Make Time for Pacific Standard Time

 There’s an amazing modern art series going on in Southern California right now called Pacific Standard Time. More than 60 cultural institutions from L.A. to Pomona to San Diego are holding shows that celebrate the L.A. art scene from 1945 to 1980. So far, I’ve seen an amazing show of Beatrice Wood’s pottery in Santa Monica and the hip show on California design, “Living in a Modern Way” at LACMA. 

Today, a small group of us was planning on driving up to the Huntington Library (and gardens!) in San Marino to see the show on Sam Maloof, “The House that Sam Built,” but they were closed today due to a freak wind storm last night. Instead, we headed south to La Jolla to the San Diego Contemporary Museum of Art to see “Phenomenal: California Light, Space, Surface.”  The show featured works that “focused on visual perception rather than discreet objects” by artists such as Peter Alexander, Larry Bell, Robert Irwin, Craig Kauffman, Bruce Nauman, Eric Orr, Helen Pashgian, De Wain Valentine and Douglas Wheeler. (Visitors were not allowed to take photos inside, so I shot these pictures in the outdoor sculpture garden behind the museum.) 

There was one exhibit that we all loved, and even thought our husbands and kids would enjoy. Basically, you walk inside a completely darkened room and wait for your eyes to adjust. At first, you cannot even see your own hand in front of your face, but slowly you start to make out the silhouettes of others in the room, and then faint details. After about ten minutes, the room feels as though it is lighted. Hard to describe how cool it was.

Besides all the interesting visual works that played tricks on your eyes and mind, the museum had stunning ocean views framed through various windows. 

The garden had an eclectic selection of outdoor sculpture as well as beautiful sculptural plantings, such as blooming yuccas….

 unusual palms…
and festive aloes.

It was a crystal clear day, sunny with a brisk breeze.
After walking along the path around these sculptures, we noticed a yellow hose that coiled all over the grounds. One of my astute friends realized this was not a random hose left by the gardeners, but a work of art on its own.

After viewing the show, we walked a couple blocks to a wonderful lunch place on Fay Avenue called PrepKitchen, which we found on Yelp (in case you visit this show and want a yummy place to eat.) 

Seeing this show only made me eager to see more of the Pacific Standard Time shows. We have one in our hometown of Laguna at the Laguna Art Museum called “Best Kept Secret,” which I’ve heard great things about. The more I learn about all the other shows, the more I feel anxious that I will run out of time before I get to them. Most run through early spring. 
Just don’t wait too long. There’s a ton to see!

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