Director’s Welcome

It is my great pleasure to welcome you to the Pasadena Museum of California Art. Not only because this is my first new exhibition cycle as the Museum’s Executive Director but also because these three exhibitions are so exciting and important.

The PMCA tells the story of our great state of California through its art, design, and architecture. With approximately ten exhibitions every year, we are able to communicate so many fascinating stories; each so different in style, period, medium, and perspective. These three exhibitions appear at first glance to be completely distinct with the exception of the California connection. However, there is a deeper connection, and it is revolutionary.

E. Charlton Fortune was a pioneering female artist in the early 1900s. She was a strong-willed and free-spirited woman with a bold artistic style that led many to refer to her art as “masculine” or “virile.” She showed her strength as a “New Woman” ahead of her time when she left a thriving painting career to lead a liturgical art guild of mostly men within the Catholic Church.

Hollywood in Havana demonstrates Cuban artists’ innovation as they used limited resources to re-imagine Hollywood film posters for Cuban audiences. These artists broke with traditional printmaking methods, styles, and techniques to create striking posters with bold imagery.

Dave Lefner balances the past and present, pairing contemporary depictions of retro neon signs, pop cultural icons, and landmarks of L.A.’s past with the traditional and exacting technique of reduction linocut. As a native L.A. artist, Lefner invites us to slow down and see our city—and ourselves—for what it was, what it is, and what we imagine it will be.

California has always been bold and revolutionary, from its early immigrants who sought new opportunities and adventures, to its present-day leaders in art, science, technology, and beyond who propel the state and the world into the future. These exhibitions demonstrate California’s vibrant spirit and hopefully spark creativity in all of us.

Thank you for joining us at the PMCA. We hope that you enjoy your visit and learn more about California and its art.

IMAGES: Courtesy of Pasadena Museum of California Art. Photo © 2017 Lyd & Mo Photography; LOGO: Eduardo Muñoz Bachs, Por Primera Vez/For the First Time [detail], 1968. Silkscreen, 29 15/16 x 20 1/16 inches. Instituto Cubano del Arte e Industria Cinematográficos (ICAIC). Courtesy of the Center for the Study of Political Graphics; E. Charlton Fortune, Silver Morning, St. Tropez [detail], c. 1924–27. Oil on board, 12 5/8 x 15 1/2 inches. Monterey Museum of Art. Gift of Mrs. Evelyn Wolfson from the Dr. Mast Wolfson Collection, 1991.176; Dave Lefner, Fun, Fun, Fun [detail], 2015. (Diptych) Reduction linocut in nine colors, edition of 6, 22 x 72 inches. Courtesy of the artist; Antonio Reboiro, Moby Dick [detail], 1968. Silkscreen, 29 15/16 x 20 1/16 inches. Instituto Cubano del Arte e Industria Cinematográficos (ICAIC). Courtesy of the Center for the Study of Political Graphics; E. Charlton Fortune, Afternoon (later Waters off Monterey) [detail], 1912. Oil on canvas, 28 x 40 inches. Collection of Brayton and Judy Wilbur; Dave Lefner, The Rialto [detail], 2008. Reduction linocut in nine colors, edition of 6, 36 x 20 inches. Collection of John and Kim Lefner

Susana Smith Bautista, Ph.D.
Executive Director