OK, well, we didn't end up going to the Pacific Design Center, but Geeta and I (and a couple of friends of hers from UCLA and Caltech, respectively) were elsewhere within the MOCA system yesterday -- at the main location downtown, for Rauschenberg's Combines exhibit.
I had seen it just after I moved to Los Angeles in late May, and since it closes in a few days (on September 4), I was glad to have one final look. It's a beautiful, beautiful collection, created from 1954-1964 and getting more poignant with each passing year as the objects of Rauschenberg's media continue to yellow, fade, distance themselves through dated typography and design and persistent disuse. Yesterday I compared it to the water-damaged detritus stuck to the floorboards of an old person's attic -- things that were never meant to last 50 years, but which stamped themselves into the house like a printing press would, to tell the real story. Here's how I recommended it to someone in May (forgive the lowercase; I often type this way informally):
i was in awe and more than a bit emotional. the general feeling is of walking through rural salvage yards and church-owned thrift stores circa 1960. very impressionistic -- rather than being presented as one tritely iconic image (like warhol's soup cans), these muddy fabric swatches and scrap metal shards and cartoon clippings and bird feathers are basically momentary blips in the radio static of the painted canvases. it was one of the only art exhibits i've been to where i wished there was more, lots more, several rooms more.