Thursday, January 27, 2011

California Biennial


Sautrday, January 22, 2011 My sister and her teen-age son got into an argument in the foyer of the Orange County Museum of Art. People were staring. She wanted him to go back out to the car and get her other glasses. He didn't want to. And the California Biennial art exhibition that we were there to see, supposedly the best thing going by Californian artists, had gotten negative reviews(http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/culturemonster/2011/01/art-review-california-biennial-at-the-orange-county-museum-of-art.html); but even so, I was not prepared for the vapidity of the worst, and even the best displayed little sense of adventure or daring to take art in a new direction. With the exception of Zoe Croshers photos and Violet Hopkins inkblots and and the s;inning wheels of Andy Ralph's overturned trash barrels and David Adey's neon-haloed ceramic lambs the show was banal, ideas were sparse and tired, and there weren't even any audacious errors of enthusiasm What boring neighborhood do so many (apparently) of these artists live in that is so devoid of vivacity and exuberance? The art hanging in the coffee house I go to most mornings is equal to or better than anything in the Biennial, more compelling, better displayed, and without the artspeak (so and so "is concerned with the physicality of the world around him."). Plus the map of the museum galleries was all but useless, an obstacle the art didn't need and an unnecessary insult to the artists.


I was so pissed off by the whole experience that I also got into an argument with my nephew, this one as we were driving from the museum in Newport Beach to Costa Mesa where the ballet would be performed that night.

Bolshoi-trained ballerinas perform new works in Costa Mesa


Bolshoi Theatre of Russia, Saturday, January 22, 2011

Segerstrom Hall, Costa Mesa, California, USA

Choreographers: Duato, Zanella, Elo, Bigonzetti, Armitage, Childs, Barton, Balanchine (new?).

The Russian chicks and the people who choreographed and staged----crazy imagination, and Maria K. ---who is with SF ballet---who I've not paid that much attention to before wowed me, she was fabulous in the best choreographed piece (by Elo, recently of Boston Ballet). Music,classical and current, played by the Bolshoi orchestra. (I don't think the musicians have the same training regimen as the dancers---they looked "tired" when I saw them in the hotel lobby the next day.) These artists are creating like crazy, fresh ideas everywhere. The place was packed with Russians. Russians in Orange County. Brazilians in Los Angeles. San Franciscans in San Francisco. (Although Maria K. will be a new focus of attention---arms, legs, self-assuredness, girlishness, lighter than air.)




Friday, January 21, 2011

Stark in Orange County

This weekend: California Biennial at the Orange County Museum of Art in Newport Beach, and Bolshoi-trained ballerinas dancing new choreography at the Orange County Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa.