Inside, there is plenty to see and even though we spent the entire day there, we did not see half of it. Right in the main Entrance Hall was a massive exhibit by Tim Hawkinson called Überorgan. I love Hawkinson's fanciful works which frequently include music as does this one.
The musical score for Überorgan consists of a 250-foot-long scroll. Black dots and dashes encode the notes of traditional hymns, pop songs, and improvisational tunes. The notes are deciphered by light-sensitive switches in its player and scrambled to create an endless variety of compositions.
We heard the hourly performance several times, but I was never able to make out the tune. It sounds like whales or some other large animals (moose?) singing to each other. The photo on the right shows the huge, two-storey piano-roll mechanism that governs the sounds to be heard. You can hear an example of the sounds the work makes at the website link above.
After a garden tour, during which we never got to the famous Central Garden designed by Robert Irwin, we had lunch in the cafe. Then the four of us split up into two groups to view the special exhibits that most interested each of us. Bart and I headed for the West Pavilion to see Defining Modernity: European Drawings, 1800-1900. I love the intimacy of drawings and the feeling of freedom they give. The artist uses simple tools and is not constrained to get things perfect. You can get a better idea of what the artist was thinking with drawings.
As it happens, today's LA Times had an article about this exhibit and the difficulty the staff had in finding just the right matting and frame for each drawing. They wanted the frames, mats, and even the wall colors to enhance the drawings while not being noticed. For this viewer, it didn't work because I always look at the frames and matting the experts choose. In fact, the very first thing I thought to myself when I walked up to the first drawing was how nicely it was matted. I know how difficult it is to pick just the right combination of mat and frame for my own photos which adorn all the walls of my house and also my son and daughter's homes. There is one seascape I took in San Pedro that we all three have and each of us framed it differently and it is amazing the effect the mat and frame can have not to mention the wall color and where the picture is hung, how high or low, etc. I like to look up closely at the artwork and then stand back, in the middle of the room if possible, to get the effect of how the pieces are all hung. Sometimes, the presentation is as artful as the works themselves.To be continued...