We’ve previously written about about the award-winning film, Dark Progressivism, a documentary that explores our region’s artists and the cities they come from. The film that became a movement has now become an art exhibition at MOAH (Lancaster Museum of Art and History). Dark Progressivism: The Built Environment features internationally known and emerging artists boldly exploring the impact of urban development and Post-Recession economies in Southern California. The film’s creator, Rodrigo d’Ebre, says “The exhibition reflects the economic/socio-political recovery of Southern California, a metaphor for the 20th century social ills that we are overcoming, and the nuances and history of development that inform such practices.”

The paintings in the exhibit range from abstract to graffiti to narrative surrealism, while the sculptures include work produced in ceramic and neon. Photographs, including images from L.A. Taco’s own Erwin Recinos showing both historic and contemporary landscapes and events give a documentary context.

Curator Lisa Derrick comments, “The artists selected for Dark Progressivism: The Built Environment express the multi-faceted aspects of the Southland, revealing our region’s truths and beauty in a bold and uncompromising fashion.”

Adds d’Ebre, “MOAH, with its commitment to modern history and current art movements, is the perfect location for this show, and through the museum we will be able to secure a location for a Dark Progressivism mural by Fishe and Dreye, who created a piece specifically for the city.”

Dark Progressivsim: The Built Environment opens November 11, 2017, with an artist reception from 2pm to 6pm. Additional programming during the exhibition’s run will include a screening of the documentary, Dark Progressivism, a panel discussion and book signing.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the artists featured in the show, along with a selection of their work…

Artist: Roberto Gutierrez Title: Echo Park Year: 2013 Material: Acrylic Size: 36” x 60”

Artist: Roberto Gutierrez Title: Echo Park Year: 2013 Material: Acrylic Size: 36” x 60”

Roberto Gutierrez was born in Los Angeles in 1943 as the youngest of nine children to a father who worked in the railroad yards and as a dishwasher. His family’s lack of resources stimulated Gutierrez’s interest in simple and accessible things and in the city around him. He studied at Roosevelt High School and then went to the Philippines and Vietnam as a member of the United States Marines. Afterwards, he used the G.I. Bill to attend East Los Angeles Community College, and has since focused on his art, which depicts life in el barrio and Los Angeles. His work has been widely shown in galleries throughout the Southwest and extensively distributed through the medium of posters.

Artist: Rafael Reyes (Leafar Seyer) Title: Southland (created for this show) Year: 2017 Medium: Acrylic and glitter on wood, steel frame and stand Size: 36” x 96” x 3”

Rafael Reyes (Leafar Seyer)