Feat of Clay: Five Decades of Jerry Rothman


November 2, 2003 - February 29, 2004 . Jerry Rothman has spent his career making art that pushes the limitations of clay. Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1933, he moved to Los Angeles and later received his BA from the Art Center College of Design and his MFA from the Otis Art Institute. He is part of a group of artists from Otis who revolutionized the ceramic art world with their radical departure from European tradition, as utilitarian vessels gave way to forms of pure artistic … [Read more...]

Hassel Smith: 55 Years of Painting


July 27 - October 5, 2003 . Hassel Smith is one of the California painters who best understood Abstract Expressionism. His calligraphic canvases retain the freshness, expressive line, and expansiveness that gained him an admiring audience. . Smith helped pioneer the San Francisco School of Abstract Expressionism that arose at the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Art Institute) in the memorable Douglas MacAgy years from 1945-1950. During that fertile period, he worked, … [Read more...]

Ocean View: The Depiction of Southern California Coastal Lifestyle


August 10 - October 5, 2003 . Ocean View was a study of coastal lifestyle mythology as an extension of the greater Sunshine State mythology that was designed to draw industry, wealth and population to the state in the earlier portion of the century.  The manufactured image of health and happiness that became synonymous with the California Lifestyle is refined and molded into a more specific state of existence that is by definition, placed at the ocean's edge. . Defined initially by the … [Read more...]

Some Fuzzy Logic: The Joan Simon Menkes Gift


July 20 - October 5, 2003 . Some Fuzzy Logic: The Joan Simon Menkes Gift was a group exhibition that highlighted twenty works from a gift of fifty works from the collection of Joan Simon Menkes. The exhibition focused on six artists from the collection who came to prominence in the 1980s—Jonathan Borofsky, Tim Ebner, Larry Johnson, Barbara Kruger, Allan McCollum, and Matt Mullican. These artists shared a common interest in examining a life influenced by media saturation and … [Read more...]

Whiteness, A Wayward Construction


March 23 - July 6, 2003 . Almost all of the seventy-eight artworks selected for the exhibition were created between 1990 and the present. This period coincides with a particular development in the contemporary art world in the 1990s as artists and critics responded to the emergence of intellectual movements such as poststructuralism, postcolonialism, and multiculturalism, from which arose the cultural study of whiteness. . Generally, these schools of thought profess profound skepticism … [Read more...]

Waking Dreams: The Art of Leonard Kaplan


March 9 - July 6, 2003 . Leonard Kaplan is a long time Laguna Beach resident.  In 1945 he and his wife, Nan were faced with the decision of using their only savings to buy two winter coats and endure another East coast winter or buy two bus ticket to California. Kaplan had read that Laguna Beach was an art colony and so the two decided to try their luck in out west. . Born and raised in New York, Kaplan’s skill as a visual artist was discovered at an early age when he was given a scholarship … [Read more...]