Photograph of a row of seven tall, rectangular hedges lining the edge of what seems to be a parking lot, each with slightly different amounts of stray, untrimmed branches. Behind the shrubbery, industrial walls of various heights and colors compose the background. A single, blurred tire track is streaked across the concrete.

Love Letter to Rachelle Mendez

Photograph of a row of seven tall, rectangular hedges lining the edge of what seems to be a parking lot, each with slightly different amounts of stray, untrimmed branches. Behind the shrubbery, industrial walls of various heights and colors compose the background. A single, blurred tire track is streaked across the concrete.
Rachelle Mendez, A Newer Topographic #4; Indio California, 2017. Lightjet Kodak Endura C-Print, 22 x 18 inches. Courtesy of Rachelle Mendez.

Right now, I live in the suburbs. I linger in the cookie-cutter landscape of Orange County strip malls and office parks, surrounded by the blocky, sprawling institutional architecture of suburban America. In 2011, the LA Times wrote an article about my city finally approving homes in colors other than beige. As I make my way through the identical edifices of a planned community, I’ve been trying to see in my surroundings the accidental loveliness that photographer Rachelle Mendez captured in her series “Minimal Hardscapes of Southern California.”

There’s a playful, subversive geometry that Mendez uses to frame her photographs, transforming buildings and street corners into Mondrianesque blocks of color. The various grays and beiges of the commuter belt become visually interesting hues in their own right, anonymous rectangles of suburban structures arranged with geometric precision. Her eye turns faded paint and scuffed concrete into something sublime.

In A Newer Topographic #4; Indio California (2017), Mendez matches the pale gray of an easily-overlooked building to the off-white of an overcast sky. She turns a stray tire track into a daub of stark black contrast and the faded line of a sidewalk curb into a desaturated ribbon of red. Looking at it, I’m struck by the same shrubs that can be found in corporate parks all over California. The scant bits of greenery are a mere concession to visual comfort, but Mendez captures the way stray leaves escape their recessed alcoves—a sign that, even in suburban Southern California, nature can never be entirely contained.

Photograph of "legs," which are pantyhose stuffed with shreds of paper, wearing ankle socks and blue sandals with a pink graphic of lips on them.

Bumpy Road

Magic Mountain parking

Nougat lectern

veiny influence 

streams

~Petra Poffenberger

Helen’s Costume is pleased to announce our first show of 2021. Bumpy Road features new sculpture and photography by Elizabeth Herring, painting by Rainen Knecht and Scott Hewicker and drawing by D-L Alvarez. Helen’s Costume is a physical gallery space in a modified domestic setting, that sprung out of the 2020 quarantine, in the Montavilla district of Portland Oregon. Your safety is important to us. We encourage you to make an in-person, timed, socially distanced gallery visit through the RSVP link or our website, www.costumeintl.com.

Photograph hanging on a white wall. Center frame, a Black woman wearing a striped t-shirt stands before a black background, facing to the right, evoking the image of a mugshot. Behind her head on the left hangs a newspaper clipping depicting a grid of headshots of people of color below the words "IS THIS THE END?" Just before her torso hangs another clipping, this one a grid with mostly white headshots, reading "WHY IS OUR CITY COUNCIL SO WHITE?"

Sites of Memory

UTA Artist Space is pleased to present Sites of Memory curated by Essence Harden in her first collaboration with the venue, featuring artists Noel W Anderson, Gideon Appah, Natalie Ball, Pamela Council, Janvia Ellis, Anique Jordan, Lebohang Kganye, Basil Kincaid, John A Rivas, Adee Roberson, and Muzae Sesay.

Sites of Memory considers how the act of remembering is a site of critical and generative excess. Contained to reverie, remembering resides in an illimitable space, extending out and in towards what was or what perhaps or what could have been. Finding utility in the photographic strategy of the snapshot, where spontaneity and chance hold the capacity to formulate volumes on otherwise ephemeral moments, this exhibition explores the sensory components in such wanted desires. Titled after Toni Morrison’s essay, “The Site of Memory,” the show is guided by her notion that “the act of imagination is bound up with memory” and that remembering is the modality of visions.

The exhibition pivots the work of image-making to a multitude of artistic mediums and materials. Images are exhibited as abstracted paintings, sculptural arrangements, print assemblages, photographic forms, installations, and collage. Diasporic pull, familial legacy, architectural scapes, queered futures, national belonging, and satirical gestures are surveyed as rich sites. The mark of the snap is considered here as an entry to other worlds of image making where snapshots are a task of memory, offering a litany of proof of what mattered then to suggest what is worth remembering now.

“Essence is a curator with an eye on the future of the art world,” said Partner & Creative Director of UTA Fine Arts and UTA Artist Space Arthur Lewis. “She creates compelling stories from the African diaspora in ways that never leave you. This show is a perfect example of how she is able to place her finger on the heartbeat of this cultural moment. We are really proud to be the home for her talents to shine.”

Harden has curated exhibitions at Human Resources, Oakland Museum of California, El Segundo Museum of Art, Eduardo Secci Contemporary, California African American Museum, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions and Museum of the African Diaspora, among others. She is also a contributor to several publications and has written catalog entries for several exhibitions, including Prospect.5: Yesterday we said tomorrowBrave New Worlds: Exploration of Space; and What Needs to Be Said: Hallie Ford Fellows in the Visual Arts. Additionally, she is the recipient of The Creative Capital and Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant and is an Annenberg Innovation Lab Civic Media Fellow.

As part of an exclusive print collaboration with Absolut Art, new limited edition prints from Gideon Appah and Muzae Sesay that relate to their works in the exhibition will soon be available on AbsolutArt.com.

Visiting the Artist Space is by appointment only, with a four-guest maximum at any time. All visitors will have to acknowledge via the online appointment system both the health and safety guidelines and their health status before they visit. All visitors will have to wear mask at all times in the artist space. Masks and hand sanitizer will be available on site for guest usage. All guests will have a 30-minute window for viewing the gallery. Guests will not be permitted to the gallery before or after their viewing time. If they arrive earlier, they will be asked to wait in their car until their appointment time. Guests must practice social distancing. There is ample signage throughout the space including arrows on the floor that tell guests which way foot traffic is flowing. Restrooms will be closed to guests and the Artist Space will be deep cleaned on a regular schedule following the close of business each day.

About UTA Artist Space:

UTA Artist Space is an exhibition venue in the heart of Beverly Hills that is committed to showcasing art by globally recognized talent. Since its establishment in 2016, UTA Artist Space has presented notable exhibitions with interdisciplinary artists and creatives, including Derrick Adams, Myrtis Bedolla of Galerie Myrtis, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Larry Clark, Petra Cortright, Conrad Egyir, Amanda Hunt, Mariane Ibrahim, Arcmanoro Niles, The Carpenter’s Workshop Gallery, The Haas Brothers, and Ai Weiwei, among others. For more information, please visit UTAArtistSpace.com

About Absolut Art:

Absolutart.com sells signed, limited edition, framed prints by emerging and established artists from around the world. Building on Absolut’s thirty-year involvement with contemporary art (from Warhol to Damien Hirst, Keith Haring and Louise Bourgeois), the goal of their global online gallery is to expand access to contemporary art, support local artist communities, and democratize the art buying process. Recent collaborations include an exhibition co-curated with Wu-Tang Clan, a collection of re-imagined classic movie posters with Metrograph cinema, a series of prints to accompany The Hole’s “Meet Me in the Bathroom” show, a charitable editioned print with Kehinde Wiley to benefit Black Rock, and a large scale installation at the Oculus with Mona Chalabi and The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Artists featured on our platform include Hank Willis Thomas, Shantell Martin, Francis Stark, Samara Golden, Kambui Olujimi, Rashaad Newsome, Brigitte Lacombe, Wing Shya, and Jayson Musson.

abstract painting, using acrylic, flashe, oil, graphite, and pastel on a panel, centering a large, geometric shape with sharp edges, whose sides are colored with a lush palette, primarily with dark shades of blue, warm greens and yellows, and off white.

Michelle Ross: I Am Your Signal

Elizabeth Leach Gallery is pleased to present Michelle Ross, I Am Your Signal, an exhibition of new boldly-colored abstract paintings. Ross’s paintings satisfyingly challenge the static experience of viewing through her enlivened, lush palette and dynamic formal considerations.

In Ross’s words, her studio practice seeks to “activate curiosity and tolerance through materiality, form, color and sign” and these new works are inspired by academic research and art historical writings on abstract painting. The works highlight the artist’s interest in spatial tension and disruptions of linear perspective through layered surfaces that hold the rigorous building, dismantling and reconstruction of diagonal lines and geometric shapes.

Deeply saturated blues, ranging from indigo to ultramarine to cobalt, complement icy whites, warm yellows and brilliant pinks. Ross’s addition of reflective silver leaf accents glimmer, disappear or darken through the viewer’s movement. Edges and outlines of painted shapes evoke origami-like paper creases, further emphasizing spatial considerations that allow the artwork to unfold before the viewer’s eyes.

Michelle Ross examines the boundaries between painting, photography, and popular media, creating new relationships, both conceptual and aesthetic, that mirror the shifting realities of our time. Her formal and abstract painting, as well as digital collages, have been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions both nationally and internationally, including the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston (Boston, Massachusetts), The Art Gym at Marylhurst University (Marylhurst, OR), Portland Art Museum (Portland, OR) and Rome International University (Rome, Italy). Her work resides in several collections, including the Portland Art Museum (Portland, OR), Rhode Island School of Design Special Collections (Providence, RI) and the Four Seasons Hotel (Abu Dhabi, UAE), among others. In 2012, Ross was named as a Hallie Ford Fellow in the Visual Arts. Her recent commission, four massive site-specific paintings measuring 16 feet tall by 7 feet wide at The Standard Insurance Company in 2020 marks her largest-scale project to date.

 

two pieces hang on a white wall: the first seems to be an image from a newspaper clipping of a hand with the words "I BELIEVE" written on the palm in pen; the second features a landscape image on its side of a figure walking toward the camera and away from a barn, alongside a copy of the front page of a newspaper, the headline reading "No does not mean convince me."

As Far As You Can, Tell The Truth

As interest in creating alternative narratives of varying measure grows, ‘truth’, as it relates to reality, has become an inconvenient impediment for a progression of agendas. The truth, becoming all the more elusive, has since become the most powerful course correction to date. In this exhibition an expression of truth is appealed to: it is witnessed, it is allowed for, it is resolved through the object. Each artist in this exhibition has unceasingly examined truth, (that being the reality of historical events and the social conditions as demanded by these actions, and how those points intersect to inform our present moment), for themselves and others, as central to their practice.

In 1967, Raymond Saunders declared “black is a color.” Throughout his career Saunders has questioned the premise that Black artists produce something that should be uniquely identified as “Black art.” In his own work, he looked to separate his practice from the restrictions of identity-driven art “I am an artist. I do not believe that art work should be limited or categorized by one’s racial background.” Featured in this exhibition is a single french door assemblage by Saunders from the 1990s. The significance of a door, as entry way or barrier, has been seen in many of Saunders’s assemblage works over the decades, as a canvas for his assemblage works and paintings.

Through painting, drawing and sculptural installation, Libby Black’s work explores the course of her personal history and broader cultural context, examining the intersection of feminism, LGBTQ+ identity, politics, consumerism, notions of value, and desire. In these recent drawings, Black has replicated portions of recent features published in the New York Times related to the #MeToo movement and the protests over the Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford hearings in 2018.

Cameron Clayborn approaches the history of trauma, its weight and sharp corners, with a tactile exploration through the physical object. As a conceptual sculptor, designer, performance artist, and community organizer, Clayborn creates sculpture that spans the distance between a viewer’s private headspace and the civic sphere. Working with a sewing machine, Clayborn’s sculptures, grouped together titled ‘coagulates’, combines an artistic lineage of queer history, from drag shows to protest banners, zipped through this mechanical lens. Using elements that impose tension (zipper, the physical weight of sand) Clayborn’s sculptures exist within an emotional history searching for liberation. These disembodied sacks that derive their forms via measurements taken off the bodies of the artist and his father—an abstraction of self and lineage into a collection of handsomely constructed objects highlight the intersections he stands in as gay black man raised in the American south. Inherently sexual and playful but also deeply serious, Clayborn’s works taunt the rigid dichotomies of male/female, gay/straight, human/inhuman, and valued/undervalued.

Suné Woods examines absences and vulnerabilities within cultural and social histories through visuals, sound and movement, and is interested in how language is emoted, guarded, and translated through the absence/presence of a physical body. On view, an early work by Woods, ‘From Here We Go Nowhere’ (2015) contains hundreds of color pages from travel catalogues and magazines, each individual page worn and creased. The collage explores the social phenomena that indoctrinate brutality and the ways in which propaganda and exploitation have employed photography. The freedom of collage allows Woods to consider a new topography all together, while addressing perception-based ‘truths’ as separate from reality.

Through portraits, landscapes, and collaborative works, Jim Goldberg’s expansive Open See follows refugee and immigrant populations traveling from war-torn, economically devastated, and often AIDS-ravaged countries, to make new homes in Europe. The photographer spent four years documenting the stories of refugees in over 18 countries, from Russia and the Middle East to Asia and Africa. To convey a “more in-depth understanding” of the people he was working with, he tapped into a practice he had developed while in graduate school: hand finishing photographs, and including handwriting to tell the stories of his subjects, making each a unique object encapsulating a story.

Raymond Saunders (lives and works in Oakland, CA) is part of collections including the Museum of Modern Art, National Gallery of Art, Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Walker Art Center. Other collections he is included in are the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts at the Legion of Honor (San Francisco, California), Bank of America (San Francisco, California), the Carnegie Museum of Art (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, the Crocker Art Museum (Sacramento, California), Hunter College (New York, New York), Howard University (Washington, D.C.), the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, New York), the M. H. de Young Memorial Museum (San Francisco, California), the Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles, California), the Museum of Modern Art (New York, New York), the Oakland Museum of California (Oakland, California), the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (San Francisco, California), the Berkeley Art Museum (Berkeley, California), the Walker Art Center, (Minneapolis, Minnesota), and the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, New York).

Libby Black is a painter, drawer, and sculptural installation artist living in Berkeley, CA. Her artwork charts a path through personal history and a broader cultural context to explore the intersection of politics, feminism, LGBTQ+ identity, consumerism, addiction, notions of value, and desire. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, with such shows as “California Love” at Galerie Droste in Wupertal, Germany; “Bay Area Now 4” at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts; “California Biennial” at the Orange County Museum of Art; and at numerous galleries in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Black has been an artist-in-residence at Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito, CA; Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, CA; and Spaces in Cleveland, OH. Her work has been reviewed in Artforum, Art in America, ARTnews, Flash Art, and The New York Times. She received a BFA from Cleveland Institute of Art in 1999 and an MFA at the California College of the Arts in 2001. Libby is an Assistant Professor at San Francisco State University.

Cameron Clayborn was raised in Memphis, TN and lives and works in Chicago, Illinois. In 2016, Clayborn received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL, and in 2018 attended the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture, Skowhegan, ME. Recent exhibitions include Ralph Arnold Gallery at Loyola University, Chicago, IL (2019); Fat City, Chicago, IL (2019); Heaven Gallery, Chicago, IL (2019); Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL (2018); Chicago Artist Coalition, Chicago, IL (2018); Zhou B Art Center, Chicago, IL (2018); Bawdy (solo), Boyfriends, Chicago, IL (2017); Rover Gallery, Chicago, IL (2017); Lawrence & Clark Gallery, Chicago, IL (2017); and Tritriangle, Chicago, IL (2016).

Suné Woods (b. Montréal, Canada, works in Los Angeles). Woods received her BFA from University of Miami, in 1997, and MFA from California College of the Arts, in 2010. Most recently Woods was featured in Made in L.A. at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2018). Her work has been included in exhibitions at Light Work, Syracuse, New York (2017); Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, New York (2017); Urban Video Project, Syracuse, New York (2017); Papillion Art, Los Angeles (2015, 2014); Commonwealth & Council, Los Angeles (2015); 18th Street Arts Center, Santa Monica, California (2012); Center for the Arts Eagle Rock, Los Angeles (2012); Performance Art Institute, San Francisco (2011); and Arts Commission Gallery, San Francisco (2009), among others. She has had residencies at Light Work (2016), Center for Photography at Woodstock (2015), Vermont Studio Center (2014), and Headlands Center for the Arts (2012). She is a recipient of the Artadia Award (2020), a John Gutmann Photography Fellowship Award from the San Francisco Foundation (2015), Visions from the New California Award from the James Irvine Foundation (2012), and Murphy and Cadogan Fellowship (2009).

Jim Goldberg has exhibited widely, including shows at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; SFMOMA; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Corcoran Gallery of Art; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and the Yale University Art Gallery. His work is also regularly featured in group exhibitions around the world. Public collections including MoMA, SFMOMA, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Getty, the National Gallery, LACMA, MFA Boston, The High Museum, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Library of Congress, MFA Houston, National Museum of American Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago. Goldberg has received three National Endowment of the Arts Fellowships in Photography, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Henri Cartier-Bresson Award, and the Deutsche Börse Photography Prize, among many other honors and grants.

Alt text: An irregularly shaped photogram print in a blue frame hangs on a white wall. Numerous, variably colored shapes are layered on top of each other in a collage. A multipart work, created from a progression of exposing photo paper to two seconds of light, using color filters and exposure masks, cutting them into different shapes and finally re-integrating into a single frame. Two parallel diagonal lines dissect the image vertically. Wavy cuts dissect the image horizontally and overlap.

Mariah Robertson: Repetition & Difference

M+B is pleased to present Repetition & Difference, an exhibition of new works by Mariah Robertson. Exploring themes of representation, reproduction and the subversion of tradition, Mariah Robertson is known for pushing the boundaries of darkroom photography. Repetition & Difference will be on view at the gallery from January 23 – February 27, 2021, with an opening reception on Saturday, January 23 from noon to 6 pm.

The artist’s vibrant camera-less photo works — for which she is best known — are made from the basic elements of the traditional darkroom, yet defy the dominant paradigm of photography as a direct observation of life. Examining the process of image-making from its interior, Robertson’s photographic practice offers a meaningful understanding of the medium, and its potential for experimentation and disruption. For Robertson, the concrete tools of photography are a system from which to work with, marking the passage of time and creating tension between chance and plan.

Inherently temporal, Robertson records her physical movements, mental gesturing and chance moments in each two-second exposure.

In a departure from earlier works, this new series of photograms are presented as multipart works, created from a progression of division via cutting, light exposure, repetition and finally re-integration, as the artist brings together these irregularly shaped prints within a single frame. Emphasizing the impossibility of pure reproduction, the artist’s pairing of prints creates a new formal relationship between the separated parts, exploring the philosophical affirmation of difference and repetition — a central theme eponymous with the exhibition’s title. Here in these works, the relationship between serial tries and (literal) blind experimentation points to an important theme central to the work: the inevitability of progression through imperfect repetition and differentiation.

These new composites are each unique, formalizing the elements of playfulness and chance between the pairings-an important aspect to Robertson’s practice. In an exuberant progression from her last body of work, Robertson explicitly asserts the objecthood of this new group in specifically designed frames, on custom color-saturated mounts. These liminal works, existing both as representation and object, foreground Robertson’s intense exploration of the photographic process, picking it apart, compressing it and doubling down on its endless ability to create.

Mariah Robertson (b. 1975) received her BA from University of California, Berkeley and her MFA from Yale University. She has participated in the exhibitions, A World of Its Own: Photographic Practices in the Studio at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Outside the Lines: Rites of Spring at the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston; and Process and Abstraction at the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Transformer Station. Solo exhibitions include Mariah Robertson at the BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, UK; Mariah Robertson: Let’s Change at Grand Arts, Kansas City; and Swope Art Museum, Terre Haute, IN. Her work is in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, among others. Mariah Robertson lives and works in Brooklyn.

For inquiries, contact info@mbart.com.

 

 

Portrait of Intisar Abioto. She stands in a park carrying a camera with a camera strap around her neck. She looks confidently into the camera with a slight smile. Shes wears a patterned scarf and a patterned jacket. Her long black hair is styled in thin dreads. Sunlight highlights the left side of her face.

KSMoCA Winter Artist Lecture Series — Intisar Abioto

As part of our 2020-21 virtual artist-in-residence program, we are hosting live artist talks on Thursday mornings at 10am (PST). The talks are open to classes at Dr. MLK Jr School, other schools, and members of the public of all ages. The lecture series will be streamed live on YouTube and archived on our YouTube channel. Join us!

Intisar Abioto (b. Memphis, TN. 1986) is an artist working across photography, dance, and writing. Moving from the visionary and embodied root of Blackgirl Southern cross-temporal cross-modal storytelling ways, her works refer to the living breath/breadth of people of African descent against the expanse of their storied, geographic, and imaginative landscapes. Working in long-form projects that encompass the visual, folkloric, documentary, and performing arts, she has produced The People Could Fly Project, The Black Portlanders, and The Black.

Intisar Abioto is a 2020-2021 Artist-In-Residence at KSMoCA. Find out more about our residency program here.

intisarabioto.com
theblackportlanders.com

A color photograph of a black and white printed image crumpled and crushed so the original image is entirely destroyed, except in the center where an open mouth is mostly visible. The ink on the paper has worn off at the edges of the creases, leaving stark white lines.

Christian Marclay

Fraenkel Gallery is pleased to present new work by Christian Marclay. Featuring collage, video animation, and photography, the exhibition explores the visual representation of sound and voice.

 

an installation view of Repetition Suppression by Natalie Krick at Specialist gallery in Seattle, WA. Three works occupy a white wall. On the left is a diptych of one image, presented as both negative and positive black and white, in thin, cobalt blue frames. In the center is a black and white image a closed eye in a blue frame that extends perpendicularly out from the wall. A bare lightbulb hangs from the ceiling above it. On the far right there are two large, vertical black and white images of a leg in fishnet stockings and black high heel shoes. One image hangs on the wall in a thin blue frame. The other is in a standing frame, also blue.

Natalie Krick: Repetition Suppression

To usher in 2021, Specialist presents Repetition Suppression, new photographic works by Natalie Krick.

Taking cues from the dangerous but alluring femme fatales of the 1940s and 50s Hollywood crime melodramas, Krick approaches the photograph as a fragment ingrained with treachery. In Repetition Suppression, prints are physically sliced, fractured and masked, then embedded within layers of reflective resin and mirrors. These glossy surfaces both reveal and conceal, enticing the viewer yet disrupting the act of looking. The seemingly cliché lure of Krick’s subjects prompts repetition suppression, defined as a reduced neural response to familiar, repeated stimuli. Yet the images in Repetition Suppression are unstable, rife with illusion and and trickery; like the femme fatale herself, not all is what it seems.

 

 

 

At first glance, a guard tower, onto which is pasted images of a woman sitting beneath prison bars, a bird caught in barbed wire—when you lean in closer, you notice this tower is made up, in part, of books leaned together.

Breathe

This group exhibition, inspired by Martin Luther King, Jr., is part of BIMA’s Untold Stories series this winter. Works focus on social justice and human rights, addressing diverse and connected issues.

Curator’s Statement:

We originally planned Breathe to coincide with the annual, formal honoring of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Although most remembered for Black civil rights activism from 1955 until his assassination in 1968, Dr. King taught us that he lived for all of humanity. His legacy forever projects the notion that, as stated in so many ways in 2020, we are all in this together.

Countless issues have come to the forefront, exposing layers of racial, cultural, and gender-based inequities and violence. The murder of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement, COVID, political elections, climate change, and a grim global economy brought so much to a boiling point. Breathe expanded into a broad acknowledgement of, and response to, these national and global realities.

Diverse histories, narratives and experiences are revealed in the works of twenty-one artists, including Black slavery; the civil rights movement for Black Americans; the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II; injurious treatment of women and Jews; exposure of the vulnerable lives of undocumented refugees from Northern Central America commonly known as the “Caravan,” the loss of generations and cultures through massacre of Indigenous people . . . and we also see superheroes standing ready to intervene if we humans cannot solve our own self-created problems.

In calling out injustices, these artists also point us toward a world where we can all find space to heal and breathe. There is some progress to celebrate — the legalization of same-sex marriage, and examples of emerging or strengthening positive identities. There are various civil and judicial rights heroes to acknowledge, including Dr. King, John F. Kennedy, and recently deceased Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Words and actions intersect in creating a positive future.

Many of the artists have shared their own words about their work in this show. Please take time, be present and immerse yourself in this artwork that aspires to lead us toward doing and being better.

Greg Robinson, Chief Curator

Amy Sawyer, Associate Curator

Featured Artists:

  • Humaira Abid
  • Cory Bennett Anderson
  • Tia Blassingame
  • Cheri Gaulke and Sue Mayberry
  • Fred Hagstrom
  • Diane Jacobs
  • Eileen Jimenez
  • Michelle Kumata
  • Phillip Levine
  • Marilyn Montufar
  • Susan Point
  • John Risseeuw
  • George Rodriguez
  • Kathy Ross
  • Roger Shimomura
  • Julie Speidel
  • Tyler Starr
  • Beth Thielen
  • Carletta Carrington Wilson
  • Linda Wolf