Jane Wilbraham, “Index”, 2010-2011, at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art

One of the freshest shows of the year to-date, “Labour & Wait” examines the ideals of labor and craftsmanship in contemporary art. It celebrates the hand in artmaking as distinct from art that is manufactured or reliant on technology. The exhibition features approximately fifteen artists of unique vision that together form a provocative whole.

Tim Hawkinson at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art

Tonico Lemos Auad, crocheted sculpture, Santa Barbara Museum

The seminal film by Fischli and Weiss, “The Way Things Go (1987), opens the show and embodies some of the strong themes in the exhibition which include time, effort, continuity, spontaneity, progress and the possibilities of the everyday that surround us. Works range from Allison Smith’s towering sculpture of wood furniture that addresses American colonial and Civil War histories to Tonico Lemos Auad’s delicate crocheted chandeliers that invoke the spiritual with their gentle light. Timothy Hawkinson’s sculpture of a woman at her spinning wheel showcases his wizardry with disparate materials. 

Grayson Perry at the lectern

British artist, Grayson Perry, is represented by a large tapestry and three hand-painted ceramic vessels. After I attended his hilarious performance/lecture in the museum’s auditorium, I realized a likely resemblance upon one of the pots. “Labour & Wait” is on view until September 22 and is accompanied by a full-color, 160-page catalogue.



Cactus, Lotusland, Santa Barbara

Franz West, “The Ego and the Id”, 20 ft high, Central Park, New York

Tucked away in the hills of Montecito, Lotusland is the historic estate of Madame Ganna Walska (1887-1984), an opera singer who owned the property as a private residence from 1941 until her death in 1984. Created over four decades, the distinctive gardens are of exceptional design and aesthetic sensitivity with both botanical and horticultural depth. Amidst the vast array of plants, flowers and trees, one is immersed in beauty and exotic sculptural form throughout. Lotusland is open to the public in limited numbers by advance reservation.

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