The Art of Alchemy
October 11, 2016–February 12, 2017
The Getty Center
Free, Must RSVP
"Long shrouded in secrecy, alchemy is now recognized as the ancestor of modern chemistry. Alchemists were notorious for attempting to make synthetic gold, but their goals were far more ambitious: to transform and bend nature to the will of an industrious human imagination. For scientists, philosophers, and artists alike, alchemy seemed to hold the key to unlocking the secrets of creation. Alchemists’ efforts to discover the way the world is made have had an enduring impact on artistic practice and expression around the globe. Inventions born from alchemical laboratories include metal alloys for sculpture and ornament, oil paints, effects in glassmaking, and even the chemical baths of photography. The mysterious art of alchemy transformed visual culture from antiquity to the Industrial Age, and its legacy still permeates the world we make today."
Awazu Kiyoshi, Graphic Design: Summoning the Outdated
October 15, 2016–May 7, 2017
Pavilion for Japanese Art
"Designer and artist Awazu Kiyoshi (1929–2009) devoted his career to political advocacy and collaborations within Tokyo’s artistic community. In stark contrast to the prevailing modernist dogma, which sought universal and impersonal set of symbols, Awazu imbued his expressive, hand-drawn designs with local traditions. He argued that the designer’s mission was “to extend the rural into the city, foreground the folklore, reawaken the past, summon back the outdated.”
Awazu Kiyoshi Graphic Design: Summoning the Outdated focuses on Awazu’s books and posters from the late 1960s through the 1970s. Drawing on historic Japanese visual culture as well as his own signature imagery, he created surreal compositions to promote films, theatrical productions, literature, and art exhibitions. Part of LACMA’s ongoing initiative to collect and exhibit graphic design, this installation highlights recent gifts to the permanent collection."