Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA Showcases the Mexico-Los Angeles Creative Connection

Tlacolulokos, "Smile Now, Cry Later," 2017 | Photo courtesy of Central Library

Led by the Getty, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA involves more than 70 Southern California cultural institutions, from Los Angeles to Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara to San Diego, participating in a vibrant and diverse array of exhibitions, public events and performances that explore Latin American and Latino art.

Many PST: LA/LA exhibits showcase the creative connection between Mexico and Los Angeles. From Oaxacan murals to the Japanese diaspora in Mexico City, read on for ten Mexico-inspired exhibits now on view and opening soon in Los Angeles.

Café Tacvba | Photo courtesy of LA Phil

CDMX at Walt Disney Concert Hall (October 2017)

Ciudad de México (CDMX), a city of nearly nine million people, has one of the most vibrant contemporary music communities in the world. As part of PST: LA/LA, the LA Phil will offer a window into Mexico City’s colorful music scene with a mix of events throughout October.

Highlights include a live-to-picture screening of Birdman on Oct. 9, featuring composer Antonio Sanchez; Natalia Lafourcade with the LA Phil (Oct. 12); Noche de Cine, a night of Mexican cinema accompanied by Gustavo Dudamel and the LA Phil (Oct. 13); CDMX: NOW!, a celebratory snapshot of Ciudad de México’s vibrant music community (Oct. 14); a special concert by Café Tacvba and the LA Phil (Oct. 15); and New Music from Mexico (Oct. 17), an evening of world premieres commissioned by the LA Phil.      

Tlacolulokos, "Smile Now, Cry Later," 2017 | Photo courtesy of Central Library

Visualizing Language - Central Library (through Jan. 31, 2018)

Now on view at the landmark Central Library in Downtown L.A., Visualizing Language: Oaxaca in L.A. celebrates the rich social fabric of Los Angeles through the lens of the city’s vibrant Oaxacan community — specifically, the Zapotec communities which make up one of the largest indigenous groups in Mexico and Los Angeles. Oaxacan artist collective Tlacolulokos has created a series of new murals for the Central Library’s historic rotunda that explore language and culture as a key lifeline sustaining the shared experience between Mexico, Los Angeles and beyond, with a look at how migration and the socio-political environment shape identity and cultural traditions.

Erica Kaminishi, “Prunusplastus” | Photo courtesy of JANM, Facebook

Transpacific Borderlands - JANM (through Feb. 25, 2018)

Now on view at the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo, Transpacific Borderlands: The Art of Japanese Diaspora in Lima, Los Angeles, Mexico City, and São Paulo examines the experiences of artists of Japanese ancestry born, raised, or living in either Latin America or predominantly Latin American neighborhoods of Southern California.

Transpacific Borderlands expands our understanding of what constitutes Latin American art by highlighting the work of 17 contemporary artists of Japanese ancestry from Lima, Los Angeles, Mexico City, and São Paulo. The exhibition explores the differing historical events and generations of diaspora that have shaped the work of these artists and the fundamental questions their work poses about migration, the fluidity of culture, and what it means to be Nikkei, Latin American, or Latino.

Painted in Mexico - LACMA (Nov. 19, 2017 - March 18, 2018)

Painted in Mexico, 1700–1790: Pinxit Mexici is a groundbreaking exhibition devoted to 18th century Mexican painting, a vibrant period marked by major stylistic developments and the invention of new iconographies. Featuring more than 100 works (many unpublished and restored for the exhibition), Painted in Mexico represents the first and most serious effort to date to reposition the history of 18th century painting in Mexico.

Ana Serrano, "Cartonlandia," 2008. (detail) | Photo courtesy of Craft & Folk Art Museum, Facebook

The US-Mexico Border - Craft & Folk Art Museum (through Jan. 07, 2018)

Located at Museum Row in the Miracle Mile since 1965, the Craft & Folk Art Museum (CAFAM) explores the leading edge of craft, art, and design with exhibits that showcase diverse makers and artists whose work is often not represented in larger art institutions.

Since the 1990s, the US-Mexico border has become an important site for creative exploration of issues related to emigration, immigration, labor conditions, hybrid identities, and transformation. The US-Mexico Border: Place, Imagination, and Possibility presents the work of contemporary artists who explore the border as a physical reality (place), as a subject (imagination), and as a site for production and solution (possibility).

Jaime Muñoz, "Fin ," 2011. Acrylic on panel, 36 x 48 in. Photo: Christopher Allen. © 2017, Jaime Muñoz | Photo courtesy of PST: LA/LA

How to Read El Pato Pascua - MAK Center at Schindler House (through Jan. 14, 2018)

In 1941, Walt Disney and a group of 18 artists, musicians and screenwriters traveled to South America looking for inspiration and content for The Three Caballeros and other animated features produced as part of the U.S. government’s “Good Neighbor” policy during World War II. These films initiated a long and complex history in which Latin Americans frequently criticized Disney as a representative of North American imperialism.

A joint exhibition at the MAK Center in West Hollywood and the Luckman Gallery at California State University Los Angeles, How to Read El Pato Pascual: Disney’s Latin America and Latin America’s Disney exhibits over 150 works by 48 Latin American artists who investigate and challenge nearly one hundred years of cultural influence between Latin America and Disney.

"Octopus Frontlet," 300–600, Moche culture; gold, chrysocolla, shells. Museo de la Nación, Lima, Peru, MN-14602. Ministerio de Cultura del Perú | Courtesy of "Golden Kingdoms" at the Getty Center

GOLDEN KINGDOMS - GETTY CENTER (through Jan. 28, 2018)

Now on view at the Getty Center, Golden Kingdoms: Luxury and Legacy in the Ancient Americas is a major international loan exhibition featuring more than 300 masterpieces. Golden Kingdoms traces the development of luxury arts in the Americas from about 1000 BC to the arrival of Europeans in the early sixteenth century. Recent investigation into the historical, cultural, social, and political conditions under which such works were produced and circulated has led to new ways of thinking about materials, luxury, and the visual arts from a global perspective.

Tina Modotti, "Anita Brenner," c. 1926. Gelatin silver print, 3-3/4” x 2-3/4”. Courtesy of the Witliff Collections, Texas State University.

Another Promised Land: Anita Brenner’s Mexico - Skirball Cultural Center (through Feb. 25, 2018)

The Skirball Cultural Center is a place of meeting guided by the Jewish tradition of welcoming the stranger and inspired by the American democratic ideals of freedom and equality. Open to the public since 1996, the Skirball has established itself as one of the world's most dynamic Jewish cultural institutions and among the leading cultural venues in L.A.

Another Promised Land: Anita Brenner’s Mexico offers a new perspective on the art and visual culture of Mexico and its relationship to the United States as seen through the life and work of the Mexican-born, American Jewish writer Anita Brenner (1905–1974). Brenner was an integral part of the circle of Mexican modernists in the 1920s and played an important role in promoting and translating Mexican art, culture, and history for audiences in the United States.

Laura Aguilar: Show and Tell - Vincent Price Art Museum (through Feb. 10, 2018)

The Vincent Price Art Museum at East L.A. College provides a unique educational resource for the diverse audiences of the college and the community through the exhibition, interpretation, collection, and preservation of works in all media of the visual arts.  

Laura Aguilar: Show and Tell is the first comprehensive retrospective of photographer Laura Aguilar, assembling more than 130 works produced over three decades. Through photographs and videos that are frequently political as well as personal, spanning performative, feminist, and queer art genres, Aguilar offers candid portrayals of herself, her friends and family, and LGBT and Latinx communities.

Leopoldo Méndez, "Fusilamiento," 1950. Linoleum cut, 16x20 in. LACMA, Gift of Jules and Gloria Heller. Artwork © Leopoldo Méndez Estate / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / SOMAAP, Mexico City. | Photo © Museum Associates/LACMA, courtesy of USC PAM

Winds from Fusang - USC Pacific Asia Museum (Dec. 08, 2017 - June 10, 2018)

Located in Pasadena, the USC Pacific Asia Museum's mission is to further intercultural understanding through the arts and culture of Asia and the Pacific Islands.

Currently closed for seismic retrofit, USC PAM will reopen on Dec. 8 with Winds from Fusang: Mexico and China in the Twentieth Century, the first major exhibition on the heretofore unexamined influence of Mexican art and artists on the development of art in China in the twentieth century. The exhibition, its accompanying publication, and public programs will present the trans-Pacific ties between the creative communities of Mexico and China in the last century.