With a long-term focus on in-depth research and acquisition of post-war art, the Getty Research Institute is heading a citywide, multi-venue initiative which documents Los Angeles’s position as a hub for contemporary art after World War II. Entitled “Pacific Standard Time,” the initiative is certainly one of the most expensive, ambitious and collaborative projects that any U.S. city has ever attempted. The project scale is being compared to the Venice Biennale in terms of the costs and organizational effort that has gone into the project.
Between October 2011 and February 2012, a major exhibition at the J. Paul Getty Museum will present a survey of postwar painting and sculpture in Los Angeles, accompanied by a book on the exhibition and postwar art history in Southern California. Along with the exhibition, there will be an extensive series of oral histories with many of Los Angeles’s key artists, filmmakers, curators, collectors, and critics, as well as a concurrent exhibition at the Research Institute presenting supplemental archival material.
At the same time, over 30 additional venues citywide will present exhibitions that cover practices as diverse as ceramic sculpture, postwar design, African American art, the Light and Space movement, and the history of the Los Angeles Woman’s Building, among others. In collaboration with many of these institutions, the Getty will organize a series of public programs that will include lectures, symposia, performance art, theater, concerts, readings, and film screenings.