An Opening of the Field: Jess, Robert Duncan, and Their Circle

September 14, 2014 – January 11, 2015

Jess Collins, known simply as Jess, and his partner, the poet Robert Duncan, were one of the most fascinating artist couples of the 20th century. An Opening of the Field: Jess, Robert Duncan, and Their Circle is the first exhibition to focus on the creative production and relationship between the two, and their remarkable circle of friends. Jess's mind-bending collages—or, as he called them, "paste-ups," were often published to accompany erudite Duncan's poems and essays, whose writings and ideas, in turn, made their way into Jess's dense and allusive works. The exhibition draws its name, "An Opening of the Field," from the title of one of Duncan's key books. Progenitors of modernism, Jess and Duncan heavily influenced an entire generation of poets and painters who would gather at their San Francisco home, which served as a salon and gallery space for their artist friends. The exhibition includes approximately 85 works by Jess and Duncan as well as from members of their coterie, including R. B. Kitaj, Edward Corbett, Wallace Berman, Lawrence Jordan, and George Herms, as well as the poets Jack Spicer, Robin Blaser, and Michael McClure and is accompanied by a 250-page catalogue.

An Opening of the Field: Jess, Robert Duncan, and Their Circle is co-curated by Michael Duncan and Christopher Wagstaff, and is organized by the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento. This exhibition is supported by Bente and Gerald E. Buck.

The International Associations of Art Critics-United States (AICA-US) honored An Opening of the Field: Jess, Robert Duncan, and Their Circle with an award in Excellence in Art Criticism and
Curatorial Achievement for Best Thematic Show Nationally.

Jess, The Enamord Mage: Translation #6, 1965. Oil on canvas over wood, 24 ½ x 30 in. Collection of The M. H. de Young Memorial Museum, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

Burning Down the House: Ellen Brooks, Jo Ann Callis, Eileen Cowin

September 14, 2014 – January 11, 2015

Burning Down the House: Ellen Brooks, Jo Ann Callis, Eileen Cowin
brings together work by these three contemporary artists for the first time. Long known for using photography to narrative ends, Brooks, Callis, and Cowin, who emerged simultaneously in 1970s Southern California, challenge both the role of women and their chosen medium in multi-layered, provocative images. Taking its title from the eponymous Talking Heads song, the exhibition features a series of photographs from the 1970s to the early 2000s. Their photographic tableaux are like illicit reveries and performances—"shakedown dreams in broad daylight," as the Talking Heads might have called them—that reflect a multitude of private torments and obsessions. Ranging from small individual photographs to large-scale sequences comprised of several prints, the installation freely intermixes work by the three artists, exploring issues of female identity, relationship, intimacy, domestic conflict, and gender performance.

Burning Down the House: Ellen Brooks, Jo Ann Callis, Eileen Cowin is curated by Claudia Bohn-Spector and Sam Mellon, and is organized by the Pasadena Museum of California Art. This exhibition is supported by the Pasadena Arts League.

Jo Ann Callis, Woman Juggling, 1984. Cibachrome print, 30 x 24 inches. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Gift of Jo Ann Callis.

Stas Orlovski: Chimera

September 14, 2014 – January 11, 2015

Long fascinated by sources such as the Soviet-era children's books from his own childhood, Japanese prints, and Dutch botanical illustration, Stas Orlovski has mined this vocabulary of images, ideas, and motifs for his drawings, collages, paintings, and prints. For Stas Orlovski: Chimera—using the magical projections of the 18th and 19th century Phantasmagoria shows as a point of inspiration—he creates a moving drawing where disparate histories, events, and dreams collide.

The installation is accompanied by an atmospheric sound piece composed by Steve Roden specifically for Chimera, collaged, much like the installation, using various recordings of instruments from Roden's collection of Victorian-era instruments such as: a harmonium from India, a Gibson banjolele, a long neck banjo, a strohviol—and Roden's voice.

Stas Orlovski: Chimera is organized by the Pasadena Museum of California Art. Funding for this exhibition has been generously provided by United States Artists Hatchfund and the Center for Cultural Innovation.

Stas Orlovski, Chimera [detail], 2014. Wall drawing, collage, stop-motion animation, and sound. Courtesy of the Artist. Sound by Steve Roden. Post-production by Beau Leduc.

Armin Hansen: The Artful Voyage

January 25 – May 31, 2015

Armin Hansen, renowned for his paintings of fisher folk and the sea, sought to capture the raw power and vitality of the Pacific Ocean and those who sailed it. While his style is often described as impressionist, Hansen rejected Impressionism's gentility by exercising a bolder palette and more rugged strokes that focus on humanity's relationship with nature. This survey, the largest and most comprehensive ever assembled, includes close to 100 works, including paintings on view to the public for the first time, as well as rare examples of his hand-carved furniture and boat models. After pursuing formal training in painting in San Francisco and Europe, Hansen spent four years in Niewpoort, Belgium, where he painted marines, village views, and fishing scenes, all the while working as a crew-member on North Sea trawlers. This personal experience sparked his lifelong fascination with the sea and its people. Hansen first visited Monterey in 1913 and soon started painting the area's growing fishing community and fleet. In the West, he became the first to realize the potential beauty of commercial fishing, and he chose the theme in large part because he knew it well from firsthand experience. His vibrant, blustery scenes of the sea communicate broadly the impact of hardship and physical labor and the importance of bravery.

Armin Hansen: The Artful Voyage is organized by the Pasadena Museum of California Art and curated by Scott A. Shields, Associate Director and Chief Curator at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento.

Armin Hansen, Men of the Sea, 1920. Oil on canvas, 51 3/8 x 57 inches. Monterey Museum of Art, Gift of Jane and Justin Dart.


January 25 – May 31, 2015

Lars Jan's practice has long grappled with the biggest challenges in modern living: the changes technology produces in human relationships, the complications of religious practice and gender roles, and the violent rise in suicide bombings. In his first solo exhibition, HOLOSCENES, Jan explores the physical effects of natural disaster and the human capacity for adaptation through video and photography. The installation includes video projections of a triptych of massive aquariums inhabited by performers acting out routine behaviors. These tanks are then filled with water while the performers attempt to continue their tasks. The videos and accompanying light installation provoke visceral reactions that communicate Jan's environmental concern—the implications of climate change on our interactions with water—in an inventive way. Bridging the gap between climate consciousness and art, Jan capitalizes on art's power to change public consciousness.

Lars Jan: HOLOSCENES is organized by the Pasadena Museum of California Art.

Lars Jan, Abaya Horizon [still] from the HOLOSCENES / Quarternary Videos & Light Circumferences series, 2013. Courtesy of the Artist.

Someday is Now: The Art of Corita Kent

June 14 – November 1, 2015

Someday is Now: The Art of Corita Kent is the first full-scale exhibition to survey the entire career of pioneering artist and designer Corita Kent (1918-1986). For over three decades, Corita experimented in printmaking, producing a groundbreaking body of work that combines faith, activism, and teaching with messages of acceptance and hope. A Sister of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Corita taught at the Art Department at Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles from 1947 through 1968. At IHC, she developed her vibrant, Pop-inspired prints from the 1960s, mining a variety of secular and religious sources and using the populist printmaking medium to pose philosophical questions about racism, war, poverty, and religion. Her work was widely recognized for its revolutionary impact and remains an iconic symbol of that period in American history. As a teacher, Corita inspired her students to discover new ways of experiencing the world by seeking out revelation in everyday events. Bringing together artwork from Corita's entire career, this exhibition reveals the impassioned energy of this artist, educator, and activist.

Someday is Now: The Art of Corita Kent is organized by Ian Berry, Dayton Director of the Tang Museum, and Michael Duncan, independent curator and art critic, in collaboration with the Corita Art Center, Los Angeles. The exhibition is made possible with the generous support of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Friends of the Tang.

Corita Kent, the sure one, 1966. Silkscreen print on Pellon, 29 3/4 x 36 inches. Collection: Corita Art Center, Immaculate Heart Community, Los Angeles, CA. Photograph by Arthur Evans, courtesy of the Tang Museum at Skidmore College.