On my penultimate day before leaving America, I visited the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACM) which is the largest museum west of the Mississippi. The museum is perhaps most famous for its urban lights display which has featured in several films.
The museum was fairly costly but offers a vast range of exhibits. The best of these has to be the Van Gogh department, which includes a wide array of neo-impressionism, post-impressionism, expressionism as well as the blaue reiter (blue rider) art movement. I had become very interested in neo-impressionism as well as post-impressionism after visiting the Musee d’Orsay last year. I was thrilled to find several of my favourite artists that I had discovered there lurking around the LA gallery.
The exhibit vaguely described the progression of art movements from the late 1880s through to the 1940s, detailing their origin and artistic features. However, this was kept fairly loose and could have been expanded upon more widely. This was very much the same with the descriptions of each painting where the majority only included a name and date. The rest were kept very brief and did not include much information as to how the paintings came to be completed in terms of their influences, intentions and methods.
Don’t think I’m being to negative (and a pretentious art wanker) just yet.
The paintings in stock were amazing and there sure were a lot of them. The exhibit was mainly dedicated to several works of Van Gogh. These such paintings I had never seen before. Yet for me it was the rest of the works in the gallery that astounded me. Luckily for me I am a huge fan of neo-impressionism, and found a plethora of paintings by Paul Signac, Erich Heckel and Camille Pissarro. On top of this I discovered many new artists as well as entire new movements of art.
Notably I remember loving Karl Schmidt-Rottluf, Franz Marc and Hendrich Campendonk (is that not just the best name ever)? Campendonk was a Dutch artist, and member of the Blaue Reiter group from 1911 to 1912. Blaue Reiter translates to Blue Rider and was created in rejection of the Munich New Artist’s Association. The group also included August Macke, Wassily Kandinsky, Albert Bloch and others.
Franz Marc was also a member of the Blaue Reiter group, and a founding member no less. He was a German painter somewhat similar to Campendonk aesthetically as well as in terms of his talent.
Karl Schmidt-Rottluf was a German expressionist painter and printmaker and one of the founding members of another artist group, called Die Brücke which means ‘The Bridge’ in English. This group was formed in Dresden in 1905 (before blue rider) and gave rise to expressionism as a form of art. Other members included Erich Heckel, Emil Nolde, Ernst Ludwig Krichner and Fritz Bleyl. What easily spell-able names…
The other building in the gallery I visited was more diverse and general in its array of paintings. I saw many works by Picasso from his later years, sculptors from the Pacific Islands as well as more modern pieces by Jackson Pollock (or Twatson Pollock as I call him) and plenty others.
All in all I highly recommend LACM for its huge array of different art for all kinds of people to enjoy. Avoid the cafes though, unless you enjoy getting financially raped for a bloody sandwich..