State of Mind: New California Art Circa 1970

Linda Mary Montano, Chicken Dance: The Streets of San Francisco, 1972. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: Mitchell Payne.
Eleanor Antin, Representational Painting, 1971. Courtesy the artist and Ronald Feldman Fine Arts, New York
Installation view of State of Mind: New California Art Circa 1970 at the Bronx Museum of Arts, Bronx, NY, 2013. Image: Bill Kontzius
Tom Marioni, One Second Sculpture, 1969. Courtesy the artist
Allen Ruppersberg, Al’s Grand Hotel Life-size Standee, 1971. Courtesy the artist
Martha Rosler, First Lady (Pat Nixon), 1967-72. Courtesy of the artist and Mitchell-Innes & Nash Gallery, New York
Bonnie Ora Sherk, Financial District: Corner of Montgomery and California Streets, San Francisco, 1970. Courtesy of the artist
Robert Kinmont, 8 Natural Handstands, c. 1969/2009. Courtesy of Alexander and Bonin.
Installation view of State of Mind: New California Art Circa 1970 at Smart Art Museum, Chicago, IL, 2013.
State of Mind: New California Art Circa 1970 is a thorough investigation of seminal conceptual and related avant-garde activities among California artists in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and the critical interchange between them. While these artists emerged concurrently with those in other parts of the world, many still remain lesser known than their East Coast and European counterparts. State of Mind identifies and investigates California artists' significant contributions in Conceptual art, video, performance and installation. The exhibition demonstrates the significant changes in artistic practice that coincided with the burgeoning number of art schools and university art departments, nonprofit art spaces, alternative galleries and artist-run spaces and publications that not only provided exhibition opportunities but, in the relative absence of commercial support, also created a community that fostered an exchange of radical forms and ideas.

Organized around central themes, State of Mind features approximately 150 works by 60 artists, ranging from those who became major international figures to lesser-known artists who nonetheless made important contributions. The exhibition consists of video, film, photography, installation, artist's books, drawing and paintings. Additionally there is extensive performance documentation and ephemera.

State of Mind: New California Art Circa 1970 is curated by Constance Lewallen and Karen Moss and co-organized by the Orange County Museum of Art and the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive. The tour is organized by Independent Curators International (ICI), New York, and is made possible, in part, by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, Video Data Bank, Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), and with the generous support of Robert Redd, LLC, and the ICI Board of Trustees.


Constance M Lewallen

Constance M. Lewallen is adjunct curator at the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive where she has curated many major exhibitions, including The Dream of the Audience: Theresa Hak Kyung Cha (1951-1982) (2001); Everything Matters: Paul Kos, a Retrospective (2003); Ant Farm, 1968-1978 (2004); A Rose Has No Teeth: Bruce Nauman in the 1960s (2007), all of which toured nationally and internationally and were accompanied by catalogues. In 2009 she curated Allen Ruppersberg: You and Me or the Art of Give and Take for the Santa Monica Museum of Art.

Karen Moss

Karen Moss is adjunct curator at Orange County Museum of Art, where she has curated exhibitions including 15 Minutes of Fame: Photographs from Ansel Adams to Andy Warhol (2010); Disorderly Conduct: Recent Art in Tumultuous Times (2009); Art Since the 1960s: California Experiments (2007-2008), and co-curated the 2006 California Biennial. Previously, Moss held curatorial positions at the San Francisco Art Institute, Walker Art Center, Santa Monica Museum of Art and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. She also teaches in the Graduate Public Practice program at Otis College of Art and Design and in the MA program in Art and Curatorial Practice at USC Roski School of Fine Arts.

Touring Schedule

  • Smart Museum of Art
    Chicago, IL
    October 3, 2013 - January 12, 2014
  • The Bronx Museum of the Arts
    Bronx, New York
    June 23, 2013 - September 8, 2013
  • SITE Santa Fe
    Santa Fe, New Mexico
    February 23, 2013 - May 20, 2013
  • Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    September 28, 2012 - December 9, 2012