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Art on all levels

Trio of exhibitions, curated separately, will fill Laguna Art Museum with a variety of art in multiple mediums. The tri-level show opens this weekend.

February 24, 2011|By Cindy Frazier, cindy.frazier@latimes.com
  • Janet Blake, curator of Laguna Art Museum's Collections and Registrar, stands between Phil Dike's "Fisherman's Rocks," left, and Dan Lutz's "Lavanderas," in the lower showroom at Laguna Art Museum for "Extract" installation.
Janet Blake, curator of Laguna Art Museum's Collections… (DON LEACH, Coastline…)

All three floors of Laguna Art Museum will be chock-a-block with art from all mediums and eras when the museum opens three concurrent exhibitions on Sunday, preceded by a gala opening night preview party from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturday.

The spring shows — "Extract: Developing Exhibitions Inspired by the Collection;" "Landscape and Figuration from the Collection;" and "Brad Coleman: Reproductions" — include minimalist modern art, impressionistic landscapes, Depression-era works, precisely rendered drawings and paintings and a rare showing of a sand installation by Laddie John Dill.

Each exhibit takes up one floor of the three-level museum, and each was curated by a different person. Museum director Bolton Colburn curated "Extract," culling works from the museum's permanent collection to make 12 "mini-exhibitions."

"I pulled out works from the collection that we want to work on for future exhibitions," Colburn said. The exhibition includes one room filled with works by mother and daughter artists Eleanor Colburn and Ruth Peabody, many of which depict mothers with children. In a different vein are Chris Wilder's humorous large works in the museum's main hall, including "White Monochrome Fur Painting," a huge piece consisting solely of white faux fur. Wilder's "Missing," a humorous take on a missing dog poster featuring Snoopy, is also included.

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Mountain of sand

On Tuesday, Dill was directing two workers who were hauling bags of sand and pouring them to make a small mountain into which six glass rectangles were placed. A light placed beneath the sand casts a subtle glow that is picked up by the glass edges.

The piece, which is untitled, was conceived 40 years ago and uses various types of sand, Dill said. A version of the piece is in the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and Laguna Art Museum has owned its version for 10 years.

"It's been shown five or six times," Dill said of the Laguna museum's version. The sand work was inspired by the artist's having grown up in Malibu, he said, adding, "I'm interested in light and space."

The piece was first shown in New York in 1971, he said. "I took it all over Europe, using indigenous materials." Dill's piece takes up one wall in a main floor room that also houses other modernist pieces.

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Landscapes and figuratives

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