Herald Examiner Collection/Los Angeles Public Library
Search for weapons, Watts Riots, 1966, Cliff Wesselman. Black and white photographic print.
This month marks the start of 'Pacific Standard Time' (PST), a southern California-wide exhibition featuring works of art created in the region from 1945 to 1980. More than 130 cultural institutions from San Diego to Palm Springs will participate in this first-ever effort, with the goal of showing that southern California has as much to offer the art world as other cultural centers do.
Los Angeles has long been maligned as a backwater in the art world, paling in comparison to London, Paris and of course New York. Some art critics are scornful of PST, like critic David Hickey who told the New York Times that that the ambitious 6-month event was “corny,” “boosterish” and “largely unnecessary.”
SoCal art world luminaries beg to differ, saying there is no shortage of incredible and important works being created right here and it’s about time L.A got it’s due. Regardless of how the rest of the world takes it, the fact is Southern California is about to be awash in everything from sculpture and installations to performance art and architectural exhibits.
Will you attend Pacific Standard Time? Does California deserve to be one of the world’s cultural centers? And, how does our unique culture, environment and history influence the works of art that are created here?
Deborah Marrow, director of the Getty Foundation