A Taste of Exciting Things to Come, at MOCA, LACMA, and the MAK Center (Wed night)

Elena's project under construction

Just to whet your appetite. . . Above is a photo just received from the wonderfully talented designer-engineer Elena Manferdini of a detail of Tempera, the pavilion she is currently installing at the Geffen Contemporary for MOCA’s “A New Sculpturalism” show, opening June 16.

A New “Sculpturalism” at LACMA Too?

Meanwhile, there is much else to keep you occupied in the busy month of June. For starters, LACMA’s show, The Presence of the Past: Peter Zumthor Reconsiders LACMA, an exhibition about the proposed future of the museum’s campus, opens to the public this Sunday, June 9th.

Model looking EastThe exhibit’s centerpiece is a design by Peter Zumthor for a new museum building that is likely to stoke as much conversation as the drama surrounding the MOCA show has to date — because it proposes a radical design for the site that not only replaces four existing buildings with a snaking black form, but also changes the relationship of the museum to Wilshire Boulevard, and breaks from conventional organization of galleries (see model alongside Wilshire, looking East). We will discuss the design in more depth soon on DnA. But tonight at LACMA (Wednesday, June 5), in what will doubtless be a very interesting conversation, you can hear LACMA Director Michael Govan and Philippe de Montebello, former Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art discuss the future of the “encyclopedic museum.”

Las Vegas in the Rearview View

It was the book that fired up a generation, it has been charged with providing an intellectual framework for Postmodernist architecture, and it certainly launched the fashion among architecture professors for running research studios documenting populist urban form.

Front cover of bookIt was called Learning From Las Vegas, by Robert Venturi, Denise Scott-Brown and Steven Izenour, and now, 40 years on, its impact has been examined in a new book, Las Vegas in the Rearview Mirror: The City in Theory, Photography, and Film.

Tomorrow night, at the MAK Center at the Schindler House on Kings Road, author Martino Stierli will sign copies of his book following a panel discussion in which he will, in the MAK Center’s words, “explore the significance of this controversial publication by situating it in the artistic, architectural, and urbanist discourse of the 1960s and ’70s, and by evaluating the book’s enduring influence on visual studies and architectural research.

He will be joined by UCLA assistant professor Michael Osman, and the Getty Research Insitute’s Wim de Wit (I will moderate.) We will also hear a couple of clips from an interview with Denise Scott-Brown, conducted by Guy Horton, to be aired soon on DnA, in which she gives her thoughts about Stierli’s book and the effect of Learning From Las Vegas on perceptions of her and her husband’s work.

The event, presented with the support of the Consulate General of Switzerland, Los Angeles, and the Getty Research Institute, starts at 7pm and is free to the public. Address: 835 North Kings Road, West Hollywood, CA 90069.