As a New Yorker and an avid art lover, the choices are endless covering a broad spectrum of genres and artistic expression, in a variety of institutions / museums / galleries / private shows.
I am often disappointed when traveling and viewing art in other cities, countries, as my expectations are high. In 2000 during a stay in LA, I first visited Bergamot Station in Santa Monica. I was not expecting to be overly impressed, but could not have been more surprised.
When I returned last week, I was once again blown away by the depth and wide range of art that is being shown at the galleries I viewed there. Bergamot Station covers a total of 18 galleries, circling what was once a train station. On February 16, 2023 Scarlet Cheng wrote in the LA Times, “a former Los Angeles train depot, transformed into an Arts Centre in the 1990’s Bergamot Station bounces back with an influx of new galleries”. Having viewed a few, I can attest that the selection is stunning.
Erwin Olaf’s searing images are being shown at the Danziger Gallery. He is considered one of the most important Dutch photographers of his generation. In 2022 he decided to celebrate the 90th birthday of his longtime friend the choreographer Hans Van Manen, with a series of photographs entitled Dance in Close-up. Together they selected specific moments from Van Manen’s choreographies. Olaf shows us body fragments – arched backs, bent toes and pointed fingers. Erwin Olaf states, “ballet inspires me. human beings have the capacity to express themselves through many art forms, but when it comes to dance, I am always amazed by that unbelievably elevated form of expression.”
At Galerie Xll – the artist Christopher Anderson’s photographs are on view. Anderson was born in Canada and grew up in West Texas. He first gained recognition when he boarded a handmade wooden boat with Haitian refugees trying to sail to America in 1999. The boat’s name ‘Believe in God’ sank in the Caribbean. The images from that journey received the Robert Capa Gold Medal in 2000.
The combination of galleries and their mingling in this gritty setting maximizes foot traffic. The photographers I viewed are just a distillation of the variety on offer.
Bergamot Station Arts Center – 2525 Michigan Avenue – Santa Monica 90404