Los Angeles has many different types of architectural styles scattered throughout the city and nearby satellite cities. Los Angeles has a rich, diverse history of architectural works, having been known throughout professional architectural circles as a testbed for architecture. The case study houses in particular revolutionised residential architecture. Architects such as Richard Neutra, Pierre Koenig, John Lautner and Frank Lloyd Wright all have important works in the city. Some of the different types of architectural styles throughout the city and metropolitan area are mission revival, Spanish colonial revival, craftsman, Norman French provincial, French chateau, English Tudor, beaux arts, art deco and streamline moderne.
In Downtown Los Angeles, there are several buildings constructed in the Art Deco style. In recognition of this heritage, the recently built Metropolitan Transit Authority building incorporates subtle Art Deco characteristics.
Modern architecture in the city ranges from the works of pioneering African-American architect Paul Williams, to the iconoclastic deconstructivist forms of Frank Gehry, a long-time resident of the city. Charles Eames and his wife Ray Eames designed famous chairs and other domestic goods.
The plein air movement of impressionistic landscape painting found early adherents in the Los Angeles area, and became a signature style of California art. In the 1960s, Corita Kent, then known as Sister Mary Corita of Immaculate Heart College, created bright, bold serigraphs carrying the messages of love and peace.
The city also has a public art program which requires developers to contribute one percent of the cost of construction of new buildings to a public art fund.
Los Angeles is known for its mural art, and its thousands of examples of wall art are believe to outnumber those in every other city in the world. Mexican muralists such as Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros and Jose Clemente Orozco all created murals in the area.
During the 1960s and 1970s, the Chicano art movement took a strong hold in Los Angeles. Much of the work produced followed the Mexican muralist tradition of sending potent social messages. Works produced in this era by the East Los Streetscapers are still extantnt in East Los Angeles and at the Estrada Courts, and works by Judy Baca and the Social and Public Art Resource Center are found citywide. Chicano arts in Los Angeles also gave rise to the internationally renowned Self Help Graphics & Art, known for its Corita Kent-influenced serigraphs and its annual Día de los Muertos festival.
Although the city had a long tradition of visual arts supported by private collectors and galleries, Los Angeles did not have a comprehensive museum of art until 1965, when LACMA opened its doors. At about the same time, La Cienega Boulevard became home to many art galleries, most notably Ferus, featuring works by artists who lived in the area. Although Andy Warhol was New York based, the famous "soup cans" were first exhibited at Ferus. A local exponent of pop art was Ed Ruscha, some of whose work was representational, others consisted of simple slogans or mottoes which were usually humorous, being so far out of the context where such statements would normally appear. An example of this is Nice Hot Vegetables Larry Bell, for example, explored the interaction of an sculpture to its environment, demonstrating that the boundaries are usually not entirely clear. David Hockney, an English immigrant, produced figurative paintings set in idyllic Southern California locales, such as swimming pools in the bright sunlight, belonging to modernist houses. Although these paintings are representational, they seem to be composed of small colour patches, somewhat like collages. It was during this period that the contemporary arts scene in Los Angeles began to command the attention of collectors and museum directors internationally.
Some of the most respected art museums in the world can be found in Los Angeles. They include the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Norton Simon Museum, the Huntington Library art collection and botanical gardens, and the Hammer Museum at the University of California, Los Angeles. Los Angeles is known for its expansive collections of contemporary art- the Museum of Contemporary Art has three separate incarnations: the Geffen Contemporary, for larger installation pieces by more renown artists, the MOCA Downtown, its standard collection, and the Pacific Palisades, a large, multi-purpose building in modernist style that houses offices as well as stores and showrooms for contemporary graphic design, architecture and interior design. Other smaller art museums in the city include the Craft and Folk Art Museum, the California African American Museum, and many sculpture gardens throughout the city, including those at the University of Judaism and the University of California, Los Angeles.
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