los-angeles

Eleanor Antin

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

Eleanor Antin left New York for Southern California in 1968. Even though her art has been chiefly handled by a Manhattan gallery, Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, the move proved definitive, and its implications decisive for her career. This was clear in the context of Antin’s recent thirty-year retrospective. The exhibition had some of the incongruities of atmosphere we might expect to accompany the hometown showing of an artist claimed as a “native son”: There was plenty of affection on offer, and not a little neglect. Devoted visitors, for example, were said to have returned for second and third viewings; voluble museum guards dotingly described Antin’s own tours of the installation, even while opining that its modest attendance was boosted by the crowds at a concurrent Diego Rivera show. Meanwhile, press releases, like the catalogue, insisted that Antin is “Southern Californian” and that San

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