Thursday, May 2, 2013

LACMA & the Stanley Kubrick Retrospective Special Exhibit

We're not big on museums. We've enjoyed some great ones, but we don't gravitate to them or plan many trip itineraries around museums. However, being movie buffs (we met while working at a beer/theater) made us plan an entire day at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) to see the Stanley Kubrick Retrospective.

Exhibit EntrancePhotographyBreath of Work

This exhibit was enlightening. Stanley Kubric was a true visionary who adapted each and everyone of his films from books, novels or short stories. He had a need to visualize what he saw in the literature he read. Knowing his images had to make an impact in a short amount of visual space and time, it is no surprise he controlled nearly every aspect of his scenes and had life-long collaborations with talented set and costume designers.

Space Odessey Chairs2001 Costume DesignClockwork Orange CollaboratorsClockwork Orange CostumesClockwork Orange Set PiecesSet Sketch

Apparently Stanley Kubric had a fascination with the color red.

The Color RedKubrick Red - Spartacus & Clockwork OrangeKubric Red - The Shining and 2001 A Space OdysseyKubric Red - Full Metal Jacket & Eyes Wide Shut

The amazingly curated exhibit was housed in a minimal, multi-roomed space with hallways that teased you with images of what was the next featured film's exhibit as you walked down the hall towards it. Such as the Clockwork Orange entrance of the Orange Wall and White/Black costume (seen above) and the grand Victorian costumes at the entrance for his film Barry Lyndon.

For the film The Shining we simply turned into a large room and was greeted by a replica of the maze on one end and a table with the typewriter with the creepy "all work and no play makes jack a dull boy" typed out, next to the knife used in the famous bathroom scene. One wall was covered with a large shadowy image of the Glady Twins and the famous ax from the bathroom scene. It was a wonderfully ominous white space.

Mike viewing mockup of The Shining MazeThe Shining TypewriterThe Shinig KnifeTwins and the Axes

As mentioned earlier, this exhibit was enlightening with interesting insights about Stanley Kubrick, who we learned was an extremely well read man, as well as an admirer and supporter of the arts. The story of how Stanley Kubrick developed the twins in The Shining is simply eerie.

Grady Twins

If you are a fan of Stanley Kubrick's, or art admirers, or even admirers of wonderfully historical preserved and displayed artifacts, we would highly recommend seeing this exhibit in person. Stanley Kubrick was an amazing artist with so much to him we couldn't possibly represent the depth of his work, such as the special exhibit "Unfolding the Aryan Papers" a film he never finished due to the heavy and personal topic of the holocaust.  It was really fun to see iconic images from the movies and it was utterly fascinating to delve into the mind of Stanley Kubrick's creativity. He truly was a genius and believe we will see his influence on modern art and cinema for the rest of our lives. This amazing exhibit runs until June 30, 2013.

Born to KillEyes Wide Shut MasksMike

Tickets to the Stanley Kubrick exhibit also gave us admission to the rest of LACMA's exhibits and full museum. The permanent exhibits were impressive, as well as the rest of LACMA. We walked through the modern art building with an impressive collection of modern art from the likes of Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo and Picasso.

Modern Art ExhibitLACMA's permanent modern artLarge Digital ExhibitMale AggressionMike contemplating art

As we headed outside to find the Pavilion for Japanese Art at the other end of the museum grounds, we found ourselves in the inviting sculpture garden.

sculpture garden headsSculpture GardenCourtyard Art

The Japanese Art Pavilion was absolutely gorgeous.This winding, curvy building was flanked with soji screens on all walls and you walked up and around and through this wonderful exhibit that displayed fine Japanese screens, ceramics, metal works, sculptures and paintings.

Japanese Art ExhibitJapanese Art Exhibit Space

LACMA shares it's space with the famous La Brea Tar Pits. The park setting had bubbling tar pits dotted throughout the grounds. Statues of the dinosaurs and animals found in the living archeological site could been seen everywhere. We've been to the Natural History Museum in NYC and saw the massive dinosaurs that once roamed the earth, but what makes the La Brea Tar Pits so unique was everything found in the museum wasn't shipped from some far off archeological site, but found in the tar pits where the museums is today, making the living museum that more fascinating. In fact, recently construction crews expanding LAX's parking structure found more dinosaur bones during excavation and immediately shut down construction, and turned it into an archeological site. Unfortunately, our stomachs were grumbling and we decided to save the Le Brea Tar Pits for another visit, but we did enjoy the park grounds and the interesting tar pits themselves.

LA Brea Tar Pit

Our day at the museum was one of the highlight of our time in LA. We were taken by the modern facilities and buildings of LACMA, and can't wait to see what other special exhibits will be curated here in the future just so we can have an excuse to make another trip to the museum.

No comments: