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Getty Leads Los Angeles Arts Festival With $10 Million Grants

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Michael Govan
Michael Govan, director of the Los Angeles County Museum (LACMA). Some 60 cultural institutions across Southern California are teaming up to tell the story of the Los Angeles postwar art scene in a six-month festival sparked by $10 million in Getty Foundation grants. Photographer: Jonathan Alcorn/Bloomberg

April 8 (Bloomberg) -- Some 60 cultural institutions across Southern California are teaming up to tell the story of the Los Angeles postwar art scene in a six-month festival sparked by $10 million in Getty Foundation grants.

From October 2011 to April 2012, L.A. -- the stomping ground of artists Ed Ruscha, John Baldessari and Bruce Nauman -- will be the focus of dozens of exhibitions centering on ceramics, the pop-music scene, or the swimming pool in photography, organizers said at a news conference in London.

“Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980” grew out of a Getty research project started a decade ago: a survey of L.A.’s relatively recent status as an artistic hub.

“It began as an investigation of a history that we ourselves didn’t understand,” said Michael Govan, LACMA’s chief executive officer and director.

“Ten years ago, nobody took L.A. seriously, certainly not in New York,” said Govan, who previously headed New York’s DIA Art Foundation. Today, “there’s an international interest in art of this place.”

LACMA will hold a series of shows during the festival, including one on 1930-1965 California design. It will feature elements from the modern California home, as well as the Barbie doll -- which was invented in Southern California.

The J. Paul Getty Museum, meanwhile, will have a survey of painting and sculpture from the late 1940s to the early 1970s, and represent the work of about 50 artists.

For more information: http://pacificstandardtime.org/.

To contact the writer on this story: Farah Nayeri in London at Farahn@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Beech at mbeech@bloomberg.net.

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