State of Mind: New California Art circa 1970 at the Smart Museum of Art

Robert Kinmont, 8 Natural Handstands, c. 1969/2009. Courtesy of Alexander and Bonin.

On View October 3, 2013 — January 12, 2014

State of Mind: New California Art circa 1970 opens on October 3, 2013, at the University of Chicago’s Smart Museum of Art. Organized as part of the landmark Pacific Standard Time initiative by the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) and the Orange County Museum of Art, State of Mind: New California Art Circa 1970 is the first in-depth survey of conceptual art in California. It examines this formative period and the enduring legacy it has left for succeeding generations of artists. It includes the work of sixty artists and collectives, including Ant Farm, John Baldessari, Chris Burden, Lynn Hershman, Bruce Nauman, Martha Rosler, and Ed Ruscha. Organized thematically, the exhibition showcases more than 150 works of art—installations, photographs, videos and films, artists’ books, and extensive performance documentation—that demonstrate the critical role of California artists in the development of conceptual art and other new genres.

The exhibition is accompanied by an extensive publication that offers a comprehensive study of a time when California became a vibrant center for original art and exhibition making. The publication offers itself as an extensive source of rare primary images and fundamental essays by co-curators Constance M. Lewallen and Karen Moss, Julia Bryan-Wilson, and Anne Rorimer.

Free Public Programs

At the Threshold
Thursday, October 3, 2013, 5 pm

with a talk by curators Constance Lewallen and Karen Moss

Family Day: Makin’ Waves
Saturday, October 5, 2013, 1-4 pm

presented in collaboration with The Big Draw Chicago

Third Thursday: Extra-Ordinary
Thursday, October 17, 2013, 5:30 pm

appreciate the art of the mundane and make your own conceptual art inspired by State of Mind

Thursday, November 7, 2013, 5:30 pm

a two-day program studying Ed Ruscha’s books in State of Mind and going on a photo hike in Hyde Park, presented in collaboration with the Center for Book and Paper Arts

Third Thursday: Inflatable U
Thursday, November 21, 2013, 5:30 pm

Using Ant Farm’s 1973 Inflatocookbook as a guide, build inflatable sculptures to awe and surprise

Family Day: Lights Up!
Saturday, December 7, 2013, 1-4 pm

use funky lights and colored films to change the way you see the world and then make crazy yellow helmets and pink sunglasses to take home. Inspired by Barbara T. Smith’s work on view in State of Mind

Friday, December 13, 2013, 12:00 pm

explore the relationship between body, action and documentation in the work of Bruce Nauman with Sarah Mendelsohn and Faye R. Gleisser

Third Thursday: Darkness and Light
Thursday, December 19, 2013, 5:30 pm

banish the darkness of winter with luminescent artworks by Bruce Nauman and Barbara T. Smith

Performance: Anthony Pateras
Saturday, January 11, 2014, 8:00 pm

presented by the Smart Museum of Art in collaboration with Lampo

All events are free and open to the public
To view the Smart Museum of Art’s free public programs in detail, click here

October 3, 2013 - January 12, 2014

5550 S Greenwood Ave
Chicago, IL 60637


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 an art historian, curator, educator and writer based in Los Angeles, where she is Professor of Critical Studies and Director of the MA Curatorial Program at USC Roski School of Art and Design. In addition to serving as the consulting curator for Talking to Action, she also co-curated State of Mind: New California Art Circa 1970 an exhibition for the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time /Los Angeles that opened at Orange County Museum of Art and Berkeley Art Museum, that was toured by ICI to the Belkin Gallery at University of British Columbia, SITE Santa Fe and the Bronx Museum of the Arts.  Moss has held senior curatorial and education positions at Orange County Museum of Art; San Francisco Art Institute; Santa Monica Museum of Art and Walker Art Center. Earlier in her career she worked at MoCA, Los Angeles, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum. Moss received her BA in art history and studio art from UC Santa Cruz, attended the MA program in history of art at UC Berkeley, then received her MA and PhD degrees in art history from USC. She lectures frequently and has authored numerous essays for exhibition publications, and articles for art magazines and scholarly journals.

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