Check out these exhibits at the Torrance Art Museum!
Semblance | Sunshine traces the material and aesthetic influence of post-war Los Angeles on minimalist art within Southern California from the 1960s to today.
After undergoing a massive phase of industrialization throughout, and after, the second world war, California had become home to 140 military bases and the focus of immense government spending. This sudden economic boom generated a factory-focused workforce, which made the state one of the nation’s leading manufacturers of aircraft and automobiles. Civic projects, like the development of roads, freeways, bridges, and housing, not only helped shape Los Angeles’s unique urban landscape, but also aided in accommodating the mass of workers continuing to migrate or return home after the war. Ubiquitous signifiers such as runaway tract-housing, fashionable consumer goods, and glistening high-rise office spaces all contributed to a romanticized view of Southern California as a destination for wellness, new-age style, and financial prosperity.
Artworks in this exhibition play to these familiar tropes as they draw on industrial materials to illustrate an aesthetic lineage and ideological approach to art-making within Los Angeles. These un-conventional practices break away from regimented traditions of “painting” & “sculpture” and instead present reductive art objects that are informed by local Southern California environments, sub-cultures, and communities. From utilitarian products and Mid-Century design to sleek surfaces that are reflective of the landscape itself, the objects here challenge conceptions around LA’s enigmatic legacy while also reconciling the fluidity that comes with the city’s perpetual social and economic transformation.
Artists include: Lynn Aldrich, Math Bass, Juan Capistran, Laddie John Dill, Sam Durant, Lauren Halsey, Anna Sew Hoy, Alex Israel, Claudia Parducci, Helen Pashgian, Kaz Oshiro, Aaron Sandnes, Roy Thurston
Music is basic to human experience, in all cultures, throughout all of our (known) history. It touches us subjectively in ways that no other art form can. But some musicians, like van Arsdale and Grad, push these experiences into the realm of sculpture as committed artists too. Their experiments in trying to tie aspects of the two practices together finds two very different outcomes presented in this exhibition.
van Arsdale explores psychological development, through the youth and drug experiments of our lives, via memory, nostalgia and sub-cultural referents to place his inquiry within a dialogue concerning the role music plays in forming our understanding of ones own place in the world. We are not separate from this entangled existence, not objective with any real emotional distance – our musical histories a significant part of who we are and what we think.
Grad uses a more formal approach focusing on issues of layering, placement and rhythm, searching for a visual equivalency to the experience of music and its construction. His abstract works closely align with music formation and the interplay of sound and instrument to form a harmonious whole.
Both artists utilize assembling as a tool, much like different musical instruments in a band. They both share a performative aspect of placement and composition, with the ability to transport us through time, to bring into bright focus our own memories and experiences with music as a soundtrack to our lives.
Combining emotive and subjective depths with formal rigor, conceptual underpinning and aesthetic complexity they present us with the Utopian hope embedded in both art and music.
NewMediaFest 2020 is a retrospective of video art curated from around the world during the past 20 years, taking place between 26 December 2019 and 31 December 2020 – as an event structure in an exchange between virtual and physical space in collaboration with networking partners all over the world, like the Torrance Art Museum. The Seven Memorials for Humanity, curated by Wilfried Agricola de Cologne draws on the conceptual structures of “social and networked media” to present a kind of multi-dimensional virtual sculpture.
Agricola de Cologne is not only a living witness of the development of the digital technologies in art, he was a pioneer of a time when there were few or no experiences yet to explore their potential for artistic use. As a curator, mediator and catalyst , Agricola de Cologne encourages artists in different disciplines of digital technologies; (digital) video, internet based art (netart), soundart, etc.
The Seven Memorials for Humanity deals with new forms of commemorating and respectively generating awareness to related to topics that matter in the current global and local escalating political, social, ecological and cultural situations, which endanger a free, open and democratic society, and Humanity in general. It is a plea to contemporary society to keep and defend humanity as the highest human value for future generations.
For more information, please visit: http://retro.newmediafest.org/