'Cuz we're cool like dat... We all know that So Cal is cool. It always has been. The Orange County Museum of Art is launching an ambitions new exhibition called "Birth of Cool: California Art, Design and Culture at Midcentury." We've actually been anticipating this exhibit for awhile (See our post from last December) It finally opens this Sunday, October 7th,2007 and runs through January 6th, 2008.
The exhibition encompasses painting, architecture, furniture design, decorative and graphic arts, film, and music that launched midcentury modernism in the US and made Los Angeles and Southern California a major "American cultural center."
From the official press release: "Through more than 150 objects, Birth of the Cool examines the dynamic community of architects, designers, artists, filmmakers, and musicians who overlapped and interacted in Southern California at midcentury. An international roster of creative artists—including Chet Baker, Karl Benjamin, William Claxton, Louis Danziger, Charles and Ray Eames, Jules Engel, Lorser Feitelson, Oskar Fischinger, Frederick Hammersley, Pierre Koenig, John Lautner, Helen Lundeberg, John McLaughlin, Gerald Mulligan, Richard Neutra, Julius Shulman, and John and James Whitney—many of whom made their way to the West Coast from various locations throughout Europe and North America, played a germinal role in the development of this influential and iconic style of high modernism. In the spirit of "cool," inspired by Miles Davis's album Birth of the Cool, the exhibition explores the affinities among these innovators of art, design, and style working on the West Coast in the postwar era."
Image info: Karl Benjamin, Black Pillars, 1957, oil on canvas, 48x24 in. (121.9x61 cm), private collection. © Karl Benjamin, courtesy of Louis Stern Fine Arts, West Hollywood.
Julius Shulman, photograph of Case Study House #22 (Pierre Koenig, architect, Los Angeles, 1959-60), 1960; © J. Paul Getty Trust. Used with permission. Julius Shulman Photography Archive, Research Library at the Getty Research Institute.