"Sunshine & Noir: Art in L.A. 1960-1997" Arrives at UCLA/Hammer Museum for its Sole U.S. Presentation
"Sunshine & Noir: Art in L.A. 1960-1997" opens at UCLA Oct. 7 at the Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Cultural Center. It is the only U.S. venue for the exhibition, following a major European tour. Organized and curated by Lars Nittve and Helle Crenzien of the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebaek, Denmark, "Sunshine & Noir" examines Los Angeles art from a European perspective.
Sunshine and Noir has been enthusiastically received in Denmark, Germany and Italy, where significant collections of contemporary California art have been formed. The exhibition now comes home to its final venue, where it can be expected to confirm and confound expectations and generate a spirited discussion about the selection of artists presented and the range of work included. The exhibition does not claim to establish a comprehensive view of art produced in Los Angeles; instead it was intended to provide an introduction to L.A. art for a European audience largely unfamiliar with the specific cultural context and artistic traditions of Southern California. It will offer an opportunity for L.A. audiences to reflect on the history of L.A. art, understand and appreciate its current international role, and claim new insights gained from an awareness of the European perspective.
For many Europeans, American art is synonymous with work by New York artists. This exhibition attempts to reconstruct and expand the European definition of American art by examining the contributions of many Los Angeles artists over the past four decades and the specific cultural circumstances from which their work arose. While many of these very popular L.A. artists are understood as American, they are often seen in Europe without an understanding of the Los Angeles context that gives their art meaning. Furthermore, some Los Angeles artists become popular in Europe before achieving recognition in the United States. Many of these artists often have important work purchased by European collectors and museums, and once purchased, the work is less available to audiences outside of Europe.
Within the past decade, the Los Angeles art scene has received unprecedented national and international attention. Los Angeles artists were in the majority in the most recent Whitney biennial, and many of them have been the subjects of major museum retrospectives in the '90s. The vitality and strength of Los Angeles art schools have been noted as a contributing factor to the developing importance of the art scene in Los Angeles, attracting a number of influential artists/faculty who have inspired a younger generation of artists who in turn contribute to L.A.'s increasingly complex visual culture.
Art that has come out of Los Angeles is represented in the exhibition from its rise in the early '60s to its great international breakthrough in the late '80s and '90s and the succeeding younger generation of artists. Artists in the exhibition are Laura Aguilar, John Altoon, Michael Asher, John Baldessari, Larry Bell, Billy Al Bengston, Tony Berlant, Wallace Berman, Chris Burden, Vija Celmins, Richard Diebenkorn, Kim Dingle, Llyn Foulkes, Sam Francis, Joe Goode, David Hammons, George Herms, David Hockney, Dennis Hopper, Robert Irwin, Jim Isermann, Larry Johnson, Craig Kauffman, Mike Kelley, Edward Kienholz, Paul McCarthy, John McCracken, John McLaughlin, Ed Moses, Bruce Nauman, Catherine Opie, Jennifer Pastor, Raymond Pettibon, Lari Pittman, Ken Price, Stephen Prina, Charles Ray, Jason Rhoades, Nancy Rubins, Allen Ruppersberg, Edward Ruscha, Jim Shaw, Alexis Smith, Diana Thater, Robert Therrien, James Turrell, Bill Viola, Doug Wheeler and Christopher Williams.
Two video compilations, organized by Paul McCarthy in 1993 and Diana Thater in 1996, accompany the exhibition. Paul McCarthy's "Sampler" is an eclectic collection of work documenting a mixture of periods and of styles, older tapes made in the '70s, rarely seen tapes, documentation of performances, narrative video and newer tapes by younger artists, without concern for a specific type or length of tape. Artists featured in "Sampler" include Eleanor Antin, Skip Arnold, John Arvanities, John Baldessari, Meg Cranston, John Duncan, Bas Jan Ader, Allan Kaprow, Hilja Keading, The Kipper Kids, Peter Kirby, Paul McCarthy, Susan Mogul, Tony Oursler, Raymond Pettibon, Patti Podesta, Allen Ruppersberg, Ilene Segalove, Jim Shaw, Nina Sobell, Wolfgang Stoerchle, Chris Wilder and Bruce and Norman Yonemoto. Diana Thater's "Sampler II," a response to McCarthy's selection, concentrates on more recent works, mainly from the 1990s, that take as their inspiration the look, genres, structure and techniques used by the television industry. Artists featured in "Sampler II" include Skip Arnold, Barbara Broka, Jessica Bronson, Steve Fagin, Doug Henry, Gabrielle Jennings, Larry Johnson, Hilja Keading, Martin Kersels, Susan Lutz, Daniel Marlos, T. Kelly Mason, Joe Mama-Nitzberg, Anita Pace, Jean Rasenberger, Eric Saks, Jennifer Steinkamp, Pat Tierney, T.J. Wilcox, Chris Wilder, and Bruce and Norman Yonemoto.
A 237-page illustrated catalog accompanies the exhibition and includes an introduction by Nittve; a chronological survey by William R. Hackman; interviews with Walter Hopps and UCLA/Hammer Museum director Henry Hopkins; and essays by Anne Ayres, Timothy Martin, Laura Cottingham, Terry R. Myers, Russell Ferguson and Mike Davis.
Complementing the exhibition will be a wide array of free cultural programs, symposia and gallery talks organized by the Museum, including "From the Beat Generation to the Millennium -- Conversations on Art in L.A.," a three-evening series of conversations organized in association with UCLA Extension, featuring many of the most prominent artists, curators and critics that helped shape the last four decades of art in Los Angeles. The conversations will be held on three Monday evenings at The Geffen Playhouse in Westwood Village from 7 to 10 p.m. and are offered free to the public.
On Oct. 26: "The Beat Goes On: L.A. from the '50s to the mid-'60s," moderated by Henry Hopkins, director of the UCLA/Hammer Museum; with panelists Irving Blum, gallery owner and co-director of Ferus Gallery; artists Judy Chicago, George Herms and June Wayne; James Demetrion, director of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and formerly at the Pasadena Art Museum; Walter Hopps, co-founder of Ferus Gallery; and Los Angeles Times art critic William Wilson.
On Nov. 2: "Power to the People: L.A. from the late '60s through the '70s," moderated by art writer Hunter Drohojowska-Philp; with panelists Rosamund Felsen, gallery owner and former curator of the Pasadena Art Museum; art writer Peter Plagens; and artists John Baldessari, Ed Bereal, Harry Gamboa and Miriam Shapiro.
On Nov. 9: "Global L.A.: The '80s and '90s," moderated by Howard Fox, curator of contemporary art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; with panelists Anne Ayres, director of exhibitions at Otis College of Art and Design; Los Angeles Times art critic Christopher Knight; and artists Lari Pittman, Nancy Rubins, Alexis Smith and Bruce Yonemoto.
In conjunction with the UCLA/Hammer Museum's presentation of "Sunshine & Noir," many other Los Angeles museum and gallery exhibitions have been organized to highlight and celebrate the contributions of Los Angeles artists, including: "In the Polka Kitchen" at both the Armory Center for the Arts (Oct. 10-Dec. 31) and Otis Gallery (Oct. 3-Nov. 21); "Karl Benjamin - Paintings from the '50s and '60s" (Oct. 24-Nov. 21) and "Avery Falkner: New Paintings" (Nov. 28-Jan. 2) at Ruth Bachofner Gallery; "Betye Saar: Crossings" (Nov. 6-Dec. 31) at Jan Baum Gallery; "Anne Baxter: Sculpture and Bas Relief," "George Herms: Installation" and "Selected Drawings by John Altoon" (Oct. 10-31), Geoffrey Gold (Nov. 5-30) and Alison Van Pelt (Nov. 7-30) at D5 Projects/Robert Berman; "Mary Corse: New Directions" (Sept. 11-Oct.31) at Chac-Mool; Bari Kumar and Steve Schmidt (Sept. 12-Oct. 10), Joseph Maruska (Oct. 17-Nov. 14) and Susan Tibbles (Nov. 21-Jan.2) at Patricia Correia Gallery; Salomon Huerta (Oct. 24-Nov. 28) and Craig Kauffman (Dec. 5-Jan. 16) at Patricia Faure Gallery; Steven Hull and Kori Newkirk (Oct. 10-Nov. 7) and John Boskovich (Nov. 14-Dec. 19) at Rosamund Felsen Gallery; "George Herms and Hiro Yamagata Present a Salute to Los Angeles Art" (Oct. 17,18,24 and 25) at The First Street Bridge Project; Ashley Collins (Sept. 9-Oct. 17) and Barbara Hashimoto (Oct. 21-Nov. 28) at Gallery Soolip; "Ed Ruscha: New Paintings and Drawings" and "Robert Therrien: A Selection of Works" (Oct. 10-Nov. 7) at Gagosian Gallery; "Sam Francis: The Relationship of Drawings - Annotated and Unique Proofs and Prints from the Edge and Fresh Air Period" (Oct. 3-Nov. 14) at Bobbie Greenfield Gallery; Georgeanne Deen (Sept. 17-Oct. 17) and "Claudia Bucher: Performance Sculpture" (Oct. 2, 3, 8, 9 and 10) at Christopher Grimes Gallery; Larry Bell (Sept. 12-Nov.14) and Penelope Krebs (Nov. 21-Dec. 30) at Kiyo Higashi; "Max Yavno: Images from a Masters Voyage -- Israel, Egypt, Morocco & Mexico" (Oct. 23-Nov. 28) at Jan Kesner Gallery; Darren Waterson (Sept. 12 -Oct. 12) and Dan McCleary (Oct. 17-Nov. 21) at Kohn Turner Gallery; "Sandow Birk: Historical Work from the Great War of the Californias" (Sept. 17-Oct. 31) and "David Ligare: New Paintings and Drawings" (Nov. 7-Dec. 31) at Koplin Gallery; Harrison McIntosh and Tony Marsh (Oct. 10-Nov. 7) and John Mason (Nov. 14-Dec. 30) at Frank Lloyd Gallery; "L.A. or Lilliput?" (Oct. 23-Jan. 3) at the Long Beach Museum of Art; "XTRASCAPE" and "night vision" (Sept. 9-Nov. 1) and "ELEMENTS" and Joel Aaron Glassman and Ed Martin (Nov. 18-Jan. 17) at Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery; "Diana Thater - the best animals are the flat animals - the best space is the deep space." (Oct. 27-Jan. 17) at the MAK Center for Art and Architecture L.A.; "David Hockney: Looking at Landscape - Being in Landscape" (Sept. 15-Oct. 24) and William Brice (Oct. 30-Nov. 28) at L.A. Louver Gallery; "John McLaughlin: Insider Art -- Paintings" and "Gordon Wagner: Outsider Art -- Assemblages" (Sept. 15-Oct. 30), "Lorser Feitelson: Magical Forms to Hard Edge, 1944-1978" and "Helen Lundeberg: Post Surrealism to Hard Edge, 1933-1990" at the Tobey C. Moss Gallery; "David Grant: Synthetic" (Sept. 15-Oct. 17) and "Back Room -- L.A. 1950s and 1960s" (Sept. 15-Jan. 3) at Newspace; highlights from the Collection and Archives of the Pasadena Art Museum from 1960-1974 (dates to be announced) at the Norton Simon Museum; Therman Statom Installation, South Coast Plaza Gallery (Oct. 3-Jan. 3) and "Gold Rush to Pop" (Oct. 17-Jan. 24) at the Orange County Museum of Art; "Lee Mullican and his Influence" at the Herbert Palmer Gallery (Oct. 3-Nov. 14); Raymond Pettibon at Regen Projects (Sept. 4-Oct. 10); "Sharon Ryan: Paintings" and "Jason Rogenes: Project 9.17f" (Sept. 17-Oct 31) and "Steve DeGroodt: Solo Exhibition" and "Mixographia in L.A.: Group Exhibition of Mixographia Multiples" (Nov. 7-Dec. 30) at Remba Gallery/Mixographia Workshop; "Hans Burkhardt: Casting a Shadow" (Oct. 9-Dec. 24) at Jack Rutberg Fine Arts; "June Wayne: Winds Between the Worlds" (Nov. 19-Dec. 16) at Leslie Sacks Fine Arts; "Original Accounts of the Lone Woman of San Nicholas Island" (Sept. 19-Oct. 31) at Side Street Projects; "Joe Goode, Works on Paper: 1960-1973" (Sept. 17-Oct. 31) at Manny Silverman Gallery; "Peter Lodato: New Work" and "Lita Albuquerque: New Work" (Oct. 10-Dec. 1) and "Forms of Thought: a Group Exhibition" (Dec. 3-Jan. 15) at William Turner Gallery; "Eileen Cowin: Returning to Ordinary Life" (Aug. 25-Oct. 25) at the University Art Museum, CSU Long Beach; and "John White: Selected Works 1968-1998" (Oct. 20-Nov. 14) at Sylvia White Gallery.
Lead support for this exhibition has been provided by Eileen and Peter Norton and the Norton Family Foundation.
Major support has also been provided by The Eli Broad Family Foundation; Eris and Larry Field Family Foundation; Northern Trust Bank of California; Patricia and Richard Waldron; City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department, Kaufman and Broad Home Corporation; Peter and Elizabeth Goulds, L.A. Louver Gallery, Venice, Calif.; and Sotheby's.
Architectural services have been provided by Fong Kutner Associates.
Major support for "From the Beat Generation to the Millennium -- Conversations on Art in L.A." has been provided by the LLWW Foundation; The Nathan Cummings Foundation and Bronya and Andrew Galef.
Occidental Petroleum Corporation has partially endowed the Museum and constructed the Occidental Petroleum Cultural Center Building, which houses the Museum. ________________________________________________________________________
Location/Parking: The Museum is located at 10899 Wilshire Blvd. in Westwood Village. Parking is available under the Museum; rates are $2.75 for the first three hours with Museum stamp; $1.50 for each additional 20 minutes. There is a $3 flat rate after 6:30 p.m. on Thursdays. Parking for people with disabilities is available on levels P1 and P3.
Museum Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.; Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; closed Mondays, July 4, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Admission: $4.50 for adults; $3 for senior citizens (65+), non-UCLA students, UCLA faculty/staff and Alumni Association members with ID; $1 for UCLA students with ID; free for Museum members and children 17 and under. Admission is free on Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. Access for people with disabilities is provided.
Information: VOICE: (310) 443-7000; [TTY: (310) 443-7094]