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Pacific Standard Time: Los Angeles Art, 1945-1980 Hardcover – October 18, 2011

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Pacific Standard Time: Los Angeles Art, 1945-1980 + Under the Big Black Sun: California Art 1974-1981 + State of Mind: New California Art circa 1970
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Getty Research Institute; 1 edition (October 18, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606060724
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606060728
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 1.5 x 11.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #606,456 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


 "As a journal of record, the volume fills in innumerable lacunae.  The post-war New York art scene has dominated the text books for far too long; this necessary resource redresses the balance with authority, wit and academic rigour, convincing the reader that it is indeed time for this history to be set down."—The Art Newspaper

 "The book is heavy on gorgeous reproductions of iconic L.A. artwork, and, ambitious in scale and scope, represents a significant effort and achievement."—Publishers Weekly 


"Consider [Pacific Standard Time] the missing general textbook on the rise, fall and transformation of post-World War II art produced in Los Angeles."--Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times



“As Pacific Standard Time amply documents, L.A. had its share of epochal moments during the three and a half decades following the end of World War II.”—Peter Plagens, Los Angeles Review of Books

“It is, to date, the most comprehensive effort to document L.A.’s emergence as a major locus of important art creation and presents an irresistibly rich panorama.”—Library Journal, starred review

“With informative, insightful chapters, this book is an excellent addition to the developing history of 20th-century art in the U.S. Highly recommended.”—Choice 

Winner of the Gold Medal for Fine Art at the 2012 Independent Publisher Book Awards

Glenn Goldman Award for Art and Architecture book, Los Angeles Times, 2012

About the Author

At the Getty Research Institute, Rebecca Peabody is manager of research projects; Andrew Perchuk is deputy director; Glenn Phillips is principal project specialist and consulting curator in the Department of Architecture and Contemporary Art; and Rani Singh is senior research associate in the Department of Architecture and Contemporary Art.

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Finally the exhibition all of Los Angeles has been waiting Pacific Standard Time: Timeline 1945-1980 opens and this is the catalogue that captures the essence of a multifacted experience that incorporates museums, art galleries, music ensembles such a s the LA Philharmonic, theater etc. It is a blockbuster an the book manages to distill the events well. to quote the PR, 'When organizers say that Pacific Standard Time, which focuses on four or so decades of LA art, is "the largest cultural collaboration ever undertaken in the region" they are in no way stretching things. The mega, multi-museum, multi-month show has been years in the making. And the participating institutions? There are over 60 of them around the Southern California area. Imagine trying to wrangle 60 people on one project. Not easy. Now imagine coordinating 60 museums and galleries, venues that have various goals and projects and budgets and space availabilities. The planning and the scheduling have all dovetailed nicely.

The book outlines the timeline to be studied very well.
1945: Neapolitan immigrant Simon Rodia is midway through building the biggest, weirdest and least commercially viable sculpture in Los Angeles in the historically black neighborhood of Watts, the Watts Towers. Rumor has it that an alternate site was where the Beverly Hilton is in Beverly Hills, which, some argue, would have been a better long-term real estate deal for Rodia.
1947: Artist Kenneth Anger makes Fireworks, one of his few surviving early films.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Reich Claude on December 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book, the catalog for the monumental exhibition organised by the Getty Institute, which will later travel to Berlin, is undoubtedly destined to become a collector's piece, so buy it while it is still available at a reasonable price.

It documents the burgeoning Southern Californian post-war art scene, with several essays following a more or less chronological order, and hundreds of illustrations of artworks, but also of art people (a wonderful 1963 photograph of Marcel Duchamp playing chess with a naked Eve Babitz in front of a replica of his Large Glass in Pasadena, photographs of artists working in their studios, etc). Some names are well known, others less so, but it is the versatility, the creativity and, above all, the richness and depth of this LA art scene that strike the reader-viewer through these richly illustrated pages. The birth of a genuine pop art in California (thanks to some of the most gifted artdealers in the US), of conceptual art, the creation of a new way of making sculpture, all those aspects are tackled in an informative and erudite (sometimes too erudite, though...)text that makes this book a more than valuable addition to the literature on post-war American art.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Frank E. Kupper on May 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Those who wish to know about LA art are happy to have this book; those who know LA art may not be so happy. If you need confirmation of this read the reviews above. It seems some will settle for anything in a shiny package. We should look to our "Getty scholars" to provide a sensible and complete view of the chosen period 1945 - 1980. Instead we have a book by committee that lacks a coherent view of the recent history of art in the region. An excellent treatment of the "abstract classicists" is mixed into a stew of LA landmarks such as the Watts towers (which are the logo for the cover).

However the major force in the early years of this period was the expressionist-surrealist Rico Lebrun, of which we see none of his magisterial work. Instead there is a predictable "rise of modernism" theme - which is to say borrowings from New York and San Francisco vanguards tamed for LA's conservative tastes.

The "merry-go-round show" in 1955 was stocked with San Francisco paintings to create a semblance of advanced culture in LA at that time. (The San Francisco art magazine ARTFORUM identified the LA "Cool School" in its summer issue 1964; in October 1965 the magazine moved to LA and then on to New York, where it has been ever since).

The internationally revered San Francisco artist Richard Diebenkorn moved to Santa Monica in 1967 to undertake his mature Ocean Park paintings, now on view at the Orange County Museum. Skip the scandalous PST treatment on page 152 and instead obtain the fine catalog from OCMA. Diebenkorn is thrown in with "City of Pop" artists of lesser achievement, is criticized for having only twenty LA shows of his work in his twenty years there (and many more around the world).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Art Groupie on September 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The hype for the show, which I was unable to see, whetted my expectations to read about an historic exhibit and thus I bought the book. I am disappointed as there is repetitious overload of a handful of same period bad boy auto slick surface artists. If the book is an accurate representation of the exhibit then the book is not at fault and the exhibit was a yawn. As an art book there were not enough color photos.
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