This exhibition focuses on the legacy of the Pitzer College Art Field Group and its dedication to progressive ideas around environmentalism and art. Work made by Tim Berg (Rebekah Myers), Sarah Gilbert, Tarrah Krajnak and Jessica McCoy will be discussed in the context of work made by Carl Hertel, David Furman, Michael Woodcock, Kathryn Miller and Paul Faulstich that have contributed to the conversation.
Related Events: Bill Anthes in conversation with Paul Faulstich Friday, February 17 at 1:30 pm Nichols Gallery, Broad Center, Pitzer College
Conversation with Tim Berg, Sarah Gilbert, Tarrah Krajnak and Jessica McCoy Wednesday, March 1 at Noon Broad Performance Space, Pitzer College
All events are free and open to the public.
The Faculty Art Show is generously supported by art + environment, a four-year project at Pitzer College funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Office of the Dean of Faculty, Campus Life Committee and Teaching and Learning Committee at Pitzer College.
September 12 – December 11, 2015 Curated by Ciara Ennis Pitzer College Art Galleries 56 pages, with color reproductions, 8” x 7.5” ISBN: 978-0-9966445-1-8 Essay by Glenn Harcourt Interview by Ciara Ennis Catalogue design by Terry Vuong Photography by Ruben Diaz, Jeff Mclane, Gene Ogami Images edited by Liat Yossifor
Kang Seung Lee: Untitled (Artspeak?) September 12 – December 11, 2015 Curated by Ciara Ennis Pitzer College Art Galleries 56 pages, with color reproductions, 11.75” x 9.75” ISBN: 978-0-9829956-9-3 Essays by Ciara Ennis, Leslie Dick, Jen Hutton Catalogue design by SoYun Cho Photography by Ruben Diaz
Environmental scientists have begun to refer to our current era as the anthropocene, a new geological epoch in which human activities have become the primary shapers of the earth’s environment and ecological systems, producing climate change, mass extinctions of non-human species and other significant transformations on a global scale. Whether these changes are reversible is uncertain.
On a smaller scale—such as we can observe in our neighborhoods, cities and local landscapes—anthropogenic change gives rise to surprising and unanticipated interactions among species. Mark Dion, Jessica Rath and Dana Sherwood explore these transformations and transactions in the shifting ecotomes—or contact zones between human and non-human worlds—in the multifaceted works included in The Ocelots of Foothill Boulevard.
Brownfield sites and other highly polluted zones, thought incapable of yielding anything at all, have become flourishing habitats for exotic or so-called “invasive” species. Vacant office building, dead shopping malls and decommissioned military installations have become host to new flora and fauna—they are emergent “second nature” habitats in which productive interconnected multi-species communities flourish. One such site exhibiting these unforeseen interactions is the ruin of a historic infirmary, located at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains in northeastern Los Angeles County. Built in the 1930s, it functioned for many years as a health facility for students of The Claremont Colleges. Ravaged by fires, earthquakes and other natural disasters, the infirmary was condemned and abandoned by the early 1970s. A recovering landscape, the building and the parcel of land in which it sits is today host to non-native grasses, Coast Live Oaks and a diverse community of biota—mammalian, avian, insect and amphibian—as well as researchers and students who have made their homes and laboratories in and around the shuttered building.
Taking the multi-species habitat of the infirmary as a reference point, Dion, Rath and Sherwood have excavated the shared non-human and human histories that have populated the area during the past 80 years. In addition to this local site, the artists have extended their forensic gaze to other “second nature” habitats of a terrestrial as well as an aquatic nature. Traversing time and temperate zones, these explorations, while acknowledging the deleterious effects of humans on earth, also signal the unintended value that habitat conversions and co-species habitations can have in the anthropocene.
The Ocelots of Foothill Boulevard is generously supported by art+environment, a four-year project at Pitzer College funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Robert Redford Conservancy for Southern California Sustainability at Pitzer College.
Artist Lecture Mark Dion: The Wonder Workshop, Jellyfish and Sleeping Bears Saturday, January 23 at 2 p.m., prior to exhibition reception Broad Performance Space, Broad Center, Pitzer College
Vocal Performance by Cris Law Saturday, January 23 at 4 p.m. Nichols Gallery, Broad Center, Pitzer College
Panel Discussion Thursday, March 3 at 2 p.m. Broad Performance Space, Broad Center, Pitzer College
September 12-December 11, 2015 Lenzner Family Art Gallery
Saturday, September 12, 3-5 p.m. Nichols Gallery, Pitzer College Art Galleries
Kang Seung Lee in conversation with Leslie Dick, artist, writer and faculty at California Institute of the Arts Wednesday, October 28, 4:15 p.m. Room Q116, West Hall, Pitzer College
Kang Seung Lee’s installation Untitled (Artspeak?) takes as its starting point ARTSPEAK (1st edition, 1990), the mainstream compendium of “contemporary ideas, movements and buzzwords” from 1945 to 1989. Situating art movements and genres within the context of cultural and historical events, ARTSPEAK provides an overarching view of artistic practice from a Western European perspective that privileges a first-world patriarchal view of art history. In contrast, Lee challenges this narrow interpretation by re-writing the timeline from a critical queer perspective that includes women and artists of color previously erased from the narrative.
In keeping with the page layout and format of the book, artists, Lee invited writers and critics to contribute images and other textural references from the year of their birth that resonate with particular artistic, cultural and political moments. The resulting large-scale works, which are produced by Lee, are populated with his collaborators’ individualized responses that re-imagine history from the perspective of previously marginalized cultures and identities. Functioning as alternative historical narratives, they also operate as portraits of the participants, who include Leslie Dick, Millie Wilson, Gina Osterloh, Yong Soon Min and Jennifer Moon.
In a related project, Covers (2015), Lee excavates the gender and racial demographics of catalogues collected by CalArts Library since it opened in 1971. Comprising five bound books, each representing a decade, Covers documents the number of monographs on women and artists of color. By creating this counter-archive, Covers highlights forms of discrimination implicit in conventional systems that construct and disseminate knowledge.
About the Artist
Kang Seung Lee is a multidisciplinary artist who was born in South Korea and now lives and works in Los Angeles. He has had solo and group exhibitions at Centro Cultural Border, Mexico City, Mexico; the Weatherspoon Art Museum at University of North Carolina, Greensboro, NC; Museo Casa de Leon Trotsky, Mexico City; SOMArts, San Francisco, CA; Center for Art and Thought, Los Angeles, CA. Lee received his MFA from California Institute of the Arts in 2015.
Saturday, September 12, 3-5 p.m. Nichols Gallery, Pitzer College Art Galleries
“The Politics of Painting” Wednesday, September 30, 4:15 p.m. Nichols Gallery, Broad Center, Pitzer College
Panelists: Artists Liat Yossifor and Nery Gabriel Lemus, with Kevin Appel, UC Irvine professor of art and Joanna Roche, Cal State Fullerton professor of art history. Moderated by Christopher Michno, writer, critic and independent curator.
This panel discussion is generously supported by the Frederick J. Salathé Fund for Music and the Cultural Arts.
Artists Liat Yossifor and Iva Gueorguieva in conversation with David Pagel, critic, curator and professor of art theory and history at Claremont Graduate University Wednesday, November 11, 4:15 p.m. Nichols Gallery, Broad Center, Pitzer College
Although Liat Yossifor’s large-scale monochromatic paintings reference the tradition of Abstract Expressionism through their formal language, they have an entirely different agenda. As such, the exhibition, Liat Yossifor: Time Turning Paint, will explore abstraction as a political form and question the efficacy of both the medium and the genre as well as its relationship to artistic practice in the twenty-first century.
Despite beginning as vibrant blue, red or yellow canvasses, Yossifor’s paintings culminate in somber variations of gray ranging from light slate to almost white. Both tactile and sculptural, these thick impasto paintings are made entirely with palette knives that sculpt, incise and move large quantities of oil paint around on the paintings’ surface. Process-based and performative, these works are governed by a set of rules that delimit the time in which they can be worked on and completed. Produced within three days—the time it takes for the paint to dry—both the color and any discernable representational aspect are erased from the surface, resulting in a void-like space haunted by its expunged referents.
Although Abstract Expressionism is traditionally a male-dominated medium that celebrated the author-as-genius and abstraction as the purist form, Yossifor’s manipulation of the genre as a time-based gendered performance reconfigures the coordinates. In doing so, Yossifor encourages not only an expansion of the vernacular of Abstract Expressionism but also a different kind of meditation on its function and, as a result, its political potential. [clear]
About the Artist
Liat Yossifor has exhibited nationally and internationally. Solo exhibitions include Liat Yossifor: Pre-Verbal Painting at the Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis, MO (2015); Liat Yossifor: Thought Patterns at Amerigner | McEnery | Yohe, New York, NY (2012); Liat Yossifor: Falling into Ends at Galerie Anita Beckers, Frankfurt, Germany (2010); and Liat Yossifor: The Tender Among Us at the Pomona College Museum of Art, Claremont, CA (2007). Group exhibitions include Stolen Gestures at Kunsthaus Nuremberg, Nuremberg, Germany (2013) and A Reflected Gaze, Torrance Art Museum, Torrance, CA (2010).
January 24 – March 26, 2015 Lenzner Family Art Gallery
Blacklisted: A Planted Allegory investigates the distinction between native versus invasive species as determined by the California Invasive Species Advisory Committee, a scientific organization charged with creating a statewide “living list” of invasive species since late 2009. The discourse surrounding a list of “invasive” or “alien” flora and fauna species has interesting and fruitful correlations to policies regarding immigration, multiculturalism and evolving ideas about national identities that are inherently tied to the identity of border cultures. The project allows viewers to engage in a meaningful and nuanced way with how these issues are thought of in direct and applicable terms.
Blacklisted: A Planted Allegory takes a number of forms, including a comprehensive index of the invasive species found on-site; a large-scale projection—a portrait of all the plants collected and a record of their growth during June 2014; and a light-box image of their incubated sequestration. The exhibition also features two sculptural works, one of which is an index of the more than 100 plants collected, in the style of a classic botanical herbaria rendered in detailed handmade paper silhouettes. The second sculpture refers to the Harvard Museum of Natural History’s Ware Collection of Glass Models of Plants, which is a window into the common presence in 1892 of what are now rare California native plants. This piece, which features a seemingly empty vitrine, is a nod to the fears of the ultimate disappearance of natives in the wake of the encroachment by alien species that fuels the discourse around this issue.
The Botany Seminar Series at Ranch Santa Ana Botanic Garden Friday, March 6
Dr. Peter Del Tredici, Senior Research Scientist, Arnold Arboretum at Harvard University and Adjunct Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, Harvard Graduate School of Design [clear]
Blacklisted: A Planted Allegory has been produced with support byKonstnärsnämnden / Swedish Arts Grant Committee.
The exhibition is also generously supported by the GuestHaus Residency, Kungliga Konsthögskolan / Stockholm Royal Institute of Art, and art+environment – an interdisciplinary program at Pitzer College funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
With very special thanks to:
Joe Clements, Arboretum and Grounds Manager, Pitzer College
Ciara Ennis, Director/Curator, Pitzer College Art Galleries
Dr. Paul Faulstich, Professor of Environmental Analysis, Pitzer College
Nicolas Galindo, Lead Groundskeeper, Pitzer College
Cheukwa Jones, Curatorial/PR Coordinator, Pitzer College Art Galleries
Rachel Kessler ’14, Assistant to the artist, Pitzer College
Dr. Muriel Poston, Vice President/Dean of Faculty, Pitzer College
Lance Neckar, MLA, MALA, Director, Robert Redford Conservancy for Southern California Sustainability and Professor of Environmental Analysis, Pitzer College
Angelica Perez, Preparator, Pitzer College Art Galleries
Pomona / BFS
Dr. Wallace M. Meyer III, Assistant Professor of Biology, Pomona College and Director of the Bernard Field Station, Claremont, CA
Ronald Nemo, Lead Groundskeeper, Pomona College
Harvey Mudd / BFS
Dr. Nancy V. Hamlett, Visiting Professor of Biology, Harvey Mudd College; Volunteer Researcher and Habitat Coordinator at the Bernard Field Station, Claremont, CA
Keck Science Department, Claremont Colleges
Dr. Susan M. Schenk, Biology Laboratory Instructor/Coordinator and Lab Lecturer of Biology, W.M. Keck Science Department, Claremont Colleges
Fred Carlson, Lead Groundskeeper, Scripps College
Lola Trafecanty, Director of Grounds, Scripps College
Liv Townsend ’14, Documentation Photographer, Scripps College
Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
Dr. J. Travis Columbus II, Research Scientist; Professor of Botany, Claremont Graduate University
Nick Jensen, Master’s Student, Claremont Graduate University Botany Department
Evan P. Meyer, Seed Conservation Program Manager, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
Dr. Jeffery Morawetz, Postdoctoral Researcher, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
Dr. Mare Nazaire, Herbarium Collections Manager, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
Irene Holiman, Library Specialist, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden
Jenny Brown, Collection Manager, Ware Collection of Blaschka Glass Models of Plants, Harvard University Herbaria
Dr. Peter Del Tredici, Senior Research Scientist, Arnold Arboretum of Harvard; University and Adjunct Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture, Harvard Graduate School of Design
Lisa DeCesare, Head of Archives and Public Services, Botany Libraries, Harvard University Herbaria
Mary Anne Hamblen, Special Collections & Archives Librarian, Juliette K. and Leonard S. Rakow Research Library, The Corning Museum of Glass
Dr. Chris MacDonald, Desert Natural Resources Advisor of Cooperative Extension San Bernardino County, University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Robert Perry, FASLA, USC School of Artchitecture Adjunct Professor, Professor Emeritus at California State Polytechnic University
Nisreen Azar, Habitat Restoration Specialist at Glenn Lukos Associates, Inc.
Noreen Murano, President of Wildscape Restoration, Inc. and the CEO of Resource Conservation Partners, Inc.
Bill Neill, Desert Protective Council
Drew Ready, Sustainable Landscape Program Manager at the Council for Watershed Health
David Bachman, Professor of Mathematics, Pitzer College
January 24 – February 27, 2015 Barbara Hinshaw Gallery, Grove House
Organized by Pitzer College Art Galleries
Comprising prints, flowcharts (graphical algorithms) and objects, Bachman’s work straddles the physical and mathematical world. Through translations of mathematical equations into three-dimensional models Bachman transfigures objects derived from the every day into complex and intricate forms that resemble midcentury modern aesthetics. Deploying a 3D printer, Bachman’s mathematical abstractions are produced in a variety of materials, including plastic, sandstone, ceramic and metal.
David Bachman is a Professor of Mathematics at Pitzer College in Claremont, California. He received his PhD in 1999 from the University of Texas at Austin, and has since published 16 research articles and two books on Geometry and Topology. For the last 25 years Bachman has also enjoyed a number of non-academic pursuits, from lighting design for nationally touring musical acts to building furniture. Six years ago Backman’s background in Mathematics and his affinity for working with his hands converged when he began to experiment with 3D printing and design. Since then he has created unique mathematical sculptures by using several CAD modeling packages (Rhino 3D, Grasshopper), a variety of 3D printers and a garage full of tools.
January 24–March 26, 2015 Nichols Gallery, Broad Center Curated by Ciara Ennis
Joshua Callaghan, Chris Cobb, Michael Decker, José Clemente Orozco Farías, Clare Graham (MorYork), Nina Katchadourian, Alice Könitz, Elana Mann, Rachel Mayeri, Melanie Nakaue, Jenny Perlin, Steve Roden, Vivian Sming, Stephanie Syjuco, Chris Wilder, Jenny Yurshansky and First Street Gallery Art Center artists: Herb Herod, Evan Hynes, Joe Zaldivar
In contrast to current museological models that derive their practices from their nineteenth century counterparts, the wunderkammer—generally regarded as a prototype for the first museums—can provide an alternative. Distinguished by their eclectic and all-encompassing collections, these early museums celebrated heterogeneity and difference as accolades—objects collected ranged from functional everyday artifacts to biological anomalies. Their interdisciplinary and all-inclusive practice resulted in a non-hierarchical approach; value was assigned according to the object’s polyvalent signifying power, its ability to be endlessly interpreted rather then categorically determined. As their name suggests, these museums championed wonderment as a vital tool for knowledge acquisition.
By providing a different rubric, these early models can offer an alternative lens to critique prevailing exhibitionary practices by calling attention to the codes and conventions of current display strategies, chronological placements, and exhibition typologies. By interrogating these classificatory norms it is possible to examine how these taxonomic structures dictate behavior in other areas of our lives—labor, leisure, culture—and by extension their impact on how we self identify or are identified by others—race, class, sexuality, gender. As a result, the wunderkammer model provides an opportunity to examine how knowledge is produced and disseminated, controlled and manipulated.
Through the objects and installations, the artists and practitioners in the exhibition explore these ideas through the production of archives—fictional and real; via unique and eclectic cosmologies; by privileging the mundane and forgotten above the conventionally celebrated; the historical as a part of the contemporary; and the nonprofessional versus the established. Furthermore, through the use of specific representational systems these artists reveal and critique established ideological constructs that govern issues of inclusion and exclusion within the contemporary museum.
Wunderkammer is a set of connected exhibitions at Pitzer College’s Nichols Gallery and Barbara Hinshaw Gallery, and the First Street Gallery Art Center of the Tierra del Sol Foundation.