WoW: Emergent Media Phenomenon


June 14 - October 4, 2009 Games may provide new ways for museums to have a profound impact on society if they are designed, as alternate-reality games are, to change people's real-world behavior. -Dr. Jane McGonigal . WoW: Emergent Media Phenomenon explored various forms of cultural production based on World of Warcraft® in particular and on gaming in general. While surveying Warcraft's Fifteen-year history, the exhibition looked at artistic practices that have been influenced by game … [Read more...]

Roger Kuntz: The Shadow Between Representation and Abstraction


Roger Kuntz: The Shadow Between Representation and Abstraction March 15 - May 24, 2009 Roger Kuntz: The Shadow Between Representation and Abstraction was named by Los Angeles Times art critic Christopher Knight as one of the top 10 most fascinating museum exhibitions in the nation for 2009. . When Life magazine did a special issue on the state of California in 1962, it focused on five artists: Stanton Macdonald-Wright, John McLaughlin, Robert Irwin, Billy Al Bengston, and Roger Kuntz. While … [Read more...]

In Nature’s Temple


November 9, 2008 - February 8, 2009 . In Nature's Temple: The Life and Art of William Wendt was the first full-scale retrospective on the art of William Wendt. In 1912 William Wendt was elected an Associate Member of the National Academy of Design, the same year that he built a studio-home in Laguna Beach. In many ways, Wendt represented the essential nature of California Impressionism both stylistically and ideologically. No other California Impressionist so consistently essayed the sweeping, … [Read more...]

In the Land of Retinal Delights: The Juxtapoz Factor


June 22 - October 5, 2008 . In the Land of Retinal Delights: The Juxtapoz Factor was an exhibition that presented the work of 150 artists and posited that there has been a huge, but unacknowledged art movement taking place in this country for the last 40 years. Since 1994, this ground swelling of lowbrow, surrealistic, pop, figurative, narrative work has coalesced and found a voice in the pages of Juxtapoz magazine published in San Francisco. This rag has become the most widely read art … [Read more...]

Shag: The Flesh Is Willing


October 28, 2007 - January 27, 2008 . The Flesh Is Willing combined two of the artist’s pictorial interests, nudes and purgatory, in an investigation of 50s cocktail culture and the notion of sin. . This exhibition was inspired by a trip to the Prado in Madrid, where SHAG viewed the paintings of Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Bruegel in person for the first time. Bosch's work The Garden of Earthly Delights, center panel of his famous triptych depicting Paradise, Earth, and Hell, was of … [Read more...]

Las Vegas Diaspora: Emergence of Contemporary Art from the Neon Homeland


March 9, 2008 - June 1, 2008 . Las Vegas Diaspora: The Emergence of Contemporary Art from the Neon Homeland traveled to Laguna Art Museum from its premiere at the Las Vegas Art Museum. Organized by the well-respected art critic and curator Dave Hickey, this exhibition celebrated the work of twenty-six artists who received their degrees from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada (UNLV). All of the featured artists studied with Hickey between 1990 and 2001, when Hickey taught art theory and … [Read more...]

Wayne Thiebaud: 70 Years of painting


October 28, 2007 - January 27, 2008 . Wayne Thiebaud: 70 Years of Painting was a survey of this major American painter’s work. The show traced the development of Thiebaud’s signature style, but also included some of his lesser known figural and beach paintings. . Wayne Thiebaud’s recent series of beach paintings are a reflection of the painter’s youth, dating back to the 1920s and 1930s in Long Beach, California. As a teenager Thiebaud (born November 15, 1920) served as a city lifeguard, … [Read more...]

Heart and Torch: Rick Griffin’s Transcendence


June 24 - September 30, 2007 . Heart and Torch: Rick Griffin’s Transcendence, the artist’s first major retrospective and solo museum exhibition, opened on June 24, 2007. In his art, Griffin expresses idealism and hope along with a darker side that perfectly embodied the contradictions of his era, with its mixture of hedonism, politics, and avant-garde expression, making him a cult figure that set the iconographic terrain for the 1960s and 1970s counterculture. . The exhibition, which … [Read more...]

East Coast/West Coast and Beyond


February 25 - June 3, 2007 . Colin Campbell Cooper’s (1858-1937) career is defined by two periods: his education and maturity as an East Coast artist, and his relocation, in later years to the West Coast. Whether painting in the East or West, Cooper was lauded and heralded as a significant Impressionist artist who captured the spirit of his surroundings. Cooper visited Southern California in 1916, spending a month in San Diego. He relocated to California 1921 (and remained until his death), … [Read more...]

Jeremy Kidd: Fictional Realities


February 25 - May 27, 2007 . Los Angeles-based artist Jeremy Kidd presented a new body of work that involved large-scale cityscape photographs composed from a patchwork of hundreds of digital images. Kidd attempts to create a more visceral experience of the landscape through his process. The work also explores both the beauty and the artificiality of our urban environments. This was Jeremy Kidd’s first museum exhibition. Co-organized by Scott Richards Contemporary Art (San Francisco) and … [Read more...]