Pitzer College Art Galleries Present After Abu Ghraib

Exhibit of Work by Clayton Campbell

Claremont, Calif. (December 19, 2008)—Pitzer College Art Galleries, in collaboration with Pitzer’s Center for California Cultural and Social Issues (CCCSI), debuts artist, curator and writer Clayton Campbell’s newest work, After Abu Ghraib. Best experienced through an aesthetic prism as well as a socially engaged stance, Campbell’s work tackles a broad range of socio-political issues.

Not content to let sleeping dogs lie, the After Abu Ghraib project stimulates a conversation about human rights violations and the widespread use of torture. Campbell transforms the original Abu Ghraib snap shots into large-scale painterly images where bands of translucent reds, blues and purples migrate across the surface shredding and obscuring the original referent as they go. The resulting geometric abstractions are as formally seductive as an Ellsworth Kelly and as disconcerting as Leon Golub’s Interrogation paintings.

Picking at the scab of complacency in the post 9-11 era, this conscientious provocateur puts art to work—striving to raise awareness and questioning the status quo. According to Campbell, “Social commentary in the arts can be much more subtle and multi-leveled than ‘in your face,’ hectoring diatribes to push a point of view.”

See the debut of After Abu Ghraib before it travels to the Maison Europeenne de la Photographie in Paris. Join the artist for a walk-through and discussion of his work on Thursday, January 22, 2009 at 6:00 p.m. at the Nichols Gallery at Pitzer College.

About Pitzer Art Galleries

Pitzer Art Galleries exist to provide visually arresting and memorable exhibitions that promote the value and understanding of contemporary art within a local, national and international context. The Galleries are comprised of two sites, the Nichols Gallery—committed to solo and group exhibitions by national and international artists both emerging and established— and the Lenzner Family Art Gallery—a space for risk and experimentation dedicated to emerging artists working in all media. Through curatorial creativity and visionary programming Pitzer Art Galleries seeks to provide context, support and a critical framework for artists and curators working today and by doing so inspire meaningful dialogue that fascinates, inspires and invigorates.

About Pitzer College

Pitzer College is a nationally top-ranked undergraduate liberal arts and sciences institution. A member of The Claremont Colleges, Pitzer offers a distinctive approach to a liberal arts education by linking intellectual inquiry with interdisciplinary studies, cultural immersion, social responsibility and community involvement. For more information, please visit www.pitzer.edu.

Press Releases, 2013–14 Academic Year