Frank Lloyd’s blog

Art, architecture and the people that I know.

Adrian Saxe at the Getty

with 2 comments

1-900-Zeitgeist, view b copyIn early 2000, the Getty presented an exhibition of commissioned works by Los Angeles-area artists called Departures: 11 Artists at the Getty. Organized by guest curator Lisa Lyons, the show invited artists to create works in response to the Getty’s collections. Adrian Saxe was one of the participating artists, with his wildly popular contribution, 1-900-ZEITGEIST.

Using an eighteenth century French table from the museum’s decorative arts collection as a base, Saxe produced an outrageously ornate set of vessels, riffing on the idea of a classic garniture set. Produced in bright colors with exaggerated decorative techniques, the porcelain objects synthesize a number of historical and contemporary references. With forms suggestive of Chinese scholar’s rocks, handles based on French Rococo designs, and finials made of plastic action figures, the work represents a collision between high art and popular culture. Saxe’s decision to use a treasured object from the Getty’s collection as the support for his own work contributes to the genre-defying nature of the piece.

Departures: 11 Artists at the Getty was a considerable success for the museum, as it explored the surprising ways in which contemporary art is informed by art history. It was a critical success as well, with a favorable review by David Pagel for the Los Angeles Times, praising the efforts of the museum and the individual artists.

 

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2 Responses

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  1. What a fabulous looking show – wish we could see it.

    Jake Tilson

    June 2, 2014 at 8:29 am

  2. Thanks for the comment, Jake. The show was 14 years ago, unfortunately. I just wanted to remind people of it! Maybe there’s a way to re-create the installation…as an art fair booth? That would be where most people go, these days.

    Frank Lloyd

    June 2, 2014 at 5:31 pm


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