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'Pacific Standard Time: Art in Los Angeles 1950 to 1980' opens at Berlin's Martin-Gropius-Bau

Martin-Gropius-Bau

Photo by Martin aka Maha via Flickr Creative Commons

"Pacific Standard Time: Art in Los Angeles 1950-1980," goes on exhibit at Berlin's Martin-Gropius-Bau

Curators at Berlin's Martin-Gropius-Bau have assembled a program containing works from two of the core exhibitions of Pacific Standard Time: Art in Los Angeles 1950 to 1980.

The multi-institutional, multi-discipline art collaboration that opened last year across Southern California included over 60 institutions and galleries and was a decade in the making.

More than 70 works by over 50 artists were chosen from "Crosscurrents in L.A. – Painting and Sculpture, 1950-1970" and "Greetings from L.A. – Artists and Publics, 1950-1980."

Lauded by the museum's former director as a "temporary national gallery of southern California art," guests of Berlin's Martin-Gropius-Bau will get a primer on three decades of Los Angeles art.

The exhibition project “Pacific Standard Time – Art in Los Angeles, 1950-1980” traces the development of the Los Angeles art scene during the post-war period, when the city on the Pacific hosted an impressively varied and versatile art scene, thus proving that it was more than Hollywood and a sprawling metropolis in the land of sunshine and palm trees.

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500 people walking slowly down a hill: Pacific Standard Time takes on public art

spine of the earth pst 2

Photo by Lisa Brenner

Jan 22, 2012: Pacific Standard Time public art piece, "Spine of the Earth"

spine of the earth pst 5

Photo by Lisa Brenner

Jan 22, 2012: Pacific Standard Time public art piece, "Spine of the Earth"

spine instagram

Photo by Lisa Brenner

Jan 22, 2012: Pacific Standard Time public art piece, "Spine of the Earth"

spine of the earth pst

Photo by Lisa Brenner

Jan 22, 2012: Pacific Standard Time public art piece, "Spine of the Earth"

baldwin hills scenic overlook sign

Photo by Lisa Brenner

Jan 22, 2012: Pacific Standard Time public art piece, "Spine of the Earth"

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Photo by Lisa Brenner

Jan 22, 2012: View of downtown Los Angeles from the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook during the Pacific Standard Time public art piece, "Spine of the Earth"

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Photo by Lisa Brenner

Jan 22, 2012: Pacific Standard Time public art piece, "Spine of the Earth"

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Photo by Lisa Brenner

Jan 22, 2012: Pacific Standard Time public art piece, "Spine of the Earth"

Spine hands up

Photo by Lisa Brenner

Jan 22, 2012: Pacific Standard Time public art piece, "Spine of the Earth"

spine 7

Photo by Lisa Brenner

Jan 22, 2012: Pacific Standard Time public art piece, "Spine of the Earth"

spine approach

Photo by Lisa Brenner

Jan 22, 2012: Pacific Standard Time public art piece, "Spine of the Earth"

spine approach 2

Photo by Lisa Brenner

Jan 22, 2012: Pacific Standard Time public art piece, "Spine of the Earth"

spine approach 5

Photo by Lisa Brenner

Jan 22, 2012: Pacific Standard Time public art piece, "Spine of the Earth"


Public art had its slow-moving moment in the late-morning sun with a large-scale reinterpretation last weekend of a 1980 Lita Albuquerque earthwork called "Spine of the Earth." 

As part of the Pacific Standard Time multi-institutional, multi-discipline art collaboration across Southern California, the Mojave Desert earthwork was recontexualized as a performance piece for an urban park space in Los Angeles.

Translation: Last weekend, 500 people dressed in red creeped down the stairs from the top of the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook like the slowest Lord of the Rings attack ever. 

Looking like a cross between a PG-rated Human Centipede and a Caltrans conga line, the lava-eqsue art drones chanted and counted as they inched back to earth.

The piece, which should have been visible from the 10 and 405 freeways, began with a parachuter trailing red smoke.

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