A broad range of Latin American artwork –– from 15th-century depictions of nature to 21st-century performance pieces — will be the focus of exhibitions opening this fall at four Pasadena-area museums. The Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena Museum of California Art, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens and USC Pacific Asia Museum are among 70 Southern California cultural institutions participating in “Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA,” a series of thematically linked art exhibits supported by grants from the Getty Foundation.
As part of PST, the Armory will present “Below the Underground: Renegade Art and Action in 1990’s Mexico.” “Below the Underground” examines alternative art forms, such as street performances and happenings at punk clubs staged in Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey and features handbills, props, costumes and other items from these events. An opening reception, open to the public, is set for Oct. 14; the show will run from Oct. 15 through Jan. 22.
A highlight of the exhibition will be a reinterpretation of “La clase de dibugo” (The drawing class), a series of public performances during the early 2000s in which artist Ema Villanueva was both the nude model and the instructor. The Armory will recreate these performances at two figure-drawing workshops with guest artists serving as the model and teacher.
“Hollywood in Havana: Five Decades of Cuban Posters Promoting U.S. Films” opened Aug. 20 at the Pasadena Museum of California Art (PMCA) and will be on display through Jan. 7. The 40 posters, created between 1960 and 2009, were part of the Cuban government’s attempt to develop Cubans’ awareness of US culture.
Artwork from an earlier period will be the focus of “Visual Voyages: Images of Latin American Nature from Columbus to Darwin,” on display at The Huntington from Sept. 16 through Jan. 8. “Visual Voyages” explores the purposes and perspectives from which indigenous people, Europeans, Spanish-Americans, and individuals of mixed-race descent depicted nature between the late 15th and the mid-19th centuries. The collection of 150 paintings, rare books, illustrated manuscripts, prints and drawings comes from The Huntington’s own holdings, as well as dozens of other art collections.
After being closed for more than a year, the USC Pacific Asia Museum will reopen on Dec. 8 with its PST entry, “Winds from Fusang: Mexico and China in the Twentieth Century.” The exhibition examines the influence of Mexican art and artists on the development of 20th-century Chinese art.
The museum closed in July 2016 to begin a major renovation. A seismic retrofitting will be completed when the museum reopens in December, as will the installation of new heating and cooling systems in its permanent collections storage facility. These installations will be financed by a grant from the Ahmanson Foundation. In the next phase of renovation the museum plans to construct a 1,544-square foot multipurpose event venue and conference center and\an equally large rooftop terrace overlooking the San Gabriel Mountains.
PMCA and The Huntington will present other exhibitions this fall in addition to their PST-related shows. Last week, PMCA opened two exhibits that will run through Jan. 7: “E. Charlton Fortune: The Colorful Spirit” showcases the landscapes, ecclesiastical paintings and other works produced by this woman artist. “LA Redux: Reduction Linocuts by Dave Lefner” features images of the city created by a single block of linoleum that is carved in several stages, with each stage making a layer of color and part of the artist’s composition.
“Tiffany Favrile Glass: Masterworks from the Collection of Stanley and Dolores Sirott,” featuring 32 glass vases designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany, will be exhibited at The Huntington from Oct. 7 through Feb. 26. The museum’s other fall presentations include “Frederick Hammersley: To Paint without Thinking,” displaying works by this American abstract artist (on view from Oct. 21 through Jan. 22); “The Reformation: From the Word to the World,” a commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation showcasing rare manuscripts, books and prints made between the 1400s and 1648 (Oct. 28 through Feb. 26); and “Collection/s: WCCW/five at the Huntington,” featuring art work and performances created by seven women on the theme of collecting and collections (Nov. 18 through Feb. 12).
The Norton Simon Museum’s entire collection of modeles — the first and only set of bronze figures cast from Edgar Degas’ original wax and pastel statuettes — will be displayed from Nov. 10 through April 9. “Taking Shape: Degas as Sculptor” commemorates the centenary of Degas’ death and will also feature pastels, drawings and paintings so viewers can explore similarities between the various works of the 19-century French artist. “Eternal/Endure,” a performance marking the centennial of another French artist’s death, will be presented on Nov. 4. The theater movement piece, performed by students in USC’s master of fine arts in acting program, combines fragments of Auguste Rodin’s life with images, music and text.
Other activities at the Norton Simon include the “Fall Family Festival” on Oct. 22 and a series of four films exploring different encounters with death: “The Devil and Daniel Webster” (screens Oct. 20), “Ikiru” (Oct. 27), “Heaven Can Wait” (Nov. 3) and “The Seventh Seal” (Nov. 10).
“She Bends: Women in Neon” will open on Sept. 17 at Glendale’s Museum of Neon Art and showcase neon artworks by more than 20 women artists. Other fall activities include the “Neon Noir Cruise,” a tour of Los Angeles’ neon and film noir, on Sept. 23, and three films in the museum’s “Jewel City Noir” film and lecture series: “Gun Crazy” (screens Oct. 21), “Pickup on South Street (Nov. 18) and “It’s a Wonderful Life” (Dec. 16).
The Pasadena Museum of History will honor the 100th Rose Queen with “Royals of Pasadena: Rose Queen and Royal Court.” Coronation gowns, jewelry, daywear and accessories lent by former queens and princesses will be on display, along with a collection of the queens’ crowns and original design drawings of the queen’s Rose Parade float. The exhibit runs from Sept. 2 through Feb. 11.
Kidspace has scheduled numerous activities for children and their families this fall, including Farmer Days (Sept. 2 and 4), Bubble Bonanza (Sept. 23), Haunted Arroyo (Oct. 7), Pumpkin Festival (Oct. 14 and 15), Halloween Hunt (Oct. 29), Chocolate Wonders (Nov. 18), Mad Science Sunday (Nov. 27) and Free Family Night activities on Oct. 3, Nov. 7 and Dec. 5.
Children will also have a chance to explore large trucks, heavy machinery, and recreational and emergency vehicles at “Touch-a-Truck,” a hands-on learning experience organized by the Southern California Children’s Museum, to be held at Santa Anita Park on Sept. 23.