Departures Standard Time

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Hey, if you won't throw a party for yourself, then who will?

After feeling ignored for decades by the more civilized art world, Los Angeles-based and other nearby cultural institutions have embarked on a much-anticipated, monumental, quasi-collaborative sorta self-retrospective.

More than sixty museums, galleries and otherwise are scheduled to take part in Pacific Standard Time, the Getty-sponsored, smart brand name for the scores of exhibitions examining L.A. art from 1945-1980.

KCET Departures, agile and prescient, made sorta like Chris Burden and jumped the gun regarding PST. Here are a half-dozen of the PST featured artists who have shared their stories with Departures. As a bonus, we'll include a well-regarded art writer, too.

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JOHN BALDESSARI

Few artists manage to cross the divide between critical acclaim and popular acclaim like Baldessari (pictured above).

Old friend Jori Finkel posted to the Los Angeles Times' Culture Monster blog a list of the top twenty artists whose works appear in the most PST exhibitions.

Baldessari, no surprise, led the list, Finkel reports, with his works appearing in eleven different exhibitions.

The brilliant Baldessari gave his oral history to Departures: Venice. Below is one video clip from the conversation.

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ED RUSCHA

The Departures: Venice chapter titled, "Arts and Beats" includes conversations wth not just Baldessari, but also the likes of iconic Ed Ruscha (number two on the LAT list of most-PST venues, with ten) and Cool School lions Ed Moses (tied for third, with eight) and Billy Al Bengston (tied for eleventh, with seven).

Here's a Ruscha video clip from his time spent with Departures:

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JUDY BACA

Here's Baca, founder of what would become the Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC) in front of a mural, from the PST web pages.

Here are photos from a recent Departures: Story Share event held at The Great Wall of Los Angeles, one of Baca and colleagues most awesome achievements.

Here are first hand recollections of the creation of the Great Wall, via Departures: LA River.

And in her own words, here's Judy Baca from Departures: Venice.

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DIANA GAMBOA

A later member of the avant-garde art group, ASCO, who are in the midst of receiving the retrospective treatment at LACMA. ASCO famously tagged the County Museum back in 1972.

Gamboa wrote this for Departures.

HUNTER DROHOJOWSKA-PHILIP

The longtime art writer and art historian details during her Departures oral history the tremendous importance of the now-legendary Ferrus Gallery, which was co-founded by the no-introduction-needed-if-you're-reading-this-post Walter Hopps and Ed Keinholtz.

Drohojowska, who recently wrote this and this about PST, also tells Departures about the personal and professional schisms that would eventually develop between some of the Ferrus artists.

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BILLY AL BENGSTON

Another hugely significant figure in the postwar L.A. scene. Another Venice resident, too.

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ED MOSES

His style of art - a West Coast brand of AbEx - was different from many of his Venice Cool School peers. His closeness, though, to his colleagues as well his status, as Departures: Venice puts it, as the "bad boy of the L.A. art scene of the 1960s," endeared Moses to legions both then and now.

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Photo via Departures

About the Author

Jeremy Rosenberg is a Los Angeles-based writer, editor, and consultant whose work has appeared in various books, magazines, newspapers, and online.
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