5 design things to do this week

This week, bliss out at Modernism Week in Palm Springs, get a 'contact high' at LAXART, go listen to Pentagram's principal designer Paula Scher, attend a book discussion on the life and career of Louise Bourgeois, and explore the Bauhaus through a show of multidisciplinary artwork by László Moholy-Nagy at LACMA.

Landscape and Architecture are one in Palm Springs Modernism.

1 ) Modernism Week

Modernism Week’s annual February celebration of Palm Springs’ design, architecture, art and fashion, kicks off Thursday, centered around the immaculately-restored desert homes built in the 1950’s and ’60’s for cool cats like Frank Sinatra and friends, designed by architects like A. Quincy Jones, Al Beadle, E. Stewart Williams and Donald Wexler.  Events include tours, lectures, screenings and parties – and of course, desert-fabulous people everywhere.

If you can get out to Palm Springs early, Albert Frey’s masterful “Aluminaire House” arrives on Tuesday, Feb 14, at 10:00am at the Palm Springs Visitors Center (another Albert Frey-designed structure).  The endangered structure was disassembled and carefully packed into a special shipping container to be transported across the country from the East Coast and relocated in Palm Springs where it will be officially unveiled at Thursday’s launch of Modernism Week.

When: February 16-26

Where: Palm Springs, CA

Tickets: Tickets are by event.  Many events free to under $40  See event prices and purchase tickets here.

2 ) Opening Reception / Environmental Communications: Contact High

While Archigram was busy imagining plug-in cities, an LA-based architectural collective — led by David Greenberg, Bernard Perloff, Ted Tokio Tanaka and Roger Mona Webster — were also focused on the “alternative architectural practices” of the late 1960s and 1970s. In thousands of 35mm slides, they recorded the domes, inflatables, communes, and media experiments of the period, forming a “a vast visual taxonomy of Southern California’s urban and social geography” that the group believed “could alter the visual cortex of architecture schools, subvert conventional pedagogy, and spark a revolution in student consciousness.”  That’s according to the organizers of Environmental Communications: Contact High, the first major presentation of this prolific West Coast media collective

When: Opening Saturday, Feb 18, 6 – 9 pm; exhibition runs through April 1, 2017

Where: LA><ART , 7000 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA, 90038

Tickets: Free; click here for more information.

Paula Scher

3) Paula Scher Talks at Art Center

Paula Scher is one of the most acclaimed graphic designers in the world. She got her start back in the heyday of rock ‘n’ roll and as a principal in the New York office of Pentagram, she has designed identity and branding systems, environmental graphics, packaging and publications for numerous clients including: Citibank, Microsoft, Bloomberg, the Museum of Modern Art, Tiffany & Co, the High Line, the Public Theater, the Metropolitan Opera, the Sundance Institute and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. (Listen to Scott Daditch talk about Paula Scher on this DnA.)

When: Wednesday, February 15, 2017; 7 – 8 pm

Where: ArtCenter College of Design, Los Angeles Times Media Center (LAT), Hillside Campus, 1700 Lida Street, Pasadena, California

Tickets: Free and open to the public.

Louise Bourgeois’ works are often sexually explicit. Seven in a bed, 2001, Fabric, Stainless Steel, Glass and Wood, 68 x 33 1/2 x 34 1/2 inches.

4 ) The Art and Life of Louise Bourgeois: Discussion and book signing with Robert Storr

Louise Bourgeois’s remarkable artistic career spanned more than 75 years, focusing on themes often brooding and sexual, while using gender balancing techniques to question our expectations of the masculine and feminine. Renowned critic and curator Robert Storr’s new book, The Art and Life of Louise Bourgeois, surveys her form-breaking body of work in unmatched depth. Writing from a uniquely intimate perspective as a close personal friend of the artist and drawing on decades of research, Storr reveals the complexity and passion of one of the greatest artists of the 20th century.

When: Thursday, Feb 16, 7:30 pm

Where: Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024

Tickets: Free.  Parking in building $6 flat rate after 6pm.

Construction AL6 (Konstruktion AL6), 1933–34. Oil and incised lines on aluminum, 60 × 50 cm.

5 ) Moholy-Nagy: Future Present Docent Tour

The curator Carol Eliel describes László Moholy-Nagy (1895-1946): “Moholy was a modernist pioneer who loved every medium known in his time to artists and everybody else in the world. He made paintings. He made photographs. He made sculptures. He did exhibition design. He did theatre design. He did graphic design. He made films. He was a utopian who believe that art hand-in-hand with technology can make the world a better place and acted on that throughout his career.”  The first comprehensive retrospective of Moholy-Nagy in the US in 50 years, the exhibition includes more than 250 works in all media, some of which have never before been shown publicly in the U.S. Also on display is a large-scale installation, the Room of the Present, a contemporary construction of an exhibition space originally conceived by Moholy-Nagy in 1930. Though never realized during his lifetime, the Room of the Present illustrates Moholy’s belief in the power of images and the various means by which to disseminate them—a highly relevant paradigm in today’s constantly shifting and evolving technological world. The installation is designed by Los Angeles-based architecture firm Johnston Marklee.

When: Friday, Feb 17, 2:00 pm.  Exhibit runs through Sunday.

Where: LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036.  Tour meets near the Ticket Office in the Hammer bldg.

Tickets: Free with General Admission

Also at LACMA, Picasso and Rivera: Conversations Across Time.  Contemporaries of Moholy-Nagy, Picasso and Rivera shared a trajectory that informed the Modernism movement in both Europe and Latin America. For schedule of guided docent tours, click here.