Sunday, August 31, 2014

Unexpected Art Gallery - Cedars-Sinai Hospital Hallways

[I'm putting this up as a new post because I've added so much since I posted a preview before catching a plane yesterday.  All images get better if you click on them.]

We ran across an unexpected art gallery in the halls of Cedars-Sinai hospital in LA visiting with my mom who had an infection.  There were a lot of great prints and lithographs from world class artists on the walls of her floor.  The knife is part of a Claes Oldenburg called The Knife/Ship.

You can see the hospital setting here.

OK, this is just a preview.  I have to board now.  I'll add more when I get home.

[UPDATE Sunday Aug. 31 11 am]  I'm home, well we got home a little after midnight, and here are some more form the hospital art gallery.

I'm a big David Hockney fan and there were three of his works.  This first one "The Wind" is particularly cool at this location because the hospital is very close to Melrose Avenue.

I can just imagine him driving in a convertible when the wind suddenly blows his sketches off into the air. 

 This one is called James.

I'd never heard of this artist, Philip Guston, but I thought the lithograph interesting.  It's called "The Curtain."

This poster wasn't labeled other than it was in Albany, New York.

A couple of Roy Lichtenstein posters:

The small print says it was paid for by the Democratic National Party in 1992.

This is Point by Sam Francis.  His bio suggests that it's very appropriate for his work to be in a hospital corridor:

"In 1941 Francis enrolled at the University of California, Berkeley, to study medicine, but joined the U.S. Army Air Corps in 1943. Because of a spinal injury sustained during flight training, Francis spent most of his military life confined to a hospital bed. While recuperating, he began to paint in watercolors. David Park, who taught painting at the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Art Institute), visited Francis in the hospital, bringing with him paintings from a local private collection, including examples by Miró, Klee, and Picasso."

 A few of the hospital employees asked me questions about the art work, why I was taking pictures, did I like the pieces.  They were quite surprised when I said that some of these pieces were done by some of the most well known artists of the 20th Century.  One asked how the artists related to Van Gogh, the only name she could think of and who had no idea when he lived and painted.  She eventually came up with another name - Picasso.
I pointed out this one, which is a Warhol, but the exhibit includes Picasso.

"From Picasso to Warhol  - Art Gallery Cologne

These would probably be characterized as minor pieces and all seemed to be posters or lithographs, but still, passing through these halls everyday and taking a few seconds to check the names, would be like taking a short art class.  They'd at least learn to recognize the pieces and the artists.

This was just one wing of one floor.  Every floor, I was told, had similar works of art.  Unlike, say Providence Hospital in Anchorage, where most of the art work is feel good art, mostly pretty scenery, these are much more intellectual and experimental.  Not the kind of stuff I expected to see in the hospital.

All the Cedars' art seems to have been donated, which explains the eclectic collection.  At Providence it looks more like the art was purchased by an interior designer.  That doesn't mean there aren't serious pieces of art at Providence, but I don't recall ever seeing a challenging piece of art there. 

One could make the argument that feel good art is appropriate in a hospital.  But I'd say challenging art that make you think is maybe more appropriate in a space where people are dealing with life threatening situations - both the patients and the visitors. 

While art dominated the walls, there were also poster like displays as well relating to medical research and findings.  Again, these were more than simple warnings to wash your hands.  They also explained why.  Some examples:

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