1. ART: “Robert Mapplethorpe: XYZ” and “In Focus: Robert Mapplethorpe”
It may not have been the “perfect moment” for the late gay photographer in 1990, when an exhibit by that name led to a Cincinnati museum curator’s obscenity trial, but his work has found a friendlier time and place in 2012, with concurrent shows at two of Los Angeles’s leading cultural institutions. “XYZ,” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, represents three areas of Mapplethorpe’s work: gay S/M images, floral still lifes, and portraits of nude African-American men. “In Focus,” at the Getty Center, has more nudes and still lifes as well as self-portraits and the iconic image of his Just Kids lover, Patti Smith. The exhibitions celebrate the two museums’ joint acquisition of a broad selection of Mapplethorpe’s photos. Both shows opened this week and run through March 24.