Sunday, July 24, 2016

Event 2: Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA)

On July 21, 2016, I visited the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).

Top: Proof of attendance (the flyer shows the date, July 21)
Bottom: Also proof of attendance (me awkwardly posing next to the lady working at the Japanese art exhibits)

My main interest was in the exhibits of Japanese Art.  I was amazed by the elegant calligraphy that hung on large banners.  However, with the lectures in mind, I also noticed several pieces of art that incorporated geometry and math in their designs.

Plate with Geometric Design, Koyama Kōichi (2012)

Black and White Mist: Covered Rectangular Form, Kondō Takahiro (2007)

These two ceramic pieces clearly incorporate geometry into their designs.  The first, Plate with Geometric Design, has criss-crossing lines that form a checkerboard of sorts.  The latter, Black and White Mist: Covered Rectangular Form, also has lines, but in contrast to the former piece, the latter's does not have any recognizable pattern.  However, though the lines and shapes do not seem to be representative of any known pattern, there is still something aesthetically pleasing about the design.

Twilight in Imamiya Street, Chōshi, Ishiwata Kōitsu (1932)

This painting reminded me of the lecture on perspective.  Filippo Brunelleschi introduced the idea of linear perspective and vanishing point, but artists have constantly used this mathematical concept in the centuries following the discovery.  In this painting, Kōitsu clearly demonstrates the concept.  The street and houses seem to converge to a single point in the distance, while objects in the foreground are pictured as larger than those in the background.

The images above are examples of pieces from the Japanese art exhibit.  But LACMA is even more well-known for its contemporary works of art.  In my opinion, some modern art seems so simplistic that anyone could easily duplicate the piece.  However, upon viewing such works up close, I noticed a visual appeal in the simplicity.  Several artists, such as Josef Albers and Agnes Martin, use geometric figures to create plain images.  However, the use of colors and shapes is what gives the picture a sense of order and harmony as well as makes it aesthetically pleasing.

Homage to the Square, Josef Albers (1957)

Untitled #1, Agnes Martin (1989)

Finally, I wanted to mention one last work of art that caught my eye as a brilliant blend of art and technology.  Thomas Wilfred, an artist who was active in both Denmark and the United States, was best known for his light art.  The display I saw was a slow mesmerizing movement of light and color.  Luccata, Opus 162 is a sculptural-light composition created by an optical-mechanical device.  A set of seats were placed around the display for the museum-goers to sit and enjoy.

Luccata, Opus 162, Thomas Wilfred (1967-68)

LACMA was filled with so many amazing works of art that I could spend pages just writing about each exhibit.  However, the pieces that I have commented on above struck me as prime examples of the collaboration of art and science (whether it be art and math or art and technology).  I recommend the museum to anyone interested in seeing a variety of art pieces from different cultures and eras.

(Also, the Urban Light exhibit by Chris Burden is a classic place to take pictures at!)


Los Angeles County Museum of Art. 1910. Exhibit. Los Angeles. 21 July 2016.

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