PRINT December 2011

Scott Rothkopf

Julius Shulman, Edgar J. Kaufmann House, Palm Springs, California, 1947, black-and-white photograph, 30 x 40".
From “Background Oasis: The Swimming Pool in Southern California Photography, 1945–1982,” Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, CA.

1 “Pacific Standard Time” (various venues, Southern California) For some, this Getty-sponsored initiative surveying Los Angeles art from 1945 to 1980 smacks of boosterism on behalf of an art capital hardly in need of special pleading. But for me, the coordinated cornucopia of exhibitions mounted by more than sixty California cultural institutions represents an unprecedented scholarly undertaking (and a salubrious twist on destination art-viewing in an age of overblown biennials and fairs). While the individual shows range widely in quality, taken together they offer a singularly fine-grained portrait of a vivid scene. The point isn’t whether or not LA needs such cheerleading but that we all need museums to collectively dig so deep and dream so big.

View of “September 11,” 2011, MoMA PS1, New York. Background: George Segal, Woman on a Park Bench, 1998. On floor: Roger Hiorns, Untitled, 2008. Photo: Matthew Septimus.

2 “September 11” (MoMA PS1, New York; curated by Peter Eleey) It takes guts to curate an exhibition reflecting on one of

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