Sunday, September 23, 2012

Behold America at MCASD, La Jolla

Behold, America!: Art of the United States from Three San Diego Museums, Sep 16, 2012 through Feb 10, 2013 at MCASD La Jolla

This exhibition is an exhibition put together from all of the permanent collections of The San Diego Museum of Art, The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, and Timken Museum of Art  but only the show at MCASD is already open. The others follow in November. I was most impressed with the contemporary works in the show and by the large amount of works that were on display by San Diego Artists including many SD Art Prize recipients. There is a rather strange combination of old master type landscapes either by American artist painting abroad or world wide artists painting American scenes which are sprinkled throughout the exhibition space. This was better than having them all segregated in their own section. If the curator made connections to the works near by, there was no visible explanation of what it was.  It was nice to notice that many of the contemporary works were actually from the SD Museum of Art collection.

Did the show hold together? Not very strongly but it was still a delight to see so many great works of art here in San Diego. And after all, Behold America is a fairly lose way to organize an exhibition. The categories of Frontiers,(landscapes) Figures (portraits), and Forms (still lives) is an excuse to gather the works but at least we get a chance to see these institution talking to each other and bringing works together that have not been shown together before. Huge Davies recently stated that the economy has dictated that they do less expensive show like those that are local and do not entail large insurance premiums.  Once we see all three shows, it will be interesting to take a revised view.

Albert Bierstadt

Alfred Jarr

Ann Hamilton felt boots as part of this installation below

Ann Hamilton presented a room with glass slides on the walls and a glass floor covering glass. A the far end was an embedded video of a mouth receiving a stream of water

Christ drawing

Deborah Butterfield

Iana Quesnel (SD Art Prize)

James Drakes

Paul Kos, Guadalupe Bell, 1989, bronze bell, steel, phosphorescent pigment and strobe light. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Museum purchase with contributions from the Awards in the Visual Arts program. © Paul Kos 1989.
There was this huge bell and when a visitor rang it, beside the bang of the clapper, you saw a split second image of the Madonna of Guadalupe in a slight blue that looked like an after image.

Always wonderful to see this James Irwin piece and it has been refreshed and you see all three glassless windows in this show.

One of my all time favorites is Milton Avery with these pale but charmingly potent works

Vito Acconci's works start flat on the ground. We were so fortunate to find adventurous visitors that made it come alive.

This is my star shot..amazing what a simple cell phone cam can do!

Einar and Jamex de la Torre (Baja map - SD Art Prize)

Ruben Ortiz Torres (SD Art Prize)

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