Andrew Berardini

  • Yesim II, 2006.
    picks November 07, 2006

    Dietmar Lutz

    The paintings in German artist Dietmar Lutz’s solo exhibition are like blurry snapshots that linger along the edges of memories. The show consists of over a dozen large-scale paintings (with a few smaller works mixed in) of Lutz's friends and accomplices, caught sometimes at leisure, other times while at work in their studios. All have a quiet, intimate feel, which creates an interesting counterpoint to Lutz's work with the artist collective hobbypopMUSEUM, what with its overtly political subjects, among them the Baader-Meinhof gang. Leached of political content, these paintings seem fetching

  • Left: Sonic Youth at the opening of the 2006 California Biennial. Right: Susan and Leonard Nimoy with OCMA director Dennis Szakacs. (Photos: Carla Rhea, courtesy OCMA)
    diary October 04, 2006

    County Fair

    Newport Beach, CA

    The drive down to the Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA) for the 2006 California Biennial revealed a landscape peculiar to this corner of the world: palm-tree-lined freeways choked with SUVs, a vast plateau devoid of landmarks except the spires and lights of giant malls, and the palpable feeling that everything not made of stucco was made of plastic. The OCMA seemed almost consumed by this vast sea of tract homes and office parks, and though few of the artists showing inside are from “the OC,” the culture inside the museum finds a way to deal with the California culture outside, a mélange of

  • Left: Eli Broad. Right: The ribbon-cutting ceremony for UCLA's Broad Art Center.
    diary September 19, 2006

    Broad Daylight

    Los Angeles

    “I do believe that LA is one of the great art capitals of the world,” pronounced Eli Broad to the donors, dignitaries, and artists attending the suitably pompous opening of UCLA’s new Eli and Edythe Broad Art Center, the munificent billionaire’s latest attempt to secure his legacy as a city father. Fresh from his latest bid for the Los Angeles Times, the former land developer and insurance executive bequeathed $23.2 million to the Art Center that bears his name (less than half his $50 million gift to LACMA, but who’s counting?). The unseasonably cloudy day did not dampen the enthusiastic spirits

  • Left: Dealer Patrick Painter with artist Won Ju Lim. Right: Dealer Tara Sandroni Hirshberg with artist Hernan Bas and dealer Kristin Rey. (All photos: Andrew Berardini)
    diary September 15, 2006

    On the Road

    Los Angeles

    The Los Angeles art world opened last Friday and Saturday with a volley of bangs—and a whimper or two. While Chinatown exploded with openings on Friday night, I started my weekend sniffing cryptic fish dishes at the low-key dinner thrown by Sandroni Rey for artist Hernan Bas. We convened at the Social, an overpriced lounge usually infested with the Hollywood B-list but populated that night by a crowd familiar from Bas’s paintings: young, delicate, and mostly gay. Gallery director Nu Nguyen reluctantly admitted that the artist’s age was “twentysomething” when I noted that his CV revealed no

  • Left: Artists and Mandrake proprieters Flora Wiegman and Drew Heitzler. (Photo: Justin Beal) Right: Dealer Jeff Poe. (Photo: Christopher Williams)
    diary August 18, 2006

    Intoxicating Atmosphere

    Los Angeles

    “It’s gone from Irving Blum to Blum & Poe. Art on La Cienaga has finally come round,” said dealer Jeffrey Poe, martini shaker rattling in hand. Poe, who owns Blum & Poe with Tim Blum, pretended to Irving's swashbuckling fame at the Ferus Gallery back in the '60s, and today's scene of capable artists and wily dealers may well reclaim the boulevard’s former glory. Last Wednesday, for one night only, Poe bartended and artist Dave Muller DJed at an insiders’ pre-opening of LA’s newest art bar, the Mandrake, which sits behind a nondescript storefront on the new gallery strip. As the official launch

  • Left: NADA President Andrea Smith, NADA cofounder John Connelly, and NADA President Emerita Sheri Pasquarella. Right: Artist Walead Beshty. (All photos: Andrew Berardini)
    diary July 25, 2006

    Hollywood Premiere

    Los Angeles

    When the conversation grew too promotional, too professional, or simply too much, I ducked out of the throng of young dealers and headed to the quieter side of the terrace at the Standard Hotel on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood. The pastel blue of the pool and the soft pink glow of the balcony lights made the night feel plush and clubby—an atmosphere in tune with the PR strategy of the New Art Dealers Alliance (NADA). Bigwig dealers are keen to tell you that nada means “nothing” in Spanish, but proud NADA members had traveled from far-flung places like North Carolina and Massachusetts