Part of the larger Regionalist art movement of the 1930s-1960s era, California Scene Painting—a term first used byLos Angeles Timesart critic Arthur Millier—describes representational art that captured scenes of everyday life in California. Through the New Deal, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) assisted struggling artists by providing them with wages to create artworks for government buildings and public places intended to uplift the nation's spirits amidst the Great Depression.California Scene Paintings from 1930 to 1960documents much of this period in California history through works that depict local city and rural scenes, particularly in and around Los Angeles and San Francisco, which were rapidly expanding during that time. Characterized by a sense of humanity, the works in the exhibition typically include people or representations of man-made creations. The California Scene artists related what they saw around them: people going about their everyday lives, factories, a growing car culture, ranches and agrarian communities.
This exhibition is curated by Gordon T. McClelland. This exhibition is supported by Mark and Janet Hilbert, Hilbert Properties, Bente and Gerald E. Buck, Simon Chiu, George Stern Fine Arts, and The Historical Collections Council of California Art. Additional support is provided by E. Gene Crain, Whitney Ganz, William A. Karges, Pamela and Glen Knowles, Diane and Van Simmons, Michael and Mandy Johnson, Jeff Olsen, Fred Thompson, Bonhams & Butterfields, John Moran Auctioneers, and Claremont Fine Arts.
The first solo museum exhibition of Los Angeles artist Christopher Miles,Bloomfeatures recent works constructed out of acrylic paint and paper over aluminum armatures—a kind of ambitious update of the papier-mâché method. Bridging painting and sculpture, the works formally address Miles’ combined preoccupations with three-dimensional form and forming, material presence and spatial actuality, texture and surface, as well as color, mark, light, and visual effect. The exhibition stems from the artist’s ongoing interests in sculpture as constructed form and the expressive potential of sculpture—interests that he has explored in his ceramic sculptures. Abstract yet evocative, and riddled with crevices, openings, and protrusions that compel viewers to bob and weave while looking, the sculptures are designed to be engaging and confronting from all angles. Miles examines the peripatetic experience of sculpture, the evocative and associative potential of form, and the pleasure that comes with exploring the relationship between exterior and interior. The sculptures immerse the viewer in an awareness of the present that shifts from one moment to the next and provokes an experience that unfolds not only in time and space, but also in the viewer’s associations.
This exhibition is curated by Constance Mallinson. This exhibition is supported by the Board of Directors of the Pasadena Museum of California Art.
The title of Los Angeles-based artist John O’Brien’s exhibition references a literal meandering up and around the Arroyo Seco Parkway, which the artist recounts through this installation, as well as the process of “meandering” at the core of O’Brien’s practice. Juxtaposing large-scale cartographic images of the Arroyo Seco Parkway inset with smaller images of underpasses, O’Brien explores the tension between functionality and reverie that underscore the meandering. Using rational marking systems as a point of departure–from writing to the constructed environment–he charts how those systems overlay the natural landscape, activate the imagination and memory, and, ultimately, inform the viewer’s understanding of the separate parts of the environment as a whole. The images are coupled with a freestanding sculpture in which the linear forms of the freeway and the curves of the offramps are registered as quasi letter forms. All of this is fused together into a loosely knit composite visual artwork in the PMCA Project Room. The resulting visual impact is determined by the artist’s intent to re-create his own awakening to the wonder of this particular “meander,” a moment in which things largely unnoticed or ignored suddenly come into view.
John O’Brien is a recipient of an ARC Grant from the Center for Cultural Innovation. This exhibition is supported by the Board of Directors of the Pasadena Museum of California Art.
Sunday, March 10 / 11:00am-12:00pm / FREE for members
Image credits (top to bottom): Phil Paradise,Ranch Near San Luis Obispo, ca. 1935. Oil on canvas, 28 x 34 inches. The Buck Collection, Laguna Beach, California; Christopher Miles,Untitled (Vincent Price Oppenheimer Mullican)[detail], 2012. Acrylic, paper, aluminum, 51 x 54 x 36 in. Courtesy of the artist. Photograph by Cecily Miles; John O'Brien,Meander[detail from scale model maquette ofMeander], 2012. Ink, acrylic paint, digital photo on matte paper and drawing. Courtesy of the artist and Causey Contemporary, New York.
Pasadena Museum of California Art 490 East Union Street, Pasadena, CA 91101
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