Civic Virtue. The Impact of the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery and the Watts Towers Arts Center Opens

. December 15, 2011 . 0 Comments

Civic Virtue: The Impact of the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery and the Watts Towers Arts Center, showcases the work of the artists, curators, and community activists whose contributions en- hanced the culture of our city and helped to define Los Angeles as an international artistic center. Included in the exhibition, which spans close to a century of art history, are more than 130 works by artists who shaped Southern California’s destiny as an art capital. Exhibition on view December 15, 2011 to February 12, 2012.

Hans Burkhardt, War, Agony in Death, 1939- 1940, Oil on canvas

Traced through painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, photography, and film, the exhibition at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery is a chronological survey examining the role of the gallery in the development of the arts in Los Angeles. The story of the gallery is linked to a complex social his- tory that includes politicians, curators, “old Hollywoodians,” and a heterogeneous group of artists from throughout the city. Intersections between art and policymaking are framed through a time- line denoting key events: architectural plans by Frank Lloyd Wright, modernist artworks scrutinized under McCarthyism, and early “All-City Outdoor Arts Festivals” that opened the exhibition process out into the city and continue today in the inclusive, signature Open Call and Juried Exhibitions.

The Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery’s unique focus on showing local artists is reprised through an overview of its exhibitions, including major retrospectives for Lorser Feitelson, Julius Shulman, and June Wayne. Iconic artists such as John Altoon, Karl Benjamin, Llyn Foulkes, David Hammons (who placed first in the Los Angeles Annual Art Exhibition in 1969), Sister Mary Corrita, John Ma- son, Betye Saar, and Patssi Valdez are presented in association with the gallery’s history, while experimental performance that occurred at Barnsdall Park by Guy de Cointet and Robert Wilhite and Ulysses Jenkins is also examined.

bout Pacific Standard Time The exhibitions and festival are part of Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945–1980 an unprece- dented collaboration, initiated by the Getty, bringing together more than sixty cultural institu- tions from across Southern California for six months beginning October 2011 to tell the story of the birth of the L.A. art scene. Pacific Standard Time is an initiative of the Getty. The presenting sponsor is Bank of America. For more information, visit

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