Gardens and Grandeur: Porcelains and Paintings by Franz A. Bischoff
In the Main Gallery; Runs through March 20, 2011
For his masterful rendering of dynamic flowers, Austria-born painter and porcelain decorator Franz A. Bischoff earned the nickname “King of the Rose Painters.” The Pasadena Museum of California Art will present the most inclusive retrospective of Bischoff’s work to date, with highlights from his early ceramic work and his later practice on canvas. Bischoff immigrated to New York in 1885 and lived in different U.S. cities before settling in Pasadena in 1906. It was in California that the artist turned to landscape paintings and the plein-air style, painting the state’s signature sun-kissed shore and mountain vistas.
[Photos: At top, Bischoff’s “Afternoon Idyll, Cambria” c. 1922. At left, Bischoff’s “A Tapestry of Roses.”]
Scenic View Ahead: The Westways Cover Art Program
In the Back Gallery; Runs through Feb. 27, 2011
The Westways cover art program began in 1928, with the Auto Club commissioning paintings from major Southern California artists for the cover of each new issue of its member magazine. As the magazine’s content shifted away from strictly automobile-related topics and toward a broader examination of cultural and recreational activities, the cover artworks, too, began to reflect a breadth of interests. With 44 pieces on view, “Scenic View Ahead” traces many stylistic movements of the 20th century, such as California watercolor, pop art and assemblage.
Daniel Wheeler: Bloom
In the Project Room; Runs through April 24, 2011
A new installation by Los Angeles-based artist Daniel Wheeler, “Bloom” pays elegiac tribute to the struggle of life, brightened by momentary flashes of beauty. The work contains both video and structural elements, which Wheeler uses to stretch the perception of the everyday. Viewers will meditate on a motion picture of a small bee swimming across a watery surface, a metaphor for the life of a drone. But for all the quiet tedium, lucky or patient viewers may also happen upon the moment of exalted transformation for this tiny living being.
Pasadena Museum of California Art, 490 E. Union St., Pasadena. Museum hours: Weds.-Sun., noon-5 p.m. Adults $7, seniors and students $5, free for members and children under 12. (626) 568-3665, pmcaonline.org
(Photos courtesy of the Pasadena Museum of California Art)