Various Brief Notes From Los Angeles County Museum

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Just got back from a quick trip to Los Angeles. The John McLaughlin show is as transcendent as everyone said, and all the museums that didn’t take it are as clueless as everyone feared. The chairs are a bit twee, though, to be frank, but the sentiment is welcome. If I’d been alone, maybe I would have put them to longer use, but then, I also preferred standing right in front of the paintings. Too many paintings had frames that covered the edges; the subtly different painted edges were my absolute favorite part of the Phillips Collection’s McLaughlin. Otherwise, everything about McLaughlin and his work and practice is heartening, even though he’s chronically underseen.
The Picasso Rivera show was revelatory. Chris Burden’s Metropolis II is still great. Broad’s giant Serra Band is like a bunch of holding cells and not in a good way. Turns out you can screw up something that big. Which, we did not go in the Resnick Pavilion at all. Artists give unusual work to this museum; it really feels very local.
The Moholy Nagy show was a labyrinthine confusion in this version, but so much wonderful stuff, including all three of the “Telephone Paintings”. The label still says there were five. I guess I will need to look into that situation now.