Artist a Day Challenge (16): Genevieve Gaignard at CAAM

It’s easy to compare Genevieve Gaignard’s photographic portraits to artists like Cindy Sherman, but once you walk into Smell the Roses, Gaignard’s immersive three-part installation at CAAM, the experience is very different; she invites you to walk into her portraits. With small-scale furniture and mini appliances fit for a tiny home, Gaignard creates wildly complex backdrops that guide viewers on an emotional journey … Continue reading Artist a Day Challenge (16): Genevieve Gaignard at CAAM

Artist a Day Challenge (9): Theaster Gates at Regen Projects

Theaster Gates puts viewers to work when they experience his art, and this is precisely what drew me to a particular group of paintings at his current show Regen Projects in L.A. The exhibition titled But to Be a Poor Race is an homage to W.E.B. Du Bois’ 1903 book, The Souls of Black Folk, the seminal series of essays … Continue reading Artist a Day Challenge (9): Theaster Gates at Regen Projects

Artist a Day Challenge (6): The Disrupters

Change is not always an organic process, sometimes it needs a little nudge. When it came to diverse cultural representation within Los Angeles museums in the 1960s, LACMA in particular needed a few nudges… and a good push toward progress. One late December evening on Wilshire Boulevard in 1968, a curious crowd formed around the Ahmanson’ building … Continue reading Artist a Day Challenge (6): The Disrupters

Artist a Day Challenge (5) Beulah Ecton Woodard

In Los Angeles in the 1960’s many black artists including Charles White, Ruth Waddy and Samella Lewis fought for representation in local museums including LACMA.  Little did I know that at least one artist had been given a solo show there decades prior. Beulah Ecton Woodard was an artist/sculptor born in Ohio in 1895 who grew up in Los Angeles. … Continue reading Artist a Day Challenge (5) Beulah Ecton Woodard

Artist a Day Challenge (4) Charles White

Black artists that came of age in the 1940’s formed a tight network of trailblazers, visionaries, influencers and connectors. When I think of the legendary Charles White I see a connector.  Nearly every black artist that created art between the 1940’s and 1980’s were influenced in some way by Charles White.  His guidance and advocacy ignited the careers of many artists. … Continue reading Artist a Day Challenge (4) Charles White

Artist a Day Challenge (3) Elizabeth Catlett

I hear Shakespeare’s “what’s past is prologue” on a regular basis these days.  When we study history with the unique privledge of time and ideological distance, it’s too easy to criticize what we once considered unfathomable. The atrocities of the past would not dare repeat themselves in the present, because the scars and the pain remain fresh–they never … Continue reading Artist a Day Challenge (3) Elizabeth Catlett