Forget whole exhibitions. This spring, single Old-World masterpieces steal the arts spotlight.
Van Gogh’s The Bedroom at Norton Simon.
While LA’s revered arts institutions constantly call in pieces on loan to launch their mega-caliber exhibitions and group shows, three individual masterworks on view this spring have the city’s art elite thinking in singles.
Through March 6, Vincent van Gogh’s The Bedroom (1889) takes pride of place at Norton Simon Museum (411 W. Colorado Blvd., Pasadena, 626-449-6840), on loan from The Art Institute of Chicago. A kind of figureless self-portrait, painted while the artist was in asylum in southern France, the masterpiece communicates the Dutchman’s harrowing despair and “allows for a remarkable conversation with” other van Goghs in the museum’s collection, says chief curator Carol Togneri. This is the first time The Bedroom has been on view on the West Coast.
Across town, a first gives way to a “second,” as Edgar Degas’s Russian Dancers (c. 1899) returns to The Getty (1200 Getty Center Dr., LA, 310-440-7330) through May 7, on loan from a private collection. The centerpiece of a popular repeat exhibition exploring Degas’s use of pastels (the first, in 2015, featured different accompanying images), Russian Dancers allows Angelenos to celebrate the rich colors and exuberant abandon of the artist’s work in this medium.
As The Getty enjoys its loan, it returns another: Rembrandt’s Juno (c. 1662–1665), which went on loan from the Hammer Museum (10899 Wilshire Blvd., LA, 310-443-7000) last fall during the renovation of its permanent collection galleries. Now the late-career masterpiece, which displays the éclat of Rembrandt’s final-years technique, has returned to its home, featured prominently amidst 100-plus other works in the new Armand Hammer Collection gallery. At the always-avant-garde Hammer, old school is new again.
PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF A PRIVATE COLLECTION (DEGAS); THE ART INSTITUTE OF CHICAGO, HELEN BIRCH BARTLETT MEMORIAL COLLECTION (VAN GOGH); THE ARMAND HAMMER COLLECTION, GIFT OF THE ARMAND HAMMER FOUNDATION. HAMMER MUSEUM, LOS ANGELES (REMBRANDT)