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Semblance | Sunshine

July 25, 2020 - August 29, 2020

A large sculpture made out of gutter pipes, arranged to look like writhing snakes.

Semblance | Sunshine traces the material and aesthetic influence of post-war Los Angeles on minimalist art within Southern California from the 1960s to today.

After undergoing a massive phase of industrialization throughout, and after, the second world war, California had become home to 140 military bases and the focus of immense government spending. This sudden economic boom generated a factory-focused workforce, which made the state one of the nation’s leading manufacturers of aircraft and automobiles. Civic projects, like the development of roads, freeways, bridges, and housing, not only helped shape Los Angeles’s unique urban landscape, but also aided in accommodating the mass of workers continuing to migrate or return home after the war. Ubiquitous signifiers such as runaway tract-housing, fashionable consumer goods, and glistening high-rise office spaces all contributed to a romanticized view of Southern California as a destination for wellness, new-age style, and financial prosperity.

Artworks in this exhibition play to these familiar tropes as they draw on industrial materials to illustrate an aesthetic lineage and ideological approach to art-making within Los Angeles. These un-conventional practices break away from regimented traditions of “painting” & “sculpture” and instead present reductive art objects that are informed by local Southern California environments, sub-cultures, and communities. From utilitarian products and Mid-Century design to sleek surfaces that are reflective of the landscape itself, the objects here challenge conceptions around LA’s enigmatic legacy while also reconciling the fluidity that comes with the city’s perpetual social and economic transformation.

Artists include (click on name for artist website links): Lynn Aldrich, Math Bass, Juan Capistran, Laddie John Dill, Sam Durant, Lauren Halsey, Anna Sew Hoy, Alex Israel, Claudia Parducci, Helen Pashgian, Kaz Oshiro, Aaron Sandnes, Roy Thurston


BIPOC-curated, BIPOC artist(s), Women curated
Event Type
Gallery, Visual Art
Pandemic Info


Torrance Art Museum
3320 Civic Center Drive
Torrance, CA 90503 United States
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