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Grand Opening 2012





May 5, - August 18, 2012

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May 5, - September 16, 2012
Smooth Operations: Substance and Surface in Southern California Art

Lancaster's Museum of Art and History opens its new dedicated space with "Smooth Operations: Substance and Surface in Southern California Art," an exhibition looking at the use of new and untraditional materials in the fabrication of art objects. "Smooth Operations" will concentrate on the postwar years in and around Los Angeles, when experimentation with such unorthodox, even radical materials and qualities led to the emergence of movements such as finish/fetish and light-and-space. Among the artist whose work will comprise "Smooth Operations" are Peter Alexander, Larry Bell, DeWain Valentine, Ronald Davis, Craig Kauffman, Judy Chicago, Mary Corse, Roland Reiss, John McCracken, Helen Pashgian, Tony DeLap, VASA, Norman Zammitt, Fred Eversley, Jerome Mahoney, Doug Edge and Terry O'Shea.

The work of several younger artists who investigate the qualities of synthetic materials, including Eric Johnson, Lisa Bartleson, Andy Moses, Alex Couwenberg, Ann Marie Rousseau, Ruth Pastine, Phlip K. Smith, Gisela Colon and Eric Zamitt, will augment the main part of the exhibition.

In effect, "Smooth Operations" will be the first post-Pacific Standard Time exhibition in southern California, opening only days after the official end of the Getty's vast historic initiative but continuing in the spirit o fthat initiative. Like PST, "Smooth Operations" examines aspects of modernism in southern California and their implications for contmeporary artistic practice and scholarship.

The Painted Desert

The Painted Desert represents diverse perspectives, interpretations and techniques addressing the dessert as subject. This show celebrates its artistic traditions both through process and concept. Paintings by artists Dennis Calaba, Cole Case, Todd Cooper, Jorg Dubin, Robert Dunahay, Smantha Fields, Richard Gallego, Kris Holladay, Christine Kline, Glen Knowles, Ellie Korn, Gregory Martin, Al Miller, Donnie Molls, Debbie Nelson, Ann Sly, Gerald Strangio, Sal Vasquez, Donna Weil and Andre Yi will grace the second floor of MOAH.

Indians, Gold Miners and Gunslingers

"In small things forgotten..." writes American archaeologist James Deetz, we remember our past. It is in the seemingly insignificant remnants of daily life that we can reconstruct teh history of a people. We can learn their values, derive their prosperity and visit the essence of their existence. In the beginning, Lancaster was a rough and tumble stagecoach and whistle stop thorugh the upper Mojave Desert for weary travelers on their way south toward the Los Angeles Basin or norht toward the San Joaquin Valley. 

Driving through the City of Lancaster today, it is difficult to imagine a time when Indians populated the landscape, gold mining was a profession and gun slinging was a means of survival. However, prior to 1930, a way of life in Lancaster, CA could be described as just this. Outpost, stagecoach stop, railroad stop, frontier—these are all words that described the area that would be Lancaster prior to 1930. Lancaster was part of the Old West. 

Come enjoy a brief look back at the people and industry of our predecessors, the things they left behind and the legacy they leave us. As you contemplate the history of Lancaster in the Old West the goal is that you will come away with an appreciation for what life wa like in the past and what it is today. The artifacts and photos of a time gone by seem to say, "Don't read what we have written, see what we have done". (James Deetz)

View or Download the Grand Opening Exhibition Catalog by clicking on the cover image or here.
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