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People & Places

BEST UNLIKELY ENCOUNTER WITH A MODERNIST MASTERPIECE Los Angeles 2009 

Frank Stella 1966 Irregular Polygon

In the bar and lounge area on the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion's mezzanine level is an exceptional work of art: Hanging a few inches above a row of overstuffed chintz armchairs, next to a tapestry in high relief depicting a medieval village stage set, is a Frank Stella 1966 Irregular Polygon, the kind one usually finds only in a major modern art museum. Here, the viewer can get unusually close to the artwork; in fact, the piece hangs so near the armchairs that before performances and during intermission, lounging guests can lean their heads onto the bottom of the painting as a kind of high-end headrest. (Can anyone do something about that, please?) In this unlikely setting, amidst the kitsch, illusion and splendor of décor and operagoers alike, the painting takes on an understated but powerful resonance, operating on its own radical terms of objecthood — paint as flat and as good as it looks in the can. Just the way Stella liked it. 135 N. Grand Ave., L. A. (213) 972-7211, musiccenter.org.

—Mara De Luca

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