Classical KUSC Arts Alive Blog

Arts Alive Blog


Drawing, Dreaming and Desire: Another Side of Artist Sam Francis

Posted By: Sheila Tepper · 4/21/2016 10:28:00 AM

Sam Francis has an incredible origin story as an artist. He was studying to become a fighter pilot, when an emergency landing left him with an injury that ultimately lead to an extended hospital stay where only his hands and arms were free to move. It was in the hospital that he started to paint and after he had healed, he became known for his color-saturated abstract expressionism, including many large murals, like Basel Mural l, 1956-58, which is part of the Norton Simon's collection.

Sam Francis, Basel Mural l, 1956-58

But a new exhibition at the Norton Simon Museum shows a much different side of the Sam Francis. On display in Drawing, Dreaming and Desire are a collection of his rarely seen erotic drawings. Curator Gloria Williams Sander told us how another illness brought out this other side of Sam Francis.

photos courtesy Susie Goodman

Take Our Virtual Tour of the Norton Simon's "Duchamp to Pop"

Posted By: Sheila Tepper · 4/5/2016 10:09:00 AM

Duchamp to Pop

Now on view at the Norton Simon Museum, Duchamp to Pop examines Marcel Duchamp’s influence on Pop Art and the artists at that movement's center like Andy Warhol, Jim Dine and Ed Ruscha.

Curatorial Associate Tom Norris built the exhibition with inspiration from two landmark exhibitions that took place in the 1960's at the Pasadena Art Museum (which later became the Norton Simon Museum): New Painting of Common Objects (1962), and the Marcel Duchamp Retrospective in 1963.

Pasadena Art Museum poster

Duchamp to Pop brings together 40 artworks from the Museum’s collection of 20th-century art, along with a handful of loans, and materials from the archives of the Pasadena Art Museum. We walked through the exhibition with Norris.


Tom NorrisDuchamp has always been a hero of mine, and those two 1960's exhibitions showed Duchamp's influence on more than just the eight original artists from New Painting of Common Objects. That part of the ...

Backstage Spotlight: New Play at Taper Forum; 21C Liederabend, OP. LA at Green Umbrella

Posted By: Sheila Tepper · 4/5/2016 9:01:00 AM

Welcome to the Arts Alive Backstage Spotlight, where we bring you information about some of the upcoming events we find especially interesting:

Father Comes Home From The Wars (Parts 1,2 & 3) is a new play written by Suzan-Lori Parks, the first African American woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize (in 2002) and a MacArthur "Genius" Award recipient. It is set during the civil war and confronts what freedom means then. It is at the Mark Taper Forum now through May 15. For more information call 213-628-2772 or online at


A "Liederabend," or evening of song, is a tradition that goes back to Schubertiads and the flowering of German Romantic poetry and song in the 1800s. Beth Morrison and her company Beth Morrison Projects, in collaboration with VisionIntoArt/Paola Prestini, has updated the concept for a concert that's a part of the LA Phil's Green Umbrella series. 21c Liederabend ...

Not Too Kitschy, Not Too Modern: Getting the Look for Madame Butterfly

Posted By: Sheila Tepper · 3/17/2016 8:52:00 AM

Set Designer Jean-Marc Puissant says creating a look for Madame Butterfly was a complicated thing. He didn't want to go too kitschy or too modern, so archival photographs of Japan provided the guidance he needed. Here, Puissant, LA Opera Production and Technical Manager Michelle Magaldi, and LA Opera Technical Director Jeff Kleeman talk about creating a signature look for LA Opera's Madame Butterfly.

Photo of Magaldi, Puissant and Kleeman courtesy Susie Goodman. Other photos courtesy LA Opera.

The Oscar-Nominated Costumes Up Close and Personal

Posted By: Sheila Tepper · 2/24/2016 8:40:00 AM

FIDM's Annual Movie Costume Exhibit

From now until April 30th, you can see the year's best movie costumes up close at the FIDM Museum. It's all part of their 24th annual Art of Motion Picture Costume Design exhibition

The Revenant

Costumes from The Revenant.

Jacqueline West

Jacqueline West designed The Revenant's costumes and is nominated for an Oscar.

"Working with Alejandro Iñárritu drew me to this movie, because I have always loved his work. The other perk was working with Production Designer Jack Fisk and Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki. I've done six movies with the three of us all together, so we're kind of an ensemble. Plus, I have a ranch in South Dakota close to where this story took place. In that area Hugh Glass, the real life inspiration for Leonardo DiCaprio's character, is an icon. He was attacked by a bear and crawled from northern South Dakota to a fort in southern South Dakota with one broken leg, a ...

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