June 5, 2014
On a visit to Los Angeles a few days ago I saw enough terrific paintings to last me for awhile. I'm going to keep this blog short -- the images can do most of the talking -- but I do want to tell you that if you love painting you are going to be be impressed by the quality and variety of what you see at Santa Monica's Bergamot Station the next time you drop by.
After making my way through the exhausting L.A. traffic, walking into Robert Swain's installation The Form of Color at the Santa Monica Museum of Art was a refreshing and soul-cleansing experience. The installation, which is described as "immersive" is made up of 12 inch squares of color and is exquisitely and seamlessly installed and lit. I took an iPhone panorama -- the SMMOA is very nice about allowing photos -- that hopefully gives some idea of the unfolding and orderly serenity that one can feel just by scanning Swain's enveloping panels.
Sitting on one of the benches in the museum's main gallery now feels a little like being surrounded by Monet's late "Nymphéas" at the Musée de l'Orangerie in Paris: but the clarity and sense of order is unique. I don't think of myself as being a fan of hard-edged painting, but Swain's installation converted me. It is really, really beautiful.
You would think with all those years of college behind me I could say something more original than that...
Moving right along, if you like looser approaches than Swain's -- much looser -- don't miss the spectacular two-man show featuring Ed Moses and Larry Poons at the William Turner Gallery just footsteps away from the SMMOA. The idea for this pairing apparently hit William Turner at Ed Moses' 85th birthday party three years ago when he noticed Moses and Poons standing on opposite sides of his gallery.