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Pacific Standard Time’s architecture focus moves forward

originally posted by the Los Angeles Times
January 14, 2013

Last time around the focus was Southern California’s art history; now homegrown architecture is getting its time in the sun. Getty Trust leaders are announcing Monday the final roster of exhibition and event partners in its Pacific Standard Time spinoff, Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in Southern California, slated to run April through July.

They will also be releasing the specific grant amounts given to various museums and institutions: roughly $3.6 million in all. Eight exhibition partners received grants from $260,000 to $445,000 to help mount shows and publish catalogs; eight event partners received grants ranging from $20,000 to $246,000 to organize panels, tours and other programs.

Because the new initiative is smaller than Pacific Standard Time, which involved $10 million in grants and some 50 museum exhibitions in 2011 and 2012, the Getty is not calling it a sequel. (One is in the works.) But Getty Trust President James Cuno hopes it will continue the momentum.

“We’re looking to build on the energy, pride, commitment and sense of reward for participating institutions — all the things that made PST a success,” said Cuno.

Cuno is on the lineup of speakers at Monday’s press event at the Capitol Records Tower in Hollywood, a 1956 building designed in a fit of corporate optimism to resemble a stack of records. A few shows in the initiative will explore this Midcentury Modern period, including one on the architects Smith and Williams at UC Santa Barbara and a survey of A. Quincy Jones at the Hammer. Expect to see work by the architectural photographer and modernism advocate Julius Shulman in more than one show.

But midcentury modernism is not the only theme. The Getty’s own show, “Overdrive: L.A. Constructs the Future, 1940-1990,” also will look at key developments in city planning and infrastructure, from its tangle of freeways to its shopping malls. SCI-Arc will be revisiting the Architecture Gallery of 1979, which Thom Mayne briefly operated out of his home in Venice Beach. MOCA will go into more current Frank Gehry territory with its show, “A New Sculpturalism: Contemporary Architecture from Southern California.”

Some shows have already been announced to the public. One last-minute addition: LACMA has received $20,000 in Getty funding to hold an exhibition by artist Stephen Prina called “As He Remembered It,” which originated at the Vienna Secession and features Prina’s re-creations of R.M. Schindler furniture. LACMA also is organizing a larger show on the history and future of its Wilshire site, unveiling Peter Zumthor’s new ideas for the campus.

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