LA Artists Will Take Over Historic Greystone Mansion


On Jan. 28, one party in Los Angeles will host new works by 25 artists, with David Lamelas acting as emcee. Mungo Thomson will work with a composer and musicians to simulate the sound of crickets. Glenn Kaino will stage a secret happening, and Llyn Foulkes will play his large sculptural machine that combines various musical instruments.
Thrown in conjunction with the ongoing, region-wide Pacific Standard Time exhibition initiative in Los Angeles, Ball of Artists is an aural and visual extravaganza that will mark the closing of PST’s performance program (Jan. 19-29). The event is organized by Lauri Firstenberg, director and cofounder of the nonprofit venue LAX Art (say it like the airport), and producer and collector Richard Massey, who staged the first Ball in 2007 during Art Basel Miami Beach.

Firstenberg told A.i.A. that she and Massey, who helped found LAX Art in 2005 and serves on its board, were approached by the Getty to coproduce a closing event. The site that had been slated for the shindig was the palatial Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills, which Firstenberg says immediately brought to mind the lush setting of the Miami venue, the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. “When I went to the Ball of Artists in Miami, the only word that I could use to describe it was ‘magical,'” Firstenberg told A.i.A., “and I don’t ever use that word.”

Kerry Tribe will show a film that responds to the history of Greystone, the famous home built by the Doheny family, and a filming site of numerous Hollywood movies, recently including There Will Be Blood, Spiderman I and III and The Social Network. Drew Heitzler is creating an installation for the room where the murder-suicide of proprietor Ned Doheny and his secretary Hugh Plunket took place in 1929.

With Greystone’s limited capacity of 1,000, the party is “primarily for artists in L.A. and those involved in the festival and the Pacific Standard Time initiative,” according to Firstenberg. Tickets cannot be purchased. Guests will be given a schedule and map of events, which will take place throughout the mansion, some concurrently.

The Ball of Artists is planned as a one-time event, but Firstenberg doesn’t rule out its popping up again.