This Weekend at LACMA: Drawing Surrealism and Robert Mapplethorpe Exhibitions Open, Surrealist Film Series, Ohie Toshio Closes, and More

October 19, 2012
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Two exhibitions are opening at LACMA this weekend—Drawing Surrealism and Robert Mapplethorpe: XYZ—in addition to many others currently on view like Ken Price Sculpture: A Retrospective, Ed Ruscha: Standard, and more. Filling half of the second floor of BCAM, Drawing Surrealism is the first large-scale exhibition devoted to surrealist artists’ innovative approach to drawing, such as the exquisite corpse, automatic drawing, collage, and more. The exhibition overflows with roughly 200 works on papers by 90 artists, including surrealist giants like Salvador Dalí, André Breton, Joan Miró, Max Ernst, Wifredo Lam, and more. Fans of our recent In Wonderland exhibition will find drawings by Leonora Carrington, Remedios Varo, and Frida Kahlo as well. The exhibition is currently open to members only; it opens to the general public on Sunday. (Not a member yet? Don’t forget: in addition to member previews to exhibitions like Drawing Surrealism, you’ll also get free tickets to both of our upcoming specially ticketed exhibitions, Stanley Kubrick and Bodies and Shadows: Caravaggio and His Legacy, both opening in November. Join now!)

André Breton, Yves Tanguy, Jacqueline Lamba, Cadavre exquis, 1938, Sylvio Perlstein, © 2012 André Breton Estate, © 2012 Jacqueline Lamba Estate/ARS/ADAGP, Paris, © 2012 Estate of Yves Tanguy/ARS

In conjunction with the opening of Drawing Surrealism we are presenting three special screenings this weekend. Tonight is Animating the Subconscious—a variety of cartoon shorts from the 1930s–1950s that dive into dreamlike territory, including classic Looney Toons, Silly Symphonies, and Salvador Dalí’s Disney-produced Destino. The films start at 7:30pm; come early and enjoy the Kim Richmond Sextet during Jazz at LACMA, starting at 6pm.

Saturday evening at 5pm sees Collage in Motion—a free program of shorts from the 1950s to this decade. This is followed at 7:30pm by a Spotlight on Lewis Klahr, the acclaimed L.A.-based experimental filmmaker. Among other Klahr films to be screened, the evening will feature the premiere of his latest work, The Pettifogger.

Lewis Klahr, Prolix Satori, 2012

Also opening this weekend is Robert Mapplethorpe: XYZ (opens to members on Saturday, and to the general public on Sunday). You may recall that last year LACMA and the Getty jointly acquired the art and archives of Mapplethorpe—thousands of photographs, documents, and archival materials related to the artist and his life. This small exhibition, which opens simultaneously with a second small Mapplethorpe exhibition at the Getty, is the first presentation of works by Mapplethorpe in L.A. since that acquisition. XYZ presents three portfolios from 1978–81, each depicting different subject matter: nude portraits of African American men (Z), flower still lifes (Y), and homosexual sadomasochistic imagery (X). The X portfolio in particular was at the center of the Culture Wars at the time of the infamous Mapplethorpe exhibition The Perfect Moment. Watch Unframed next week for more on the exhibition.

Robert Mapplethorpe, Alistair Butler, N.Y.C. (Z Portfolio), 1980, the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, jointly acquired by the J. Paul Getty Trust and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, partial gift of the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation; partial purchase with funds provided by the David Geffen Foundation and the J. Paul Getty Trust, © Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation

On the same day that these exhibitions open to the public, another closes. Sunday is the last day to see Ohie Toshio and the Perfection of the Japanese Book, on view in the Pavilion for Japanese Art. You may have seen the artist himself in the galleries of his exhibition over the course of its run; on Sunday he will give a more formal (and free) talk in the Brown Auditorium, where he will discuss how he introduced the art of bookbinding to Japan in the 1970s.

Ohie Toshio; O Jun, Asters, 2005, novel by Ishikawa Jun, published by Shigetsusha. collection of Ohie Toshio

While you’re here on Sunday, enjoy family art-making activities during Andell Family Sundays, or stay into the evening for a free Sundays Live concert in the Bing Theater—pianist Mariangela Vacatello, performing pieces by Haydn, Liszt, Debussy, and Rachmaninof.

Scott Tennent