The Getty Center is a must visit for everyone in Los Angeles. It is place of peaceful beauty that will enchant you. Located in the heart of the west side, perched upon the hills overlooking the Pacific Ocean and inner Los Angeles, the location offers a heavenly view. Plan to spend the day and enjoy a meal at The Restaurant. It’s a lovely setting with fine cuisine, overlooking the Santa Monica Mountains. You’ll want to dress up to fit in with your surroundings, but wear smart shoes so that you can take in as much art as possible.
Florence at the Dawn of the Renaissance: Painting and Illumination, 1300–1350
If you’ve ever been to Florence then you understand the the power that art has to mightily impact a city: The magnificence of The Duomo, the doors of the Baptistery, the Uffizi Gallery and the David by Michelangelo at the Accademia di Belle Arti. As far as art is concerned, Florence is where’s it at, and as you may be aware, it is the birthplace of the Renaissance. Right now the Getty is hosting a remarkable exhibit featuring 90 pieces from the beginning of the Renaissance. The show spans fifty critical years of European civilization (1300 – 1350) that heralded the end of the dark ages, and moved societies into the beauty of the Renaissance. Religious and commissions by the Medici helped to drive the new artistic visions and genre. The Renaissance was also began an unprecedented time of prosperity in which many brilliant artists were able to develop their art. The Getty exhibit features a record number of paintings by Florentine master Giotto di Bondone, the highest number ever exhibited in North America.
Back in the early 1940s, after WWI, a group of European visionary artists left the continent and descended upon Mexico City. There they were taken aback by the plethora of artistic production from local Mexican artists as well as from Pre-Colombian imagery. The group started a journal — a practice enjoyed by privileged artists of the day — that displayed their art (photography, paintings, poetry), and was a platform for the message to abandon surrealism, (like Dali) and popularized a move forward into abstract impressionism, (like Pollock). The leader of this Mexico City based movement was an Austrian named Wolfgang Paalen, and the journal was called Dyn. From 1942 to 1944, six issues of Dyn were published and distributed in New York, London, Paris, and Mexico City. The Getty exhibit titled FAREWELL TO SURREALISM: THE DYN CIRCLE IN MEXICO celebrates the work of the various writers, painters, and photographers who contributed to Dyn and formed the Dyn circle. Dyn derives from the Greek to dynaton, which means “the possible”. The title was selected by Paalen who felt that revolutionary art must “pre-figure the possible.” The work of the group is extremely interesting and visually exciting. We especially like the photograph Un pez que llaman Sierra by Manuel Álvarez Bravo, which features a young Mexican female looking off in the distance and holding a fish. She is very beautiful with spirit in her eyes, but her ambivalence and her props of fish heads and overturned boats are all so odd that it fascinates.
IN FOCUS: ROBERT MAPPLETHORPE
In conjunction with the Mapplethorpe show at LACMA, the Getty version is In Focus: Robert Mapplethorpe, which focuses on Mapplethorpe’s early development from artist to photographer. Mapplethorpe attended art school, majoring in Graphic Design, but never took photography. After college, he started making collages with magazine images paired with colored paper and framed. This early work is what inspired him to become a photographer. His first foray was with a Polaroid camera. His Polaroid images became the focal piece of his collages, and revealed his eye for beauty. We suggest that visitors try to view both the Getty and the LACMA collections of Mapplethorpe’s art.
The J. Paul Getty Museum
1200 Getty Center Dr.
Los Angeles, 90049