Introducing “46 N. Los Robles”

November 17, 2011

Exhibition postersWhen you think Pacific Asia Museum, you may not immediately think of LA contemporary postwar art. But in fact, our Chinese-style building once was home to the Pasadena Art Museum, one of the most important sites for LA contemporary art in the 1950s, 60s and early 70s. Our new exhibition 46 N. Los Robles: A History of the Pasadena Art Museum explores the impact this institution had on the era as part of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time.

Installing ceramicsThe Pasadena Art Museum’s first step on its way to becoming an artistic center was the acquisition of the Galka Scheyer collection in the early 1950s, featuring works from the “Blue Four”: Lyonel Feininger, Alexei von Jawlensky, Wassily Kandinsky, and Paul Klee. 46 N. Los Robles begins with selections by these four artists, and then examines  the continued growth of the Pasadena Art Museum. One key individual in this growth was the legendary Walter Hopps, who served as curator for many years and brought in many of the artists connected to his Ferus Gallery (who are also prominently featured in many Pacific Standard Time exhibitions). Because of the historic exhibitions that took place within our walls, including the California Design exhibitions, New Painting of Common Objects (exhibition poster at top), and many solo shows, we’ve brought in amazing works by Larry Bell, Marcel Duchamp, Robert Irwin, Ed Kienholz, Claes Oldenburg, Ken Price, Edward Ruscha, Andy Warhol, and many others to tell the story of this legendary institution.

As Pacific Asia Museum finishes its 40th Anniversary year, it’s exciting for us to look back on the entire history of our site. “I think its really important because it creates continuity for this building and this museum,” says Jay Belloli, the guest curator of the exhibition. “It was another important life in this building, and I think it’s important for the people involved in Pacific Asia Museum to be aware of it.”

Members will get a sneak peek at our opening reception tonight, the 17th, which promises to be a party to remember. Hope to see you there! ~CM


Active Cultures is BACK!

November 3, 2011

Alex Leavitt on Hatsune MikuAfter much anticipation, Active Cultures returned for its second season at Pacific Asia Museum just a few weeks ago! This innovative program pairs two speakers whose areas of expertise do not necessarily have an obvious connection. Each speaker gives a short 30-minute lecture, which is followed by a conversation that includes both speakers and the audience.

In October we heard from social researcher Alex Leavitt about the Cult of Hatsune Miku, a widely-popular singing software from Japan, and from documentary filmmaker Jennifer Maytorena Taylor about Muslim youth culture as depicted in her films New Muslim Cool and Ramadan Primetime. We saw clips that included performances of pop music by Miku and urban Muslim American hip hop in Jennifer’s film. Audience members asked many great questions and sparked exploration of new topics, including a consideration of how different dominant age demographics in Japan and the Middle East affect the youth cultures of both regions. The evening ended as audience members continued to enjoy their refreshments and their discussion with our speakers and slowly trickled out of the museum.

Sad you missed this one? Our next Active Cultures is on November 18 at 7:30 pm, where Vincent Horn will discuss Buddhist Geeks, a media project he co-founded where wisdom and technology unite, and bassist and composer Cory Combs will share his insights into the modern sounds of Indonesian music. Free for members, $10 general public, and you can even get your tickets in advance on Eventbrite! Hope to see you there! ~KS