Countdown to Pacific Standard Time

The region-wide collaborative project tells the story of the L.A. art scene and it's impact

Post-War Los Angeles served as a veritable petri dish for the development of modern art in the United States but we hear little of the West Coast artists who were often overshadowed by the Cedar Tavern New Yorkers. In the category “Best Use of a Historic Archive” I’m nominating Countdown to Pacific Standard Time.

With Getty Research Institute at the helm, this region-wide cultural collaboration pulls out all the stops to tell the story of the L.A. art-scene from 1945-1970’s, through the eyes of makers, architects, curators and scholars.

This week, The Getty launched a robust website with everything you’ll need to take full advantage of the many happenings scheduled for the coming months. You can watch video interviews with personalities such as Dennis Hopper, Betye Saar, Judy Chicago, and Ed Ruscha. Delve into a browsable digital archive of imagery rarely or never scene before. Gallery talks, lectures, performances, and hands-on workshops are all slated to be part of this homage to a great city of art, where artists were making something from nothing, flexing their creative muscle in the desert’s blinding light.

Four exhibitions are scheduled at the Getty Center, starting in October and running through May 2012.  You can follow the buzz on Twitter @ #PSTinLA

The region-wide collaborative project tells the story of the post war L.A. art scene and it's impact. Here, Ed Ruscha's gas station image sums it up. Image courtesy Getty.edu

Assemblage artist Betye Saar at her home and studio, 1972. Photo by Lezley Saar. Image courtesy of Betye Saar & Getty.edu

Mandala-like art by "Finish Fetish" artist Billy Al Bengston. Big Jim McLain, 1967, Polyurethane and laquer on aluminum. 60 x 58 in. Collection of Joan and Jack Quinn. © Billy Al Bengston & Getty.edu

Who can argue with this Iconic LA image? A Bigger Splash, 1967, David Hockney. Acrylic on canvas. 96 x 96 in. Tate: Purchased 1981. © David Hockney. Image: © Tate, London 2010

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