|Women Around Town by Karen Schifman - November/December 2011|
We welcome SCWCA member and art historian, Katherine Zoraster as a contributor to the column this month with a review of the current exhibit at the Norton Simon Museum.
SPOTLIGHT: "Proof: The Rise of Printmaking in Southern California" at the Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena.
This exhibition with its panoramic view of prints produced in the Southland area between the 1950s to the 1980s and explores the renaissance of printmaking and the impact that it had on the development of Los Angeles as an artistic center. In particular, the foundation of the Tamarind Lithography Workshop is largely credited with the revival of printmaking in Southern California.
Established in 1960 by the artist and printmaker June Wayne, the goal of the Workshop was to "create a pool of master artisan-printers in the United States." With a focus on collaboration between the artists and printers, the training emphasized experimentation and allowed artists to explore new methods and techniques.Through sponsored fellowships a wide array of artists were drawn to the Workshop and it became a forum for varied styles and encouraged the avant-garde. Changing the course of the history of printmaking, the work being done there presented a viable option of production to artists.
Both the technical mastery and the experimental quality of Wayne's subject matter and technique can be seen in her At Last a Thousand I produced for the momentous occasion of Tamarind's 1000th print. Untitled, by Tamarind artist-fellow Louise Nevelson, displays her exploration of textural variations and fabrics while another artist-fellow, Miriam Schapiro, pays homage to Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, the history of printmaking, and to the woman as artist in her lithograph Shrine II.
Other highlights include an example of Judy Chicago's experimentation with screenprinting with Flashback, version 2, the social commentary of Sister Corita Kent is on display with People Like Us and My People, and Ruth Weisberg's mastery of tonal gradations can be seen in Disparity. Although June Wayne is credited with the responsibility of revitalizing printmaking in Southern California, there are only a few of her works on display. In fact, the contributions of female artists are limited to a small percentage of the overall exhibition. However, the breadth and variety of the show exemplifies Wayne's encouragement of printmaking as a high art form. The exhibition itself is widely eclectic as it strives to highlight the immense appeal of the printmaking process and its potential for experimentation.
Katherine E. Zoraste
IN THE GALLERIES:
"Five Elements/One World" at the Los Angeles Municipal Gallery at Barnsdall was curated by Avinger Nelson and juried by Peter Frank and Hideo Sakata.Thru 11/13/11.
"Attempts to stand on shifting currents" offers older sculptures and new photograms by Katie Grinnan at the Armory Center for the Arts, curated by Irene Tsatsos. Thru 01/22/12.
University Art Gallery at UC Irvine features Barbara T. Smith in "The Radicalization of a '50s Housewife." Thru 12/4/11.
Ruth Bachofner Gallery presents the paintings of Jane Park Wells in "Reflections" and watercolor ink drawings and paper installation of Margaret Griffith in "Local Intersections." Griffith manipulates the grid form to create planes and spatial structures that she translates into a three dimensional floor piece. Wells works within self-imposed grid systems, with a tribute to Korean and American cultural traditions in three large scale paintings that make reference to traditional Korean dance forms. Thru 11/19/11.
"Susan Sironi: New ABCs: Altered Books and Collages" in her current exhibit at Offramp Gallery edits and cuts up books to create collages that address issues such as gender bias, consumerism, global warming and religious dogma. "Sironi reminds us that as technology advances, rapidly replacing paper and ink books with Kindles, Nooks and iPads, the quality of prior experience can still be appreciated, as in the simple experience of opening a book." Thru 11/20/11.
"Stemma," a group exhibition at Craftswomanhouse in Pasadena was curated by Launa Bacon and Cindy Rehm, and features artists: Ursula Brookbank, Betsy Davis, Jessica Dolence, Park McArthur, Alyce Haliday McQueen, Angela Simione, Lisa Wiscombe and Liz Young. Open for receptions and by appointment. Opening on 11/11 or closing on 12/031 or email to make an appointment.
"Red Time" at Roberts and Tilton gallery in Culver City is a site-specific retrospective installation by Betye Saar. from three periods: "In the Beginning" from 1960-1970, shows Saar's interest in metaphysics, the occult and magic; "Migration and Transformation" focuses on works with strong social and political content; and "Beyond Memory"incorporates the Euro-centric concepts of palmistry, phrenology and astrology alongside Afro-centric concepts of voodoo and shamanism. Read the review in the L.A. Times. Thru 12/17/11.
Paintings by Chinese-born artist Hung Liu are featured at Walter Maciel Gallery in Culver City. "Dawn Blossoms Plucked at Dusk" references remembering one's youth, possibly from an elder's perspective. Her paintings and installations often address her heritage as well as the politically charged circumstances of growing up in the Mao regime. Thru 12/20/11.
Paintings, drawings and collages from 1990 to the present by Sue Williams will be exhibited at Regen Projects. Abstract and lyrical, Williams offers a splendid oeuvre in this retrospective. Opening Reception: Thurs., 11/10. 11/10-12/22/11.
"Doin' It In Public: Feminism and Art at the Woman's Building" part of the Getty initiative, Pacific Standard Time, is the exhibition at the Ben Maltz Gallery at Otis College of Art and Design. Continues thru 1/28/12.
Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE) presents "Los Angeles Goes Live," to explore the histories and legacies of performance art in Southern California in the 1970s and early 80s. It will feature re-inventions of historical performances and new performative actions staged throughout the city. Artists involved include Cheri Gaulke, Liz Glynn, Denise Uyehara, Suzanne Lacy and others. Thru 01/29/12.
Ongoing Museum Exhibitions
"Posing Beauty in African American Culture," which was curated by Deborah Willis at the USC Fisher Museum of Art, is a stunning exhibition that explores and challengse the ways in which African American beauty has been represented in both historical and contemporary contexts. Among the female photographers whose work will be on view are Lauren Kelley and Sheila Pree Bright. Thru 12/03/11.
In conjunction with Pacific Standard Time, LACMA presents Asco. "Asco: Elite of the Obscure, A Retrospective, 1972-1987," which explores the work of East Los Angeles artists including Harry Gamboa Jr., Gronk, Willie Herrón, and Patssi Valdez. Thru 12/04/11.
"Now Dig This! Art and Black Los Angeles 1960-1980" at the Hammer Museum includes work by Sister Karen Boccalero, Sheila Levrant de Bretteville, Suzanne Jackson, Virginia Jaramillo, Samella Lewis, Betye Saar, Ruth G. Waddy and many others.Thru 1/06/11.
The Craft and Folk Art Museum features a career-spanning exhibition showcasing the work of legendary metalworker and enamellist June Schwarcz: "The Alchemy of Enamel Vessels from the Forest." Thru 1/08/12.
"Pacific Standard Time: Crosscurrents in L.A. Painting and Sculpture, 1950-1970" at the Getty Center underscores the impact of the artists working in Los Angeles. It includes work by Judy Chicago, Betye Saar, Helen Lundeberg, Vija Celmins, Helen Pashgian et al. Thru 2/05/12.
"Mapping Another L.A.: The Chicano Art Movement" at the UCLA Fowler Museum presents the diverse social networks among Chicano artist groups and art spaces in Los Angeles during the 1970s including Asco, Centro de Arte Público, Los Dos Streetscapers, Goez Art Studios and Gallery, Los Four, Mechicano Art Center, Plaza de la Raza, Self Help Graphics and Art, and SPARC. Artists, such as Judith Baca, Barbara Carrasco, Judithe Hernandez, Patssi Valdez, and Linda Vallejo, used their art to "map" another Los Angeles. A symposium is scheduled for Sunday, 11/6/11. Thru 2/26/12.
"Pearls of Wisdom: End the Violence" the extremely powerful and significant installation by Kim Abeles in collaboration with A Window Between Worlds that addresses the critical social issue of domestic violence continues on view at the Skirball Cultural Center. Thru 02/26/12.
"Women Hold Up Half the Sky," an groundbreaking exhibition curated by Karina White at the Skirball Cultural Center was inspired by the bestselling book of the same title by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn that makes the worldwide oppression of women and girls as the human rights cause of our time. Stories of women from around the globe changing their lives through education, economics, and self-determination are told through photographs, compelling graphics and visual art, immersive sound installations, and interactive gallery experiences. In celebrating the individual's role in being part of workable solutions and advocacy, Half the Sky is an uplifting call to action.Thru 3/11/12.
"Beatrice Wood: career woman-drawings, paintings, vessels and objects" is one of the few Pacific Standard Time exhibits that pays tribute to a solo artist continues at the Santa Monica Museum of Art. Thru 03/2/12.
Wishing you a wonderful art-filled holiday season! KJS