PACIFIC STANDARD TIME the unprecedented collaboration of cultural institutions across Southern California coming together to celebrate the birth of the L.A. art scene. Beginning October 2011 and ending in the Spring of 2012, over 60 cultural institutions participated in this region-wide initiative encompassing every major L.A. art movement from 1945 to 1980. Below is a selection of 4 exhibtions of special note:
Pasadena Museum of California Art
L.A. Raw: Abject Expressionism in Los Angeles, 1945-1980, From Rico Lebrun to Paul McCarthy
January 21- May 20, 2012
The figurative artists who dominated the Los Angeles art scene in the 1940s and '50s have largely been written out of today's art history. Bringing together works by 40 artists in a variety of media, L.A. Raw traces a different through-line, connecting post-war figurative expressionism to the '60s and '70s investigations of politics, gender and ethnicity that are commonly credited as shaping today's art. Among the artists featured are John Altoon, Wallace Berman, William Brice, Hans Burkhardt, Chris Burden, Cameron, Edward Carrillo, Judy Chicago, Connor Everts, Llyn Foulkes, Charles Garabedian, David Hammons, Robert Heinecken, John Paul Jones, Kim Jones, Ed Kienholz, Rico Lebrun, Paul McCarthy, Arnold Mesches, Betye Saar, Ben Sakoguchi, Barbara Smith, James Strombotne, Jan Stussy, Edward Teske, Joyce Treiman, Howard Warshaw, June Wayne, Charles White, and Jack Zajac.
October 01, 2011 - April 02, 2012
Exhibition podcast from Curator, Leah Lehmbeck is posted here
The Norton Simon Museum presents an exciting exhibition that explores the significance of printmaking and its new possibilities as first re-envisioned in Southern California in the mid-20th century. Drawing from the Museum’s extensive print collection and a few select loans, the exhibition includes approximately 125 prints, portfolios and multiples, including works by the local founders of the movement, such as John Altoon, Garo Antreasian, Richard Diebenkorn, Sam Francis, Ed Moses, Ken Price, Ed Ruscha and June Wayne. Proof also includes works by a significant number of artists who traveled west to print specifically in Los Angeles, such as Josef Albers, Louise Nevelson, Claes Oldenburg and Robert Rauschenberg.
Printmaking had for centuries been explored by painters and sculptors alike—most notably Rembrandt van Rijn, Francisco de Goya y Lucientes and Pablo Picass0—but it was not embraced by the 20th-century American avant-garde, though there were a few exceptions. In 1960, Los Angeles– based artist June Wayne took it upon herself to “create a pool of master artisan-printers in the United States.” These words were spoken at the founding of the Tamarind Lithography Workshop in Los Angeles by Wayne, who, through her dedication and hard work, created a workshop that would educate printers, artists, curators and collectors alike. Indeed, Tamarind sparked a renaissance in the graphic arts—a revival that spread well beyond Los Angeles and the medium of lithography. In the next few decades, all methods of printmaking would be established and legitimized as viable and valuable forms of art making.
Throughout the 1960s, Tamarind opened its doors to artists both experienced and inexperienced in printmaking. Many world-renowned painters and sculptors made the journey to Los Angeles to learn the craft at Tamarind. The artists’ two-month fellowships were staggered so that no two artists were new at the same time. Wayne established the editioning of prints so that twenty from each edition went to the artist, and nine went to Tamarind. In this way, the workshop was able to donate a complete set of every work it produced to nine public institutions, thereby spreading the knowledge of printmaking and building enthusiasm for the medium among curators and collectors. The Norton Simon Museum is home to a near-complete set of prints created at the Tamarind Lithography Workshop, and Proof: The Rise of Printmaking in Southern California features nearly 70 of these works. The artists represented range from John Altoon, Billy Al Bengston, Vija Celmins, Bruce Conner, Richard Diebenkorn, Sam Francis, David Hockney, Ed Moses, Lee Mullican, Louise Nevelson, Ed Ruscha, and Norman Zammitt, to June Wayne herself.
Altogether, the artworks featured in Proof: The Rise of Printmaking in Southern California tell the fascinating but seldom-explored story of the renaissance of fine-art lithography in Los Angeles in the 20th century. Starting with small local efforts in the first half of the century, to June Wayne and the founding of the Tamarind Lithography Workshop in the 1960s, and on to the establishment of Gemini G.E.L. and Cirrus Editions in the mid-1960s and 1970s, printmaking became an essential medium in an artist’s oeuvre, and Los Angeles was the birthplace of this effort.
About “The Original Print,” a companion exhibition
In conjunction with Proof: The Rise of Printmaking in Southern California, the Museum presents The Original Print, an exhibition that looks at the technical aspects of printmaking. Held in the small, rotating gallery on the Museum’s main level, the exhibition combines explanatory texts, archival documentation, photographs, video footage and the actual implements of printmaking (a woodblock, an etching plate, a lithography stone and a screen). A select group of prints on view serves to illustrate these concepts directly, in an effort to familiarize visitors with the methods and terminology used to describe the graphic arts.
About the Publication
Accompanying the Proof exhibition is a publication of the same name. With essays by established print scholars as well as fresh, new voices on the subject, this lavishly illustrated catalogue introduces the pioneers of printmaking in Los Angeles who nurtured an environment suitable for the founding of the country’s most significant print shop in 1960. By tracing the local printmaking communities, the academic establishment, as well as the significant influence of the Tamarind Lithography Workshop and other venerable workshops founded by Tamarind-trained printers, like Gemini G.E.L. and Cirrus Editions, the catalogue addresses the spectacularly rapid spread of printmaking from its modern beginnings in Southern California. Proof is the first catalogue to discuss Los Angeles printmaking within the larger narrative of postwar American art.
Proof: The Rise of Printmaking in Southern California is curated by Leah Lehmbeck, Associate Curator at the Norton Simon Museum. The exhibition is part of Pacific Standard Time, an unprecedented collaboration of more than sixty cultural institutions across Southern California, coming together to tell the story of the birth of the L.A art scene. Pacific Standard Time, an initiative of the Getty, will take place for six months beginning October 2011.
Tamarind Workshop became Tamarind Institute in 1970 when it moved to the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque, where it continues to this day. Clinton Adams, another of the important artists who worked with June Wayne at Tamarind, was instrumental in establishing the teaching workshop as an enduring institution: "An Informed Energy: Lithography and Tamarind" written by Clinton Adams
June Wayne passed away on August 23, 2011, a few weeks before the opening of this important overview mapping her impact on the art scene in Los Angeles. This exhibition is a tribute to the perception, talent, vitality and tenacity of this exceptional American artist. She will be missed by all in a community that spans generations of artists all of over the world.
"June Wayne’s impact on the art world will be felt for many generations. Her visionary plan for expanding the breadth of expressive possibilities available to American artists manifested itself in the founding of Tamarind Lithography Workshop, Inc., in 1960. We honor her legacy by perpetuating her ideals and, above all, her passion for lithography. June touched many of our lives in immeasurable ways and the art world is all the richer for her broad participation and advocacy." -From the Tamarind Institute
Charles White, Love Letter II, (detail) 1977
Now Dig This! A Video Preview
This October the Hammer Museum will present Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles 1960-1980, a comprehensive exhibition that examines the incredibly vital but often overlooked legacy accorded to the city's African American visual artists. Now Dig This! comprises 140 works from 35 artists that have rarely been shown in a museum setting and includes early pieces by now well-established artists as well as works once considered "lost." This is one of several exhibitions around the southland in coordiination with the Getty Research Institute's Pacific Standard Time, a look back at art in Los Angeles during the post war years.
David Hammons, America the Beautiful, 1968, Lithograph and body print. Overall: 39 x 29 1/2 in. (99.1 x 74.9 cm). Collection Oakland Museum of California.
This exhibition at the Hammer opens October 2, 2011 and runs through January 8, 2012
Speaking in Tongues: Wallace Berman and Robert Heinecken, 1961-1976
October 2, 2011 – January 22, 2012 Opening: Saturday, October 8, 2011, 7-9pm
Curators: Claudia Bohn-Spector and Sam Mellon
This landmark exhibition brings two seminal yet under-studied Los Angeles artists into close conversation for the very first time. Berman and Heinecken bridged modernist and emerging post-modernist trends by ushering in the use of photography as a key element of contemporary avant-garde art. Their works are explored within the unique cultural context of 1960s and 1970s Southern California, as it fueled and amplified their highly original creative approaches.
Speaking in Tongues: Wallace Berman and Robert Heinecken, 1961-1976 is part of Pacific Standard Time. This unprecedented collaboration, initiated by the Getty, brings together more than sixty cultural institutions from across Southern California for six months beginning October 2011 to tell the story of the birth of the L.A. art scene.
ARTNIGHT Pasadena Friday, October 14, 2011, 6-10 PM
The Armory Center for the Arts
145 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena, CA 91103 Phone: 626.792.5101
PAST EVENTS OF NOTE:
Peace Press Graphics 1967-1987:
Art in the Pursuit of Social Change
September 6–December 11, 2011 • Long Beach, California
Event hours: Tuesday – Sunday 12 to 5 PM Thursday to 8 PM
"Peace Press Graphics 1967–1987: Art in the Pursuit of Social Change" is a survey of the press’ work and their connections to artist collectives of the time. Founded in 1967 by a unique group of L.A. activist-artists who created an “alternate everything” printing and publishing business, the Peace Press (1967-1987) emerged from the tangle of progressive political and alternative groups that flourished during the decades between 1960 and 1990. The poster archive, now housed at the Center for the Study of Political Graphics (CSPG) in Los Angeles, exemplifies an important element of visual and cultural history: art that reflects the desire and intention to create social and political change, as well as artists who attempt to affect change through both their work and their actions.
The exhibition, co-curated by Ilee Kaplan and Carol Wells, will feature 50 to 75 posters from the press’ archive alongside works on paper whose subject matter addresses issues such as feminist causes, workers’ rights, civil liberties, anti-nuclear protests, environmental concerns, and anti-war demonstrations by artists who worked with the press, including Robert Crumb, Rupert Garcia, Harry Fonseca, Sheila Levrant de Brettville, and Skip Williamson. In addition, a historical timeline, poetry and spoken word performances, film clips interspersed in the galleries, and a separate film screening series will accompany the artworks— to offer audiences a unique opportunity to understand the art of political protest within its larger cultural milieu.
CSULB Art Museum, Long Beach, CA
This exhibition is part of the Pacific Standard Time project.