Olafur Eliasson at MAF

Olafur Eliasson at MAF: “Reality Projector”: A Mind-Expanding Experience

We are blessed to have so much art to see and enjoy in Los Angeles. The Marciano brothers, Maurice and Paul, who made a fortune in the schmatte business and are the Guess clothing brand co-founders, are pouring millions of dollars into their art foundation. Whether it is for the love of art or tax write-off purposes, I don’t know and don’t care. The Marciano Art Foundation (MAF) has a collection of over 1,500 post-World War II artworks housed at the former Masonic Temple on Wilshire Boulevard. The current exhibition by Olafur Eliasson is a joy!

The installation “Reality Projector” is of stunning beauty, just in time for the arrival of recreational marijuana. The large light and sound installation is an impressively immersive environment that will elicit an immediate “Oh, wow” from visitors – whether under the influence of marijuana or not. After the initial amazement, it slowly evolves into a more meditative state of mind, transforming amusement into a feeling of enlightenment.

The Art of Olafur Eliasson: Light, Color, and Perception

Olafur Eliasson is a Danish-Icelandic artist known for his large-scale installations that often incorporate nature, light, and water elements to create immersive and interactive environments. He has been a prominent figure in contemporary art since the 1990s, and his work has been exhibited in major museums and galleries worldwide.

Eliasson’s work often explores themes of perception, sensory experience, and the relationship between humans and the natural world. He is particularly interested in how light and color can be used to shape our experience of space and time. Many of his installations involve the use of mirrors, prisms, and other optical devices to create complex and ever-changing patterns of light and shadow.

One of Eliasson’s most famous works is “The Weather Project,” exhibited at the Tate Modern in London in 2003. The installation filled the museum’s cavernous Turbine Hall with an artificial sun, creating a warm, orange glow that bathed the space and attracted thousands of visitors.

Eliasson’s work is often seen as a response to the growing environmental crisis, and he has been a vocal advocate for sustainability and renewable energy. In 2012, he founded Little Sun, a company that produces portable solar-powered lamps for people living in off-grid areas.

From Masonic Meeting Place to The Marciano Art Foundation (MAF)

The Scottish Rite Temple, popularly known as the Masonic Temple on Wilshire Boulevard, is a historic structure situated in Los Angeles, California. Millard Sheets, an architect, and Scottish Rite member, designed it; it was constructed in 1961.

The structure, which has a spectacular white marble and glass exterior, is a prominent example of Mid-Century Modern architecture. Its interior, which features a sizable theater, a lavish ballroom, and several meeting spaces embellished with elaborate mosaics, stained glass windows, and other detailed decorations, is equally well-known.

The Masonic Temple has long served as a significant community and cultural hub in Los Angeles. Numerous occasions and performances, such as concerts, talks, and theatrical productions, have taken place there. Additionally, it has served as a filming site for numerous films and TV shows.

Currently, the structure is owned by Maurice and Paul Marciano, co-creators of the Guess clothing line. The brothers established the Marciano Art Foundation (MAF), a museum of modern art in Los Angeles, California.

With a focus on post-World War II art, the museum features approximately 1,500 pieces by artists like Jean-Michel Basquiat, Marcel Duchamp, and Cindy Sherman in its collection. Olafur Eliasson and other contemporary artists have temporary exhibitions there as well.

Millard Sheets: Prolific American Artist and Architect

Millard Sheets (1907-1989) was a prolific American artist and architect. He had a diverse career that spanned painting, watercolor, architecture, and arts education. In the 1930s, he gained recognition for his murals created for New Deal programs. These murals were part of the government’s efforts to provide work for artists during the Great Depression.

During World War II, Sheets served as an Air Force artist and designer. His artistic skills were utilized in creating visuals for the military.

After the war, Sheets shifted his focus to architectural design. He became known for his modernist approach and designed notable public spaces, including banks, hotels, and universities. One of his most famous architectural projects was the Scottish Rite Masonic Temple in Los Angeles, which he co-designed with Edith Mortensen Northman. This temple was characterized by its use of marble, glass, and modernist design elements, along with intricate mosaics that added an artistic touch.

In addition to his artistic and architectural work, Sheets was also involved in arts education. He served as the director of the Otis Art Institute and taught at Scripps College, sharing his knowledge and expertise with aspiring artists.

Throughout his long and successful career, Sheets created thousands of artworks that continue to be exhibited worldwide. His contributions to both the art and architecture fields have left a lasting impact on the creative community.

The Purpose and Values of Freemasonry and the Masonic Temple

The Masonic Temple serves as a gathering place for Freemasons. Freemasonry is a fraternal organization that traces its origins to medieval stonemasons’ guilds. It emphasizes moral values, self-improvement, and charitable works.

Members join local lodges led by elected Worshipful Masters. These lodges are the primary units of Freemasonry and provide a sense of community and camaraderie. Members can participate in lodge meetings, rituals, and activities.

In addition to the lodges, Freemasonry offers opportunities for further involvement through appendant bodies. One such body is the Scottish Rite, which confers additional ritual degrees beyond the basic three degrees of the Blue Lodge. These degrees are intended to provide moral lessons and promote personal growth.

The Masonic Temple, known for its ornate architecture and symbolism, provides a dedicated space for Freemasons to gather and engage in their rituals, ceremonies, and discussions. It is a place where members can come together, reinforce their shared values, and work towards the organization’s philanthropic goals.

Through their participation in Freemasonry and the activities of the Masonic Temple, members seek to enhance their own character, contribute to their communities, and uphold the principles of the organization.

March 2018