Exhibitions

Current

Judy Chicago’s Birth Project: Born Again

June 17, 2018–October 7, 2018

“If men had babies, there would be thousands of images of the crowning.”

– Judy Chicago, 1982

Between 1980 and 1985, artist Judy Chicago (b. 1939) and a team of 150 female needleworkers completed eighty-four textile and needle media works that analyzed the interrelationships among motherhood, maternity, femaleness, and gender. Chicago’s subsequent book, The Birth Project, catalogues the artworks and their production and seeks to reveal birth as spiritual and intellectual, a source of potent myth and symbol. The project includes images of childbirth that afford a vision seldom seen in Western culture since the Neolithic Age, when women embodied creation itself as well as the many manifestations of individual creation; yet, The Birth Project also shows birth as physical and real.

The Birth Project body of work, which was decades ahead of its time, is timely and relevant as society experiences a renewed interest in maternal and female bodies. In contrast to political and scientific developments as well as cultural norms, which re-emphasize women’s bodies as commodities, all of Chicago’s bodies are empowered female symbols. Her imagery encourages viewers to perceive women in unaccustomed ways and offers women powerful symbols with which to identify.

This exhibition reassembles approximately sixteen of the most exceptional Birth Project works, examining both past and present attitudes towards female empowerment and sexuality and underscoring Chicago’s redefinition of the terms art and craft. By presenting the works thirty-plus years after their creation, the exhibition emphasizes the role art can play in giving voice to the ongoing process of social change, particularly in regards to both reproductive choice and health care.

This exhibition’s education and engagement initiative is supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.

Judy Chicago’s Birth Project: Born Again is organized by Through the Flower in conjunction with the Albuquerque Museum of Art and the Florida State University Museum of Fine Arts, curated by Viki D. Thompson Wylder, Ph.D, and accompanied by a brochure.The exhibition is supported by the PMCA Board of Directors and PMCA Ambassador Circle. This exhibition is made possible by generous support from Karen Hillenburg, the Pasadena Art Alliance, the Southern California Committee of the National Museum of the Women in the Arts, Planned Parenthood Pasadena, and Jay and Penny Lusche.


About the Curator:

 

Dr. Thompson Wylder is a Judy Chicago scholar who has worked in the museum field for 25 years, primarily for the Florida State University Museum of Fine Arts (FSU MoFA) where she curated and co-curated a number of exhibitions including the Judy Chicago retrospective titled Trials and Tributes (1999). The retrospective, which focused on Chicago’s works on paper, traveled to seven additional museums across the United States from 1999 to 2002 and was accompanied by a catalogue.

She also provided the essay for the exhibition catalogue published to coincide with the October 2002 survey of Chicago’s career at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, DC. She published a number of articles on Chicago’s work including reviews of Chicago’s series Resolutions: A Stitch in Time, a review of Chicago’s program project at Western Kentucky University called At Home: A Kentucky Project, and of Chicago’s book, Kitty City: A Feline Book of Hours.

In her dissertation, Thompson Wylder examined the Dinner Party and the Birth Project from a cultural viewpoint outside the visual arts. Titled The Dinner Party and Birth Project as Religious Symbol and Visual Theology, it is included in Chicago’s papers at the Schlesinger Library at Radcliffe Institute/Harvard.

In her work at the FSU Museum of Fine Arts, Thompson Wylder negotiated the acquisition of six Birth Project works as well as a number of Birth Project studies and prints, making the FSU MoFA the second largest museum collector of Birth Project art.

As a professor, Dr. Thompson Wylder taught courses in Women’s Studies, as well as Museum Education, Art Historical Critical Writing, and Studio Art. From 2003 to 2014 she taught the core class for the FSU Women’s Studies Program titled Women in Western Culture. Her interview with Judy Chicago is included in the women’s studies text, Creating Women (2005), edited by Jean Bryant and Linda Bennett-Elder. She taught several individual special topics seminars on the work of Judy Chicago– the most recent in the Fall of 2016.

At the FSU Museum of Fine Arts Thompson Wylder combined her curatorial work with her position as Curator of Education. She inaugurated the education program at the FSU Museum in 1993 working to deepen the involvement of the schools and the community in the life of the Museum. As Curator of Education she offered numerous workshops/seminars for local and regional audiences but also for Florida and National Art Education Association audiences. In 2009 she co-authored an article for the International Journal of the Inclusive Museum, “The Story Project: A Model for Achieving Profound Inclusion in Museums.” She co-authored “Elementary Reflections: Case Study of a Collaborative Museum/School Curatorial Project” for a 2014 issue of the Journal of Museum Education.

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Grafton Tyler Brown: Exploring California

June 17, 2018–October 7, 2018

Grafton Tyler Brown (1841-1918) was a painter, graphic designer, and lithographer in the 19th century. A talented artist and entrepreneur, Brown was the only documented African American in his field in the western United States at the time.

Exact details on how Brown first encountered lithography are unknown. However, it’s possible that he discovered lithography as a teenager by working in Peter S. Duval’s print shop in Philadelphia. Duval employed lithographer, Charles Conrad Kuchel who moved to California in 1853. In 1865, Brown founded his first lithography business in San Francisco, where he served the emerging business communities in the area, designing stock certificates for a wide variety of companies ranging from ice to mining corporations, as well as admission tickets, maps, sheet music, advertisements, and billheads.

Later in life, Brown began to make his living as a painter, selling original oil landscape paintings as he traveled further north. While his depictions of the West were well received, the vast majority of Brown’s artistic output is in the medium of lithography. These commercial works were instrumental in creating images of new cities, businesses, and land prospects in the West. His artistic skill and creative efforts can be credited with successfully promoting Western expansion and development. This is an important story rarely told and not widely known.

Grafton Tyler Brown: Exploring California will include approximately 45 paintings, prints, and objects from Brown’s oeuvre, including a breadth of imagery detailing the early development of California and the West.

This exhibition’s education and engagement initiative is supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.

Grafton Tyler Brown: Exploring California is organized by the Pasadena Museum of California Art and curated by Bridget R. Cooks Ph.D.. The exhibition is supported by the PMCA Board of Directors, PMCA Ambassador Circle, and the California Visionary Fund. 


About the Curator:

Bridget R. Cooks is Associate Professor of Art History and African American Studies at the University of California, Irvine. She also serves as core faculty in the Ph.D. Programs in Visual Studies and Culture and Theory, and the Master’s Program in Critical and Curatorial Studies. Cooks’ research focuses on African American artists, Black visual culture, museum criticism, feminist theory, and post-colonial theory.

She earned her doctorate in the Visual and Cultural Studies Program at the University of Rochester working with Douglas Crimp as her advisor. She has received a number of awards, grants, and fellowships for her work including the prestigious James A. Porter & David C. Driskell Book Award in African American Art History, and the Henry Luce Dissertation Fellowship in American Art.

Cooks’ first career was as a museum professional. In this capacity, she worked at the Oakland Museum, the Smithsonian Institution, the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She has also curated several exhibitions including “The Art of Richard Mayhew” at the Museum of the African Diaspora, San Francisco and “Wavelengths: Abstract Selections from the Paul R. Jones Collection” at The Univeristy of Alabama. She is author of the book Exhibiting Blackness: African Americans and the American Art Museum (University of Massachusetts Press, 2011). Some of her other publications can be found in Afterimage, American Studies, Pedagogy and American Quarterly. She is currently working on her second manuscript titled, A Dream Deferred: Art of the Civil Rights Movement and the Limits of Liberalism.

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Brody Albert: Strata

June 17, 2018–October 7, 2018

Brody Albert: Strata focuses on unseen sites, both intimate and public, throughout California, and the communities that inhabit them. Los Angeles-based artist Brody Albert presents three works, expanding beyond the gallery walls of the PMCA Project Room and into the Museum’s lobby and stairwell.

Smog rubbed away from the walls of a freeway tunnel, the crushed remains of a fire escape, accumulated paper waste spun into a nest— these are the results of unnoticed exchanges between people, environment, and industry. Brody Albert’s sculptural installations examine the interplay of this network, the marks which inhabitants leave on their surroundings. Placed outside of their typical domain, Albert’s rigorous translation of marks into material brings happenstance, accident, and marginalized space to the forefront.

Orosi (2016), conceived in sculpted steel, shows the network of a narrow alley shared between an abandoned freemason temple, an Orosi, CA tangerine farm, and the truck drivers who distribute the food. Wasp Nest (Mr. Horsepower) (2016) mirrors the labored process of wasps building a structure in order to draw a parallel with the built and shifting infrastructure of Californian cities. 110 at I-5 (2017) is an exacting, life-sized, re-creation rendered directly on the gallery walls and Museum stairwell. While pedestrians rub away smog and soot as they pass under the 110 freeway tunnel, Albert will produce the inverse, presenting the pedestrians’ record of movement in a vinyl mural.

California was made, and is being made, by the interaction of its inhabitants within the built and natural environment. Albert’s artwork tells these stories.

Based in Los Angeles, Brody Albert’s practice employs sculpture and installation to address the effects of social interaction and exchange. Albert began examining his surrounding environment while completing his BFA at Art Center College of Design and while completing his MFA at University of California, Irvine. His work has been exhibited at CES Gallery, Arturo Bandini, WAAP, Garden LA, VACANCY and UCLA’s New Wight Gallery and The Contemporary Art Center, Irvine, Access Gallery, Vancouver, and Roger’s Office, Los Angeles.

This exhibition’s education and engagement initiative is supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.

Brody Albert: Strata is organized by the Pasadena Museum of California Art and curated by Sarah Mitchell, PMCA Director of Exhibitions. The exhibition is supported by the PMCA Board of Directors, PMCA Ambassador Circle, and the California Visionary Fund.

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Ongoing

Kosmic Krylon Garage

July 11, 2004–

Born in Los Angeles, Kenny Scharf rose to prominence in the New York art scene in the 1980s as part of a dynamic group of artists including Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. He has since returned to California, but he has retained the playful Pop aesthetic for which he is internationally renowned. In the summer of 2004, Kenny Scharf: California Grown opened at the PMCA as the Museum’s first tri-level exhibition, with paintings installed and a tape of The Groovenians—Scharf’s animated show for Cartoon Network—screening on the second floor, his bronze sculptures in the third-floor Founders’ Gallery, and the transformation of the PMCA garage into the Kosmic Krylon Garage. After the end of the exhibition, the colorful murals spray-painted by Scharf over the course of a week remained on the walls of the garage and continue as a permanent installation. The Kosmic Krylon Garage is on view during regular Museum hours. 

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Past

Testament of the Spirit: Paintings by Eduardo Carrillo

January 21, 2018–June 3, 2018

Eduardo Carrillo’s (1937-1997) artwork has been described as mystical, realistic, surreal, and visionary. His imagery, whether grounded in the everyday world or infused with magical realism, reflects his relationship to his native California and to his Mexican heritage, as well as to his early religious upbringing and respect for European traditions in art. An inspirational leader who actively challenged racism and injustice, Carrillo created programs and platforms that promoted greater awareness of Latin American culture, aesthetics, and social concerns, significantly advancing the recognition and appreciation of Chicano art and culture in California.

Testament of the Spirit: Paintings by Eduardo Carrillo highlights the creative efforts and social importance of Carrillo as artist, teacher, scholar, and social activist. It showcases work created for three distinct realms: the public, the private, and the museum. The artist’s murals are featured in the full-color, bilingual exhibition catalogue. Intimate watercolors and paintings describe the artist’s everyday life in self-portraits, still lifes, and images of people and places he held dear. Large-scale visionary paintings—Carrillo’s masterpieces—reveal his complex and creative mind. The exhibition also includes the bilingual video Eduardo Carrillo: A Life of Engagement by Pedro Pablo Celedón.

Group tours for Testament of the Spirit: Paintings by Eduardo Carrillo are available in English and Spanish. Please visit our Group Tour Request Form here for more information.

On view in the PMCA’s Main Gallery, Testament of the Spirit: Paintings by Eduardo Carrillo is organized by the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA; curated by Susan Leask; and accompanied by a fully illustrated bilingual catalogue with contributions by Philip Brookman, Gilberto Cárdenas, Maureen Davidson, Michael Duncan, Timothy Drescher, Susan Leask, Amalia Mesa-Bains, Tere Romo, and Christina Waters.

Testament of the Spirit: Paintings By Eduardo Carrillo is supported by the PMCA Board of Directors, PMCA Ambassador Circle,  the California Visionary Fund, and Zach Horowitz. A generous grant from the Eastside Arts Initiative underwrites the exhibition.

 

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The Feminine Sublime

January 21, 2018–June 3, 2018

Historically, depictions of the sublime were reserved for men whose rationality and order were posed against nature, the imagination, or the female “other.” The Feminine Sublime presents a counter-narrative that upends previous ideas of the sublime in painting with a unique feminist perspective. Exhibition artists and Los Angeles-based painters Merion Estes, Yvette Gellis, Virginia Katz, Constance Mallinson, and Marie Thibeault counter traditional landscape painters and enlist challenging aesthetics, formal inventiveness, and provocative imagery to re-imagine relationships with rapidly changing urban and natural environments in more relevant and meaningful ways.

With their large-scale artworks, the artists situate the viewer within the annihilating and terrifying effects of global climate change, nuclear catastrophe, 9/11, consumerist environmental degradation, and even post-apocalyptic landscapes. Though they articulate ideas of dystopian insecurity, fragmentation, and collapse, all of the works paradoxically invoke transformation, transition, and the possibilities for painting to still promote the kind of skepticism instrumental for the renewal of human consciousness.

The artists’ alternative versions of sublimity examine the present, freeing us from the limiting views of the past. They forge a new understanding of the environment, as well as the sublime, paving the way for an inclusive future free from confining categorization.

On view in the PMCA’s South Gallery, The Feminine Sublime is organized by the Pasadena Museum of California Art, curated by Constance Mallinson, and accompanied by a brochure. The exhibition is supported by the PMCA Board of Directors, PMCA Ambassador Circle, and the California Visionary Fund. California art patrons Joseph J. Dalrymple, Alice Harris, and Jack Johnston and David Webb underwrite the exhibition. Generous grants from the Pasadena Arts & Culture Commission and the City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division as well as Pasadena Arts League provide invaluable support.

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