Apollo Magazine

12 Days

LACMA will showcase the overlooked local artists Helen Pashgian and John Altoon in 2014, while several commercial galleries in LA open new premises

Untitled (2012–2013), Helen Pashgian © the artist

For each of the 12 days of Christmas we have asked Apollo staff and contributors to select the artistic highlights that they are most eagerly anticipating in 2014. The Muse Room will return with its regular daily blogs on 7 January 2014. From all of us at Apollo, happy new year!

One of the best things about the Getty’s mega-survey ‘Pacific Standard Time’, held in late 2011, was that it forced local institutions to reassess the importance of some of the region’s overlooked artists. The Light and Space movement was dominated, as everyone knows, by men, but Helen Pashgian was one of its leading lights (excuse the pun). She will turn 80 this year, and she celebrates by installing one of her largest installations to date at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), titled ‘Light Invisible’.

Ocean Park Series #12, John Altoon © 2013 Estate of John Altoon, photo © 2013 Museum Associates/LACMA

Also at LACMA, in June, comes a retrospective of the incomparable painter John Altoon. Although he died tragically young, in 1969 at the age of 44, some of the most searing, surprising and, occasionally, filthy pictures of the period came, in California, from Altoon’s studio. It will be a privilege to be able to examine his all too brief oeuvre in full.

In Los Angeles commercial galleries come and go, but recently they seem to have been mainly coming. We’ll have to wait until 2015 for Hauser & Schimmel to open, but in 2014 there is plenty to look forward to. In the autumn, David Kordansky will open a large new gallery on La Brea Avenue, which will replace his two existing spaces. Francois Ghebaly will continue to develop the vast industrial building he recently occupied, inviting other projects to come and join the fun. Moving east from Venice, Various Small Fires reopens, in a big new Highland Avenue space, in the spring. And Sprueth Magers, currently of Berlin and London, is reportedly scouting for Los Angeles premises to open this year.

‘Helen Pashgian: Light Invisible’ is at LACMA from 30 March–29 June 2014, and ‘John Altoon’ is open from 8 June–14 September 2014.

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