Make a day of it: 3 visit-worthy exhibitions at the Pasadena Museum of California Art

 
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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."]

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Putting ink to paper at the Pasadena Museum of California Art


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Los Angeles-based drawing collective Sumi Ink Club is in residency through the end of May in the Pasadena Museum of California Art’s Project Room. The club executes topsy-turvy, super-detailed, collaborative drawings using — what else? — ink on paper. Their group drawings are a true social gathering, playing off interactions that bleed into everyday life.
In their new installation for the PMCA, the artists hold weekly events to fill the room with their signature sumi ink drawings. The next gathering is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 21, from 1 to 5 p.m., and visitors will be provided with a brush and ink to add their own flourishes to the walls.
The club welcomes the public — “all humans, all ages, all styles,” they say — to these drawing events.
Through May 30, Pasadena Museum of California Art, 490 E. Union St., (626) 568-3665, pmcaonline.org, sumiinkclub.com
The photos, at top and below, are from the Sumi Ink Club Web site, where they’ve documented some of the progress in the PMCA Project room.

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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)