Big Blue Bus, Line 5 – 26th Street
Gallery hopping can be draining. Especially gallery hopping at Bergamot Station.
Once the final stop for the red line trolley (started in 1875 by the Pacific Electric Rail system), which ran from Los Angeles to the Santa Monica Pier, Bergamot Station is now an eight acre art gallery complex.
Although it appears the public transportation link will be reborn with an Expo Line station at or around Olympic and Cloverfield, the most striking feature of Bergamot Station is the parking lot. People walk around the complex, or to their cars, but they don’t walk here (yes, I realize I mentioned this earlier).
One by one, the thirty-odd galleries become a blur of large-scale abstracts and watercolor sketches; black and white photography and ceramic lavaflows.
But at the end of the line, one gallery stands out. The (now formerly known as) Patricia Faure Gallery is currently host to the eye-catching work of artist Cal Lane.
Steel lace. Delicate strength. Refined, rusted car parts are arranged in one room: a filigree car bombing. The crumpled remains appear frozen in time, reworked as fragile veils.
Further into the exhibit hang silent, nudging cartographies etched into oil drums. The etched maps recall the age of discoveries, medieval wars, ancient explorations. And always, the border of the oil drum itself, the spigot poised just over the North Pole.
Lane uses the pieces we throw away, carves them with plasma torches, and delivers them reborn as reminders of the consequences of what we use today.
Finally is the piece that can’t be bought or held. A delicate lace of dirt fills the final room.
The roped-off display feels almost sacred. The one creation more ephemeral than lace.
Go. Visit. Try to ignore the irony radiating from all of the Jaguars in the parking lot.
It is worth the trip.