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 magazine in the US. It is an influencing force on the aspiring artists of Generation Y and the Millennials, who are now enrolling in art schools in numbers never seen before.
Juxtapoz magazine was founded by Los Angeles-artist Robert Williams. The Juxtapoz aesthetic or lowbrow art is almost always figurative, and is inspired by movies, TV, advertising, black-velvet painting, psychedelic posters, pulp porn, sci-fi and horror, carnival art, comics books and all things lower- and middle-class. The Magazine has and does provide a voice and validation for a brand of artist, like Williams, who has not been accepted traditionally by the typical art-world infrastructure of collector, curator, and critic. However, since its founding, it has been the clear focal point for having been the inspiration for the creation of its own infrastructure that supports Juxtapozian art with galleries in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and New York, collectors, followed by critical attention, followed by museum exhibitions at adventurous institutions. With it’s growing success Juxtapoz has been a major contributor to the reemergence of painting again as a valid practice for artists since the mid-1990s, running counter to forty-years of art-school canon that focused on the Conceptual practice of context, collectivization, and dematerialization of the art object.
For the last decade the art establishment (collector, curator, and critic) has argued that the idea, or construct, of an art movement is outmoded. The exhibition explored the idea of a Juxtapoz Factor. Is it an organized movement operating under a singular manifesto? Or is it a wave of talented overlooked artists who decided to reach out to the public and create their own canon?
This exhibition was organized by Laguna Art Museum and curated by Meg Linton, Director of the Ben Maltz Gallery and Public Programs at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. The exhibition is accompanied by a full-color catalog with essays by the curator and Laguna Art Museum director Bolton Colburn.
Support and Grants
The Segerstrom Foundation
Bernie Chase/Symbolic Gallery : Collection
Billy Shire/Billy Shire Fine Arts
The DiCaprio Family would like to acknowledge Robert Williams for his sight and insight in this world and the next one over
Copro/Nason Gallery, Culver City
Debra Jacobson/ L’Imagerie Gallery, North Hollywood, California
Koplin Del Rio Gallery, Culver City
MiShell and Jay Nailor- M Modern Gallery
Robert Berman Gallery
Stuart Spence and Judy-Vida Spence
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