2008 Whitney Biennial opens with four CCA Alumni and Faculty

Four CCA alumni and faculty—Robert Bechtle, Mitzi Pederson, Jason Rhoades, and Mario Ybarra Jr.—will have their artworks included in the 2008 Whitney Biennial, opening at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York on March 6, 2008. The 2008 Biennial includes 81 artists and will remain on view through June 1, 2008. Since its founding in 1932, the Biennial has become one of the most important surveys of the state of contemporary art in the United States today.

Robert Bechtle
The preeminent painter and longtime San Francisco resident Robert Bechtle (born 1932) was among the initiators of Photorealism in the 1960s. His paintings reside in many museum collections and have been exhibited at numerous American and European institutions, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; and Documenta, Kassel, Germany. A major retrospective organized by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 2005 traveled to the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth and the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington DC. Bechtle received his bachelor's degree (1954), an MFA (1958), and an honorary PhD (2007) from CCA. He taught in the painting department at San Francisco State University for 30 years.

Mitzi Pederson
Mitzi Pederson (born 1976) makes sculpture out of recycled or hardware-store-type materials such as cinder blocks, plywood, cellophane, and papier-mache. Her work explores properties that are fundamental to the medium of sculpture, such as tension and balance, and her finished pieces often seem precarious or unstable. Pederson is based in San Francisco. She received a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University in 1999 and an MFA in painting and drawing from CCA in 2004. She has had solo exhibitions at White Columns, New York, and Ratio 3, San Francisco, and she has participated in group exhibitions at New Langton Arts and Jack Hanley Gallery in San Francisco. In 2006 she received the SECA Art Award from the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Jason Rhodes
Jason Rhoades was born in the town of Newcastle in Northern California in 1965 and died in Los Angeles in 2006. He was a sculptor and performance artist whose artworks contain myriad references. They are often spread out on the floor in many parts, sometimes taking up entire rooms, and examine the interconnections among reality, experience, and the media. Rhoades attended CCA in 1985–86. He went on to take a bachelor's degree at the San Francisco Art Institute, attended the summer 1988 session of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and received an MFA at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Mario Ybarra Jr.
Mario Ybarra Jr. was born in Los Angeles in 1973 and continues to live and work in that city; currently he is a visiting artist and faculty member in CCA's Sculpture Program. His sculptures and installations frequently incorporate murals or graffiti, commingling street culture and fine art, and all of his work relates in some way to his Mexican American heritage. In 1999 Ybarra earned a bachelor's degree from Otis College of Art and Design, and in 2001 he received an MFA from the University of California, Irvine. His work has been presented in solo and group exhibitions at Tate Modern, London; the Prague Biennial; the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; Serpentine Gallery, London; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago; and the Astrup Fearnley Museet for Moderne Kunst, Oslo.

For more information please see the Whitney Museum press release at