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Pacific Standard Time in San Diego

September 28, 2011
Contemporary Museum of Art - San Diego, La Jolla

James Turrell, Stuck Red and Stuck Blue, 1970, construction materials and fluorescent lights, overall dimensions: 33 x 40 x 33 in., Collection Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Museum Purchase, Elizabeth W. Russell Foundation Funds.

Have the time to take in some amazing Southern California post World War II art in San Diego?

Pacific Standard Time is a highly ambitious and unprecedented collaboration of over 60 cultural institutions across Southern California coming together to celebrate the birth of the Southern California art scene from 1945 to 1980. The art scene was so big during that era that the exhibitions had to be spread over 60 cultural institutions. That’s a lot of art!

It turns out that San Diego was a hotbed of artistic talent during this time. San Diego’s Museum of Contemporary Art is actually one of the oldest contemporary art museums in California and the U.S. – it has been in existence since 1941. San Diego’s art scene has been  contemporary for more than 70 years – not too shabby!

We are so pleased that two San Diego museums will be participating in this mostly Los Angeles affair. The San Diego museums are: Mingei International Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (Downtown San Diego and La Jolla).

As of press time, we were able to take a preview of the exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Downtown and La Jolla. The art collection and the quality of the installation is truly phenomenal. We were impressed with the artists’ ability to play with light, media, depth, and perception. In a nutshell, it is an experience that visitors and residents should take in and experience for themselves. A big thumb’s up!

On that note, we hope that folks from Los Angeles take time to come to San Diego to visit our San Diego-based exhibitions and visa versa. Los Angelenos can take the train to downtown San Diego, exit the historic Santa De Depot, make a left and go right into the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego. The museum is located conveniently adjacent to the train terminal. Want to make it an overnight stay but are concerned you don’t have wheels to get around? Fear not, there is plenty to do in the downtown area without a car. Here is one our articles about getting around San Diego without a car.

If you live in San Diego and want to go to LA to view the various exhibitions in downtown Los Angeles, we suggest that you let Amtrak do the driving for you. Take the Surfliner to LA’s Union Station. Union Station is your final destination and a good number of the museums that are participating in Pacific Standard Time are located in downtown LA. It’s a great way to go!


San Diego Craft Revolution: From Post-War Modern to California Design
Oct 16, 2011 – Apr 15, 2012
Mingei International Museum

In Balboa Park, the Mingei’s exhibition related to Pacific Standard Time opened on October 16, 2011 and it is chock-full of objects made by artists living in San Diego at the time of their creation. The art on display, much like most of the items at the Mingei, is for the most part, utilitarian. From wood desks to lamps to neck ties to plates and even front doors, San Diegans were creating beautiful pieces that were ahead of their time. A number of these artists were professors at local universities and community colleges inspiring students to create their own art and make a living doing it.

What we liked most about this exhibition was that this art was bought by patrons who helped support the continued work by these artists. Without a strong customer base, San Diego’s local art scene from the 1960s-1970s would not have grown and expanded. Another interesting part of the local art scene was that a number of the artists were married couples and that most of the artists would socialize together. They encouraged each other to keep experimenting and to keep creating art. This camaraderie reminded us of the current relationship among San Diego’s brewing community that fosters growth and collaboration.

The Mingei’s exhibition features over 60 artist-craftsmen including Toza and Ruth Radakovich, Rhoda Lopez, Jack Hopkins, Arline Fisch, Ellamarie and Jackson Woolley, Larry Hunter, Kay Whitcomb and James Hubbell. The Mingei has put up a list of all the artists on their website – it is an impressive list. They also have an Events Page.

Phenomenal: California Light, Space, Surface
Sep 25, 2011–Jan 22, 2012
Museum of Contemporary Art – Downtown San Diego and La Jolla

The Museum of Contemporary Art’s exhibition crosses both of its museums and will feature the works of 13 artists whose innovative use of industrial materials helped define an era of unique art making in Southern California during the 1960s and 1970s. Downtown’s exhibitions tend to be larger installations than the exhibition in La Jolla so be sure to visit both museums if you want to experience the full exhibition of contemporary art.

When in La Jolla, be sure to stand underneath Spencer Finch’s light-based site-specific installation called Rome (Pantheon, Noon, June 14, 2011). There is a large white dot that marks the spot where the light mimics the light that the artist experienced when was in Rome on June 14, 2011.

Another experience at the La Jolla museum is to go through Bruce Nauman’s site-specific Green Light Corridor heading toward the ocean. We’re not going to tell you what happens but, rest assured, it is worth the journey.

We encourage fans of the arts to go to both museums to take in San Diego’s segment of Pacific Standard Time. The cost of admission is worth it!

If you have any comments that you would like to share with us and the rest of the universe, please feel free to provide relevant comments below.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 1, 2011 1:51 pm

    West Coast Walker: Catalyst to Modernism at Meyer Fine Art, Inc., San Diego, CA 92101
    November 11, 2011- December 24, 2011

    Rediscover Clay Walker (1924-2008), mid-century abstract expressionist/modernist, master of diverse art media, oil paintings, watercolors, woodcuts, mixed media and sculptures.

    In the latter 1950’s – early 1960s, at the apex of his career, he exhibited with Picasso, Warhol, Rauschenberg, etc. His artwork had been shown in over 200 US and international exhibitions; institutional/private collectors were numerous.

    Walker moved to Southern California in 1963, teaching art at such institutions as Long Beach State, Orange Coast College and Chouinard. Several years later he took a sabbatical from teaching to focus on his studio work. In 1968, relocating to Escondido, resuming teaching, he kept apart from the mainstream art scene, only allowing family members, close friends and trusted collectors to view his pieces. His concern was not for commercial success but to retain his integrity as an artist.

    He found his niche in the contemporary art world, yet Walker’s work has been displayed minimally since the late 1960s.

    Meyer Fine Art, Inc. is honored to represent Walker’s diverse works on paper, canvas, wood; a retrospective of color, texture and creativity. Experience the how the times and art movements influenced his images. Compare his skillfully executed sketches to the finished masterpieces. Understand how he challenged himself utilizing colors and materials to create compositions ahead of their time.

    Meyer Fine Art, Inc., 2400 Kettner Blvd. Suite 104, San Diego, CA 92101

  2. October 1, 2011 1:53 pm

    West Coast Walker: Catalyst to Modernism at Meyer Fine Art, Inc., San Diego, CA 92101
    November 11, 2011- December 24, 2011

    Participating gallery in Pacific Standard Time

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