FOGGY NOTION BOOKS/PASADENA MUSEUM OF CALIFORNIA ART
L.A. Raw: Abject Expressionism in Los Angeles, 1945-1980
From Rico Lebrun to Paul McCarthy
Text by Michael Duncan. Afterword by Peter Selz.
Until recently, the figurative artists who dominated the Los Angeles art scene of the 1940s and 50s had largely been written out of art history. L.A. Raw is an attempt to right that wrong. Bringing together works by 41 artists in a variety of media, it traces a lineage that connects postwar figurative expressionism to the 1960s and 70s investigations of politics, gender and ethnicity in art. The featured artists include John Altoon, Wallace Berman, William Brice, Hans Burckhardt, Chris Burden, Cameron, Judy Chicago, Connor Everts, Llyn Foulkes, Charles Garabedian, David Hammonds, Robert Heinecken, John Paul Jones, Kim Jones, Ed and Nancy Kienholz, Rico Lebrun, Paul McCarthy, Arnold Mesches, Betye Saar, Ben Sakoguchi, Barbara Smith, James Strombotne, Jan Stussy, Edward Teske, Joyce Treiman, Howard Warshaw, June Wayne, Charles White and Jack Zajac.
PRAISE AND REVIEWS
Art in America
The catalogue is published in conjunction with an exhibition at the Pasadena Museum of California Art, on view through May 20 as part of the Getty's multivenue initiative "Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945–1980." With an essay devoted to each artist, it is a valuable reference; Duncan's research is thorough, his writing lucid. He identifies the roots of a "local heritage" of dark, emotionally turbulent or oppressive work that has sustained subsequent generations of Southern California artists. In a 1963 interview in Artforum, Lebrun described his imagery as "giving shape to a bloody and bony parcel bearing the imprint of trouble."