Visual and Critical Studies News

Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2012 by Jim Norrena

CCA at CAA

Please join California College of the Arts at the College Art Association’s 100th annual conference in Los Angeles February 22–25. CCA faculty and alumni will be participating in various panel discussions throughout the conference. (See event schedule below.)

We invite you to drop by the CCA booth at the conference’s Book and Trade Fair to meet esteemed members of our faculty. We're looking forward to meeting you!

Special Reception for Alumni

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Posted on Tuesday, February 7, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

More American Photographs
CCA Wattis Institute, 2012
Paperback, 106 pages, $28

As the United States slowly emerges from its most significant economic downturn since the Great Depression, the [CCA Wattis Institute] reexamines the well-known photography program of the Farm Security Administration (1935-44). In More American Photographs, 12 contemporary photographers were commissioned to travel the United States, documenting its land and people. These new works are presented alongside historical images by original FSA photographers such as Dorothea Lange in a catalogue whose design was inspired by Walker Evans's seminal book American Photographs. The featured photographers include Walead Beshty, Esther Bubley, Larry Clark, Roe Ethridge, Walker Evans, Katy Grannan, William E. Jones, Dorothea Lange, Russell Lee, Sharon Lockhart, Catherine Opie, Gordon Parks, Martha Rosler, Collier Schorr, Ben Shahn, Stephen Shore, Alec Soth, Hank Willis Thomas (MFA and MA Visual Criticism 2004), and Marion Post Wolcott. The exhibition was curated by Wattis director Jens Hoffmann, who contributes an essay, and the book is designed by Graphic Design faculty Jon Sueda.

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Posted on Tuesday, February 7, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Making Race: Modernism and "Racial Art" in America
University of Washington Press, 2011
Paperback, 256 pages, $40

Jacqueline Francis (Visual and Critical Studies and Painting/Drawing faculty) explores the flowering of racial art rhetoric in criticism and history published in the 1920s and 1930s, and analyzes its underlying presence in contemporary discussions of artists of color. She specifically looks at the cases of Malvin Gray Johnson, Yasuo Kuniyoshi, and Max Weber, three New York artists whose work was popularly assigned to the category of "racial art" in the interwar years of the 20th century. The term was widely used by critics and the public at the time, and was an unexamined, unquestioned category for the work of non-whites (such as Johnson, an African American), non-Westerners (such as Kuniyoshi, a Japanese-born American), and ethnicized non-Christians (such as Weber, a Russian-born Jewish American). The discourse on racial art is a troubling chapter in the history of early American modernism that has not, until now, been sufficiently documented. Francis juxtaposes the work of these three artists in order to consider their understanding of the category and their stylistic responses to the expectations created by it, in the process revealing much about the nature of modernist art practices.

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Posted on Monday, February 6, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Fifty Years of Bay Area Art: The SECA Awards
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, 2011
Hardcover, 168 pages, $29.95

Tanya Zimbardo (MA Curatorial Practice 2005), SFMOMA's assistant curator of media arts, coauthored this book chronicling and illustrating more than 100 SECA Award recipients from the late 1960s to the present, including CCA alumni Squeak Carnwath, Desirée Holman, Mitzi Pederson, Laurie Reid, Leslie Shows, and Kathryn VanDyke, among others. Featured faculty include Rebeca Bollinger, Kota Ezawa, Thom Faulders, Chris Finley, Donald Fortescue, Amy Franceschini, Clay Jensen, Jordan Kantor, Shaun O'Dell, Maria Porges, and Mary Snowden.

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Posted on Monday, February 6, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Modeling the Universe
Nevada Museum of Art, 2011
Paperback, 88 pages, $20

This publication surveys nearly 80 maquettes produced by Sculpture Program chair Linda Fleming over the past 30 years. Fleming has drawn upon an extensive web of influences to create a body of sculptural works that suggest the coexistence of the mundane, the cosmological, and the scientific. In addition to numerous full-page color illustrations, the book also includes reference images that reveal her natural, scientific, and architectural influences. It includes text contributions by the artist and CCA Sculpture, Fine Arts, and Visual and Critical Studies faculty member Maria Porges.

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Posted on Monday, February 6, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Create
Berkeley Art Museum, 2011
Paperback, 179 pages, $27.50

Writing and Visual and Critical Studies faculty member Kevin Killian contributes to this book, published on the occasion of a groundbreaking museum exhibition curated by Lawrence Rinder (former CCA Wattis Institute director) with Matthew Higgs (former CCA Wattis Institute curator). Create showcases work made at the three Bay Area centers for artists with developmental disabilities: Creative Growth Art Center in Oakland, Creativity Explored in San Francisco, and the National Institute of Art and Disabilities in Richmond. Florence Ludins-Katz and Elias Katz, who today are recognized as pioneers of the art and disabilities movement, founded these centers between 1972 and 1982. This richly illustrated catalogue offers an overview of the work being made there today, including works on paper, paintings, and sculpture.

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Posted on Monday, February 6, 2012 by Lindsey Westbrook

Kota Ezawa: Upstairs, Downstairs
University of Idaho, 2010
Paperback, 36 pages

This is the catalogue for Film faculty member Kota Ezawa's exhibition Upstairs, downstairs at the University of Idaho, Prichard Art Gallery in 2010. The catalogue was cowritten by Ezawa, CCA Writing and Visual and Critical Studies faculty member Kevin Killian, and Roger Rowley. It presents work in a number of different forms using older technologies as well as new media. The artist selects from sources such as news stories, lectures by prominent figures, fiction and nonfiction film, and even the history of photography for particular elements that comment on our media overloaded environment.

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Posted on Wednesday, January 18, 2012 by Allison Byers

Filming Question Bridge: Black Males

On any given day we encounter dozens, even hundreds, of people who are different from us: a different race, a different gender, a different class, a different age . . . We intellectually understand that our own identity is multifaceted, yet sometimes we cannot help grouping people into stereotypes, even within what others would consider a diverse demographic.

A team of four artists—CCA Photography faculty Chris Johnson, two CCA alumni, Hank Willis Thomas (MFA and MA Visual Criticism 2004) and Bayeté Ross Smith (MFA 2004), and Kamal Sinclair—have begun a far-reaching conversation on this topic, engaging a diverse group of African American males in a question-and-answer exchange. Their innovative trans-media project is entitled Question Bridge: Black Males, and it seeks to represent and redefine black male identity in America.

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Posted on Wednesday, October 26, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Jens Hoffmann leads CCA Curator's Forum tour of Istanbul Biennial (Kris Martin's work in foreground) (photo: George Jewett)

The Istanbul Biennial is a key event in the international contemporary art scene -- a highly visible, highly respected exhibition that draws more than 100,000 visitors to the city and exposes them to some of the most engaged and relevant art being made today. In its opening week, the 12th Istanbul Biennial (which remains open through November 13) was attended by almost 4,000 guests, including critics, curators, museum and gallery administrators, and approximately 400 members of the press from 50 different countries. Everything they saw (whether they realized it or not) bore the marks of a CCA affiliate's hand -- specifically two CCA curators, one CCA graphic designer, and one CCA editor. They also saw the work of one faculty member and three alumni; all three alumni had entire galleries devoted to their work.

CCA President Stephen Beal, chair of the Board of Trustees F. Noel Perry, other trustees, and several members of the CCA Curator's Forum (a dedicated group of Wattis Institute supporters) flew to Istanbul for the opening weekend. Stephen Beal remarked, standing at the biennial entrance, "It is very gratifying to see the college so prominently represented here. It is evidence of the major relevance, at the international level, of what we are doing, and the kinds of experiences and access that CCA makes available to its community."

The Curators

It was almost two years ago that Wattis Institute director Jens Hoffmann accepted the invitation to co-curate the 12th Istanbul Biennial. Beginning with that moment, what began as a single thread of connection between the college and the city of Istanbul expanded into a densely packed web involving multiple individuals.

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Posted on Thursday, October 20, 2011 by Lindsey Westbrook

Sightlines is the annual publication of CCA's Graduate Program in Visual and Critical Studies. It collects the thesis essays of all of the graduating students. This year's volume features investigations of politics, pop-cultural views of science, identity theory, the meaning of site, and beyond. The students and their essays are:

Levi Barringer: Other Topologies: Transversal Power Across Maps & Diagrams
Abby Chen: On the Edge of Culture, Two 1.5 Generation Artists in America
Jacqueline Clay: BLACK MONOCHROME: Vanessa Beecroft, Race and the Other
Adeleine Daysor: Everyday Myths, Peculiar Wallflowers and Watchful Double Takes
Liesa Lietzke: Felt/Seen, I/it: Probing the Body-World Divide through Rebecca Horn’s Extensions
Emily Macenko: The Politics of Representation: Images of Male Homosexuality during the AIDS Crisis
Rob Marks: The Sublime and The Beautiful in Richard Serra’s The Matter of Time
Marta Martinez: Baring Identities: Queer Women of Color in Neo-Burlesque
Leanna Oen: Under the Microscope: Pop Culture Visualizations of DNA
Danielle Sommer: The Instant and the Interval: Further Investigations in Aby Warburg’s Space-Time
Matthew Harrison Tedford: Tactics of Engagement in Art: Politics, Pluralism, and Program
Kristin Timken: Performing Landscapes: The Politics of Possibility
Lia Wilson: Marketing Madness: The Economy of Outsider Art
Carmen Winant: The Artist is the Athlete: Investigating Practice in Matthew Barney’s Drawing Restraint 1-6
Madeleine Zinn: After the Blast: Reframing Motherhood Beyond the Nuclear Family

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