State of Mind: New California Art Circa 1970

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

  • Martha Rosler, First Lady (Pat Nixon), 1967-72. Courtesy of the artist and Mitchell-Innes & Nash Gallery, New York

  • 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

  • Bonnie Ora Sherk, Financial District: Corner of Montgomery and California Streets, San Francisco, 1970. Courtesy of the artist

  • Installation view of State of Mind: New California Art Circa 1970 at Smart Art Museum, Chicago, IL, 2013.

  • Allen Ruppersberg, Al’s Grand Hotel Life-size Standee, 1971. Courtesy the artist

  • Paul McCarthy, May 1, 1971, 1971, Courtesy of the artist, Altadena, California

Curated by Constance M Lewallen, Karen Moss

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 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.


touring schedule

Smart Museum of Art
Chicago, IL, United States
October 3, 2013 - January 12, 2014

The Bronx Museum of the Arts
New York, NY, United States
June 20, 2013 - September 5, 2013

SITE Santa Fe
Santa Fe, NM, United States
February 23, 2013 - May 19, 2013

Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery
Vancouver, Canada
September 28, 2012 - December 9, 2012

Booking Info

Accompanying this exhibition is the State of Mind: New California Art Circa 1970 catalogue, which is available through the BAM/PFA Museum Store.

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