No. 455: Ilona Katzew, Lava Thomas

Episode No. 455 of The Modern Art Notes Podcast features curator Ilona Katzew and artist Lava Thomas.

Katzew is the department head and curator of Latin American Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She joins host Tyler Green to discuss how she tries to do her work, especially investigation, research, and acquisition, at a time when the pandemic is challenging researchers to find ways to work without traveling to sites or the usual institutional resources (such as libraries).

Previous MAN Podcast episodes to examine how a range of practitioners do their work in the midst of a pandemic have included:

On the second segment, artist Lava Thomas discusses her experience with the San Francisco Arts Commission and the San Francisco board of supervisors regarding her proposed monument to Maya Angelou for the entrance to the San Francisco Public Library on Civic Center Plaza. Thomas had been the SFAC’s top choice for the Angelou monument until a member of San Francisco’s board of supervisors objected, demanding a simple, straightforward bronze statue.

KQED’s Chloe Veltman has written two excellent stories on the city’s mistreatment of its own process. A statement that the SFAC refused to allow Thomas to read in its entirety at its July 15, 2020 meeting is also available via KQED.

Air date: July 23, 2020

Jesús Rafael Soto, Penetrable BBL Bleu, 1999/2007.

A rendering of Lava Thomas’s proposed monument to Maya Angelou, Portrait of a Phenomenal Woman, 2019.

A rendering of Lava Thomas’s proposed monument to Maya Angelou, Portrait of a Phenomenal Woman, 2019.

Elizabeth Catlett, Invisible Man A Memorial to Ralph Ellison, 2003.

Lava Thomas, Requiem for Charleston, 2016.

Lava Thomas, Requiem for Charleston (detail), 2016.


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