October Art Column (10/20/16 Issue)

By Jeff Davis

The new Hawthorne Art Complex (“HAC”) is having an Open Studio party on Saturday, Oct. 22 from 2 p.m. – 6 p.m. There will be complimentary food and drinks, live Jazz and an art table for kids. A curated show will feature work from 15 current artists and their studios spaces will be open for viewing. Ample free Parking is available on site at 13040 Cerise Ave., Hawthorne, CA 90250. If you’re an artist looking for space this is also a great opportunity to check out the site and meet those involved.


Hawthorne Art Complex Studios. – Courtesy image

Hawthorne Art Complex Studios. – Courtesy image


HAC is massive one story 44,000 square foot warehouse that is being converted to artist studios by Danny Meyer and the site owners. Meyer previously developed the Creative Music Rooms facility in Marina Del Rey. The non-residential Studios will range in size from 100 to 1500 square feet and can be customized to meet the requirements of individual artists; up to 100 spaces are planned. The HAC is being designed to attract a mix of ~80 percent artists (painters, sculptures, ceramicists etc.) and ~20 percent art synergist business to form an affordable “every-man’s” interactive creative community.

In addition to the studio space there will be a shared lounge, gallery space, kitchen and storage availability. The rent will average approximately $3 per square foot for the newly created studios and will include parking and utilities (water, electric, Wifi and community sinks). Outdoor space for kilns and welding is expected along with a picnic area.

The individual studios and open space will feature polished concrete slab floors, 10 foot sheetrock walls and ceilings ranging from 16 to 20 foot ceilings. The perimeter units will have large updated windows and many of the interior units will have skylights.

The complex was originally used in the 1950s through 1980s by a defense contractor and subsequently by a large print shop and recycling facility. The facilities’ large open spaces are accomplished with arching steel trusses and a 4” concrete ceiling that provides good insulation. Affordable high quality studios are increasing difficult to find in Los Angeles and very few large scale artist co-working spaces are being created. Those community spaces that do exist often have very long waiting list and are often located either downtown or far to the East.

Pop for the People: Roy Lichtenstein in L.A. is currently on exhibit at the Skirball Cultural center through March 13, 2017. Lichtenstein is easily one of the most recognizable pop artists along with Wharhol, Harig, Japser Johns and several others. His unique style of Ben-Day dots, lines and primary colors, borrowed from comic books, was frequently utilized by him to illustrate common household objects, living scenes, women in distress (or under duress) and aircraft fight spectacles.


Roy Lichtenstein, “Whaam”, 1963, Inspired by a comic book drawn by Irv Novick. – Courtesy image

Roy Lichtenstein, “Whaam”, 1963, Inspired by a comic book drawn by Irv Novick. – Courtesy image


The first half of the exhibit gives us a wide overview of his works from a number of decades including prints, canvas originals, Time magazine covers (e.g. Kennedy, guns and pop art), a teas set, plates, men’s and women’s clothing, shopping bags and several sculptures. Although produced over a 40+ year span the work seems timeless because the themes and objects are so familiar to us and are still reproduced today for retail consumption.

The second half of the exhibit illustrates works in which Lichtenstein drew inspiration from other superstar artists including: Monet, Van Gogh, Picasso, Dali and Lambrechet. A number of prints from the Bull Profile and Surrealist series are featured. There is also an awesome life size recreation of Lichtenstein’s painting of Vincent van Gogh’s “Bedroom at Arles”. You can go into the room, sit on the chairs or recline on the bed. Selfies and photographs are encouraged by the staff.

Chasing Dreams: Baseball and Becoming American is also at the Skirball through October 2016. The exhibit celebrates baseball and highlights the role of baseball’s game changers — how major league players, vendors, team owners, minor leaguers, amateur players, scouts, broadcasters, journalists, novelists, and fans challenged the status-quo and inspired the nation. The exhibit originated at the National Museum of American History in Philadelphia with a focus on the involvement of Jewish people in baseball and was broadened to include the history of baseball in California when brought to the Skirball. The expanded exhibit examines the way that different groups of people have used baseball to gain acceptance in America while maintaining their own cultural identities.


Sally Pai takes a break in the museum’s interpretation of Lichtenstein’s painting of Van Gogh’s “Bedroom in Arles.” – Courtesy image

Sally Pai takes a break in the museum’s interpretation of Lichtenstein’s painting of Van Gogh’s “Bedroom in Arles.” – Courtesy image

October 20, 2016

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