Our partnership with our sister department Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, also known as LAMAG, is a reflection of how art is intertwined with the library. At the beginning of the year, we started this collaboration with interviews of artists whose works have been exhibited at LAMAG. As we continue to expand our partnership and make use of technologies that we have available, we are proud to bring to you a virtual 360 tour of their newest exhibit highlighting the works of Lukas Geronimas, Nevine Mahmoud, and Vanessa McConnell. Geronimas creates sculptures invoking traditions both ancient and sacred. Mahmoud’s sculptures are provocative, and McConnell’s paintings are characterized by intense colors and textures. Our librarians have created a virtual 360 tour of the current exhibits.
When visiting, either virtually or in-person, an exhibition of graphic artworks, taking time to review a broad range of visual voices both of the period in which the exhibiting artist is working and the place where the items were created may add to the explorative experience of the works on display. In preparation for a visit to the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, why not try out some armchair excursions into the contemporary art world by taking a global read of artists’ works.
In Vitamin P3: New Perspectives in Painting. The book offers snapshots of the works of more than a hundred artists from many countries. Then enjoy exploring sculpture using 100 Sculptors of Tomorrow by Kurt Beers for a visual sense of the language of that medium in today’s marketplace.
While the above books give a broad review of painting and sculpture worldwide, this one focuses on a few artists: The Big Picture: Contemporary Art in 10 Works by 10 Artists by Matthew Israel. As an art historian, Dr. Israel brings a global perspective to this title that represents artists from diverse regions and disciplines. For a sense of place the book title, L.A. Made, 2020, reviews the exhibition organized by the Hammer Museum along with the Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens. It covers works in the graphic and performing arts with many of the pieces commissioned for the exhibition that was curated by Miriam Ben Salah and Lauren Mackler with assistance from Ikechukwu Onyewuenyi. This title also includes interviews with the artists.
Having explored a global viewpoint of contemporary art and a sense of place in the previous titles, books written about contemporary art that cover the period in context, in historical perspective, in critical thinking, and in the marketplace might be valuable. A small book, Contemporary Art a Very Short Introduction, by Julian Stallabrass packs an overview of the art world today with its contradictions and clashes between culture and marketplace in the big global picture. For a look forward, try reading this title by Omar Kholeif who curates a vision of the future with his book, The Artists Who Will Change the World. For a jargon-free introduction to the art marketplace, try reading Who’s Afraid of Contemporary Art?: an A to Z Guide to the Art World, by Kyung An and Jessica Cerasi that introduces today’s art scene with terms described in commonsense language.
After your armchair exploration of the contemporary art scene be sure to take the virtual tour of the current exhibitions at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery with works by artists Lukas Geronimas, Nevine Mahmoud and Vanessa McConnell running from October 14 - December 12, 2021.