Three solo contemporary exhibits will open in January at the Art, Design & Architecture Museum (AD&A Museum) at UCSB.
Cutting across time and place, the exhibits present reimagined stories in familiar settings as seen through the lenses and brushes of three women artists — photographers Mona Kuhn and Marion Post Wolcott, and painter Harmonia Rosales.
While Kuhn establishes a dialogue with architect Rudolph Schindler by way of her protagonist muse, Wolcott revisits the alternative lifestyle that flourished in Isla Vista during the early 1970s, and Rosales entwines Greek and Yoruba mythologies, reifying Black female empowerment through Renaissance painting.
The show runs Jan. 19-May 1. Admission to the AD&A Museum’s exhibits is free.
The exhibit, consisting of a new multimedia installation inspired by holdings in the Museum’s Architecture & Design Collection, tells a story about an unrequited love unfolding on different planes of time and space as captured by the sensitive lens of photographer Mona Kuhn.
The story’s protagonist is a mysterious woman, purportedly a past lover of Schindler, who longs for his presence as she sneaks into his vacant and shadowy house. By adopting techniques employed by the surrealists at the time the house was built, Kuhn explores the power of photography to play with one’s temporal and spatial senses.
Se also emphasizes the fictional narrative’s psychic and emotional drive by investing the Schindler House with its own unique phenomenological dimension. Corresponding to the story’s elusiveness, the show takes the form of large projections, which, choreographed with original music, underscore the immersive qualities of the visual fiction.
Archival materials from the Schindler collection — the genesis of this innovative audiovisual project — complement the installation.
835 Kings Road is organized by the AD&A Museum and curated by Silvia Perea, curator, Architecture and Design Collection in collaboration with Kuhn, composer Boris Salchow, associate professor of theater design Greg Mitchell, and graphic designer Wonho Lee.
The exhibit has received support from Victoria Hendler Broom, Kai Loebach and Lee Miller, Sharyn and Bruce Charnas, Carol Vernon and Robert Turbin, Diana Miller and Brian Hershkowitz, and the Joseph S. Melchione Endowed Fund for Photography.
» Harmonia Rosales: Entwined, Jan. 8-May 1
This exhibit presents a new body of paintings by celebrated Afro-Cuban American artist Rosales that explores orishas (West African Yorùbá deities) and their extraordinary tales of desire and beauty, envy and betrayal, endurance and hope.
The Afro-Cuban tales are here entwined with those from ancient Greek mythology whose gods, goddesses and heroes are as contradictory and capricious as the orishas. Harmonia Rosales: Entwined presents the evolution of the artist’s paintings from those that explicitly engage with Greek mythology to those where the associations are more subtle.
Her art embraces the Greek myths and supplants them, creating a new Renaissance visuality that foregrounds the power and beauty of Black and Latinx figures.
Harmonia Rosales: Entwined is organized by the AD&A Museum. The exhibit is curated in collaboration with the artist by Helen Morales, the Argyropoulos professor of Hellenic Studies, with Sophia Quach McCabe, and Polyxeni Trikoulis.
The exhibit is co-sponsored by the departments of Classics, Religious Studies, Black Studies, Chicana and Chicano Studies, History of Art and Architecture, as well as the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, the Capps Center, the Center for Black Studies Research, the Interdisciplinary Humanities Center, the Division of Humanities & Fine Arts, and the Society for Classical Studies’ “Ancient Worlds, Modern Communities” initiative.
» Isla Vista: Resistance and Progress by Marion Post Wolcott, Jan. 8-May 1; Marion Post Wolcott, May Day Protest, Isla Vista, 1974.
This show features a rare series of color photographs that document the forward-thinking lifestyle of Isla Vista (IV), an unincorporated neighborhood adjacent to the UCSB campus, during the 1970s — a period marked by frequent anti-war protests and riots in the area.
The photographer, Post Wolcott (Bloomfield, NJ, 1910-Santa Barbara, CA, 1990), is best known for her socially sensitive portrait of the Depression Era for the Farm Security Administration between 1938 and 1942.
Thirty years later, after living long periods of time abroad and accompanying her husband on work-related assignments, Post Wolcott finds in IV not only her progressive ideals reflected, but the liberal atmosphere that encourages her to regain full control over her professional practice.
Her photographs of the neighborhood honor the alternative world that local residents were building for themselves in opposition to conservative social norms. Rather than capturing wide panoramas, Post Wolcott focuses on details that convey IV´s unique counterculture ethos, from recycling plants to celebratory banners to vegetarian restaurants and family festivals.
Bright colors and a warm luminosity galvanize Post Wolcott’s textured landscape instilling a positive vibe to the neighborhood´s visual history during its darker years. In addition to its documentary value, this series exhibits an arresting artistic quality that contributes to elevate Post Wolcott’s recognition as an artist from the 1970s onward.
This exhibition is organized by the AD&A Museum and curated by Silvia Perea, Curator, Architecture and Design Collection. The thanks Linda Wolcott Moore for her donation of this collection of photographs, as well as to Lucy Lu for her curatorial assistance.
All events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.
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