Examining ‘The Arrangement’ behind the art at One Colorado in Pasadena

 
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When you look at a piece of art, what do you see?

Maybe you stand away from the work and admire its shape and form. Maybe you move closer and focus in on brush strokes or chisel markings, the movements that betray its creation.

But what if the work itself was invisible? When, then, would remain?

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New to The Artist Studio at One Colorado is Carly Steward, who deconstructs “The Arrangement” and puts the unseen elements of an art exhibition under examination.

They are the pieces that hold it all together. (Our staff writer Stacey Wang describes them as “the supporting cast” in the art world.)
“Take away the artwork from a museum exhibit and you’re left with reminders of what was once there — a pedestal, some wood covered in fabric, maybe a metal prong,” Wang writes.

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Weekend guide: Earth Day festivities and a one-of-a-kind market for homegrown goods

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Friday, April 23
  • “DIRT!” at the Raymond
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A movie screening at the historic Raymond Theatre is nothing to pass up. For the first time in decades, the theater will be open for a screening of “DIRT!” to kick off Greening the Earth Day and Armory Family Arts Festival, which gets into full swing on Saturday. (Details below.) DIRT!” is a documentary about the life-giving wonders of soil. The screening is sponsored by Conscientious Projector.
7 p.m. tonight, Raymond Theatre, 128 N. Raymond Ave. Free.

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Weekend guide: Sew contemporary, spring festivals blossoming and a sweet pairing menu


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SATURDAY, April 10, & SUNDAY, April 11


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    “Stitches”

A group exhibition at the Armory Center for the Arts opening Saturday will have you bobbin and weaving. Curated by Sinead Finnerty-Pyne, “Stitches” highlights 12 culturally diverse artists who approach craft, textile and fiber art in an unconventional manner. In a versatile — and sometimes obsessive — art form, the works use materials ranging from yarn and thread, to found objects and recycled clothing. Contemporary artworks approach the homespun techniques of sewing, knitting and weaving, including two-dimensional and freestanding sculptural works, along with large-scale installations.

Opening reception Saturday, 7 p.m.-9 p.m. Suggested donation, $5. Runs through June 6. Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, noon-5 p.m. Caldwell Gallery at the Armory Center for the Arts, 145 N. Raymond Ave. 626-792-5101, armoryarts.org

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Reaction shots: Ground-level perspective on Bruce Nauman’s skywriting art piece

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Even more than the other photos we’ve seen so far of Saturday’s skywriting work over the Arroyo, we love this action shot by Keith Birmingham of people in a Rose Bowl parking lot experiencing the overhead display from the ground. Looks like a message written in the heavens is still out-of-the-ordinary enough to stop people in their tracks.

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If you missed it, the image below is of what they were looking at. The skywriting piece was part of the Armory Center for the Arts‘ ongoing 20th anniversary celebration.

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And in case the message has left you scratching your head, it helps to read up on the context behind the larger-than-life installation. (Artist Bruce Nauman first proposed the work in 1969.) Petrea Burchard over at Pasadena Daily Photo has a good explainer for that a-ha! moment.

Weekend guide: Demonic presence, some Serendipity, a semi-permanent rainbow and TRAFFIC!

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  • FRIDAY, noon-9 p.m. (opening, on display through March 8)

“Divine Demons: Wrathful Deities of Buddhist Art,” Norton Simon Museum

You won’t want to rub these Buddha bellies. Opening at the Norton Simon Museum is “Divine Demons: Wrathful Deities of Buddhist Art,” a contrast to the smiling Buddhas and serene enlightened beings in the museum’s collection. These figures — many of them baring fangs, drinking blood, or wearing garlands of severed heads — represent the “demonic divine,” protectors of the Buddhist faith. There are 18 paintings, sculptures and ceremonial objects from the Norton Simon permanent collection in this intimate exhibition.
Museum is open every day except Tuesday, from noon to 6 p.m., and noon to 9 p.m. Fridays.
General admission, $8; Seniors, $4
411 W. Colorado Blvd.
(626) 796-4978
www.nortonsimon.org

  • FRIDAY and SATURDAY, 8 p.m.

Serendipity, Madera Design House, downtown L.A.

Serendipity (pictured) promises to be the least stuffy of garden parties, with live installations, aerial artists, dancers and stilt walkers. To boot, it’s a choose-your-own-adventure: Interact and write your night’s story with a collection of characters and creatures with whom to play. The open invitation comes with this curious caveat: “Once you purchase your tickets, you will receive information on location and dress code.” Oh, how we love a good mystery.
Admission: $30; two for $50. Cash bar.
Information and tickets: www.treetopproductions.org

  • SATURDAY (opening, on display through Nov. 15)

“A Rainbow in the Sky,” One Colorado Courtyard

Artist Daniel Buren returns to Pasadena with a large-scale site-specific art installation consisting of 2,268 colorful, striped flags suspended over the pedestrian square. The flags move with the breeze, casting thousands of moving shadows on the courtyard below.  Best of all, viewing the display is free. Just show up.
Located between Fair Oaks, Colorado Boulevard, Union Street, and Delacey in Old Pasadena.
www.armoryarts.org

  • SATURDAY, 3-4 p.m.

Benny Chan talks about “TRAFFIC!”, Pasadena Museum of California Art

The museum hosts an artist talk with Benny Chan, who doesn’t photograph anything you’ve never seen in Southern California (got that?). He’s an architectural photographer who shoots airports, parking garages and, in his exhibit “Traffic,” aerial shots of rush-hour traffic. Chan designed a camera to capture gridlock especially for the series at the Pasadena Museum of California Art. His geometric compositions hint at the darker side of those constructions, like the loneliness of a laundromat or the chaos of our traffic system. Chan captures the beauty and monstrosity of curlicues in an interchange — in a way Google Earth never has.
490 E. Union Street
Free with admission.
(626) 568-3665, Ext. 17
www.pmcaonline.org

(Photos courtesy Treetop Productions/Serendipity)

No meteors here: A message in the heavens for Pasadena

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In exactly one month, you should look up into the skies above Pasadena. (Don’t worry, we’ll remind you.)

In conjunction with the Armory Center for the Arts 20th anniversary exhibition — “Installations Inside/Out” — the Armory will carry out an exhibition that was proposed in 1969 but never made it into production.

Maybe the 40 year delay was because this piece, titled “1969/2009,” requires a very large canvas — the sky.

Conceived of by contemporary American artist Bruce Nauman, noted by Armory staff for his “mischievous humor,” the skywriting display will contain a special message pertaining to land use and art.

If you want to read the exact message that will be spelled out across the sky above the Arroyo, feel free to do so here (you’ll need to scroll down through the calendar), but we think the display will carry more gravity (and poignant laughs) if you ignore the spoilers. (We wish we had.)

The part-visual, part-performance art will take place on Sept. 12 over the Arroyo Seco, with the best viewing lasting from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on La Loma Bridge, the Colorado Street Bridge and in Brookside Park.

And, lest your eyes deceive you, the exhibition is free and open to the public. That’s right folks: Use of your eyeballs = still priceless.

(Photo, not the work of Nauman but playful nonetheless, courtesy Kayla Campana)