Anthony Friedkin, who combines his passions for surfing and the Southland beaches in his photographs.

The inclusion of three photographs from Judy Fiskin’s earliest photographic series, Stucco (1973–76), provided the impetus for a monographic presentation of the artist’s complete photographic work by Getty Publications. Entitled Some Aesthetic Decisions: The Photographs of Judy Fiskin and featuring an introductory essay by curator Virginia Heckert, the book will be published concurrently with this exhibition.

In Focus: Los Angeles is the tenth installation of the ongoing In Focus series of exhibitions, thematic presentations of photographs from the Getty’s permanent collection. Previous In Focus exhibitions have included The Worker, Tasteful Pictures, Still Life, The Tree, and The Sky. Upcoming In Focus shows include In Focus: Depth of Field, opening in May 2012.

In conjunction with In Focus: Los Angeles, as part of the Pacific Standard Time initiative, the Getty also will be presenting Pacific Standard Time: Crosscurrents in L.A. Painting and Sculpture, 1950–1970, on view from October 1, 2011 – February 5, 2012; the Getty Conservation Institute exhibition From Start to Finish: De Wain Valentine’s Gray Column, on view from September 13, 2011 – March 11, 2012; and the Getty Research Institute exhibition Greetings from L.A.: Artists and Publics, 1950–1980, on view from October 1, 2011 – February 5, 2012.

Pacific Standard Time is an unprecedented collaboration of more than 60 cultural institutions across Southern California presenting thematically linked exhibitions and programs, all designed to celebrate the region’s vibrant post WWII art scene. Opening largely in October 2011 and running through April 2012, Pacific Standard Time is an initiative of the Getty with art institutions across Southern California.

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