The name “Bergamot Station” dates back to 1875 when it was originally a stop and car storage area on the steam powered Los Angeles and Independence Railroad from Santa Monica to downtown Los Angeles. Its name derives from the Wild Bergamot flower – native to North America – that once flourished in the area.
Various incarnations followed, including a celery packing operation and an ice-making plant, before its opening in 1994 as an art gallery complex; the largest in Southern California, located on eight acres in the heart of Santa Monica.
Renowned architect, Lawrence Scarpa, has created a very cool space; a campus-like complex, which has retained the industrial look and feel of the station. The great thing about having a cluster of galleries on the one site is that you don’t have to worry about fighting the LA traffic to check out different galleries across town; they’re all here under the one roof. Each gallery offers an impressive space.
Our standout exhibition was Freeways by Robbert Flick at the Rose Gallery. Robbert Flick is a quintessential LA artist. During a career that has spanned 40 years, he has continued to investigate the city’s conceptual landscape, and the exploring of photographic subjectivity, space/time and seriality. The artist has focused on the landscape as seen by car or train during his regular commute between work and home.
The resulting large-scale prints emulates the sensation of viewing the LA landscape as most people often do: through the lens of a car window. The freeway unfolds across the picture almost like a cut up film strip, presenting each moment as unique and as an element in a larger scheme.
We could stare at these images for hours. Utterly mesmeric, and so emblematic of one of our favourite cities.
Freeways is on view until 12 April 2014.
For further information please visit: www.bergamotstation.com
Images by CELLOPHANELAND*.