Images and Imagination: LA Art Show

The modern & contemporary spectacular opens. Let the wow start.

By Alysia Gray Painter
|  Thursday, Jan 19, 2012  |  Updated 10:53 AM PDT
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Cecila Paredes

"Meditative Mermaid" by Cecilia Paredes will be featured in the 2012 LA Art Show. It's on through Jan. 22 at the LA Convention Center.

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We may live in America's Salad Bowl -- or adjacent to it, anyway (props, Salinas) -- but we also happen to live in America's Contemporary Art Bowl, too.

Okay, granted, that name doesn't trip off the tongue quite as lightly as America's Salad Bowl, but you can't argue with the fact that Los Angeles is, and has been, a nexus for the best and boldest contemporary and modern art. It has been that way for some time; a few might argue that we've worn that crown for a decade, while others say our ascension began in the eighties.

So when the major LA Art Show opens each January, it feels both familiar and surprising. (As non-statement-y as that might sound, you know what we mean.) The 2012 show is on now through Sunday, Jan. 22 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

The show brims with top-level talent, from artists past and now, from people who live, and lived, all over. Andy Warhol, David Hockney, and Judy Chicago are on the roster. So's Ed Ruscha. Hi, Ed Ruscha!

In addition to general show hours, LA Art Show features a caboodle of special events like talks and tours. We suspect a lot of fans show to simply soak all the art in, but assuming anything about the contemporary world is flat-out wrong. So plan your own weekend of eye-popping-art enjoying.

The Los Angeles Fine Art Show: Historic & Traditional and the Annual IFPDA Print Fair happen in conjunction with LA Art Show. The three together are called "the most comprehensive art experience on the west coast," and we shan't quibble with that.

We're a city that welcomes forward-go ideas in painting and sculpture and all visual media, in short, and when there's a big party to celebrate that fact, we don our party hats and viva it up.

Image: Cecilia Paredes -- "Meditative Mermaid"

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