Monday April 1, 2013
The Los Angeles Modernism Show & Sale is back! Exhibitors of 20th century furniture, decorative and fine arts will be at the Barker Hangar at Santa Monica Air Center between April 26-28, 2013. More information is HERE.
Peter Loughrey and Dan Tolson are blogging about the upcoming items for sale at the May 19th LA Modern Auction. Check out the stuff before the catalog comes out HERE.
Results from last Thursday’s 'Modern Design' auction at WRight are posted HERE.
The staff of the Hyde Art Gallery are collating background information on Marj Hyde for Modern San Diego. Updates to her page will be posted soon!
Friday March 29, 2013
One of our intrepid reporter teams drove to Los Angeles to scour the A. Quincy Jones archive for more information on the architect's designs for San Luis Rey Estates - including the 'Lido' in which they live! Spread the word that these Oceanside homes need to be saved/preserved/celebrated.
Sunday March 24, 2013
"On Oct. 26, 1952, a 23-year-old artist named Helen Frankenthaler made a painting on unstretched, unprimed canvas laid on the floor, using a freehand stain technique that owed a great deal to Jackson Pollock but was less systematic. She called it “Mountains and Sea,” and it became her best-known, most influential work..." If you are in NYC through April 13, check out the show 'Painted on 21st Street' at Gagosian Gallery HERE.
Decades ago Mike and Joan Wells ran a fantastic art gallery, Flea Market West, in Old Town. They featured the work of Marj Hyde. While I put up a brief transcript of an article HERE, I am looking for any/all information on the topic for a more comprehensive review. Please let me know if you have any leads!
Wednesday March 20, 2013
If any single story has struck me about how San Diegans were once offended by modern art, it is one told by writer James Britton in his Art of the City column from June 1956. What follows is his account of how local painter Marj Hyde offended folks (and likely with some of the paintings in the image above) with her contemporary paintings. I have been in search of these very works by Miss Hyde. Please let me know if you have any leads, or information about the artist as I am putting a biographical page together on her life and career HERE.
“If my kid painted pictures like those, I’d give him a beating,” said one customer. That’s only a sample of the intolerant reaction heard by officials of Security Trust and Savings Bank when their handsome new Hillcrest branch opened with innocent, elegant paintings by Marj Hyde on the wall.
How did the paintings get into the bank? It was architect Lloyd Ruocco’s idea, and he seems to have hypnotized bank officials with his sharply focused, insidious chatter about clean design, light design, bright design, right design. When it came time for the finishing touch of grace, Ruocco asked Miss Hyde to select paintings of hers that would complement his architecture. She understood they would hang for a month, after which another local painter of integrity would be dangled before the eyes of the money changing citizenry.
Bank officials may have been hypnotized, but they snapped out of it when the lowbrow complaints started buzzing in their ears. They quickly ordered the paintings taken down, though only two days had elapsed of the month Miss Hyde expected. Said manager M.A. Herbert: “Only three people made favorable comments on the pictures.”
Probably unaware that they were slapping a genteel young lady who happens also to be a passionately sincere painter, the bankers had proceeded naturally enough on the assumption that there is no profit in upsetting good customers. The thought could hardly have been expected to appeal to them, as it appeals to us, that a little upsetting is just what such customers need.
Why should bankers be expected to carry the torch for quality in art? The obvious answer is that bankers are recognized pillars of society, and pillars make fine support for torches.
Bankers often supported advanced art, even finding it good for business. American history boasts many banks that were pioneer architecture and architecture is the most abstract of arts. One of the celebrated building designs of the twentieth century’s sixth decade is the Manufacturers Trust Company (Fifth Avenue at 43rd Street, New York), which confronts its customers with many bold works of art, including Harry Bertoia’s mysterious sculpture and even a painting by – dare we say it? – Picasso. Its president H.C. Flanigan, is an avid collector of modern art.
President of San Diego’s Security Trust and Savings Bank is Mr. A. J. Sutherland, a widely respected community leader whose list of public stance is unsurpassed locally. Security’s downtown office, where Mr. Sutherland sits, is hung with reassuringly familiar landscape paintings to which no one could possibly object except some odd duck with an art educated eye in which case most of the landscapes would be pronounced esthetically dead on sight.
Monday March 18, 2013
NPR posted a nice slideshow of Ezra Stoller photos related to the recent publication Ezra Stoller, Photographer HERE.
The Modern La Jolla Committee met again recently to discuss a number of initiatives to support the La Jolla Historical Society's initiative to highlight the period in addition to the institution's other ongoing efforts. We are discussing publications, lectures, exhibitions and related events for 2013 and beyond. Check out the latest issue of the newsletter Timekeeper for highlights of the effort thus far or email me HERE.
Sunday March 3, 2013
One of our intrepid reporters found THIS POST on Sentinel Savings and Loan (ca. 1962) by architect S. David Underwood (1917-2002) a former employee of the Millard Sheets Studio. The writer also outlines Sheets Studio work for Home Savings and the San Diego Zoo HERE.
Steve Aldana posted a nice survey of the newly issued Handbook of California Design HERE.