"Pacific Standard Time" Swells from a Splash into a Tidal Wave

"Pacific Standard Time" Swells from a Splash into a Tidal Wave
New York’s summer art season is filled with some serious multi-gallery exhibitions this year. There’s "Swell," a show about surfing-related art at three Manhattan spaces, and the nine-show "Lush Life" exhibition, which has engulfed the Lower East Side. Come October 2011, however, those efforts will look rather modest in the face of "Pacific Standard Time," a project being organized by the Getty Trust that aims to fill the museums of southern California with exhibitions about the history of art in the state from 1945 to 1980.

In today’s Los Angeles Times, Jori Finkel reports that plans for the show — first announced in 2008 — are continuing to expand, with the possible inclusion of nonprofit and commercial galleries, a performing arts festival, and re-creations of landmark events in the history of postwar California art. This will all be alongside programming by the roughly 40 museums expected to participate.

After holding preliminary meetings with galleries like Gagosian and Rosamund Felsen, the Getty Research Institute has revealed that it plans to write to around 100 galleries, inviting them to stage shows in collaboration with the event. Institute deputy director Andrew Perchuk tells the Times that he wants the offerings to be inclusive, promising that "If you're a gallery not on that list, you're invited too." While commercial galleries won’t be eligible for the $7 million in grants that the Getty has parceled out for the event, Finkel notes that being affiliated with the bonanza should make for quite a bit of publicity, which can't hurt sales.

Festival planners say that they may also recreate Judy Chicagos smoke-and-fireworks extravaganza "Atmospheres" and Mark di Suveros monumental 1966 "Peace Tower" installation, originally made in protest of the Vietnam War. Here, at least, New York can take some solace in the fact that it was able to enjoy a "Peace Tower" re-creation first, at the 2006 Whitney Biennial, when artist Rirkrit Tiravanija teamed with di Suvero to refashion the piece.