explore. experience. expand.
Archive by Author

It’s Your Show 2013 Opening Reception Pics


Last Friday’s Opening Reception for It’s Your Show 2013 was a smashing success, with packed crowds all night long.  If you weren’t able to make it, we encourage you to stop by the 4th Floor Gallery at 1010 Westwood Boulevard to check it out.  The exhibition will remain up until the end of May.

Brancusi and the Space of Modern Sculpture








This Spring, we’re pleased to offer the course Brancusi and the Space of Modern Sculpture with art historian Roni Feinstein. The class will include lectures, as well as a trip to the Norton Simon Museum to view their exhibition on the artist.

In case you’re not familiar with Brancusi, we asked Roni a few questions about the artist, his influence, and what students can expect from the class.

1.   For those who aren’t familiar with his work, can you introduce Constantin Brancusi?

Constantin Brancusi, who was born to a family of Romanian peasants in 1876, made his way to Paris on foot in 1904.  After seeing a few of his early sculptures in an exhibition, the great sculptor Auguste Rodin, best known for The Thinker and Burghers of Callais, invited the young artist to become an assistant in his studio, a position Brancusi held for only about a month.  He later explained his departure by saying, “Nothing can grow in the shadow of a great tree.”  Although Brancusi’s art was in some ways indebted to that of Rodin, it was in myriad ways its polar opposite.  If Rodin was the quintessential sculptor of the 19th Century, Brancusi played this role for the 20th Century, his influence extending from Henry Moore to the American Minimalists of the 1960s to the artists of today.   Brancusi died in 1957, but his influence lives on and it is remarkable how often artists continue to create work specifically in homage to Brancusi and his accomplishments.

Brancusi 2

Constantin Brancusi, Self-Portrait in the Studio, 1933-34.
Photograph, 5 1/16 x 3 9/16. Musee National d’Artmoderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.


2. Can you talk a bit about his influence?

Although Brancusi created a few highly important abstract sculptures, most of his subjects were drawn from the natural world.  Whether the head of a child, a bird or a fish, he reduced forms to their most basic and essential shapes, a purity of form being a hallmark of Modernism.  He also exploited the inherent properties of his materials, whether wood, stone or brass.  With regard to wood and stone, he reinstated the ancient technique of direct carving as a tool for modern artists, employing both smooth surfaces that evoke classical traditions and rough-hewn surfaces that look back to primitive art and the folk art of his native Romania.  The two types of carving were often seen within a single work in the contrast between the sculpted object and its base, Brancusi conceiving of the base not as a neutral resting place for sculpture, but as integral to the work as a whole.   (Several artists have in fact made a career working in the legacy of Brancusi’s bases.)  Brancusi was immensely concerned not only with the relationship of the sculpture to its support, but also to the architecture and surrounding space.  His interest in presentation and display–in installation–has had a long heritage in modern and contemporary art.

Brancusi 1

Constantin Brancusi, Bird in Space, 1931. Polished bronze, 73 in. The Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena.


3.  What pieces in the Norton Simon exhibition are you looking forward to viewing with students, and why?

Brancusi’s polished bronze Bird in Space, 1931, which is installed not in the Beyond Brancusi exhibition on the museum’s lower level, but with the display of Modern Art on the museum’s first floor, is a remarkable piece.  It offers not just the image of a bird, but of a bird in flight, the form of the piece charting the trajectory of its skyward movement.  Positioned directly below a skylight, the gleaming bronze surface dissolves in the light from overhead in a manner the artist would have loved.  Although it has a dematerizalized aspect, it will be fascinating to have students compare and contrast this work with Rodin’s mighty Balzac sculpture that stands in front of the museum, which has a similar upward-thrusting quality.  It may also be noted that Brancusi’s Bird in Space is an object with an amazing history, as in 1926 the US Customs Service imposed a tax on a slightly earlier version of the sculpture on the grounds that it was an industrial object and not a work of art.

4.  What do you hope students learn to appreciate in the class that they might not have without the context you’ll provide?

The Beyond Brancusi exhibition at the Norton Simon is made up of about 20 sculptures by an assortment of artists drawn from the museum’s permanent collection, but it does not make clear exactly how these works relate to Brancusi, nor does it present any actual pieces by Brancusi or offer his work in the context of the time in which it was made, which is something that the class intends to do.  A more specific example might be that in the exhibition, sculptures by Donald Judd, Carl Andre and Robert Irwin all make use of the repetition of a single modular unit.  These works are indebted to Endless Column, which is perhaps Brancusi’s most famous and influential sculpture, but this is not explained or examined in the Norton Simon show.

Brancusi 4

Robert Irwin, Untitled, 1968. Synthetic polymer paint on metal disc and arm, 60 in. diameter. Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena.

5.  Why did you choose this topic and artist to address during this class?

Constantin Brancusi stands with Picasso as the most influential sculptor of the Twentieth Century, yet his name and work are hardly known.  Gaining an understanding of the nature of Brancusi’s art and influence will greatly expand each student’s knowledge and appreciation of both modern and contemporary art.

6.  Do you have a favorite work by the artist?

I am torn between The Kiss, one of the first works by Brancusi to attract me when I was very young and Leda, a piece I struggled to understand, but once I “got it,” I was awed by its sensuality and brilliance.  Actually, there are so many incredible works that it’s hard to choose.  Brancusi’s photography, which we’ll explore in class, is remarkable as well.

Brancusi 3

Constantin Brancusi, Endless Column (version I), 1918. Oak, 6’8″ x 9′ 7/8 “x 9′ 5/8”, The Museum of Modern Art, New York.








Gary Baseman: Pervasion and Play

baseman_pervasion_play_skirball_lgThis spring we have a very exciting opportunity for students. In partnership with the Skirball Cultural Center and their exhibition Gary Baseman: The Door is Always Open, we’re offering a course that starts with a review of the artist’s work and influence, and ends with a tour of the exhibition accompanied by Baseman himself.

Many Los Angelenos (or fans of Cranium) may already be familiar with Baseman’s work. Organized thematically, Gary Baseman: The Door Is Always Open examines the many facets of Baseman’s creativity and underscores the influence of his Jewish upbringing and American popular culture on his career. The exhibition presents more than 300 artworks and objects from his prodigious output and eclectic collections. Highlights include vibrant illustrations for The New Yorker and Rolling Stone; title card paintings and maquettes for Baseman’s Emmy Award–winning animated television series Teacher’s Pet; iconic artwork for the popular board game Cranium; and many of Baseman’s beloved, limited-edition designer toys.

The class begins with a lecture by Denise A. Gray, Principal Consultant of MUSED, consulting in art and museums. She has worked in the field for twenty years, including twelve spent at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, where she developed and managed community, family, youth, and teen programs. Gray has worked with Gary Baseman since 2007, managing his fine and commercial art projects, producing his art performances, and organizing his exhibitions in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Italy. She contributed to two 2013 publications related to Baseman’s retrospective exhibition, Gary Baseman: The Door is Always Open and Mono Baseman.

Following the lecture, students will tour the exhibition at the Skirball, and meet and participate in a discussion with Mr. Baseman. This is an unique opportunity to meet with an iconic artist, and we’re greatful to the Skirball and Denise Gray for their partnership!

For course details, or to enroll, click here. 

(image: Gary Baseman, The Door is Always Open, 2012, acrylic on board, courtesy of the artist).

Chance to Hear Photo Editor James K. Colton Speak

On Monday, April 22, renowned photo editor James K. Colton will be a guest speaker in Todd Bigelow’s Portraiture class.

Todd has generously opened the session to any students who may be interested in hearing Mr. Colton speak.

Where: Room 416WC

When: 7pm, Monday April 22.

James K. Colton recently left Sports Illustrated after 15 years as their Photography Editor and is currently a writer and educator. He began his career in 1972 at the Associated Press. Five years later he joined Newsweek and became their Director of Photography. He was the Jury Chairman for the World Press Photo contest in 2005, received an International Photography Awards “Lucie” for Picture Editor of the Year in 2007, was the recipient of the “Focus” award for Lifetime Achievement by the Griffin Museum in 2010 and has been acknowledged as one of the 100 most important people in photography by American Photo.


Calligraphy with Carrie Imai

For many designers, calligraphy might not be the first thought when it comes to building your skill set. But for the last few years, Carrie Imai has been showing students that learning calligraphy can be a valuable skill, applicable to many design projects and goals.

As one student who recently took the class said:

“I had always been curious about calligraphy but never set out to try to learn it on my own. After hearing how calligraphy had been influential to Steve Jobs, I decided to take this Extension course. After only ten weeks of experience, I can say that this class has helped to improve my skills as a designer and artist. The combination of drawing (rendering letterforms) and typography/layout, as well as the exposure to new materials (inks, papers) is an invaluable experience for all designers.”

This Spring, Carrie will be teaching the Roman Majuscules alphabet. A few examples are included below. For those in the DCA certificate program, the class can be used as an elective.

Click here to read the course description and register. 

indian.gray2A-Z angelsunawares

windows-10-key windows-10-iso windows-10-product-key windows-10-activation-key windows-10-pro-key windows-10-education-key windows-10-enterprise-key windows-10-home-key windows-7-key-sale windows-10-key windows-7-key office-2016-key office-2013-key office-2010-key