SoCal: Southern California Art of the 1960s and 70s from LACMA's Collection

Hammer Building, Level 2
August 19, 2007–March 30, 2008

The myth of California—and particularly of southern California—looms large in the modern psyche.  Portrayed in the early years of the twentieth century as the land of gold and sunshine, California by the mid-twentieth century was understood in the popular imagination in more nuanced terms. Images of both the utopian and the dystopic took shape in the vision of artists working in the 1960s and 70s in southern California, emerging on the one hand in the sleek, elegant, at times even transcendental works of the so-called "light and space" and "finish fetish" artists; and on the other hand in the gritty, even tawdry imagery and materials of assemblage and California pop. This exhibition will look at both these strands in the art of southern California in the 1960s and 70s, with echoes into the 1980s and 1990s. While much of this work was seen until relatively recently as regional, in recent years it has gained international stature, thanks to such exhibitions as Sunshine & Noir (The Louisiana Museum, Humlebaeck, Denmark, 1997) and Los Angeles 1955-1985 (Centre Pompidou, Paris, 2006).  Because LACMA in the 1960s and 70s made a particular effort to acquire the work of local artists, the museum's collection is especially rich in these holdings.

Online Exhibition |  In the Press | Back Seat Dodge '38

The curator is Carol S. Eliel, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. This exhibition was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Image: Installation View of SoCal: Southern California Art of the 1960s and 70s from LACMA's Collection
Photo © Museum Associates/LACMA 2008.