Los Angeles, Volume 23, Number 1 January, 2012

Los Angeles

Think the fabulous Pacific Standard Time adventure has passed you right by? Well, little did you know, you’ve been given a reprieve! The glass is, as they say, half-full and there are still three more months packed with great exhibitions to spice your Los Angeles visit. And, of course, if you jealously watched the Rose Parade from some frigid clime, today it is 80 degrees in your favorite sun retreat. Let your goal be to top Roberta Smith’s marathon visit for The New York Times, when she saw more than 35 shows in five days. Yes, “Pacific Standard Time simply . . . explodes, revealing the immensity of art . . . its shows may be the next best thing to being there the first time around . . . ” The list of emergencies now includes the super exhibits that are set to close soon: Phenomenal: California Light Space and Surface (closes January 22) at the Museum of Contemporary San Diego in La Jolla and downtown—the hands-down favorite of art locals, with stunning early works by Bruce Nauman, Robert Irwin, Larry Bell, James Turrell . . . and more, many more; Best Kept Secret, Laguna Art Museum’s best-told story of the formative years at UCI, when the luminaries among faculty and student artists included Tony DeLap, Craig Kauffman, Chris Burden, Alexis Smith, Vija Celmins . . . (closes January 22); Edward Kienholz: Five Car Stud, a heart-stopping visit to an era we’d all like to forget, by the master of content-loaded assemblage (LACMA, closes January 15); Doin’ It In Public: Feminism and Art at the Women’s Building at the Ben Maltz Gallery, Otis (closes January 28) and State of Mind: New California Art Circa 1970, a terrific capsule of the moment at the Orange County Museum of Art (closes January 22).

Now, if you make it to these absolute must destinations, you can relax throughout the sumptuous list of spring options that are available through March and beyond. To recapture the stellar few that have closed — especially Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles 1960-1980 at the UCLA Hammer Museum, we recommend collecting a Pacific Standard Time library. The accumulated story, documented in hundreds of great books and catalogues, is a lasting pleasure we perhaps didn’t predict. Don’t miss Hunter Drohojowska-Philp’s super bit of fun and scholarship, Rebels in Paradise: The Los Angeles Art Scene and the 1960s. It’s a great romp and full of priceless documentation.

The good news is there are fourteen or more exhibitions that have not even opened yet. Go to pacifstandardtime.org and get out your calendar! Coming up January 20-22 and January 27-29 is the Pacific Standard Time Performance and Public Art Festival in Los Angeles — an exciting series of performances, tours and events featuring more than fifty artists and groups at some 32 venues scattered from Santa Monica to Pomona. Check the schedule and get itineraries and maps at pacificstandardtimefestival.org. These two websites are amazing tools and absolutely necessary for scheduling. The maps, in particular, and the PST guide that you can pick up at any venue, will help create an itinerary for your visit that keeps you in one part of the city at a time, instead of running back and forth across the freeways haplessly looking for the nearest event. Do mid-town and Santa Monica one day, downtown and Pasadena another, Orange County/San Diego also need their own day, and finally Pomona may need its own special trip.

The introductory exhibit at the Getty, Pacific Standard Time: Cross Currents in L.A. Painting and Sculpture, 1950-1970, is not only full of iconic images, it helps to sort out the various skiens of the story. Unfortunately, it is crammed into much too small a space. Don’t miss the Getty’s “This is PST” video, either.

And if you have an extended tolerance for video, Long Beach Museum of Art’s survey of world-renowned artists working in Long Beach over the key years of early video experimentation is a real treasure. Exchange and Evolution: World Wide Video Long Beach, curated by the remarkable Kathy Rae Huffman, who worked in the program from the very beginning, is a treasure.

If you can make several visits to L.A. (meaning essentially, if you are a Californian), all this is best chewed in small, regional bites. If you must come for just one, perhaps brief visit, pick and choose carefully from the website and try to minimize cross-town drives in frustrating traffic, plus choose a hotel nearest your core destinations.

For the Wilshire Boulevard and Westside venues, The Four Seasons Beverly Hills on Doheny Drive is a lovely option; for mid-town/downtown destinations, the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel is about half way between downtown and Beverly Hills — be aware however, its claims to fame are two: its wild club scene and the famous David Hockney swimming pool. The Getty and Santa Monica venues are pleasantly close to the charming, beach-front respite, Shutters On the Beach in Santa Monica. Of course, art scene central is André Balazs’ Chateau Marmont. You’ll be at the center of excitement but you won’t find peace! Staying downtown is not recommended unless MOCA is your primary — perhaps only — destination, because the traffic is just too challenging. The most efficient way to get around is to map out your chosen sites and hire a car and driver through your hotel concierge. Museums across the country have scheduled tours for members and if you can take advantage of one, you’ll cross off all of your traffic and transportation worries.

Oh yes, and there is lots of other high-life in L.A. Don’t even think of missing Ellsworth Kelly: Prints and Paintings, January 22-April 22 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Matthew Marks’ new gallery at 1062 N. Orange Grove will also open January 19, with Kelly’s work), or Art Los Angeles Contemporary, the international fair at Barker Hanger in Santa Monica, January 19-22. Then, of course, there is the magical Gustavo Dudamel at Frank Gehry’s equally magical Disney Concert Hall. Dudamel’s Mahler Project extends through February 18; or you might want to see Clybourne Park, the 2011 Pulitzer Prize-winning play at the Mark Taper Forum.

In case you think we’ve forgotten, PST includes a rich trove of projects devoted to architecture and design, beyond the strictly visual arts scene. In October, ARTExpress did a four-day tour exclusively “designed around design,” and don’t think you can’t still participate in a similar adventure. Perhaps the key visit is Stahl House-Case Study House #22, 1960, by Pierre Koenig, the one made famous in the magnificent Julius Shulman photographs depicting the glass prow of the house extended over the city — lights sparkling at twilight. For an appointment to visit Stahl House — and do go at sunset — see stahlhouse.com. The cost is a bit dear, but funds support the restoration and preservation of the house. Steven Price, author of Over the Top: The Architectural History of Trousdale Estates, Beverly Hills, is a delightful and knowledgeable guide to Mid-Century Modern architecture in L.A. — including works by the great masters, Lautner, Schindler, Neutra . . . more, and can be reached at 323-316-6752. The exhibition that best chronicles the West Coast world of design is LACMA’s not-to-be-missed California Design 1930-1965: “Living in a Modern Way” through March 25. It is a landmark history of the period, featuring more than 350 objects — from Rudi Gernreich’s scandalous bathing suit to the Studebaker Avanti (1962) by Raymond Loewy, plus the complete living room of Eames House, transported to the museum for the occasion!

And cuisine in L.A. is not last. It is first in the hearts of many. Teaming with restaurants by renowned chefs Wolfgang Puck, Nancy Silverton, Mario Batali, Ludo Lefebvre, Suzanne Goin, José Andrés, Josiah Citrin, Michael Cimarusti, John Sedlar, Tom Colicchio, Quinn Hatfield, David Meyers, Neal Fraser . . . more, L.A. food is full of rich experiences. If you use the Los Angeles County Museum of Art as a midtown base from which to create ever-larger circles of interest, many of our favorite temples of excellence — in the world of inventive cuisine — are nearby, including Osteria Mozza, Hatfield’s, Lucques, The Bazaar, and Comme Ça.

So your trip to the past is almost history. Are there any uniquely L.A. experiences to remember fondly and to take home in your tote? In this new year, we have special affection for: the folks at Gemini G.E.L., in their 46th year as America’s premiere printmaker and host to the world’s great artists; for L.A. Louver’s 37 very fine years; for Ace Gallery’s unbelievable 51 years; for the delicious career of Wolfgang Puck, whose cuisine is still the standard against which all others here are measured; for Disney Hall, the incarnation of excellence amid today’s architectural invention, and for the October issue of Artforum, titled, “Art in L.A.,” touting the massive explosion of creativity in the city it left 45 years ago. We’re glad it recognizes our riches NOW!

Focus Los Angeles

Hotels
Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, 300 South Doheny Drive, Tel. 310-273-2222, fourseasons.com/losangeles. Always a Hollywood favorite, the hotel has recently been refreshed and is just what you would expect of a five-star, traditional California hotel – no idiosyncrasies here!

Chateau Marmont, 8221 West Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood, Tel. 323-656-1010, chateaumarmont.com. The retro cottages are the stuff of legend, Bar Marmont is the meeting place and lunch on the terrace is a sunny-day delight. If you want to make the scene, notably the art scene, this is it.

Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, 7000 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood, Tel. 323-466-7000, hollywoodroosevelt.com. Perfectly located in Mid-Century-Moderne land, this is party central. It is old – the first Oscars were awarded here – and the facilities need an update at this moment. We were last there on a 90° day and the air-conditioning just couldn’t cope. That being said, the Hockney pool is dreamy and there is a terrific old-style Hollywood restaurant – Public Kitchen and Bar by noted chef Tim Goodell.

Shutters On The Beach, 1 Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica, Tel. 310-458-0030, shuttersonthebeach.com. Ocean-front, beach style reigns here. The central Los Angeles area doesn’t have a host of on-the-sand properties and this is certainly the one of choice. Close to all of the pleasures of Santa Monica and the galleries and restaurants of Venice, this is a delightful spot to vacation. Just don’t forget, you’re 17 miles from downtown.

Restaurants
Spago, 176 North Canon Drive, Beverly Hills, Tel. 310-385-0880, wolfgangpuck.com. No argument: Spago remains L.A.’s signature restaurant. Dinner on the patio, under the olive trees is power central. The world’s glitterati love Wolfgang and he loves them. I’ve seen the red carpet rolled out for Henry and Nancy Kissinger, and Jim Rosenquist holding court in the court! The great news: the food is superb! This is the standard against which all newcomers are measured.

The Bazaar, SLS Hotel, 465 South La Cienega Boulevard, Beverly Hills/West Hollywood, Tel. 310-246-5555, thebazaar.com. Theatrical dining a la Philippe Starck, in the style of Ferran Adria with the current James Beard “Outstanding Chef,” José Andrés.

Osteria Mozza, 6602 Melrose, Hollywood, at the corner of Melrose and Highland, Tel. 323-297-0100, osteriamozza.com/LA/home.cfm. Mozza has been at the heart of the food buzz since Nancy Silverton, Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich banded together to create a haute pizza wonder. The meals served here are among the most divine and creative in the city so, of course, it is a very difficult reservation.

Lucques, 8474 Melrose Avenue, LA/West Hollywood, Tel. 323-655-6277, lucques.com. Chef Suzanne Goin and sommelier Caroline Styne have created, with designer Barbara Barry, the most comfortable and welcoming temple of cuisine in the city. This is our “far-from-the-madding-crowd” respite and lunch on the patio on a sunny day can become an afternoon-long pleasure.

Providence, 5955 Melrose Avenue, West Hollywood, Tel. 323-460-4170, providencela.com. The site of seafood wonder, chef Michael Cimarusti is king of the sea here. L.A. dining at its best!

Hatfield’s, 6703 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, Tel. 323-935-2977, hatfieldsrestaurant.com. We all held our breath while Quinn and Karen Hatfield moved from tiny mid-Wilshire digs and renovated the hallowed home of the original Citrus. Now, it has taken off with a bang – quite rightfully. This is great eating!

Gjelina, 1429 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Venice, Tel. 310-450-1429, gjelina.com. A very popular beach community hangout gets high ratings for food, not always for service.

BLD, 7450 Beverly Boulevard, Hollywood, Tel. 323-930-9744, bldrestaurant.com. Stands for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Neal Fraser’s informal sidewalk café, serves BLD for your great pleasure.

Museums and Galleries
The Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles (MOCA), 250 South Grand Avenue, L.A., Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, 152 North Central Avenue,L.A. and MOCA Pacific Design Center, 8687 Melrose Avenue Avenue, West Hollywood. PST exhibit: Under the Big Black Sun, Geffen Contemporary, through February 13; Sun., Mon. and Sat. 11-6; Thurs. 11-8; Fri. 11-5; Tues. and Wed. closed. Tel. 213-626-6222, moca.org.

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), 5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Tel. 323-857-6000, lacma.org. Mon., Tues., Thurs. 12-8; Fri. 12-9, Sat., Sun. 11-8; closed Wednesday. Dining: Ray’s and Stark Bar. California Design is in the new Resnick Pavilion by Renzo Piano.

Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Tel. 310-443-7000, hammer.ucla.edu. Tues., Wed., Fri., Sat. 11-7; Thurs. 11-9; Sun. 11-5. Closed Monday. Now Dig This!, the Hammer’s important PST show, has closed, however, the museum is a five-star visit year ‘round. Don’t miss it.

The Getty Center, 1200 Getty Center Drive, Tel. 310-440-7300, getty.edu. Tues., Wed., Fri., Sun. 10-5:30; Sat. 10-9; Monday closed.

To visit the remaining venues throughout Southern California, consult pacificstandardtime.org. There are at least 60 more official participants, plus noted commercial galleries throughout the region – Santa Barbara to San Diego.

Art Fairs in Los Angeles
Photo LA
, Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, January 12-16, photola.com.

Affordable Art Fair, Event Deck at L.A. Live, January 18-22, affordableartfair.us.

LA Art Show, Los Angeles Convention Center, January 18-22, agkmedia.com.

Art Los Angeles Contemporary, The Barker Hanger, January 19-22, artlosangelesfair.com.

Places We Like: Shopping & More
Creatures of Comfort, 7971 Melrose, Tel. 323-655-7855, shop.creaturesofcomfort.us. Love their selection of the super-stylish Isabel Marant clothes and the Italian Illesteva sunglasses are a find; low-key, no pressure, fun shopping.

Joan’s on Third, 8350 West Third Street, Tel. 323-655-2285, joansonthird.com. Fabulous stop for a coffee and fresh-out-of-the-oven pastry; it’s a gourmet market with a hugely popular café – a neighborhood home-away-from-home for the whole Westside.

Decades/Decades Two, 8214 Melrose Avenue, Tel. 323-655-1960. This is where Oscar dresses abound, but there is vintage for the rest of us too – or Two! (Their e-commerce shop, decadestwo.1, for those who can’t make it to Melrose Avenue is linked here.) The Way We Wore is also vintage sport – 3334 La Brea, Tel. 323-937-0878.

Moss: Angeles, 8400 West Melrose Avenue, Tel. 866-888-6677, mossonline.com. Design heaven, right here on Earth, by the redoubtable Murray Moss.

Paul Smith, 8221 Melrose Avenue, Tel. 323-951-4800. The curated Brit shop that remains eternally provocative! On-line shop: paulsmith.co.uk/shop/home.

Suzanne Felsen, 8332 Melrose Avenue, Tel. 323-653-5400, suzannefelsen.com. One-of-a-kind jewels with taste, restraint, Suzie’s exquisite sense of color, and approachable prices.

Schindler House/MAK Center, 835 North King Road, West Hollywood, Tel. 323-651-1510, makcenter.org. Wed.-Sun. 11-6. R.M. Schindler’s historic modernist house (1922), always a special treat, is now hosting a PST exhibit devoted to the remarkable Esther McCoy, the first important modernist critic, devoted supporter of the work of Schindler, Neutra, et al, and renowned historian of L.A. architecture.

A + R, 1121-1 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Venice, Tel. 310-392-9128, aplusrstore.com. “Global Design, Edited.” And we like the editing. This is the affordable Moss for all of the rest of us, thanks to Andy and Rose.

News

As long as you’re in Los Angeles for PST, be sure to save time for a sidetrip to Palm Springs. It’s the best SoCal site for touring great modernist architecture, and at the same time you can also take in a much lauded winter film festival (ends Jan. 16), plus the newly-flourishing and ever expanding museum — Palm Springs Art Museum — all await in this desert oasis. The museum is lively, and has been on a roll of late under Executive Director Steven Nash (formerly of the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas), with such acquisitions as the MacMillan Collection, and the recent addition of the nearby Santa Fe Savings & Loan Bank building. The collection of Donna and the late Cargill MacMillan is a generous private donation of a twenty year-accumulation of important works, and it keeps on giving. Currently, 75 works of the total collection are on display in the Steve Chase Wing (The Passionate Pursuit: Gifts and Promised Works from Donna and Cargill MacMillan, Jr.), with many more promised to come. Meanwhile, the international style Santa Fe S&L Building, a Class I Historic Site located at the corner of Palm Canyon Drive and Baristo Road, is slated for a restoration that will adhere as closely as possible to its 1960 original design by E. Stewart Williams. When completed, it will serve as the focus of the museum’s architecture and design exhibitions. The museum’s main building is designated as a Class I Historic Site as well, plus it also owns Frey House II, which is perched just above the museum in the hills of the San Jacinto Mountains. Fittingly, the PSAM serves as a partner and participant in the very popular tour of local architecture, Modernism Week. This year’s event takes place February 17-27, but you need to order tickets now — events are selling out as we go to press. No need, however, to despair if you miss it; book your own private tour with architecture guide extraordinaire Robert Imber (Tel. 760-318-6118). Robert has access to all the buildings that you must see, and he’s a great raconteur to boot. The PST exhibition at Palm Springs Art Museum, by the way, will be Backyard Oasis: The Swimming Pool in Southern California Photography, 1945-1982 (January 21-May 27), a collection of 135 works by iconic artists such as Ed Ruscha, Larry Sultan, Eileen Cowin, Diane Arbus, and of course, David Hockney; we can’t wait to dive in.

While you’re in the mood for modern, we suggest you stay on Palm Canyon Drive and shop its stretch known as Modern Row. Here you’ll find mid-century take-homes at such treasure troves Mod Springs, Dazzles, and Palm Canyon Galleria — one building that hosts many shops — all of them bursting with “classic modern” treasures. Also on Modern Row, enjoy Trina Turk’s two stores — the trendy boutique and the Trina Turk Home Store. Turk lives here in a fabulous John Lautner house — “Ship of the Desert.” There is so much art, architecture and shopping, you simply must stay the night — if not the season if you’re a snow bird. Book at the Colony Palms, a great example of a privately-owned family hotel (something that is increasingly difficult to find), with a staff that’s friendly beyond belief. Its storied past is fun, having served as both a brothel and speakeasy in earlier incarnations. Its recent renovation, led by L.A. designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard, makes it the current Palm Springs boutique hotel of choice (ask for room 5 or 8 to avoid pool noise). If Colony Palms is full up, you might want to try The Saguaro, slated to open in February. It’s a transformed Holiday Inn, the transformers being the creative re-makers behind the Ace hotel group (see our 2011 Portland issue, as well as the King’s Highway diner note below). The 249-room property boasts searingly-bright exterior colors, said to have been inspired by desert flowers, and the façade is certainly hard to miss. The Palm Springs resort will be very similar to its successful sister property, also called The Saguaro, and also newly-minted, in Scottsdale, Arizona. For dinner, Copley’s is at the top of our list. We’re sure you can’t find a place more charming than Cary Grant’s old guesthouse, with its soothing décor, both indoors and out, and the superlative food. For lunch, refresh yourself with organic goodies at King’s Highway, located on East Palm Canyon Drive, a diner that’s been fashionably re-purposed out of an old Denny’s by the hipster hoteliers of the aforementioned Ace. Cheeky’s (as in “cheeky monkey”) is also a great spot, with an ever-changing, locally-sourced menu, plus pastries that have been baked on premises; or try Trio — often crowded, mostly with locals—but always worth the crush.

As Los Angeles holds the current international art spotlight, other cities quietly work on building their own reputations. Take Glasgow, for instance. The city on the Clyde retains its rough-edged cool even as it evolves into an artistic powerhouse. The evidence can be seen in fairs and festivals, world-class galleries—many founded by Glasgow School of Art (GSA) grads, and prestigious Turner Prize choices of late. 2011’s winner, Martin Boyce, was the third in a succession of winners either brought up or educated in Glasgow, and one of his fellow nominees was Karla Black, a Glaswegian as well! Although the annual (for 15 years) Glasgow Art Fair is no more — cancelled in 2011 and not likely to return due to rising costs despite a big uptick of visitors for 2010’s event — a small start-up alternative is due to be launched this year as the Glasgow Art Show, March 23-25. With only about 40 galleries signed up as we go to press, a better bet may be to wait for April’s Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art (GI), which will take place citywide April 20-May 7. Visual art happenings abound year round in Glasgow, but for two weeks every two years, GI ensures that art permeates every possible venue here. Artists’ studios, museums, galleries, lectures, events and special commissions — everybody participates. We’re especially keen this year to see the public art project Lowlands by Susan Philipsz (winner of 2010’s Turner Prize). Other key venues such as the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) and Tramway are, of course, worth visiting any time of the year. Renowned arts center Tramway, carved out of an abandoned tram depot, has hosted exhibitions through the years by such luminaries as Andy Goldsworthy, Barbara Kruger, Bruce Nauman and Rosemarie Trockel. To experience its vast and striking main hall is worth stopping in alone! On view now is Matthew Darbyshire: T Rooms, through March 11. If you’re a film buff, keep an eye on their theatre calendar as well, since Tramway maintains a great schedule of international offerings. Live theatre fans are also well served here; Alan Cumming’s one-man show of Macbeth (known as The Scottish Play to the superstitious) will debut in June, before it makes its way to the Lincoln Center in New York. Meanwhile GoMA, located in the heart of Glasgow houses the city’s strong collection, and also offers temporary exhibitions. Throughout 2012, Tales of the City is on display. It’s based — rather loosely — on the theme of urban environment, but it serves well to showcase the museum’s recent purchases of international art, with works by Joseph Beuys, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Martin Boyce, Barbara Kruger, Peter Hujar, and many more. Also catch You, Me, Something Else, highlighting the work of ten Glasgow-based sculptors through March 18.

The most-visited gallery in Britain outside London is Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, set in a park by the River Kelvin, and a 10-minute walk from busy Byres Road. After extensive renovations in 2006, it’s now attracting more visitors than Edinburgh Castle. The variety of exhibits can be exhausting (besides the art, you’ll find such popular displays as a taxidermied elephant, a Spitfire plane “flying” overhead, and a massive organ commanding an entire hall), but it’s also, undeniably, a whole lot of fun. Currently, you can catch an exhibition devoted entirely to a famously loud rock bank, AC/DC: Scotland’s Family Jewels (through February 12) before it makes its noisy U.S. debut. En route to Kelvingrove, be sure to step into the Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery at the University of Glasgow to see superb collections of the Glasgow Boys and Girls, Whistler, and the world’s largest holding of works by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, including the Mackintosh House, reassembled interiors from the famed architect/designer’s Glasgow home.

And speaking of Mackintosh, no trip to Glasgow is complete without visiting the afore-mentioned GSA for a tour that is fun (and nostalgic for ex-art students — the smell of turpentine permeates the studios) — followed by tea at the iconic Willow Tea Rooms, mecca for Arts & Crafts pilgrims the world over, and where, thankfully, the only update we can detect is the addition of gluten-free scones to the menu. Also close to the GSA, don’t miss the CCA: Centre for Contemporary Arts, a hive of artistic activity, offering contemporary exhibitions throughout the year, a café and bar, a great independent bookstore (Aye-Aye Books), and more.

Can you believe it’s ARCO’s 30th anniversary? Neither can we! One of our favorite fairs, this year’s will showcase 197 international galleries, making Madrid a mid-February must-stop. Why a favorite, you ask? The wide-range of top-notch art is displayed (mostly) in private booths, creating an event that affords a more leisurely feel than most. Although this year’s fair is being housed in two buildings (down from three), there will still be plenty in the way of something-for-everyone, including cafes, bookstores and lounge spaces; not to mention first-time events such as a section devoted to young (less than eight years in operation) galleries of Europe, and two new exhibitions — one showcasing emerging artists from Latin America — and Focus: Russia, featuring eight Russian galleries. These three new spaces have been programmed by curators of major museums, and we can’t wait to see the results (February 15-19). Other reasons to visit Madrid, even after ARCO becomes a memory, are the big three: the Prado, Thyssen, and Reina Sofía, with their still-shiny starchitect extensions by Jean Nouvel and Rafael Moneo, plus the newest nearby addition — the amazing CaixaForum Madrid Museum — designed by Swiss power duo Herzog & de Meuron. The building itself, a re-imagined 1899 power plant, is now a wonder to behold from all angles. A jaw-dropping façade featuring a vertical garden by French botanist Patrick Blanc graces one side, and the original brick walls were retained and raised, allowing you to walk underneath the building. But don’t linger outside for too long as you must experience the amazing interior as well, especially the staircases! CaixaForum maintains a moderate size collection of works from the 1980s to the present in keeping with its status as a contemporary visual and performing arts center; along with temporary exhibitions, both historical and contemporary, borrowed from other institutions. Now through March 25th, The Persistence of Geometry features works on loan from the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona (MACBA) plus pieces culled from CaixaForum’s collection to focus on the use of geometry in sculpture and installation. Artists include James Turrell, Bruce Nauman, Dan Graham, Eleanor Antin, Hans Haacke, plus many more.

The Spanish cuisine scene is flourishing throughout Madrid, as tapas restaurants here even outpace those of Barcelona; what was once a plate of appetizers has now evolved into a work of art. La Cesta de Recoletos is a lively, fun spot in Salamanca. The rather informal décor might be described as minimalist cool, but the chef, Óscar Velasco (of Restaurant Santceloni, a two-star Michelin/Relais & Châteaux restaurant), is hot, hot, hot, as are his creations. Just recently opened in 2011, you can be among the first to line up for such treats as the wonderful tortilla and croquetas. As it’s a taberna, feel free to grab a seat at the little bar for drinks and appetizers, if you lack dinner reservations. Another fantastic gastrobar, El Plató, is the creation of Madrid-based chef of the eponymous institution Pedro Larumbe, as well as several other self-described “temples to gastronomy.” El Plató goes for a futuristic, space age look, and it succeeds. The digital menus and the flashy, ever-changing-throughout-the-day setup does not distract from the fare at hand. Be sure to try the tapas version of anchovies here, even if you’re normally not a fan. Lunchtime tends to be a noisy and mostly packed affair, so try to aim for dinner instead. For a more staid experience, book at Sergi Arolo Gastro, a super-spare minimalist dining room, where you’ll find only six tables, three prix-fixe dinner menus, plus a less-pricey lunch menu. Arola is an alumnus of the kitchens of Ferran Adrià and Pierre Gagnaire and proponent of traditional Catalonian and Mediterranean cuisine. You can taste Arolo’s authentic touch, with everything that comes out of the kitchen locally sourced. Another culinary experience not to be missed is one of the oldest covered markets of Madrid, the Mercado San Miguel, off the Plaza Mayor. Since its extensive renovation in 2009, it can now best be described as a recreation destination, with stall after stall adding up to one big foodie heaven. With 33 shops tempting you with everything from fresh oysters to pastries out of the oven, hand-created pastas to pickled olives, no wonder everyone — residents, tourists and reviewers alike — raves about the market. If it’s warm enough to be outside, be sure to spend at least one afternoon or evening on the Terrace at the Ritz — an enchanting experience. Unfortunately, we can’t recommend the hotel, as it’s starting to show its age. Instead, choose the Palace across the street, or try to stay in the arty and happening Salamanca district. The recently renovated Hotel Selenza Madrid, for example, is a stylish boutique with a friendly staff; or give the new Derby hotel, Hotel Urban Madrid, a try, with its hi-tech modernist décor that sports touches of Asian/South American/African cultures here and there (somehow it works).

Great Addresses

IN PALM SPRINGS
Palm Springs Art Museum
, 101 Museum Drive, Tel. 760-322-4800, psmuseum.org. Closed Mon. and major holidays, Tues.-Wed., Fri.-Sun. 10 AM-5 PM, Thurs. Noon-8 PM. Andrew Wyeth in Perspective through Jan. 22.

Palm Canyon Galleria, 457 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Tel. 760-323-4576, gmcb.com. Ten different home furnishings shops, all with an eye to 20th-century International Style vintage design.[pay]

Trina Turk Residential, 895 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Tel. 760-416-2856, trinaturk.com. Located next door to Trina Turk Boutique (men’s and women’s wear), you’ll find Trina’s trademark graphics on a beautiful line of pillows and upholstered goods. In addition, you can pick up hip housewares by Jonathan Adler, Missoni, and more.

Colony Palms, 572 N. Indian Canyon Drive, Tel. 760-969-1801, colonypalmshotel.com. So many reasons we love it — beautiful rooms, warm service, the Moroccan Spa — our first choice in PS.

The Parker Palm Springs, 4200 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Tel. 760-770-5000, theparkerpalmsprings.com. A fun resort, with a storied past. It was California’s first Holiday Inn and was also owned by Gene Autry and Merv Griffin, respectively. Designer Jonathan Adler has given it a thorough makeover, while retaining its vintage Hollywood-pedigree look. Dinner at Mister Parker’s, a retro event of its own, is recommended. We’d describe the whole experience as upscale but irreverent — prepare yourself by viewing the zany clips on their new website.

The Saguaro, 1800 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Tel. 877-808-2439, thesaguaropalmsprings.com. The very bright paint may be dry, but the rooms are not open as we go to press . . . If you stay, drop us a note!

Copley’s, 621 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Tel. 760-327-9555, copleyspalmsprings.com.

Top rated by Zagat, The New York Times, and, of course, ARTExpress. Feels like a wonderful garden party — in the desert.

King’s Highway, Ace Hotel Palm Springs, 701 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Tel. 760-325-9900, acehotel.com. Fresh, local and artisanal ingredients found in this repurposed diner, at reasonable prices. If you have ever suffered through eating in a Denny’s, this is a fun way to make up for it.

Cheeky’s, 622 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Tel. 760-327-7595, cheekysps.com. Small place, great food. Open Wed.-Sun. from 8 AM-2 PM, so it’s breakfast and lunch only, with breakfast served all day. Cheeky’s is a big favorite of locals.

Trio, 707 N. Palm Canyon Drive, Tel. 760-864-TRIO (8746), triopalmsprings.com. Maintains Palm Canyon Drive’s Mid-Century Modern theme in style. This community-conscious restaurant (e.g. the artwork on the walls is for sale with a percentage of proceeds benefiting the Art Institute of Palm Springs High School) is deservedly loved by locals, so it’s often crowded. Don’t hesitate to sit at the bar, where you’ll feel just as welcome and the bartenders will make you happy.

IN GLASGOW
The Glasgow Art Show, The Grand Ballroom, Thistle Glasgow, Cambridge Street, Tel. 0-187-581-9595, glasgowartshow.com.

Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art, 103 Trongate, Tel. 44 (0) 141-276-8384, glasgowinternational.org. Festival happens April 20-May 7. So much to see and do, peruse the website thoroughly.

Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA), Royal Exchange Square, Tel. 44 (0) 141-287-3005, glasgowlife.org.uk. Mon.-Weds. & Sat. 10 AM-5 PM, Thurs. 10 AM-8 PM, Fri. & Sun. 11 AM–5 PM.

The Willow Tea Rooms, 217 Sauchiehall Street, Tel. 44 (0) 141-332-0521, willowtearooms.co.uk. Mon.-Sat. 9 AM-5 PM (last orders 4:30) Sun. (and bank holidays) 11AM- 5 PM (last orders 4:15). Art Nouveau/Aesthetic Movement architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh had complete say over every design aspect of the now-beloved Willow, right down to the spoons, creating a Nouveau fan’s paradise. Schedule high tea here for the perfect follow-up to your tour of nearby Glasgow School of Art.

Glasgow School of Art (Mackintosh Building Tours), 167 Renfrew Street, Tel. 44 (0) 141-353-4500, gsa.ac.uk/visit-gsa/mackintosh-building-tours. Tours start at 11 AM and 3 PM daily. If you’re in the UK, the GSA is one of the must-tour buildings. In 2008, an over-£8-million-conservation project was completed and is now open to the public. It includes a new shop, furniture gallery and an archives and collections center. Book your tour ahead of time to avoid disappointment.

Malmaison, 278 West George Street, Tel. 44 (0)141 572-1000, malmaison.com/hotels/Glasgow. Set in a redesigned (and deconsecrated) 19th-century church building, Mal Glasgow is part of a gradually expanding UK hotel chain that prides itself on acquiring unusual spaces to create their upscale boutique hotels. The result is predictably funky and fun, and their Glasgow digs are very Scottish (lots of dark wood and tartan), with reasonable rates.

ABode, 129 Bath Street, Tel. 44 (0)141-221-6789, abodehotels.co.uk/glasgow. Another lovely building conversion job, this one an old (1911) department of education office, renovated by hotelier Andrew Brownsword, who brought aboard Michelin-starred chef Michael Caines (traditional French cuisine — not to be missed) in 2006. The major renos retained nice Art Deco touches throughout; the so-called “Comfortable” rooms feel cramped, though, so book at the “Desirable” level at the least — with a “Fabulous” room being our recommendation.

Brian Maule at Chardon d’Or, 176 West Regent Street, Tel. 44 (0)141-248-3801, brianmaule.com. We love Chef Maule’s approach and his restaurant, both relaxed and unpretentious. Formerly head chef of London’s Le Gavroche, Maule brings French touches to his native Scottish dishes.

IN MADRID
ARCO Madrid
, Halls 8 & 10 at Feria de Madrid, Tel. 34-91-722-3000, ifema.es. Feb. 15-19, Noon-8 PM; entry tickets are 30 EU, and you can purchase them online.

Museo Nacional de Prado, Calle Ruiz de Alarcón 23, Tel. 34-91-330-2800, museodelprado.es. Mon.-Sun. 9 AM-8 PM (including holidays), closed January 1, Good Friday, May 1, & Dec. 25. Their open seven-days-per-week policy for the permanent collection and temporary exhibitions is a relatively new experiment on the part of the Prado, so check ahead in case this changes. Through March 25: The Hermitage in the Prado.

Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Palacio de Villahermosa, Paseo del Prado 8, Tel. 34-91-369 -0151, museothyssen.org. Tues.-Sun. 10 AM-7 PM. Berthe Morisot through Feb. 12; Chagall, Feb. 14-May 20.

CaixaForum, Paseo del Prado, 36, Tel. 34-91-330-7300. Open all week, 10 AM-8 PM. The Persistance of Geometry through March 25.

Westin Palace Madrid, Plaza de las Cortes, 7, Tel. 34-91-360-8000, westinpalacemadrid.com. Built in 1912 by King Alfonso XIII to put up out-of-town fellow royals, the Palace has been recently restored to royalty-worthy status, and is routinely named as one of the best places to stay in all of Spain. Have the breakfast buffet in La Rotonda restaurant, where you’ll dine beneath the hotel’s signature stained-glass dome.

Hotel Selenza Madrid, Calle de Claudio Coello, 67, Tel. 34-91-781-0173, selenzahotelmadrid.com. Pleasant service, nice location, and a great breakfast served until 1 PM create a perfect stay at this designer boutique hotel carved out of a 19th-century building.

Hotel Urban Madrid, Carrera de San Jeronimo 34, Tel. 34-91-787-7770, derbyhotels.com. In this contempo spot, located near the museum triangle, you’ll feel like you’re in your very own museum, with many works on loan from the Clos Archaeological Foundation situated throughout. There’s a popular and ultra-trendy bar on premises that gets quite noisy, so be careful when you book (avoid the fifth floor).

Sergi Arolo Gastro, 31 Calle de Zurbano, Tel. 34-91-310-2169, sergiarola.es. Chef Sergi Arolo joined forces with sommelier Sara Fort to create a prix-fixe-only haven that now sports two Michelin stars for their efforts. The formality of the room (jackets required for men) sets a quiet and serene tone — the wow! factor comes from the inventiveness of what’s on your plate.

La Cesta de Recoletos, C/Recoletos 10, Tel. 911-400-696, lacesta.eu. No dish over 20 euros, so no excuses for not sharing. Save room for the chocolate mousse with caramelized hazelnuts.

El Plató, Paseo Castellana 36, Tel. 914-354-618, elplato.es. Hip and happening, El Plató is sited in Bon Appétit as one of the best gastrobars in Madrid — and there are a ton of them. Another see-and-be-seen scene, but worth the crush.
Great Addresses
Terrace and Gardens of the Hotel Ritz Madrid, Tel. 34-91-701-6767, ritzmadrid.com. Weather permitting, lunch is served 1:30-3:30 PM, dinner from 8:30 PM-1:30 AM. Lunch or dinner, you’re in for a memorable experience; the Terrace provides a staid respite from the ultra-hip scene flourishing elsewhere throughout the city.

Travel Bookshelf: Los Angeles

Guides & Blogs
Pacific Standard Time, www.pacificstandardtime.org. The official guide to everything related to PST.
Culture Monster, latimesblogs.latimes.com/culturemonster.
Wallpaper City Guide Los Angeles 2012.
eat.shop los angeles, 2010.

History & Literature
David Ulin, Kevin Starr. Los Angeles, Portrait of a City, 2009.
Sam Lubell, Douglas Woods, Julius Shulman. Los Angeles: The Birth of a Modern Metropolis, 2011.
Nathaniel West. The Day of the Locust.
Charles Bukowski. Post Office.

Art & Architecture
Rebecca Peabody, et al (eds.) Pacific Standard Time: Los Angeles Art, 1945-1980, 2011.
Hunter Drohojowska-Philp. Rebels in Paradise: The Los Angeles Art Scene and the 1960s, 2011.
Wendy Kaplan, ed. California Design, 1930-1965: “Living in a Modern Way”, 2011.
Grace Kook-Anderson. Best Kept Secret: UCI and the Development of Contemporary Art in California, 1964-1971, 2011.
Paul Schimmel, et al (eds.) Under the Big Black Sun: California Art 1974-1981, 2011.
Constance M. Lewallen, et al. State of Mind: New California Art circa 1970, 2011.
Robin Lee Clark. Phenomenal: California Light, Space, Surface, 2011.
Rebecca McGrew, et al (eds.) It Happened at Pomona: Art at the Edge of Los Angeles 1969-1973, 2011.
Kellie Jones. Now Dig This!: Art and Black Los Angeles, 1960-1980, 2011.
C. Ondine Chavoya, et al. ASCO: Elite of the Obscure: A Retrospective 1970-1987, 2011.
Yael Lipschutz, et al. L.A. Object & David Hammons Body Prints, 2011.
Chon A. Noriega, et al (eds.) L.A. Xicano, 2011.
Tom Learner, Rachel Rivenc, and Emma Richardson. From Start to Finish: De Wain Valentine’s Gray Column, 2011.
Eames: The Architect and the Painter, DVD, 2011.

Mysteries
Raymond Chandler. The Big Sleep, The Lady in the Lake, Farewell My Lovely.
James Ellroy. The Black Dahlia, L.A. Confidential, White Jazz.
Walter Mosley. Devil in a Blue Dress.

Calendar

Opens Jan. 16 Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York New American Wing Galleries open
Through Jan. 31 National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh Turner in January
Through Feb. 5 Jeu de Paume, Paris Diane Arbus
Through Feb. 5 National Gallery, London Leonardo da Vinci: Painter at the Court of Milan
Through Feb. 5 MFA, Boston Degas and the Nude
Through Feb. 12 Kelvingrove, Glasgow AC/DC: Scotland’s Family Jewels
Through Feb. 12 Louisiana Mus. Mod. Art, Humlebaek Ai WeiWei
Through Feb. 12 Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid Berthe Morisot
Through Feb. 12 Fotomuseum Winterthur Bernd and Hilla Becher: Industrial Landscape
Through Feb. 19 Castello di Rivoli, Turin Arte Povera International
Through Feb. 20 SFMOMA, San Francisco Francesca Woodman
Through Feb. 21 Palazzo Grassi, Venice The World Belongs to You
Through Feb. 26 Musée du Luxembourg, Paris Cezanne and Paris
Through Feb. 26 Whitechapel Gallery, London Rothko in Britain
Through Feb. 27 MOCA, Los Angeles Naked Hollywood: Weegee in LA
Through Mar. 11 Tate Modern, London The Unilever Series: Tacita Dean
Through Mar. 16 Hermitage Amsterdam Rubens, Van Dyck and Jordaens
Through Mar. 18 Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow You, Me, Something Else
Through Mar. 18 Miami Art Museum Marcel Duchamp
Through Mar. 18 Met, New York The Renaissance Portrait from Donatello to Bellini
Through Mar. 25 CaixaForum, Madrid The Persistence of Geometry
Through Mar. 25 Museo del Prado, Madrid The Hermitage in the Prado
Through Mar. 26 Reina Sofía, Madrid Muntadas
Through Mar. 31 Neue National Gallery, Berlin Art After 1945
Through Mar. 31 Tate Modern, London Photography: New Documentary Forms
Through Apr. 8 Walker Art Center Dance Works I: Merce Cunningham & Robert Rauschenberg
Through Apr. 15 Guggenheim Bilbao Brancusi & Serra
Through Apr. 29 Reina Sofía, Madrid Soledad Sevilla
Through Apr. 29 MAXXI, Rome Architecture, City & Planet
Through April 30 Kunsthaus Bregenz Antony Gormley: Horizon Field
Through May 27 Palm Springs Art Museum Backyard Oasis: The Swimming Pool in So. Calif. Photography 1945-1982
Through Jun. 18 Centre Pompidou, Paris Matisse
Through Jun. 24 Scottish Nat. Gal. of Modern Art, Edinburgh The Sculpture Show
Through Aug. 13 Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow Alasdair Gray: City Recorder
Through Oct. 28 Tate Liverpool Turner, Monet, Twombly
Through Nov. 30 Scottish Nat. Gal. of Modern Art, Edinburgh Sol LeWitt Wall Drawing # 1136
Jan. 13–Apr. 9 National Gallery Prague Rembrandt and His Contemporaries
Jan. 13–May 13 Louisiana Mus. Mod. Art, Humlebaek Andreas Gursky
Jan. 19–Mar. 31 CCA Wattis ICA, San Francisco John Baldessari: Class Assignments
Jan. 21–Apr. 9 Royal Academy, London David Hockney: A Bigger Picture
Jan. 22–Apr. 29 LACMA, Los Angeles Ellsworth Kelly: Prints & Paintings
Jan. 29–May 6 LACMA, Los Angeles In Wonderland: Surrealist Adventures of Women Artists in Mexico & the U.S.
Jan. 29–May 13 Fondation Beyeler, Basel Pierre Bonnard
Feb. 7–Aug. 26 Met, New York Spies in the House of Art: Photography, Video, Film
Feb. 9–May 13 Schrirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt Edvard Munch
Feb. 10–May 6 Nat. Museum of Mod. Art, Tokyo Jackson Pollock: A Centennial Retrospective
Feb. 14–May 6 Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna Gustav Klimt
Feb. 15–19 ARCO, Madrid
Feb. 15–19 Art Madrid

Feb. 15–July 15 Tate Britain, London Picasso and Modern British Art
Feb. 17–20 Palm Springs Fine Art Fair
Feb. 18–20 Palm Springs Modernism Show

Feb. 18–May 28 SFMOMA, San Francisco Rineke Dijkstra
Feb. 25 Sunnylands, Palm Desert, Walter & Louise Annenberg Home, designed by A. Quincy Jones opens.
Feb. 26–June 11 MOMA, New York Cindy Sherman
Mar. 1–May 27 Whitney Biennial, New York
Mar. 2–June 10 Menil Collection, Houston Richard Serra Drawing
Mar. 3–July 15 Palazzo Strozzi, Florence Americans in Florence: Sargent and the American Impressionists
Mar. 7–11 The Art Show (ADAA), New York
Mar. 8–11 The Armory Show, New York (and many related shows throughout New York City)

Mar. 14–July 15 National Gallery, London Turner Inspired
Mar. 23–25 Glasgow Art Show (contemporary)
Apr. 20–May 2 Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art