Pacific Standard Time, a sprawling arts festival, aims to present a bird’s-eye view of Southern California since World War II. Leading L.A. artists tell Blake Gopnik and Isabel Wilkinson what they’re most excited about.
Ed Ruscha’s Standard Station, Amarillo, Texas a painting from 1963 that, despite its Texan subject, has become a definite classic of Southern California art. It is on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum in an exhibition called Pacific Standard Time: Crosscurrents in L.A. Painting and Sculpture, 1950-1970.
Pacific Standard Time isn’t just what clocks show on the West Coast. It may also be a particularly Californian way of thinking and seeing. At least, that’s one of the premises behind the huge art festival called Pacific Standard Time that is filling almost every museum and gallery in and around Los Angeles, and that has its official launch Oct. 1. The project, which gives a bird’s-eye view of art in southern California since World War II, was spearheaded by the Getty Foundation, which helped other institutions get on board with almost $10 million in funding. “This critical mass of exhibitions that the Getty organized is an eye opener. And it could also set the future agenda for institutions in Los Angeles to have a much more comprehensive view of what really did happen,” says Richard Koshalek, who helped found the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art and ran it for almost two decades. (He’s now the director of the Smithsonian’s Hirshhorn Museum.) Because of the sheer scale of the P.S.T. festival, we’ve asked Koshalek and some leading L.A. artists to share their thoughts on the shows they most hope to see. Images from the exhibitions they’ve chosen are on view in this gallery, ranging from SoCal swimming pools to fine sculptures in clay.
Interviews conducted and condensed by Blake Gopnik and Isabel Wilkinson.