Untitled (Malibu Figure) (1968)
L.A. Raw surveys the various styles and concepts that Los Angeles artists used to express their anxieties about life in postwar America. In the 1960s William Brice began to highlight human forms simplified into iconic, vibrant, sculptural compositions. Works like Untitled (Malibu Figure) demonstrate the reducion of Bruce's early sketchlike style into a punchy expression of color (reminiscent of Matisse), with its totemic nude confined in a doorway, tense with electric anticipation.
Oil on canvas 69 1/2 x 59 in
Courtesy of L.A. Louver, Venice, California © Estate of William Brice
My Lai (1968)
A mottled background of thick gray paint with etched lines covers the majority of this monumental work. Human skulls and other objects embedded into the paint protrude at various angles from the canvas.
Oil assemblage with skulls on canvas 77 x 115 in
Jack Rutberg Fine Arts, Los Angeles © Hans G. and Thordis W. Burkhardt Foundation
Untitled (F-23) (1962–63)
Amidst a stark charcoal grey background, the figure of a nude woman occupies the center of this piece. Her back is to the viewer, with her knees bent and her buttocks in full view. Her right arm is tucked into her right hip, and her left arm is stretched out as if asking for something. Her hair is mottled and her face, which appears masklike, is partially visible.
Pastel and ink on illustration board 60 x 40 in
Image courtesy of The Box, Los Angeles, and the Estate of John Altoon
Dead Homeboy Killed by a Placa (1974)
The figure of a faceless man's body rests on top of a bold-striped plane of gray-toned red, white, and black. The figure, ostensibly a young Latino, lays face up with his right arm outstretched, palm up, and his left arm hugging at his torso, his palm resting on top of an open wound, which is spilling blood. A placa denoting a Latino gang covers his face, and "17yrs" is stenciled below his head on the curb of the sidewalk.
Wood stain on paper 41 3/4 x 31 3/4 in
Courtesy of SPARC Judith Baca Archive. Work completed after the death of a seventeen-year-old mural crew member
Allegory 2 (1958)
The artist uses broad brushstrokes and a muted palette to depict three clustered clownlike figures, which dominate the upper right portion of the painting. A galloping horse juts out from behind the figures in the upper left corner of the painting. Below the group is a row of old-fashioned trucks that span the painting's entire bottom portion.
Oil on canvas 24 x 36 in
Collection of Vincent Price Art Museum, Los Angeles
Nubian Shadows (1977)
Delicate and intricately composed translucent photographic layers envelope an abstracted dark male figure in the center. An orange flame stretches across him, as lush textures and geometric patterns surround him.
Mixed media collage on paper 19 1/2 x 23 1/4 in
Courtesy Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, LLC, New York
Animal Trap (1962)
A mouse trap, an antique female figurine with only one dangling arm, a U-shaped copper tube, and other assorted materials comprise this assemblage work. Most of the items are arranged inside of a rectangular box. The U-shaped copper tube juts out from the left side of the box, leading to ornamental red and blue knobs at the end.
Mixed media assemblage 11 x 14 1/2 in
Collection of Joni and Monte Gordon, courtesy of Newspace Gallery, Los Angeles
Pasadena Museum of California Art
L.A. Raw: Abject Expressionism in Los Angeles, 1945-1980, From Rico Lebrun to Paul McCarthyThe figurative artists who dominated the Los Angeles art scene in the 1940s and '50s have largely been written out of today's art history. Bringing together works by 40 artists in a variety of media, L.A. Raw traces a different through-line, connecting post-war figurative expressionism to the '60s and '70s investigations of politics, gender and ethnicity that are commonly credited as shaping today's art. Among the artists featured are John Altoon, Wallace Berman, William Brice, Hans Burkhardt, Chris Burden, Cameron, Edward Carrillo, Judy Chicago, Connor Everts, Llyn Foulkes, Charles Garabedian, David Hammons, Robert Heinecken, John Paul Jones, Kim Jones, Ed Kienholz, Rico Lebrun, Paul McCarthy, Arnold Mesches, Betye Saar, Ben Sakoguchi, Barbara Smith, James Strombotne, Jan Stussy, Edward Teske, Joyce Treiman, Howard Warshaw, June Wayne, Charles White, and Jack Zajac.
Pasadena, CA 91101