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Santa Monica College Showcases Works by Major California Artists

Bob Kronovetrealty
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Santa Monica Convention and Visitors

Santa Monica College logo. Link:
1900 Pico Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90405
(310) 434-4000

By Jorge Casuso

August 30, 2019 -- Isolated after World War II, Los Angeles artists developed a scene far removed in spirit and distance from the metropolitan confines of New York City.

The scene, which would develop in the 1960s and 70s into an array of movements, is the subject of an exhibit that kicked off this week at the Santa Monica College Pete & Susan Barrett Art Gallery.

"Ceaseless Memory" by Lita Albuquerque, 1984
"Ceaseless Memory" by Lita Albuquerque, 1984

"Made in California: Contemporary Art from the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation," showcases some of the significant works collected by Weisman, a close friend of many of LA's top artists.

The artists that helped put LA on the map were inspired by an open brightly lit world that seemed the polar opposite of the massive vertical metropolis celebrated by their New York rivals.

"LA artists were inspired by their daily lives and surroundings," said Foundation Director Billie Milam Weisman, who curated the exhibit.

The artists drew their inspiration from "the local terrain, vibrant sun, beautiful sunsets, blue skies, surfboards, and fast, flashy cars," Weisman said.

By the 1960s, the LA art scene was spawning new movements such as Light and Space and Finish Fetish and giving birth to the Cool School.

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The new art works were exhibited at the legendary Ferus Gallery, established by Walter Hopps, Ed Kienholz, and later, Irving Blum, who boosted the local artists to national prominence.

"The art on view represents a number of these diverse movements that have shaped and continue to play a decisive role in defining the visual arts in the Golden State," exhibit organizers said.

The exhibition at SMC includes works by David Hockney, Ed Moses, Edward Ruscha, Sam Francis, Laddie John Dill and Lita Albuquerque.

The SMC Pete & Susan Barrett Art Gallery is open noon to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

A free gallery reception will be held on Saturday, September 14, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The exhibit runs through Friday, December 6.

The gallery is located at the SMC Performing Arts Center, 1310 11th Street (at Santa Monica Boulevard).

Funding for the exhibition and related activities is provided by the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation and Santa Monica College.

For more information, please call 310-434-3434.

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