U N I V E R S I T Y O F C A L I F O R N I A P R E S S Berkeley Los Angeles London SAN JOSE MUSEUM OF ART

Peter Selz with an essay by Susan Landauer

Visual Politics in California and Beyond


Paule Anglim Hans G. and Thordis W. Burkhardt Foundation Frayda and Ronald Feldman Harold Parker Jack Rutberg Fine Arts Stephen M. Silberstein

director’s circle of the university of california press foundation
John M. and Jola Anderson Robert and Alice Bridges Foundation Earl and June Cheit Lloyd Cotsen Sonia H. Evers Thomas C. Given Orville and Ellina Golub Leo and Florence Helzel Mrs. Charles Henri Hine Mead and Nancy Kibbey Fred Levin and Nancy Livingston / Shenson Foundation David and Sheila Littlejohn James and Susan McClatchy Jack and Jacqueline Miles Thormund A. and Barbara Miller Elvira E. Nishkian Ruth A. Solie



william carlos williams .It is difficult to get the news from poems yet men die miserably every day for lack of what is found there.


keegan / xi An Overview Countering Cultures: The California Context susan landauer / 1 Prologue: A Personal View of the Interaction of Politics and Art / 25 Introduction: Paths to Engagement / 29 1 2 3 4 Against War and Violence / 35 Countercultural Trends / 87 On Racism.CONTENTS Foreword daniel t. and Identity Politics / 129 Toward a Sustainable Earth / 223 Postscript / 247 Acknowledgments / 251 Notes / 253 Selected Bibliography / 273 Index / 281 . Discrimination.


some of the most powerful art of the past sixty years—from California in particular—has been charged with the zeal and vibrancy of social and political causes. Artists of earlier times sampled popular culture. Artists championed the causes of the common indi- vidual not because of a pent-up demand for these subjects by collectors. artists have felt empowered to speak on behalf of important social causes and issues—sometimes at their own peril and at the expense of their careers. Though often underappreciated and outside the mainstream art scene in America. A sea change in Western art occurred about the time of the industrial revolution. xi . if you will. These artists traded.FOREWORD art with a cause—though not always appreciated or given the visibility it deserves (the antisocialist and anti-Communist backlash of the forties and fifties kept political art out of the galleries)—has always been about the human condition. providing a voyeur’s look for wealthy patrons into everyday life and the commoner’s struggle. this art has never been about salability but believability. but because artists were themselves commoners seeking to tell the truth. on the gap between the haves and the have-nots. Distinct from mere propaganda art. For reasons illuminated in this book. when artists shifted their attention from art about the elite to art for the masses. examples of which are legion and almost always about legions of one form or another. From Courbet and the French Realist movement of the mid-nineteenth century to modern social realism and contemporary art today. The mid-twentiethcentury juggernaut of modernism led by critic Clement Greenberg’s purist aesthetic and a surging corporate art market purged of content contributed to suppressing art of engagement. heightening an appreciation in their patrons for what it means to have it all. Peter Selz’s book Art of Engagement establishes a littleknown fact—that many artists of the past sixty years have been at the forefront of social causes in America.

making a stellar selection from the Museum’s political art collection. who have contributed countless hours to the success of this publication. It was home to Mexican American activist César Chávez. Thanks to UC Press’s participation. D. serious content was absent from much of the contemporary art market. We extend our special thanks to our colleagues at UC Press.S. Barbara Kutis. and accompanying programs. Social injustice. poverty. with whom we have worked closely for the duration of this project. The first female mayor of a major American city was San Jose’s Janet Gray Hayes. art of engagement is about content. It is appropriate that the San Jose Museum of Art has organized the accompanying exhibition. Our appreciation is also extended to the entire staff at SJMA. our chief curator. who conceived of the project and dedicated his boundless energy to this book. Keegan Oshman Executive Director San Jose Museum of Art xii daniel t. In presenting Art of Engagement. keegan . Norman Mineta. creativity. especially in the area of gay rights and the environment. Most visitors do not realize that San Jose has been one of the most progressive cities in the country. San Jose had the first Japanese American mayor of a major American city.. Susan Landauer. That spirit of egalitarianism and community outreach is still central to our mission. At SJMA we would also like to thank assistant curator Ann Wolfe for helping to coordinate the exhibition and tour. Visual Politics: The Art of Engagement. including fine arts editor Deborah Kirshman. I believe. exhibition. Thanks to Jack Rasmussen. Finally. from the beginning. Debbie McKeown. leading edge. president of the United Farm Workers. Daniel T. which owes its strength in large part to Museum trustee and collections committee chair Peter Lipman and his wife Beverly. and editorial assistant Lynn Meinhardt. SJMA is proud to partner with the University of California Press on this publication. the publication will be shared with readers worldwide. because the Museum was conceived during the civil rights era of the sixties. and gender bias are hardly the stuff for decorating the corporate board rooms and living rooms of America. has assembled a companion exhibition of startling power and voice. This approach is what keeps the Museum’s exhibitions fresh and. and conviction to document important histories and tell compelling stories. we thank Heather Farkas. I especially wish to acknowledge our friend and colleague Peter Selz. Though the styles do mirror those of the times. ranging from abstract to conceptual. It was during Hayes’s tenure that an unprecedented number of women were elected to the city council. project editor Sue Heinemann. the director and curator of the new Katzen Arts Center at American University in Washington. civil rights.The art is as diverse in style as the causes it represents. Visual Politics: The Art of Engagement will be viewed by audiences on the East Coast. We must acknowledge that for most of the second half of the twentieth century. as well as registrar Anamarie Alongi and assistant registrar Chris Alexander for assisting with the details and logistics of the exhibition. For their dedication in conducting research in preparation for this publication. and Lindsey Wylie. war.1 And it is in keeping with this progressive spirit that an important part of the mission of the San Jose Museum of Art has been. this exceptional press once again demonstrates its vision. to present underrecognized artists alongside the stars.C. leading the media to call San Jose the “feminist capital of the U.” The San Francisco Bay Area continues to be on the forefront of progressive reform.

the revolutionary Black Panther Party in Oakland. This was at no time more evident than during the sixties.”3 In California this ambivalence has been remarkably absent. as well as some of the most radical manifestations of gay liberation. which catalyzed profound social change across the country. Yet there has often been a deep ambivalence about mixing art and politics. and with the birth of the Beat and hippie countercultures. California’s role in twentieth-century politics is itself extraordinary. as the critic Max Kozloff observed in 1967. What we find instead is a striking confluence of political agitation and passionately engaged art.”2 Morality and art made for uncomfortable bedfellows. Käthe Kollwitz’s haunting pleas for the working class. to be explicit about politics was to court banality and naïveté—or. It is difficult to ignore the state when considering the peace and social justice movements of the sixties and seventies.”1 The artist’s dilemma. to run the risk of “preaching in a fancy form. and George Grosz’s venomous satire appear to stand firm within the canon of modern art. 1 . California played a significant role in their development. Pablo Picasso’s brutal antiwar protests.4 While the civil rights and peace movements grew simultaneously in cities nationwide. The San Francisco Bay Area took the lead nationally with the founding of the free speech movement in 1964 on the campus of the University of California. In their wake came the Chicano labor movement in the San Joaquin Valley. Berkeley. when New York’s avant-garde responded to the Vietnam War with what Susan Sontag called an “aesthetics of silence. and environmental activism.COUNTERING CULTURES: THE CALIFORNIA CONTEXT SUSAN LANDAUER AN OVERVIEW it is far from axiomatic that periods of cultural and political ferment produce art effectively addressing that ferment. was that of “trying to resolve divergent obligations. put in more extreme terms. The relationship between art and politics within the discourse of modernism has been particularly troubled. Red Power. even in periods of tremendous turmoil.

All of this activity was accompanied by an outpouring of political art unmatched elsewhere in the United States. Indeed, from the fifties until the early seventies, one had to look to California to find significant numbers of artists seriously engaged in political expression. During the Vietnam War in particular, at a time when many agreed that combining art and politics could only result in “well-meaning aesthetic embarrassment,” artists on the West Coast found ways of revitalizing the genre of political art.5 They did so by breathing new life into the iconography of protest—which, as the painter Ad Reinhardt correctly observed, had fallen into a state of exhaustion.6 They also extended the conventions of traditional formats, notably mural and poster art. One of the most intriguing results of the pairing of art and politics in California was a breaking away from conventional art media to produce new vehicles of expression. The desire to critique and circumvent the commercial art establishment led to a variety of avowedly antimaterialist, often inherently uncollectable forms of art, from junk assemblage to performance art, conceptual art, and video. It could be argued that political art is one of California’s more significant contributions to American art of the twentieth century. Despite the importance of this contribution, the present volume represents the first broad examination of political art in California after the Second World War.7 The subject is discussed in studies focused narrowly on topics ranging from art created in Japanese American internment camps in the forties to the culture wars of the nineties. In recent years, with the newfound respectability that political art has gained in contemporary discourse, the literature has grown substantially. The revival has precipitated a number of critiques, beginning with the writings of Lucy Lippard, whose books on protest art and identity politics—notably Get the Message? A Decade of Art for Social Change (1984), A Different War: Vietnam in Art (1990), and Mixed Blessings: New Art in a Multicultural America (1990)—look well beyond the mainstream to include many of the artists Peter Selz

discusses in this volume. Lippard’s inclusive approach is taken up by Thomas Crow’s The Rise of the Sixties: American and European Art in the Era of Dissent, 1955–69 (1996), the first major text to explore California political art in an international context. According to Crow, the cultures of resistance that appeared on the national-international stage first emerged on the West Coast. Crow credits the radical counterculture of the Bay Area in the fifties with initiating a spirit of protest that had “exponential repercussions to come across the rest of the country and the world,” although he does not explain why New York produced comparatively little relevant art other than to observe that the “political temperature” there was markedly cooler.8 Francis Frascina’s Art, Politics and Dissent: Aspects of the Art Left in Sixties America (1999), the other major attempt to survey political art of the sixties, finds the same disparity. Concentrating on Los Angeles and New York, Frascina delineates in scrupulous detail an entrenched formalist orthodoxy operating in league with corporate and government interests to keep political art from making inroads in the East during the late sixties. However, other than identifying fewer restraints in Los Angeles, he does not make a real effort to account for why political art flourished in California. Arguably the best analysis of the subject to date is Richard Cándida Smith’s Utopia and Dissent: Art, Poetry, and Politics in California (1995). Although Cándida Smith’s scope is early for our purposes— concentrating primarily on the Truman and Eisenhower eras—he explores aspects of the ideological, socioeconomic, and historic roots of both the political ferment of the period and its artistic expression. As Cándida Smith points out, many of the values of liberty and dissent taken up by the New Left were first articulated by the community of artists and poets in the San Francisco Bay Area who came to be known as the Beats. Essentially, Cándida Smith argues that the fundamental lack of support for contemporary art coupled with a growing opposition to canonical modernism after 1950 resulted in a self-sufficient under-

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ground network of printing presses, artist- and poetrun galleries, and private venues. The sustaining ideology of this strikingly independent community was that of “the innocence of the clean slate”—an almost religious belief in personal experience as the only authentic source of values. Well before “question authority” became a mantra of the sixties, the artists and poets of this community challenged—albeit quietly, in work that was often never publicly presented—a great many restrictions on freedom of expression in both life and art. Cándida Smith notes that while they contributed little to the civil rights movement or to the critique of poverty, the ideas they expressed through their art, poetry, political activism, and personal example played a vital role in fostering dialogue on issues relating to sexuality and gender construction, capital punishment, ecology, and the Vietnam War. Cándida Smith’s study provides useful background for understanding how artistic and political forces specific to California aligned themselves, yet he does not place them in a national context, nor does he explain why those forces were distinct to the region and not found in, say, Boston, Philadelphia, or Chicago— centers also distant from New York’s art market. Those cities had their contingent of political artists (Chicago especially), but they were less consequential in terms of both political agitation and artistic response.9 The usual explanation for California’s political activism is the state’s newness, that is, its recent settlement by European Americans, its consequent lack of entrenched traditions, and its special position on the farthest edge of the “New World.” According to this view, these distinctive attributes have made California particularly open to breaking conventions and embracing new ideas. Whether this characterization is recognized as reality or potent fiction, it is nonetheless routinely trotted out as the source of the state’s radicalism.10 Stephen Schwartz, in his book From West to East: California and the Making of the American Mind (1998), makes this the guiding thesis for his examination of California’s trend-setting contributions to American culture. He argues: “California was radical

from the beginning. It was not simply new, it was the newest society ever to have reached full development. . . . California’s role in a series of ‘cutting edge’ historical developments, in which it always occupied a forward post, its favorable geographical situation, and its instant rise to immense wealth during the Gold Rush have made it unique in the world. All societies undergo periods of radicalization; California has never known anything else.”11 Yet almost the precise opposite could be argued. While California played a significant role in empowering the New Left, it was equally responsible for vitalizing the New Right. Although Schwartz is sound in his assessment of the extent of California’s radicalism, he misses the source of that impulse, as so many cultural historians do. Admittedly, California has been a wellspring of antitraditionalism. It is true that from the early 1900s the seclusion of Southern California from entrenched institutions made it a haven for some of the most radical social experimentation in the country. As we have heard repeatedly, the region spawned mystic cults, nudist colonies, and utopian communities. Writing in 1921, John Steven McGroarty observed that “Los Angeles is the most celebrated of all incubators of new creeds, codes of ethics, philosophies—no day passes without the birth of something of this nature never heard of before.”12 San Francisco’s brand of radicalism was more political and evolved along more established lines. Unlike Los Angeles, which had no real bohemia, San Francisco had developed an avant-garde by the start of the twentieth century, with its North Beach emulating Paris’s Montmartre. San Francisco was host to some revolutionary groups—notably the Industrial Workers of the World, the ragtag organization of anarchists and socialists that the Los Angeles Times nicknamed the Wobblies. As early as the 1900s San Francisco could claim the most powerful labor movement in the United States, a movement that culminated in the Great Strike of 1934, which demonstrated to the country that a union of longshoremen could effectively shut down a city. During the Second World overview: countering cultures

War, the Bay Area became a center for pacifism. As Kenneth Rexroth pointed out, half of the nation’s camps for conscientious objectors were within hitchhiking distance from the bay.13 Nonetheless, California’s Left has always competed with a formidable strain of conservatism, and during the radical years of the sixties that conservatism was on the rise. Instrumental to the growth of the New Right was the tremendous boom in California’s defense industry, which eventually overtook agribusiness as the engine of the state’s economy. No other development in California transformed the region more than its strategic positioning as the staging area for the succession of wars in the Pacific.14 In the early years of the cold war the federal government pumped more than $150 billion into arming the American West with the apparatus of massive destruction.15 As the cold war historian Kevin Fernlund has written, the result was a landscape that “bristled with airfields, army bases, naval yards, marine camps, missile fields, nuclear test sites, proving grounds, bombing ranges, weapons plants, military reservations, training schools, toxic waste dumps, strategic mines, transportation routes, lines of communication, laboratories, command centers, and arsenals.”16 The link between right-wing politics and the defense industry is encapsulated in the extremely conservative enclave of Orange County. By 1964 Orange County produced ninety percent of all advanced communication for the nation, and sixty percent of its employees worked in the aerospace industry.17 The explosive growth of the defense industry, which reached its peak during the height of the Vietnam War, was accompanied by an equally explosive growth in population, as California surpassed New York in 1962 as the most populous state. Advocacy of defense thus became closely allied with bread-and-butter issues of growth and expansion, and Southern California emerged as the center of the “military-industrial complex” identified by Dwight D. Eisenhower in his 1961 presidential farewell address. Allied with this growth of industry and the military in the state was an increased need for

research, leading the University of California to rapidly multiply its campuses, eventually becoming the largest state university system in the country. During the free speech movement, it would become a heated point of contention that the school’s growth was not merely an accommodation of the mushrooming population but was fueled by an infusion of defense research funds.18 Integral to the growth of the Right in California was the intensification of anti-Communism, a natural corollary to the Right’s pro-defense patriotism. It is no coincidence that two of the nation’s most highprofile conservatives—Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan—rose to the top of California’s political ladder waving anti-Communist, pro-defense banners. Reagan’s rise is a quintessential California “success” story—from president of the Screen Actors Guild to star witness against his Hollywood colleagues before the House Un-American Activities Committee, to spokesman of General Electric (which played a vital part in the defense industry), to governor of California, and ultimately to the presidency of the United States.19 The anti-Communist crusade was, of course, a national development most identified with the senator from Wisconsin, Joseph McCarthy. The McCarthy era in American history has come to denote a time of conformity and suppression—in essence, a domestic cold war of internal containment. But the narrowing of politically and socially acceptable behavior was particularly restrictive in California, where the military’s presence was the strongest. As the historian Kevin Starr has argued, conservative efforts to control “subversive” individuals—often in the form of invasive red-baiting—were particularly rancorous during the reign of California state senator Jack Tenney. The highly publicized investigation of Hollywood’s Left in the late forties led to the blacklisting, arrest, and persecution of more than three hundred people in the film industry. With the imposition of a loyalty oath by the regents of the University of California in 1949, which forced the school’s 3,200 professors to choose between their academic freedom

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and their livelihood, the university partnered with the government in what became a wide-ranging attack on the left-wing intellectuals of California.20 In short, California during these critical years was hardly a permissive “land of personal expression, innovation, and experimentation” that provided a natural cradle for cultural change in America. Rather, the region was characterized by a violent clash of contending forces—between a strong and growing political Left and an increasingly powerful Right supported by immense financial interests. Most important, it was the very friction between those forces that became the essential catalyst for agitation, providing what the art historian Renato Poggioli has called the “antagonistic moment”—or in this case, the series of antagonistic moments—that typically ignites an avant-garde.21 Because the friction between these forces was especially extreme in California, the rupture was particularly severe. The cold war historian A. Yvette Huginnie might have been describing the situation more generally when she likened the struggle of race relations in the West to “an earthquake, produced by tectonic plates rubbing against each other as they slowly jostled for position.”22 The first of these seismic ruptures was, not surprisingly, a reaction to the draconian censorship of California’s intelligentsia for more than a decade. On May 13, 1960, in a confrontation that came to be known as Black Friday, approximately two hundred demonstrators, mostly students from the University of California, Berkeley, sought admission to San Francisco City Hall to protest a hearing by the House UnAmerican Activities Committee.23 They modeled their demonstration on the sit-ins that had begun only months before in North Carolina, when several black students refused to move from a Woolworth lunch counter.24 The demonstration in San Francisco, unlike previous altercations, was met with immediate government-sponsored violence. When the students sat down and refused to leave, four hundred policemen reportedly hosed them and beat them with clubs, dragging many down the marble steps by their

feet and hair. The incident was a watershed, nationally and internationally, setting a precedent for radical activism by students throughout the sixties. Black Friday served as a prologue to the free speech movement on the Berkeley campus four years later. The largest instance of campus disobedience in the country’s history to date, the free speech movement not only helped secure First Amendment rights on campuses nationwide, but reaffirmed constitutional protection of organized advocacy and freedom of assembly on a broad civilian scale. The free speech movement was also, ultimately, a warmup exercise for the upheaval over the Vietnam War. Although the war was clearly an event of national and international magnitude, Berkeley once again took a leadership role in organizing student dissent. When the radical activist and future Yippie Jerry Rubin decided to organize the Vietnam Day Committee in May 1965, his prospects were bleak, as a former student at Berkeley recounted: “At the time pacifists, leftists, and independent-minded intellectuals who denounced the Vietnam War were ignored; few Americans objected to the war.”25 Although earlier that spring the University of Michigan had organized its landmark antiwar “teach-in” and the first major march on Washington, D.C., by Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) had drawn an estimated 25,000 demonstrators, the event Rubin organized— a two-day series of speeches and performances at the Berkeley campus, featuring Allen Ginsberg, Norman Mailer, Phil Ochs, and Alan Watts and culminating in a march—represented the largest campus opposition to the war to date. The media surrounding these events helped bring to national consciousness the gravity of the war, which had begun its dramatic escalation from 1964 to 1965, when the number of U.S. troops on active duty in Vietnam had increased from 23,000 to 184,314.26 In the next few years, demonstrations swept across the nation with the revelations of atrocities: Operation Rolling Thunder, a policy of saturation bombing that dropped seven million tons of explosives (about twice the total used on Europe overview: countering cultures

and Asia in World War II), leaving an estimated twenty million bomb craters on a country of 128,400 square miles; Operation Ranch Hand, which sprayed approximately four million gallons of herbicide and defoliant over the countryside; and most wrenching of all, the My Lai massacre of March 1968, in which an American platoon senselessly executed, mutilated, and raped more than three hundred civilian women, children, and elderly men in a South Vietnamese village. The controversy over the Vietnam War was particularly strident in California, not only because the defense industry sharpened the polarity of the state’s politics, but because of its geographic position as gateway to the Pacific. The war could not simply be ignored when California was the last mainland stop on the way to Vietnam and the first point of entry from the battlefield. Between 1965 and 1968, 222,750 soldiers passed through the Oakland Army Base alone on their way to the Pacific.27 The return numbers were similar: veterans came flooding back through the state’s ports—some wounded, some former prisoners of war, many of them to stay—and so did the dead. A particularly chilling reminder of the war’s toll was the participation of Oakland-based World Airways in Operation Babylift, which rescued thousands of orphaned babies and children from Vietnam in 1975.28 California also became home to the largest population of Vietnamese refugees in the world, most settling in San Jose and Orange County. The final and perhaps most significant clash between Left and Right in California occurred with the rise of the social movements of the sixties and seventies. Again, California’s experience was part of a widespread national rupture, but one that was especially acute. To begin with, the liberation groups that emerged in California during the Vietnam War had a lot to do with the state’s participation in that war— and the two preceding wars. California already had a long history of discrimination, with its large immigrant labor populations of Chinese, Japanese, and Mexican descent. California’s Alien Land Law, the

Chinese Exclusion Act, the internment of 120,000 Japanese Americans, and Operation Wetback are but a few well-known examples of racial prejudice that affected minority groups in the West.29 Yet the groups that had suffered the most in the past—Chinese and Japanese Americans—were the least active in the liberation movements of the sixties.30 This made perfect sense in the new socioeconomic climate of the cold war West. Unlike Chicanos and African Americans, who experienced worsening economic and social conditions after the Korean War, Asian Americans tended to benefit from militarization. Between 1950 and 1965 Chinese and Japanese American men with training in engineering and science joined the white-collar workforce as they took high-paying jobs in the defense industry and for the first time enjoyed middle- and upper-middle-class status in appreciable numbers.31 During the sixties Japanese Americans were on the whole better educated than whites, and college deferments kept many from being called into military service.32 This suggests how critical the impact of the cold war was in sparking political unrest in California. The magnitude and speed of the demographic shifts that occurred in the fifties and sixties, coupled with the repressive social developments, set the stage for insurrection among the groups in the state who faced the greatest discrimination during those years—African Americans, Chicanos, and gays. Along with the successes of the civil rights movement under Martin Luther King Jr., the free speech movement and massive antiwar protests inspired emancipatory fervor. In many cases agitation for civil rights combined with antiwar efforts. It is no coincidence that in the summer of 1965, only a few months after President Lyndon Johnson ordered a large increase of combat troops to Vietnam, the Watts riots erupted in South Central Los Angeles—one of the largest civil disturbances in American history, with 3,952 arrests and an estimated forty million dollars’ worth of damage. The 2.5-squaremile area housed half a million African Americans, many of them migrants from the South who had come

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to find work in the defense industry.33 During World War II African Americans found employment working in the shipping and aircraft industries, but in the fifties and sixties the increasingly technical defense jobs went to whites and Asians. The Vietnam War not only tended to reinforce black-white segregation in the workforce, but blacks were also drafted into military service in disproportionate numbers.34 The Black Panther Party leaders in Oakland were among the first to speak out against the high number of African Americans going to war, asserting solidarity with the nascent Chicano movement.35 The Chicano liberation movement came of age the same year as the Watts riots. In 1965 César Chávez organized the Great Delano Grape Strike in the San Joaquin Valley, an event that helped make him the country’s most visible Latino activist and led to his successes in California’s labor movement through the United Farm Workers of America. The conflicts that gave rise to the Chicano movement were much the same as those affecting African Americans: a massive immigration during the decade after World War II (between 1944 and 1954, “the decade of the wetback,” it is estimated that the number of undocumented workers coming from Mexico increased sixtyfold), followed by discriminatory housing, wages, education, and—a particularly sore point in the sixties— overrepresentation in combat and casualty rolls. In April 1968, the month that King was shot, ten thousand Mexican American students walked out of six East Los Angeles high schools to protest racism. Their disruption of the largest school system in the United States marked the entry of Chicanos into mass social activism, including many protests against the Vietnam War, culminating in 1970 in the march organized by the Chicano Moratorium in East Los Angeles, one of the largest off-campus antiwar demonstrations in the nation. Adding to this tide of protest activity, the women’s movement arrived in 1966 with the founding of the National Organization for Women (NOW), based in Washington D.C., and gay liberation soon after, fol-

lowing the Stonewall riots in New York in 1969.36 While California did not assume a position of national leadership in the women’s movement,37 gay pride ascended to prominence in the state, eventually earning San Francisco the title of “the gay capital of America.” Like the Chicano and African American movements, the struggle for gay rights in the West was profoundly shaped by the Korean and Vietnam wars and specifically catalyzed by conservative efforts at containment. Hostilities began with government and military purges during the fifties and sixties. (According to navy records, that branch of the service alone discharged an average of 1,100 sailors a year for homosexuality between 1950 and 1965.)38 As early as 1950 some conservative politicians in California were comparing the “gay menace” to the threat of Communism. But this harassment only helped the homosexual cause; as Huginnie has noted, “An irony of the high-profile persecution of gays and lesbians is that it helped to ‘mark’—define and advertise—that very identity [and thus] helped to put Los Angeles and San Francisco on the map as West Coast centers for gays and lesbians.”39 By the seventies an estimated 200,000 of San Francisco’s residents were gay men and at least another 50,000 were lesbians.40 San Francisco was among the first cities in America in which gays and lesbians gained electoral clout. A historic breakthrough was reached with the election in 1977 of openly homosexual San Francisco county supervisor Harvey Milk, whose assassination less than a year later made him a martyr for the gay cause.41 the remarkable political ferment in California does not in itself explain the artistic response it generated, which formed a striking contrast to the initial near-silence of New York’s avant-garde. As mentioned earlier, one basic reason for the disparity was that the structure of art production was entirely different in California. In cities across the state, teaching positions rather than art sales provided support for artists, which gave them greater independence from the constraints of commerce.42 Thus conditions in the West— overview: countering cultures

California’s postwar avant-garde was much more closely allied to New Left thinking and. echoed the sentiments of some of the Old Left when he insisted that art and politics should remain in separate spheres. as a form of personal liberation.51 The Beats formed a true underground in the sense that they functioned almost entirely through such noncommercial means as cooperative galleries and private presses. and their literary cohorts Robert Duncan.49 There were certainly artists in California who followed the formalist imperatives emanating from New York. it had to do with shifting attitudes and alliances among the artists and intellectuals associated with the Old Left. indeed. Bruce Conner. keeping politics at a safe distance from their art. In the sixties it would continue to serve as a rationale for New York’s color field painters. . and make no reference to anything given in other orders of experience.”48 By contrast. That orthodoxy can be summed up by the critic Clement Greenberg’s dictum that contemporary art “should confine itself exclusively to what is given in visual experience. in our cities become grimacing monsters if viewed in political or utopian contexts. Jess. Michael McClure. Essentially. began to reject the formalism that had become susan landauer .”43 The writings of “Greenberg and the group” (as the critics who held sway in those years became known) were highly influential in promoting an art entirely drained of extra-aesthetic meaning. This was particularly true in early sixties Los Angeles. Jay DeFeo. and Minimalists. standing for freedom and a hard-won triumph over Fascist and Stalinist realism as well as capitalist kitsch.45 Nonetheless. refused to participate in antiwar protests. Ben Talbert. combined with a growing boom in the art market and its cult of personalities. Allen Ginsberg. Those arts that began with the modernist dream of human freedom may find they serve technological masters and the American empire. as the historian Stewart Burns and others have argued. for the generation that emerged in the thirties nurtured on Marxist debate.44 Yet this was an ideology that ran deeper than mere marketing strategy.47 This became an ideological tenet of even the most left-leaning artists of the Abstract Expressionist generation like Ad Reinhardt and David Smith. a loose-knit. a high-profile political activist who belonged to the Art Workers’ Coalition and 8 was among the New Yorkers who participated in the Los Angeles Peace Tower in 1966. by one account explaining cynically that “with the war going on all the people in Orange County had money to buy his art. One of the gallery’s mainstay artists. Pop artists. presaged a number of shifts in American radicalism.”50 But Bengston represented a minority view. abstraction itself had become politicized. where a contingent of abstractionists clustered around the Ferus Gallery in West Hollywood. served to compromise—one might even say de-fang—whatever political aspirations those erstwhile radicals may have had. Kenneth Rexroth. which had few commercially successful art galleries until the early seventies—were conducive to a far greater range of artistic expression. The Minimalist sculptor Donald Judd. . Golub sounded an ominous warning to formalists in 1969 when he wrote to the editors of Artforum: “The abstract sculptures etc. Wallace Berman. But Judd had trouble refuting those still scarce but increasingly vocal political artists like Leon Golub.. as early as the forties. and that the autonomy of art.particularly in the San Francisco Bay Area. . and Jack Spicer were among the artists and poets who. Stuart Perkoff. the effects of McCarthyism. This lack of competitive pressure meant that California artists were not locked into the market-driven orthodoxy that held New York artists in its grip. Wally Hedrick. for example. George Herms. somewhat nomadic association of artists of largely anarchist and libertarian persuasion.46 They took refuge in the premise that Meyer Schapiro put forth in his landmark essay “The Liberating Quality of Avant-garde Art” (1957)—the idea that rejecting tradition was itself a political act. Billy Al Bengston. was the only guarantee of political and ethical integrity in an otherwise deterministic world. Far more significant for the evolving political discourse was the social commentary of the California Beats. Gary Snyder.

obligatory in New York and to embrace a far more inclusive approach that combined an intense personalism with an uncompromising critique of society— specifically. consumerism. The numerous arrests and trials of California artists on obscenity charges became causes célèbres overview: countering cultures 9 .”52 Significantly. Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art. but also targets of.53 In the midfifties the North Beach police continually harassed the black poet Bob Kaufman for having a white girlfriend. finally an officer stamped on Kaufman’s foot and broke his toe. a bench warrant was issued for her arrest. Robert Duncan found himself banned by the literary establishment. which Ginsberg denounced as America’s “Moloch. In their visual art and writings (which were sometimes collaborative). homophobia. xenophobia. censorship of all kinds. America’s “colonial” foreign policy—and most of all (not surprisingly. the Beats attacked a wide range of issues. the destruction of the environment. the Beats were not only witnesses to. There are many examples that could be cited. including bigotry.BEN TALBERT THE ACE.54 When the artist Cameron was found living among blacks in Pasadena. 96 × 50 × 38 in. Wallace Berman was denied unemployment benefits in Los Angeles because of his beard. the growing military-industrial complex. considering they were in California). of the increasingly conservative culture of cold war America. but a few stand out: After publishing a candid essay on homosexuality in 1944. Any explicit reference to sex was met with police action. Utah State University. Marie Eccles Caine Foundation Gift. 1963 Assemblage. conservative efforts at social con- tainment through sanctions both legal and illegal.

as it was later called. the attempt to render the Beats harmless by a process of Dobey Gillification (that is. VICE SQUAD OFFICER. Typical of Beat assemblage. p. and drawings—frequently dealt with highly charged political issues. they played a major role in catalyzing it. Michael McClure’s defiant play The Beard. which laid bare the sins of America’s founding. With the increasing media focus on the Beats. And yet their work has been described as fundamentally apolitical— at least in the strict sense—in that it was generally designed for a private audience as a kind of personal catharsis shared among like-minded individuals. 95). was seen by only a very few. the hippies. but its distribution was limited to a small group of friends. most famously.56 George Herms’s Secret Exhibition of 1956. laying the ethical foundation for the student protest movements. Ironically. in the art community and beyond.58 was itself a political statement—a rejection of the consumerist culture of the postwar era and specifically of the elitist politics of the art market. JOHN REED. in fact. susan landauer . Such junk sculpture. Ginsberg’s declaration of his homosexuality in the national press in 1959. for example. WALLACE BERMAN. photographs. some Beats withdrew. the gallery literally sank into the mud after hosting exhibitions by Berman’s friends.CHARLES BRITTIN ARTHUR RICHER. which scandalized San Francisco in the mid-sixties and Mc10 Clure’s poem “Poisoned Wheat” (1965). making them cute and laughable “dropouts”) only served to swell the ranks of California’s counterculture.55 were in an important sense precedents to. In response to this unrelenting antagonism. the New Left’s activist spirit. while others became increasingly bold in their critiques and open about their unconventional lifestyles. 1957 Gelatin silver print. His Semina Gallery is yet another example of the Beats’ disregard for public exposure. the obscenity trial for Allen Ginsberg’s Howl (1955) are just a few of the better-known highly publicized incidents of censorship. While Beat art was in a certain sense anti-elitist. scattered over a series of weed-choked lots in Hermosa Beach in Southern California. a drawing by Cameron). and the rebellious youth culture that spread across America. each show lasting no more than a few hours. if not early manifestations of. the Beats not only responded to the ferment. The arrest of Berman for exhibiting a drawing of a couple copulating (it was. what had begun as a private underground began to fire a collective imagination far exceeding the boundaries of the art and poetry worlds. from civil rights disturbances in Alabama to the censorship of Lenny Bruce. the attempt by police to close down Edward Kienholz’s show at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art because of the artist’s “obscene” Back Seat Dodge ’38 (1964. Thus. most of the works shown were made of cast-off materials and have long since perished. Courtesy of the photographer. at a time when same-sex relations were still illegal in most states. or Funk Art. Housed in an abandoned roofless boathouse in the Larkspur marshlands.57 Wallace Berman’s hand-printed magazine Semina—produced from 1955 to 1964 and containing poems. and.

60 Of the artists associated with the Haight-Ashbury counterculture. Wyeth popularized images of victory and patriotism. With their eye-catching neon colors and turbulent designs.”61 In fact. which gave away or burned money and made free lunches for thousands in the Panhandle. Rick Griffin. they did seek to foster an insurgent consciousness that challenged the consensus values of American culture.”62 While artists like Moscoso. 35 × 23 in. and capitalist excess in the parks and streets of the city. and after finishing four blocks discovering that people were taking them down as fast as he could put them up. © East Totem West. exemplified the egalitarian spirit when he stopped painting after realizing that “for a dollar or two anyone could buy one of his posters. life itself—to make an impact on what R. During that period thousands of posters were made for various political movements. Joe McHugh. from Chávez’s strikers to the Black Panthers to Vietnam War protesters. it was perhaps the psychedelic poster designers who most embodied this populism. mirroring the simultaneous burst of political activism. these artists captured the ecstatic revelry of psychedelics and in doing so hoped to change conventional perceptions of SÄTTY STONE GARDEN. who had studied at Yale University with Josef Albers. performing impromptu critiques of war. posters became the obvious medium of choice for a wide spectrum of activists in the sixties and early seventies. In the sixties populism virtually exploded in California.its political impulse was never truly populist. There was even an anarchist street theater group called the Diggers (named after a seventeenthcentury English sect of religious communists). 1966 Lithograph. when illustrators such as Norman Rockwell and N. This tendency was particularly evident in the flamboyant counterculture of the Bay Area. Laing called the politics of experience. but ultimately “bowed to the inevitable and offered free posters to all who attended. D.59 This group popularized guerrilla theater in San Francisco. The new breed of American poster artist took inspiration from the European avant-garde and transformed the medium from a vehicle of governmentsponsored propaganda to an expression of dissent. many posters were free. C. Rock concert impresario Bill Graham recalled tacking up dance posters along Telegraph Avenue in Berkeley in 1966.63 As an art form that is not only anti-elitist but also inherently public. bringing with it a profusion of political art forms that aimed to reach beyond the art world to a mass audience. racism. Political posters were already a well-established genre in America. Victor Moscoso. overview: countering cultures 11 . Sätty. This is arguably the deepest ideological divide between the political art of the Beats and that of the subsequent generation. having gained particular prominence during World War II. and Wes Wilson did not attempt to effect changes at the courthouse or ballot box. After that he gave away posters to all advance ticket purchasers. where in the mid-sixties Haight-Ashbury “entrepreneurs” opened “free stores” that ridiculed consumerism.

In more recent years poster artists such as Ester Hernández and Richard Duardo have continued to articulate issues of identity and cultural and historical reclamation. With the advent of communitybased collectives. Associated primarily with the antiwar protests of the sixties.ROBBIE CONAL MONICA LEWINSKY. throughout California in the early seventies. from immigration and border politics to police brutality. 2000 Charcoal on canvas. beginning with the projects sponsored by the Works Progress Administration in the thirties. so do murals. drug abuse. which plastered the facades of art galleries along La Cienega Boulevard with posters stamped with the group’s “Stop Escalation” logo. BILL CLINTON. sculpture. the other major art forms that reemerged in the early seventies. 1998. 1999.”66 The first graphics were prosusan landauer duced in the mid-sixties for Chávez’s United Farm Workers Organizing Committee to help mobilize its boycotting efforts. or even photography. Chicano posters “functioned as part of the movement itself. the impetus shifted to a broader range of concerns. political murals are hardly unique to California. or centros culturales. and gang warfare. Gift of James Otis— Peaceful Warrior Collection. approximately 22 1⁄2 × 18 1⁄2 in. this kind of guerrilla activity survives today in the poster art of Robbie Conal. Political poster artists often circumvented the commodification system by means of private production and public dissemination. HILLARY CLINTON. the Chicano movement gave the greatest prominence to the poster as a tool for political action. The arrival in that decade of the Mexican muralists known as Los Tres Grandes— Diego Rivera in San Francisco and José Clemente 12 . but they have been especially prevalent in the state and have continued to remain a vital form of contemporary expression. As George Lipsitz has observed. in terms of “the disposable and transitory life of the streets. as the Los Angeles painter and activist Irving Petlin remarked. Like posters.65 Of all movements in California during the sixties and seventies. as vital forms that performed important work in the struggle for social change. San Jose Museum of Art. San Francisco has a particularly strong history of political mural production. artists were forced to think. If posters reach an audience far greater than that of paintings. which caused considerable controversy for their alleged Communist innuendos. each.”64 Petlin himself helped organize one of the earliest and most dramatic artistic protest events of the Vietnam War era—the Artists’ Protest Committee’s White-out of 1965. who stages “art attacks” against Republican and Democratic leaders alike in “secret midnight blitzes” that cover the streets of Los Angeles with his satires. With no funding or institutional support. notably the Coit Tower frescoes.

Asian Americans. close to everyone who has to walk or ride the buses to get places. and gays have all used murals to enhance cultural solidarity—an objective clearly enunciated in 1974 by the women’s collective Las Mujeres Muralistas of San Francisco: “Our intent as artists is to put art close to where it needs to be. Native Americans. When mural art experienced a resurgence in the early seventies. close to the old people. 1982 Screenprint. African Americans.ESTER HERNÁNDEZ SUN MAD. Plaza de la Raza in East Los Angeles. 22 × 17 in. Courtesy of the artist. and Galería de la Raza in San Francisco’s Mission District. positioning themselves in the populist tradition of the Mexicans. Orozco and David Alfaro Siqueiros in Los Angeles— left a lasting legacy. founded overview: countering cultures 13 . Along with printing posters. In California. women. Close to the children. considering the strong Mexican antecedents. many artists turned to Los Tres Grandes for inspiration. the Chicano movement has dominated the mural renaissance.”67 Not surprisingly. founded in 1969. Mural painting has proved to be a particularly powerful tool for a variety of social and ethnic movements. the major artistic activity of the centros has continued to be organizing mural projects.

The spirit of collaboration has been crucial to mural making in Chicano communities. installation art. the fifty-five-foot tower was decorated with individual antiwar paintings by 418 artists—a virtual who’s who of the Los Angeles. The Chicano movement is particularly notable for forging alliances not only within its own communities. scenes of Japanese American internment during World War II. Designed and built under the direction of sculptor Mark di Suvero and coordinated by Irving Petlin.69 An early and highly influential example is the Artists’ Tower of Protest (also known as the Peace Tower). 1983 Acrylic on cast concrete. Instances are as varied as they are numerous: they include street art. San Francisco. indeed. forty historians. has done the most to foster cross-cultural unification. probably the longest mural in the world. an organization dedicated to the documentation and preservation of murals in Southern California. and a support staff of over a hundred. Baca’s halfmile Great Wall of Los Angeles (1976–). and New York susan landauer . The muralist Judith Baca. but with disparate other social groups as well. performance art.sparcmurals. as it has for other disenfranchised groups. THE BIRTH OF ROCK & ROLL (DETAIL). © SPARC www. may be considered one of the defining characteristics of California’s contribution to political art in this country. forty artists. as well as in the Chicano mural movement generally. and the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. in 1970. runs through a wide range of political art and. founder of the Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC). were among the first centros to bring together artists and residents to create murals throughout their The communitarian impulse evident in Baca’s project. The subject matter is also geared toward racial inclusivity.JUDY BACA GREAT WALL OF LOS ANGELES: DIVISION OF THE BARRIOS & CHAVEZ RAVINE. depicting the construction of the railroads by Chinese workers in the late nineteenth century. the de14 portation of Mexican immigrants in the thirties. and other forms that do not fit any particular category. is the creation of more than four hundred multiethnic neighborhood youths (many from rival gangs). erected at the juncture of La Cienega and Sunset boulevards in Los Angeles in 1966.

228–29) took populist collectivism to an unprecedented extreme by extending an open invitation to the public to participate in her “social sculpture. and art classes for children. 1971 Pictured left to right: Miriam Schapiro and Judy Chicago. collective poetry readings that brought fame to San Francisco. expanded upon the Beats’ holistic. synthetic expression that blurred the boundaries between jazz. In the seventies and eighties the artists who did the most to extend the collaborative tradition in California art tended to be those associated with the overview: countering cultures SHEILA DE BRETTEVILLE WOMANHOUSE CATALOGUE COVER. shared experience. and psychiatric patients. Photo: Courtesy of Through the Flower Archives. The communal urge so prevalent in the American West first emerged with the beleaguered counterculture of the Beats.” the event was a collaboration between painters and poets at the 6 Gallery in San Francisco.73 Others have found a potent source in the antihierarchical ideology of the women’s movement. bolstered by the spread of collective political action. The critic Henry Sayre has argued that at least one strain of collective expression—performance art— can be traced to the hippie counterculture in San Francisco. from Ken Kesey’s massively attended “acid tests” of 1965–66—rock-and-light shows at which an estimated ten thousand people took LSD—to People’s Park in Berkeley in 1969. senior citizens. Billed as an evening of “collective expressionism. poetry.70 Womanhouse (1972) also ranks among the major landmarks of collective communities. The driving force behind all of these efforts at unity was not merely social innovation or fashion. and painting. communal ideal. a performance center. For this site-specific installation. The sixties counterculture. such as Dada performances in Zurich. The Farm consisted of crops and animals.” each room exploring the stereotypes and realities of the housewife.74 But these are manifestations rather than causes. but ultimately a deeply political yearning to end the rampant divisiveness of the era. 15 . and a hybrid. One of the first “Happenings” on the West Coast took place in 1957 (a year before Allan Kaprow coined the term).71 Bonnie Sherk’s Crossroads Community (The Farm) (1974. Ginsberg’s legendary reading of Howl at the same gallery in 1955—which incited something like the frenzy of a tribal rite—set a precedent for the performative. and finally to the popular vogue for communal living and group sex. particularly among feminist groups in California. stemming from a desire for solidarity. © 1971 Through the Flower Archives. twenty-one students from Judy Chicago and Miriam Schapiro’s Feminist Art Program at CalArts transformed a condemned mansion in residential Hollywood into a series of “fantasy environments. so much so that it became a leitmotif of the period. Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac read poetry while members of the audience used an ax to chop up a piano and some of the paintings on display.”72 Developed over a period of seven years on four and a half acres of land under a freeway interchange in San Francisco. pp. citing the Human Be-In in Golden Gate Park in 1967 as a seminal event. The utopianism of collective political art in California sharply differentiates it from its European antecedents.

The group’s first effort was graffiti sprayed on the walls of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art protesting a curator’s stated disinterest in Chicano art. . conceptual. and Patssi Valdez. or identity movements.. Patssi Valdez. notably modernists early in the twentieth century. who was on the ground floor of feminist art in California as a student of Judy Chicago and Miriam Schapiro at Fresno State (where the first feminist art program in America was established in 1970). and Humberto Sandoval in 1974. Paralleling the literary explosion of culturally diverse self-narratives. I remember the almost unbearable mixture of excitement.ASCO Left to right: Harry Gamboa Jr. . and pain in the room as this raw work burst forth. Artists’ cooperatives were particularly vital for artists affiliated with social movements in California because they suffered from demographic and geographic marginalization. Only in the eighties and nineties did the antiassimilation model begin to break down. a performance piece that satirized Chicano mural- ism. Photo © 1974 Harry Gamboa Jr. Feminists were among the first to promote the idea that defining the self was the first step toward liberation. much less one so emotionally loaded. Willie Herrón.76 This predilection was especially evident in the social liberation movements. replaced by a more inclusive identity politics articulating a theory of “intersectionality” and “post-colonial hybridity. California. Courtesy of Patricia Correia Gallery. was born in 1971 out of the art world’s refusal to show the work of its members—Harry Gamboa Jr. some of the most compelling art of recent years records emotionally charged recollections. Gronk.”75 As the sociologist Todd Gitlin has noted. Initially they did so for practical reasons. we had stumbled on a way of working: using consciousness-raising to elicit content. as they came to be called for their stress on transcending socially constructed personae. . roleplaying. we then worked in any medium or mixture of media— including performance. Willie Herrón.”77 She recalls how Chicago and Schapiro’s program “contested the canons of Greenbergian formalism” that were the required curricula of art schools: “Never in our previous art education had we been asked to make work out of a real life experience. from Roger Shimomura’s re- 16 susan landauer . . period’s emancipatory movements. After 1970 some of the most radical forms of political art were the product of artists’ collectives that rejected “high” art by engaging in direct interventions to effect social and political change. it seemed. By fortuitous accident. for example.and text-based art. remembers that the feminist artists’ slogan from the beginning was “The personal is the political. . . Gronk. Faith Wilding. as many disenfranchised artists had done before them when they needed strength in numbers. fear. the flip side of the communal strain of the sixties and seventies was a seemingly opposed but equally powerful libertarian tendency that amounted to a cult of the selfsufficient individual searching for maximum personal freedom. The group went on to perform a range of guerrilla theater pieces. The performance group Asco (Spanish for “nausea”).. They were more than a decade ahead of their time in works such as the Instant Mural (1974). Santa Monica. and other nontraditional tools—to reveal our hidden histories.”78 Numerous artists have since used storytelling as a means of reclaiming the past—both personal and collective. some of which were strikingly prescient in their critique of the conformity of Chicanos within the Chicano movement.

membrance of his third birthday in a Japanese American internment camp to Carmen Lomas Garza’s memories of tamale making in her childhood home in Texas. As Faith Wilding suggests. One of the most powerful examples of works in this vein. and Wilding herself addressed formerly untouchable themes. Courtesy of the artist. 66 × 66 in. David Hockney’s paintings allow a glimpse into the most confidential aspects of his love life. from a detailed account of her grief over her husband’s accidental death to her own battles with menopause and aging.LONG NGUYEN TALES OF YELLOW SKIN #5. such as menstruation and the female orgasm. when artists such as Lynn Hershman. Rachel Rosenthal. Long Nguyen’s series Tales of Yellow Skin (1991– ). 1992 Oil on canvas. In recent years feminists have tended to move away from body-based subjects but have not abandoned their preoccupation with intimate autobiography. Attempting to expose the simplistic notions of ethnic and gender stereotyping. particularly during the early years. bears witness to the artist’s harrowing experiences as a boy growing up in the midst of war-wracked Vietnam. some artists have taken to fanciful reworkings of identity that go far beyond the mere exploding of myths. Eleanor Antin. Gay and lesbian artists have also been confessionally frank in their work. while Lari Pittman proclaims his gay sexuality in vast. selfconsciously celebratory canvases. Linda Montano’s performances have covered a spectrum of personal topics. overview: countering cultures 17 . some of the most intimate disclosures have come from the feminist movement.

images of Rube Goldberg–like contraptions that mocked the military’s boastful visions of technological prowess. and cape and walked along the beach among her unwitting “subjects” (mostly teenage boys). most provocatively as the male “King of Solana Beach.”79 Equally provocative gender-bending can be found in the tiny jewel-like paintings of Tino Rodríguez. FROM THE KING OF SOLANA BEACH. Stanley plays a starring role in paintings such as Pygmaliana (1984). Missouri. advice. St. and flaming-red hair. Using repellent rubbery distortions and lurid colors to shake his viewers out of their complacency. Belly Dancer (1993) has her jumping up and down on a prone man’s stomach to vent the very real frustrations Stanley feels about the art world’s ongoing sexual discrimination. who takes on the guise of bloodthirsty Saint Sebastians and androgynous mermaids. striped top. in which an Adonis susan landauer leans out of a canvas to plant a kiss on her lips. produced a photographic series casting herself as various outlandish fictional personae.80 In the mid-sixties. bestowing “greetings. Saul has continued to assail American politics and culture. Collection of Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum. for example. 6 × 9 in.ELEANOR ANTIN MY KINGDOM IS THE RIGHT SIZE. M. Louis. The region’s penchant for political humor dates at least as far back as the early forties. when Clay Spohn painted his Fantastic War Machines. Antin donned a beard. hat. His 18 . spontaneous performances documented by the photographer Phil Steinmetz. Recognizable in her form-fitting capris. Louise Stanley has created some of the funniest fictional selves in her updated versions of Greek myths. 1974 Gelatin silver print. political satire returned with a vengeance in the eye-stinging canvases of Peter Saul. and good wishes. Courtesy Ronald Feldman Fine Arts. New York.” In unannounced. Stanley belongs to a distinctive line of Bay Area artists who employ wit to reveal painful social and political truths.

sodomizing.81 Colescott hit upon his signature approach in the mid-seventies. The artist who has probably achieved the most attention for his political satire in recent years is Robert Colescott. 24 × 321⁄2 in. and crucifying Vietnamese women. From installation Pompeian Villa. when he began overview: countering cultures M. which caused an uproar after it was commissioned by the city of San Francisco and then rejected for its “disrespectful” portrayal of the assassinated mayor. 2004). who.Vietnam paintings (1965–72) are particularly shocking. Although Colescott belongs to the generation of Bay Area painters who emerged in the late sixties and seventies—the East Bay group around Peter Saul and M. 1984 Oil on canvas. recently casting President George W. Bush and his cabinet in the roles of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Untitled. whose grotesque caricatures of the seventies placed him alongside Edward Kienholz as one of the foremost California sculptors tackling political subjects. 19 . Another arch satirist from the Bay Area is Robert Arneson. see p. Louise Stanley that the art historian Whitney Chadwick called the Narrative Imagists— his work partakes of the contemporary taste for pastiche and appropriation. began his career as a political cartoonist. the best-known being his bust of George Moscone (1981. LOUISE STANLEY PYGMALIANA. The Bay Area’s tradition of irreverent satire survives in the caricature of Enrique Chagoya. 97). His missile-snouted generals rank among the most searing indictments of the military in American art. like Arneson. portraying American soldiers raping. Caricatures of political leaders also figure importantly in Arneson’s work. Later paintings expose the hypocrisies of American political leaders with venomous satire. Since the mideighties Chagoya has delighted in lampooning public figures. Courtesy of the artist.

According to painter and poster designer Rupert García. his narrative approach has secured him “a key position within the history of American art” for presaging the revival of figuration and “the bad manners of Post-modernism. George Washington Carver Crossing the Delaware: Page from an American History Textbook (1975). “the best women artists have resisted the treadmill to progress by simply disregarding a history that was not theirs. but Colescott added a distinctive political twist by substituting white protagonists with blacks. the Chicano artists of the sixties gave rise to the postmodernist disregard for style development with their insistence on “expressive representationalism.”84 In Lippard’s estimate. As the art curator Low20 ery Sims observed. The subject had been a staple of Arneson and his students since the sixties.” she wrote.ROBERT COLESCOTT GEORGE WASHINGTON CARVER CROSSING THE DELAWARE: PAGE FROM AN AMERICAN HISTORY TEXTBOOK. Colescott’s nomination as the American representative at the Venice Biennale in 1997 coincided with a major reordering of values in the art world. Courtesy of the artist and Phyllis Kind Gallery.”82 The same claims have been made for the art of the Chicano and feminist movements.”83 Lucy Lippard credited feminist artists with initiating the “sweeping” changes of the seventies. Colescott has now been hailed as an important progenitor of contemporary trends. the most revolution- susan landauer . a series of parodies of famous paintings. “In endlessly different ways. political satire. 1975 Acrylic on canvas. forces viewers to confront the absence of blacks in mainstream history and high culture. Collection of Robert and Lois Orchard. 84 × 108 in. a shifting of terms that led to the embrace of figurative art and its discredited cousin. for example.

© Llyn Foulkes. whether old-fashioned easel painting or the latest forms of new media. and Llyn Foulkes devote decades to political dissent in the traditional medium of oil painting. has encouraged artists to pursue meaningful subjects in a plurality of styles—even availing themselves of the most discredited forms. and mixed media. overview: countering cultures 21 . if not a haven. San Jose Museum of Art.85 But this had been the case in California for decades. Gift of The Lipman Family Foundation. the artists in this volume may strike a particular chord of relevance today— reasserting values of commitment to the concerns of the collective heart and mind. The widespread suspicion that formalism’s art-for-art’s-sake ideal was in fact “a ludicrous fantasy. in 1964 the curator Paul Mills commented on the complete rejection of “the whole power politics of style” by ostensibly nonpolitical Bay Area Figurative artists such as David Park. Certainly the rise of identity art movements throughout the United States in the early seventies marked an end of an aesthetics-based avant-garde. As the eighties advanced. LLYN FOULKES THE CORPORATE KISS. acrylic. indeed. it became acceptable once again for artists to address social and political issues without being excluded from the mainstream. certainly an environment where artists have been able to reinvigorate the genre of political art using any means they choose.ary contribution of feminist art was not its forms. Irving Norman. California has been.88 Only in such an artistic climate could painters like Hans Burkhardt. 2001 Oil. but its content—a reversal of Greenbergian priorities.”87 It is this emphasis on individual experience rather than on theory or tradition that has largely been responsible for the comparative abundance of political art in California.86 who won much admiration among his California colleagues in 1957 when he dared to debunk modernism’s obsessive genealogy with the comment that “concepts of progress in painting are rather foolish. Perhaps it would be more accurate to describe these tendencies as influential rather than revolutionary. 31 1⁄2 × 26 1⁄4 in. With recent signs that the mainstream art world is relinquishing the aesthetics of neutrality that made Duchamp and Warhol the twin idols of the last century.” as the artist/poet José Montoya put it.






my interest in the critical relationship between art and politics stems in large part from my personal history. In the mid-1930s in Munich, where I grew up, I witnessed the gigantic spectacles that Hitler organized: Huge floats with sculptures glorifying the Nibelungs and the gods of Valhalla and depicting German medieval knights as descendants of Greek athletes rolled down the flag-bedecked streets in unprecedented pageantry. In 1934 I visited a “chamber of horrors,” a precursor of the 1937 Degenerate Art exhibition and, like it, a virulent attack against the avant-garde, attempting to incite the public against modern art, with its intrinsic questioning of authority, and to rid, in Hitler’s words, “the German Reich of influences which are fatal and ruinous to its existence.”1 Here I saw paintings by Max Beckmann and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky, all vilified for political reasons, while the artists themselves were persecuted by the regime and had to flee the country.

More than twenty years later, as a student of the history of art at the University of Chicago, I decided to write my PhD dissertation on German Expressionist painting.2 These artists’ adherence to their inner vision, their rejection of traditional bourgeois values, and their creation of an art that demanded active participation on the part of the viewer fascinated me. Instead of analyzing the art in a strictly formalist manner, I realized that the movement had to be seen in the context of Wilhelminian and Weimar Germany. The sociopolitical context was key to understanding the import of German Expressionism, which had been marginalized in art historical studies until that time, partly because it did not easily fit into a lockstep progression of formalist modernism. Contextual studies became central to the discipline only later, but context also became critical to my perception of the new European and American figurative art in the post–World War II era. In my second book and exhibition, New Images of Man, I situated this art in

relation to existentialist thought. Connecting artists like Jean Dubuffet and Francis Bacon to existentialism, I underlined their awareness of “the mechanized barbarism of a time which, notwithstanding Buchenwald and Hiroshima, is engaged in the preparation of even greater violence in which the globe is to be the target.”3 The connection between politics and art is, of course, far from straightforward. In the early 1960s, at the height of the cold war, the American art community paid almost no attention to the art of Eastern Europe, believing simply that all art from behind the Iron Curtain was propaganda for a dictatorial regime. Yet, when I had the chance to really look at painting in Poland, I discovered a vigorous efflorescence, an essentially abstract art related to a Constructivist tradition and to Art Informel, but with its own authentic voice. This art declared its independence from the “official line.”4 Almost twenty years later Dore Ashton, Peter Nisbet, and I discovered a similarly vibrant, nonconforming art in the German Democratic Republic. Our exhibition Twelve Artists from the German Democratic Republic opened at the Busch-Reisinger Museum at Harvard University in 1989, the year the Berlin Wall came down.5 Obviously, nobody would claim that artists’ work prompted the monumental bloodless revolution that took place that year in Central and Eastern Europe. The effect of art on the realm of politics cannot be gauged. “You cannot prevent war with art,” Bernhard Heisig, one of the painters in our exhibition, stated. “But I can make a drawing of a hand, which will make everyone feel that this hand must not be destroyed.”6 I do not doubt that the artistic and intellectual ferment so evident in the painting and sculpture of the time, as well as in film, theater, and literature, had an impact on the dismantling of the autocratic regime, even if this cannot be statistically measured. My curiosity about this kind of interaction has continued and underlies the writing of this book. For the sourcebook Theories of Modern Art by Herschel B. Chipp, with contributions by Joshua C. Taylor and me, I

compiled key documents reflecting the relationship between the artist and the social order in the early twentieth century.7 Then, deciding to focus on the interaction of art and politics in a specific time and place, I curated the exhibition German Realism of the Twenties: The Artist as Social Critic for the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.8 In their disturbing and at times grotesque pictures, artists like Otto Dix and George Grosz assailed the hypocrisy of the bourgeois establishment. For a brief time a close interweave between art and politics existed, with the socioeconomic situation acting as a catalyst for works of political art. I believe a similar intertwining of art and politics has prevailed in California, especially during and since the 1960s, as I argued in my essay “The Art of Political Engagement,” written in connection with the exhibition Made in California: Art, Image, and Identity, 1900–2000 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.9 The free speech movement, the antiwar actions, and the counterculture of the 1960s have had a deep and lasting effect on the ensuing culture, on ethnic and gender liberations, as well as on the environmental movement. Indeed, one reason I moved from New York to California in 1965 was in response to the free speech movement at the University of California, Berkeley, which, together with the civil rights movement, promised a more progressive political climate. Coming to Berkeley made it possible for me to join some of the political actions and to witness the production of art that related quite directly to the broader culture of dissent. With my students, I participated in debates about the culture wars and the interplay between art and life. Some critics and artists have argued that “if it is political, it is not art,” while others stipulate that “if it is art, it is not political.” My contention is that not only can artists comment significantly on politics in their work, but political engagement in specific situations can produce authentic art. As Michael Baxandall pointed out in his incisive social history of quattrocento Italian painting, the artist depends on the beholder to recognize that the

prologue: a personal view

art produced is an integral part of the total culture, of the time, the place, and the social circumstances in which it is made.10 What was true of fifteenth-century Florence applies perhaps even more to twentiethcentury California. In choosing the works discussed in this book, I was concerned more with subject matter, with what the artist had to say, than with any particular style or medium. Edward Kienholz’s Back Seat Dodge ’38 (1964, p. 95) and Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison’s Meditations on the Condition of the Sacramento River . . . (1977, p. 227) may appear quite disparate, but both clearly deal with political problems, whether censorship or the debasement of the environment. It does not matter that Kienholz presents a tableau while the Harrisons employ maps and recitations—the artists make use of whatever medium seems most appropriate for their message. Indeed, the artists in this book work in a multiplicity of media, from painting and sculpture to photography (including documentary photography) to installation and performance art to art that uses high-tech equipment and art that works with the natural environment. I have chosen, however, not to include film or video art, which is essentially a cinematic medium. In keeping with my focus on the interface between art and politics, I have avoided classifying works by styles, isms, or art world trends. Instead, I have divided this book into four major sections, in each of which art is viewed in relation to a specific political problem: war and violence, the established social

order and consumerist mentality, ethnic and gender identity, and the environment. The discussion thus flows synchronically rather than chronologically. Some artists appear in more than one section as their work touches on different issues. This book does not pretend to be objective; it is written from a politically progressive point of view. Philosophically, it is dubious that objectivity is an option. As Werner Heisenberg enunciated in 1927, even in the pure sciences there is no absolute certainty but only relative probabilities. Postmodernist theory has further asserted a skeptical attitude toward the concept of Truth, whether in art or in its criticism. The idea that an artwork can be seen as autonomous, separate from its culture, and judged with critical distance seems highly problematic. But even given the bias of my own left-leaning persuasion, I believe it would be difficult to find forceful political art of a right-wing persuasion. Political art, by my definition, questions authority and is thus an art of dissent. During the years I have been working on this study, a great many artists have come to my attention, but it has been impossible to include all of them. I see this book as a beginning, and I hope it will generate discussion about what political art is and could be. One reader suggested that I might point to future directions of political art in California and beyond. As an art historian, however, I am committed to interpreting the art of the past, and as a critic, I try to arrive at critical responses to the art of the present. I must leave it to the artists of the future to show us new directions. I am sure they will, as they always have.

prologue: a personal view




orthodox marxist critics and theorists maintain that all actions have political implications; thus, all art is political. Against this view, much of traditional Western art criticism has placed art and politics in totally different realms of human endeavor. At the end of the eighteenth century, at the height of the Enlightenment, Immanuel Kant wrote that the artist must not be subject to external influences because a work of art, whether literature, music, or painting, is an autonomous object. According to Kant’s Idealist theory, art is confined to the aesthetic realm as a disinterested kind of discourse, unrelated to the social or political world. This idea gave rise to Romantic notions of genius and the privileged place of “pure” art, “significant form,” or “art for art’s sake.” Readily accepted by avant-garde modernists, this stance was carried to its extreme by Clement Greenberg, the influential art critic who claimed that the purpose of painting was ultimately nothing but the presentation of a flat color surface, since two-

dimensionality is the hallmark of painting. Along the same lines, some critics have contended that the true subject of film is its cinematic character, or that a print should primarily convey its specific technique, be it woodcut or intaglio. That, I believe, is far too limited a view. Even formalist critics tend to depict modernism as an assault on the dominant bourgeois culture, as a break with convention establishing a “tradition of the new”1 through experiment and transformation— a characterization that, to my mind, clearly makes political art an essential aspect of modernist art. Art at its best, I would argue, does much more than feed on itself and may even be engaged in effecting social transformation. Formalist critics and painters voiced their admiration for how Pablo Picasso and Cubism, the basic idiom of twentieth-century art, broke with the history of illusionist painting. But Picasso himself was no formalist ideologue. “Painting,” he announced at the end of World War II, “is not done to decorate

apartments. It is an instrument of war for attack and defense against the enemy.”2 And Bertolt Brecht proclaimed, “Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it.”3 Such outspokenness on the interconnections between art and politics, however, became muted in America during the post–World War II era. Blacklistings and imprisonments resulting from the McCarthy hearings repressed free expression among writers, filmmakers, and artists. Pernicious government censorship, along with an ensuing self-censorship, thwarted art with overt political content, undoubtedly helping to propel the singular emphasis on formalist art and art criticism for several decades. Let us not forget that art is a commodity, bought mainly by wealthy people, who do not want to be reminded of the existence of an unjust world. Art shouting political accusations is unlikely to be featured in museum shows sponsored by corporations or be purchased to decorate the apartments Picasso described. It requires courage and the willingness to take risks to make political art in our culture. Fortunately, in this country and elsewhere, there have always been artists willing to take risks, who agree with the sentiments voiced by Picasso and Brecht, who believe that artists can be vital, active participants in political and cultural change. Examples abound in the first half of the twentieth century. Consider, for instance, the provocative strategies of the Futurists, who in the early twentieth century produced not only paintings and sculptures, but also manifestos and performances aimed at mass audiences and intended to transform conventional tastes and values. This movement, conceived by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti and his followers in Milan and announced in Paris, quickly spread throughout Europe and into Russia and America. The Futurists glorified the great discoveries and inventions in science at the time, and their project anticipated art later in the century that worked toward a fusion with science and technology. Influenced by the voluntarist theories of Friedrich Nietzsche and Henri Bergson,

as well as the French social philosopher Georges Sorel, who advocated violence as a creative power, the Futurists made dynamism their watchword. They adapted the Cubists’ formal inventions in their paintings of “simultaneous vision,” placing the figure into its surrounding environment and adding a new sense of energetic motion and vitality to art. The Futurists’ founding manifesto of 1909 declared their commitment to “courage, daring and rebellion” and proclaimed their vision of art as “violent onslaught” and their “wish to glorify War . . . militarism, patriotism, the destructive arm of the Anarchist.”4 Indeed, when war broke out in 1914, they propagandized for Italy’s intervention on the side of the Allies against Habsburg Austria and produced powerful paintings and collages for that purpose. Later, Marinetti would lend support to Benito Mussolini and the Fascist party. But it was during the years preceding the Great War that the Futurists most strongly influenced modern art movements. After Marinetti’s visit to Moscow in 1914, the Soviet avant-garde began employing some of the Futurists’ propagandistic methods. Expanding on the innovations of Cubism and Futurism, Russian artists—Neo-Primitives, Cubo-Futurists, Rayonists, Suprematists, Constructivists—broke radically with traditional painting, moving toward total abstraction. In 1915 Kazimir Malevich took the crucial final step, placing a red and a black square on a white ground. By the time of the October Revolution in 1917, many avant-garde artists felt that their own revolution had preceded the political upheaval. Indeed, at first Lenin and the political powers supported the vanguard artists, allowing for a brief time an unparalleled apparent fusion of new art and new politics. Wassily Kandinsky came back to his homeland to draft a new plan for art education throughout the Soviet Union. Marc Chagall was put in charge of the important art school in Vitebsk. Women artists, including Lyubov Popova, Alexandra Exter, and Olga Rozsanova, held equal status with male artists. Artists created agitprop, decorating trains, streets, and boats with revolutionary slogans. El Lissitzky designed the red flag. Vladimir

introduction: paths to engagement

who came to see it in 1930. did not forget this introduction: paths to engagement 31 . sponsoring the Syndicate of Technical Workers. The next year. even if he was less interested in their socialist themes. This utopia. they constructed a fantasy world of victorious Aryan heroes. which soon became the sole permissible style of art in the Soviet Union.” combining sentimentality with chauvinism. who in turn understood and supported it. There Pollock may have seen the Mexican painters spraying Duco enamel and nitrocellular lacquers onto canvas. it did not dictate a particular style. spectacles. Aware of modernism’s subversive potency. These artists’ affirmation of Native themes was also important to the young American painter. they pronounced all modernist artists “degenerate” and ordered them imprisoned or castrated. Having witnessed the horrors of the Great War. influencing his own pouring technique. Orozco’s mural Prometheus at Pomona College in Claremont. and John Heartfield created graphics. and David Alfaro Siqueiros—known as Los Tres Grandes— covered the walls of many institutions in Mexico City. George Grosz. a style employing social and political criticism that had been prevalent during the Weimar Republic. soon after its completion. in 1931. including Tropical America. was expelled from the United States. Europe was not the only place where art and politics aligned during the 1920s. which had an enormous impact on American artists. as Grosz stated. Instead. often with a revolutionary bent. In 1932 Siqueiros was asked to paint several murals in California. Theirs was a monumental art responding to a new political situation. program. Artists as different as Käthe Kollwitz. however. José Clemente Orozco. In the late 1920s the Soviet regime. an active member of the Communist Party in Mexico. granted complete freedom to the artists as long as they adhered to Mexican subjects. The city whitewashed the mural. Their modern history painting addressed the largely illiterate masses. Siqueiros. art was intimately interwoven with the sociopolitical framework. In Germany the Nazis devised a similar. was called “the most important twentieth-century painting” by Jackson Pollock. under Joseph Stalin’s domination.Tatlin was commissioned to design the Monument to the Third International. and he briefly assisted during Siqueiros’s Experimental Workshop in New York in 1936. which revived fresco painting. Pollock observed Orozco painting his murals at the New School for Social Research in New York. Socialist Realism aimed to politicize all art for the purpose of glorifying the Soviet system. these artists wanted to document reality and penetrate its appearance. Guadalajara. felt that avant-garde art had little effect on the workers and peasants and established the more accessible style of Socialist Realism. . was short-lived. however. depicted a Mexican Indian strapped to a wooden cross with a triumphant American bald eagle above his head. but even more extreme. Los Tres Grandes also received commissions in the United States. and elsewhere with murals that fused the indigenous pre-Columbian culture. denounced as “cosmopolitan. . contemporary political themes. as in revolutionary Russia.”5 In Weimar Germany. . It is no surprise that the Nazis strangled this progressive stance in favor of glorifying “blood and soil. In their celebrations. and Sculptors. paintings. dedicating the work to the Mexican working class of Los Angeles. Art had to pay tribute to the Thousand Year Reich. and collages critiquing the capitalist system. They felt. Modernist art. California. In Mexico a progressive government pursued a program of education and support for the arts. Diego Rivera. and modernist painting. Pens that draw without purpose are like empty straws. and soon thereafter Siqueiros. Painters. Otto Dix. and pageants. on Olvera Street in the old Mexican section of Los Angeles. “Art was to be my arm and my sword. no matter how grim. The Mexican community. The government. which commissioned the paintings. Commissioned for a beer garden.” was no longer allowed. The Nazis reacted against the Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity). it was supposed to display an idyllic view of Native Americans working in tropical bliss.

finally restored in 1979. Lee. A few details had a clearly radical left-wing character. Jim Crow practices. 32 however. later a leader of Abstract Expressionism in the Bay Area. including the San Francisco Chronicle’s art critic Alfred Frankenstein and museum directors Walter Heil. Twenty-six well-known painters collaborated on this harmonious cycle of murals.) Anthony W. he did not picture some glorious El Dorado past. together with Kenneth Rexroth. painter George Biddle. Hassel Smith. so. and other Coit Tower muralists continued to produce paintings of social protest. was destroyed. no less— could pursue socially and politically revolutionary ambitions. This idea of public patronage for the arts derived largely from the success of public art in Mexico. its industrial production. Artists in San Francisco. explicit relationship. Sinclair (who did not get elected) denounced the capitalist system for its exploitation of workers and its adversarial effect on culture and education. in his study of the project. made for the 1939 World’s Fair on Treasure Island. peculiar and uncommon until the 1930s. at the suggestion of his Harvard classmate. they were closed to the public. and the German emigré John Gutman. (For years.”6 The year 1934 in California—the subject of the Coit Tower murals—brought not only San Francisco’s General Strike but also the California Democratic Party’s nomination of the socialist writer Upton Sinclair for governor. When the New York painter Anton Refregier was chosen in 1940 to paint murals depicting the history of California in the newly built Rincon Annex post office in San Francisco. these murals represented one of the largest projects accomplished under the PWAP. the conservative press lashed out against the murals and threatened their destruction. the disparity between classes. commissioned for the new Rockefeller Center in New York. had painted a portrait of Lenin at a prominent place in the fresco and insisted that it stay there. The first important PWAP project in San Francisco was the commissioning of murals to decorate the newly erected Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill. and the murals remained in place. when painting and politics could have a close. The theme was California: its agriculture. working for the New Deal’s Farm Security Administration. ensued in 1933 when Diego Rivera’s mural Man at the Crossroads. and today. which soon merged with the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Extending from the lobby to the top of the stairwell. where he painted three significant murals between 1931 and 1940. documented the plight of the dispossessed and the disenfranchised in drawings from the early 1940s. as did Emmy Lou Packard. they were declared a city landmark. portrayed the daily struggles of the poor. some seventy years later. and miscarriages of justice. under the general supervision of Victor Arnautoff. Rivera. were eager to express social. John Langley Howard. defended the murals. in California and throughout the United States. a Communist like Siqueiros. who had studied with Rivera. as the Great Depression worsened and the city faced a general strike. points out that “San Francisco experienced a historical moment. and Bernard Zakheim. turned their lenses on the plight of California’s rural and urban poor. Thomas Carr Howe. Rivera fared better in San Francisco. and when painters could think of themselves as workers who could make art part of a momentous historical transformation. Social Realist artists. and economic concerns. garnering international publicity. and Grace McCann Morley. and its city life. organized the leftwing Artists’ and Writers’ Union in San Francisco. Zakheim. Arnautoff. In 1934 President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. It was around this time that photographers such as Dorothea Lange.mural. established the Public Works of Art Program (PWAP). who. political. greatly influencing California mural painting and political art in general. believing that art could bring about social change. Instead. Throughout the Great Depression and into the 1940s. an old union town. A much larger controversy. the Getty Conservation Institute is working on its preservation. The art establishment. when art—public art. who had worked with Rivera on his mural Pan-American Unity. Refregier’s twenty- introduction: paths to engagement .

seven panels interpreted California’s history through a series of struggles, including the San Francisco General Strike of 1934. Again, the artwork stirred controversy. Taking up the call of protesting American Legionnaires, Richard Nixon, then a congressman, stated: “I believe a committee should make a thorough investigation of this type of art in government buildings, with the view to obtaining the removal of all that is found to be inconsistent with American ideals and principles.”7 The House Committee on Public Works debated the murals’ fate, but the paintings were saved. California political art during the pre–World War II period was not confined to the Bay Area. In Los Angeles the young painter Reuben Kadish, who had assisted Siqueiros on the Olvera Street mural, and his friend Philip Guston (then known as Goldstein), whose 1930 painting Conspirators had condemned the lynchings by Ku Klux Klansmen, collaborated on murals for the John Reed Club and other sites; they also went to Mexico, where they worked on a large mural titled The Struggle against War and Fascism. Millard Sheets pointed out the difficulties facing the working class in such paintings as Tenement Flats (1928) and Angels’ Flight (1931). Soon thereafter, however, he joined the conservative American Scene painters, or Regionalists—Thomas Hart Benton, Grant Wood, John Stuart Curry, and others—who depicted a nostalgic, romanticized vision of a bygone America. Imbued with chauvinism, they emphatically rejected modernist art. As Benton put it: “I wallowed in every cockeyed ism that came along and it took me ten years to get all that modernist dirt out of my system.”8 World War II shattered all these canons of belief. For the American Regionalists, the politics of isolation became highly problematic. For the Social Realists, many of whom subscribed to Marxist politics, disillusionment set in with the defeat of the Spanish Republic and especially the Hitler-Stalin Pact of 1939. Seeing the failure of attempts to “socialize society,” intellectuals and artists turned increasingly toward individual internalization, suggesting that alienation

from the community might actually liberate the artist toward free expression. Moreover, the presence of many Surrealists in New York during the war encouraged American artists to search the unconscious as a rich source of artistic expression. By the early 1950s Abstract Expressionism, with its apolitical stance, became the dominant mode in American art. Still, there were artists who continued to assert their political beliefs in their works. When the far-left California Labor School in San Francisco was closed as a result of the McCarthy era, members of its faculty founded the Graphic Arts Workshop in 1952, an artists’ cooperative that produced “subversive” graphics that were strongly pro union and frequently Marxist in content. But in the 1950s the violent attacks on free speech and artistic expression by Senator Joseph McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee, as well as the loyalty oaths demanded by institutions of higher learning, such as the University of California, created a climate of fear, helping to curtail the production of political art. All this changed, however, in the turmoil of the 1960s. The civil rights movement, antiwar protests, and a vibrant counterculture invited artists to take a stand. A multiplicity of art forms emerged—from Pop Art and Happenings to Earth Art and Actionism. The distinction between high and low art blurred, ending the reign of a stylistic avant-garde. The photographer and theorist Allan Sekula (see pp. 68–69), in his 1978 essay “Dismantling Modernism,” clarified the challenge for a new, more political art:
Suppose we regard art as a mode of human communication, as a discourse anchored in concrete social relations, rather than as a mystified, vaporous and ahistorical realm of purely affective expression and experience. Art, like speech, is both symbolic exchange and material practice, involving the production of both meaning and physical presence. Meaning, as an understanding to that presence, emerges from an interpretive act. . . . The meaning of an artwork ought to be regarded,

introduction: paths to engagement


then, as contingent, rather than as immanent, universally given, or fixed. . . . I am arguing, then, for an art that documents monopoly capitalism’s inability to deliver the conditions of a fully human life, for an art that recalls Benjamin’s remark that “There is no document of civilization that is not at the same time a document of barbarism.” 9 Against violence directed at the human body, at the environment, at working people’s ability to control their own lives, we need to counterpose an active resistance, simultaneously political and symbolic, to monopoly capitalism’s increasing power

and arrogance, a resistance aimed ultimately at socialist transformation. A naïve faith in both the privileged subjectivity of the artist, at the one extreme, and the fundamental “objectivity” of photographic realism, at the other, can only be overcome in a recognition of cultural work as a praxis.10

Sekula’s words articulate my intention in this book. My interest lies in art that is both engaged with this world and aims to make a difference. In the past fifty years California artists have shown again and again just how such an art is possible.


introduction: paths to engagement



war has been a major subject of western art and poetry since before the time of Homer. Most representations of war have glorified the heroes of battle, lionizing the warriors who, we are told, gave their lives for their countries and ignoring the reality that those countries’ armies took the lives of mostly reluctant, involuntary victims. Yet other voices have always been heard, including those of Aristophanes and Virgil, who were rather ambiguous about lauding war. By the end of the first century a.d., the Roman poet Lucretius explicitly described war as destructive rather than glorious. Under the patronage of kings and princes, however, most artists continued to exalt battles and victories. Only toward the end of the Renaissance do we find strong antiwar images by artists such as Pieter Brueghel and Jacques Callot, constructions that reached a culmination in Francisco de Goya’s powerful depictions of the horrors of war. Explicit antiwar paintings and prints became prevalent in the nineteenth and early twentieth cen-

turies. We immediately think of Honoré Daumier, followed by Käthe Kollwitz, George Grosz, Otto Dix, John Heartfield, and Frans Masereel, as well as Pablo Picasso and Americans such as Ben Shahn, Leonard Baskin, and Leon Golub. The saturation bombing of World War II, culminating with Hiroshima and Nagasaki, followed by Vietnam, the Persian Gulf wars, and the physical and psychological destruction of whole populations—all have mobilized opposition toward military slaughter, an attitude that has been mirrored and advanced in the visual arts.


In the aftermath of World War II, confronted by the atrocities of the German death camps and the devastation of the atomic bomb, many artists, writers, and critics wondered how art could possibly deal with these monstrous acts. The cultural critic Theodor Adorno famously declared that it would be bar35

barous to write poetry after the Holocaust.1 But artists were not silent. Paul Celan, himself a Jew, wrote perhaps the finest German poetry of the postwar years, dealing quite directly with the Holocaust. In the world of painting the New Figuration, or the New Image of Man, emerged, with artists taking the human situation, indeed the human predicament, rather than formal structure as their starting point. California, at the time still far removed from the art centers, was no exception. There, a number of individuals, mostly foreign born, engaged in political art in the postwar years. Artists like Rico Lebrun, Hans Burkhardt, and Harold Paris knew, as Albert Camus wrote, that “only the cry of anguish can bring us to life.”2 Lebrun (1900–1964) combined a virtuoso talent for drawing, profound intelligence, and passionate emotion in his dramatic works. Born in Naples, he learned about art in this tumultuous baroque city. In 1924 he left Fascist Italy for New York and arrived in California in 1937. He brought with him a deep knowledge of the European tradition, from Francesco Traini’s frescoes of the Triumph of Death in Pisa (ca. 1350) and Matthias Grünewald’s Isenheim Altarpiece (1515) to the more modern works of Goya and Picasso. From 1947 to 1950 he made many drawings for his Crucifixion triptych. It took extraordinary courage to approach a subject as sacrosanct, as heavily weighted with tradition, as the Crucifixion, but the Italian American painter did so with profound understanding, envisaging this biblical event as a metaphor for “man’s blindness to inhumanity,”3 which seemed so prevalent in the war years. From 1955 to 1958 Lebrun concentrated on finding a visual equivalent of the torture and murder of inmates at Dachau and Buchenwald. In the last canvas of his Holocaust series, Study for Dachau Chamber (1958), he placed the bodies of the dead in centrifugal motion. With a mid-twentieth-century conception of time, he used cinematic devices to link the thrusting and pushing limbs into a fragmentized whole. A grid of strong black lines on the right indi36

cates the furnace of cremation. This, the boldest painting of the group, is also the most abstract, the most distanced from the photographs of piles of bodies Lebrun had seen. The painter chose an almost monochromatic palette of mostly browns, grays, and black to convey the tragedy. Immersing himself in the unspeakable horrors, Lebrun wanted, in his own words, “to find out for myself that pain has a geometry of its own; and . . . my being, through a revulsion against all tolerable and manageable skills, wanted to speak out with a single shout.”4 Lebrun’s work, however, is not without hope. As the critic Henry Seldis has pointed out, there is an underlying “conviction that whatever physical, psychological and moral tortures are inflicted on the human form, its innate dignity and the unfulfilled promise of the human spirit cannot be annihilated.”5 In his mural Genesis (1967), painted at Pomona College in Claremont, California, in the same building that houses José Clemente Orozco’s great Prometheus fresco (1930), Lebrun articulated his personal vision of the Creation, transforming the ancient myth into contemporary form, referring to the horrors of World War II and the death camps. In 1964, at Lebrun’s memorial service, the sculptor Leonard Baskin proclaimed: “This prodigious man, this child of Grünewald, laid bare the heart of man; revealed the lineaments of man’s body, its wisdom and honor. . . . Rico is for all times kin to Goya. And see the grandeur of Genesis here, before you, making of a wall a shrine. Rico, like his Noah, ‘was a giant in his generation.’”6 Hans Burkhardt (1904–1994), another immigrant artist, also responded intensely to the events of his time with great empathy for the victims of war and poverty. Born in Basel, he came to New York in 1924, where he studied with Arshile Gorky and became friends with Willem de Kooning. In 1937 he moved to Los Angeles and, in subsequent years, motivated by the Spanish Civil War, produced several paintings of figures in agony, culminating in War, Agony in Death (1939–40). In this work a shrieking head occupies a central position, with macabre bones on the

against war and violence

RICO LEBRUN STUDY FOR DACHAU CHAMBER, 1958 Oil on canvas, 79 × 85 in. Courtesy of The Jewish Museum, NY / Art Resource, NY; the Estate of Rico Lebrun; and Koplin Del Rio Gallery, West Hollywood, California.

HANS BURKHARDT CONCENTRATION CAMP, 1942 Oil on canvas, 20 × 26 in. © Hans G. and Thordis W. Burkhardt Foundation. Courtesy of Jack Rutberg Fine Arts, Los Angeles.

right and a profusion of crosses, perhaps alluding to mass graves, on the left. A group of ghostlike figures, set against the sunset, accentuates the mood of despair. Burkhardt’s war paintings serve as precursors to his horrific death camp paintings, such as Concentration Camp (1942). A screeching skeletal mother, with blood coming out of her mouth, clutches the scorched head of her child in one hand while her other hand— large, gray, and bony—reaches toward the sky in a futile gesture. In its apocalyptic despair this painting calls to mind Goya’s Black Paintings, which also had a great impact on Rico Lebrun. Belonging to a younger generation, the New York– born Harold Paris (1929–1979) was deeply affected by seeing the dead bodies at Buchenwald, and he created

prints and then ceramic sculpture of moral outrage and compassion. After serving in the U.S. Army, this self-taught artist began a series of graphic works, the Hosanna Suite (1952–71), exploring different techniques to locate images of unrelenting despair and private nightmares that reveal his knowledge of such predecessors as Hieronymus Bosch, Odilon Redon, and Georges Rouault. In 1960 Paris settled in Berkeley, where he would be impressed by Peter Voulkos’s audacious ceramic work, which subverted the prevailing purist attitude that restricted clay to the making of useful objects. Inspired by this new approach to the ancient medium, Paris translated the Hosanna Suite (1960–62) into powerful, energetic clay reliefs, creating monumental ceramic walls, each made of many

against war and violence

he fired them and then joined them together. while promising peace.”8 In the years to come other California artists would focus on the unprecedented destruction at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. devastating much of Vietnam. Paris showed amazing technical facility as well as rich fantasy. which the Senate passed based on an alleged torpedo attack on a U. The Senate never officially declared war. destroyer. and Munich). divided the American population into sharply opposing camps and unleashed a storm of protest. Madrid. In 1968 the Vietcong won a major military victory in the Tet Offensive. PROTESTING AGAINST WAR. and vitality. scooped and gouged it. but then push part of it onto the ground and into the viewer’s space. government’s involvement in Vietnam began to grow in the 1950s. however. Executed with exuberant passion. in a domino effect. Military aid to the Saigon government steadily increased. which ultimately killed over 55. . Improvising with the heavy clay. The war reached fever pitch with the American incursion into neighboring Cambodia in 1970. reassembling them in different ways. He named these impressive structures Walls for Mem.S. “We are clay. but after the French defeat and division of Vietnam in 1954. In both their imagery and the way they are made. and President Lyndon Johnson announced that he would not stand for reelection. the Walls express his feelings about the Holocaust. commanders spoke of the “light at the end of the tunnel” as the American people watched the killing on their television sets.S. where American soldiers murdered unarmed civilians. By that time the public had learned of the massacre at My Lai. intensified the bombing. President Dwight D. The professed fear was that if the Communists won in Vietnam. After molding the individual sections. they convey what Jackson Pollock may have meant when he spoke of energy made visible in art. For many of these artists. . the horrors of the bombings in Japan made it all the more urgent to put a stop to the postwar arms race and the ongoing threat of nuclear weapons (see below). and in a theatrical manner battled it with sword and machete. saying. soldiers and sailors were fighting in Vietnam. Artists joined activists in their outcry not just against the atrocities of war but also against the questionable motives for the war. and Malachi (Hebrew for the Angel of Death). Eisenhower began sending military advisers to bolster the South Vietnamese army in its fight against the Communist North. the rest of Southeast Asia would fall. after the thirteenth letter of the Hebrew alphabet. He truly identified with the clay. The critic Jerome Tarshis concluded.S. even though by 1968 some 500. “More allusive than realistic.”7 Working on the Walls. resulting in great casualties on both sides. U. . The biomorphic forms suggest human faces and body parts. The American intervention in Vietnam. and direct military action was authorized with the 1964 Tonkin Gulf Resolution. At times he created groupings only to break them apart later. Paris built it up.000 U.S. the concern of postwar European artists to reflect the horrors of war. The U.joined sections. Paris managed to bring together the Surrealists’ interest in psychology and their imaginative treatment of the human body. including against war and violence 39 . It first supported the French army in its attempt to retain its colonies in Southeast Asia. My hand and every mark in the clay is a sign that I am here now—at this instant—and this clay is what I am and will be. FROM VIETNAM TO IRAQ The Vietnam War and Its Aftermath Art protesting war reached an unprecedented level of intensity with the Vietnam War. three “M” places where he had lived (Majorca. where the nuclear explosions instantly killed tens of thousands of people and flattened several square miles of cityscape. agitation. Richard Nixon. and the Abstract Expressionists’ freedom of design. Paris’s walls offer hints of ruined structures and fragmented bodies.000 Americans and more than two million Southeast Asians. He might pile the clay up from the floor. His successor.

she brusquely commented that she was “willing to provide the gasoline for the next barbeque. The protest movement grew. In 1963 he painted Anger. learned of this event. Museum purchase with funds contributed by the Museum’s Collections Committee. These same images spurred American artists to respond with great force. Madame Nhu’s Bar-B-Q’s. women and children. were virtually absent in this war.” Like many against war and violence . forcefully penetrating an organ that can be read either as a vagina or a heart. After some fellow monks had poured gasoline over his body.WALLY HEDRICK ANGER. San Jose Museum of Art. 72 × 72 in. When Madame Nhu. Hedrick called attention to the selfimmolation of the Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc. largely because the vivid images on the nation’s TV screens belied them. 1959–63 Oil on canvas. protesting against the graphically shown killings. the de facto first lady of South Vietnam. the Chinese Nationalist leader who was driven out of China by Mao Tse-tung and established his own semidictatorship on the island of Taiwan. In another 1963 painting.” referring to the sister-in-law of South Viet40 nam president Ngô Dinh Diêm and Chiang Kaishek. Hedrick presents a huge penis. occupying the viewer’s main attention. Under a black circle we read “Madam Nhu Blows Chiang.S. so prevalent in previous wars. who was protesting the South Vietnam regime’s repressive treatment of Buddhists. On the right side of the painting. Quang Duc lit a match and burned to death in a public square in Saigon. intervention in South Vietnam was the San Francisco artist Wally Hedrick (1928–2003). © The Wally Hedrick Trust. One of the first American artists to oppose U.9 Hedrick had attended art school in Los Angeles and fought in the Korean War before enrolling in the San Francisco Art Institute on the GI Bill. but it was not until January 1973 that an armistice was signed and American troops were forced to withdraw. Government-sponsored propaganda art and patriotic clichés.

-backed Diem regime and even the Vietnam War itself. Nacio Jan Brown (b. © Ted Streshinsky / Corbis. curator of American art at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. 10 TED STRESHINSKY BRING OUR MEN HOME. each filling a wall of the room. STOP THE DRAFT WEEK. but as a larger protest against the U. a group of four eleven-by-elevenfoot black canvases.others. including Black Room. . . with new American aggression taking place in the Persian Gulf. against war and violence 41 . met with violence from the notoriously tough Oakland police. © Nacio Jan Brown. shooting the picture at sunrise directly into the sun to create a reflected NACIO JAN BROWN SUNRISE AT THE OAKLAND INDUCTION CENTER. has stated: In historical perspective. Hedrick returned to making all-black paintings. .S. Hedrick produced a series of all-black or dark monochrome paintings called the Vietnam Series. In the early 1970s Hedrick was dismissed from his teaching job at the San Francisco Art Institute for encouraging his students to join antiwar demonstrations. led by the radical activist Bettina Aptheker. with large placards calling for the men fighting in Vietnam to be sent home. 1967 Gelatin silver print. against the draft. Hedrick was appalled by the horrendous photographs of the burning that appeared in the international press. as can be seen in various photographers’ views of Stop the Draft Week in October 1967. 1943) captured marchers on their way to the Oakland Induction Center in a lens-flash photograph. Some of the earliest large demonstrations against the Vietnam War took place at the University of California. where activist students had already spoken out for free speech (see chapter 2) and civil rights. The photograph Bring Our Men Home (1966) by Ted Streshinsky (1923–2003) documents an early march of women students. Originally intended as a protest against the Diem government’s repression of Buddhists. in 2003. Many years later. these graphic images revealed the media’s power to shape American public opinion regarding the conflict in Vietnam. not only as a plea for freedom of religion. Soon after painting these and similar works. 1966 Gelatin silver print. Berkeley. Quang Duc’s selfsacrifice increasingly was interpreted. As Timothy Burgard. Other protests.

1967 Gelatin silver print. 1967. © Jeffrey Blankfort.NACIO JAN BROWN DRAFT CARD BURNING OUTSIDE THE FEDERAL BUILDING. 1971 Gelatin silver print. JEFFREY BLANKFORT STOP THE DRAFT WEEK. 1967 Gelatin silver print. SAN FRANCISCO. JEFFREY BLANKFORT ANTIWAR MARCH. © Nacio Jan Brown. GEARY STREET. STOP THE DRAFT WEEK. © Jeffrey Blankfort. SAN FRANCISCO. . OAKLAND. 1971.

ClassicPosters. 21 × 1 1 3⁄8 in. in 1971. Photo: Michael Erlewine. But whereas Jasper Johns had generally used the flag like a map. Like the Pop artists. which he set on top of red and white stripes. Joseph Stalin. a leading pioneer of the international Fluxus association. The new poster designers were certainly influenced by Pop Art as well as the television screens. the poster designers adopted bright colors and eliminated metaphor. Later. but rather aggressively voices its opinion. present themselves as a factual record of a specific event in time and place. George Maciunas. billboards. The political poster. during World Wars I and II. and military aggression. 104). In their hands its iconic message was imbued with a sense of irony. skulls. The majority of these posters were made using the silkscreen process. Other poster makers turned the flag’s stars into bombs falling from the sky. replacing the stripes with text stating that the United States had surpassed Kublai Khan. The late 1960s. they made abundant use of images of American consumer goods and often made reference to the American flag. Blankfort was able to document many thousands of antiwar demonstrators in San Francisco. however personal. all protesting the slaughter in Southeast Asia.S. American Indians) it had eliminated. Brown also took a poignant picture of a young man in the process of publicly burning his draft card. More recently. Documentary photographs. which requires little equipment. the U. with an estimated 100. with the phrase “Are We Next?” lettered above and “Be Aware” below. emphasizing its flat. two-dimensional surface. in his genocide flag (1966) substituted skulls and crossbones for the stars. but especially in California. 1943) seized the instant in which Oakland policemen brutally pushed a billy club against the neck of a young male protester to stop him on his way to the induction center. known for his psychedelic poster designs (see WES WILSON ARE WE NEXT? 1965 Lithograph. however. in contrast.000 designs produced by mostly anonymous artists in hundreds of workshops and political centers throughout the country. and dollar graveyard markers. Jeffrey Blankfort (b. One of the first antiwar posters was created by Wes Wilson. and advertising that had come to dominate the American visual landscape—what Jean Baudrillard called “the obscene delirium of communication. Political posters date back to the broadsides made soon after the invention of the printing press. American imperialism. is p. and is easy to learn. makes no claim to objectivity. In Are We Next? (1965) Wilson arranged the American stars in the shape of a blue swastika. government issued posters as propaganda for war. and Adolf Hitler in the number of people (South Vietnamese. 1965.”11 Trying to make an impact.13 against war and violence 43 . brought an outburst of posters against war.12 these poster artists saw the flag as a symbol of misguided patriotism. © Wes Wilson.

where against war and violence . 1967 Lithograph.” in Art Nouveau lettering colored light blue.GEORGE MACIUNAS U. Peace. Berkeley. At the time Belloli (who would become a museum curator) was a student of art history at the University of California. It is an image of a young girl whose hair emerges from a large initial “P.S. LOREN REHBOCK PEACE. Photo: R. Courtesy of the artist. 1967 Offset on paper.” for “Peace. SURPASSES ALL THE GENOCIDE RECORDS! C. It was printed by the San Francisco Poster Workshop for the 1970 anti–Vietnam War march organized by the Chicano Moratorium (García donated the entire edition to this effort). 20 × 26 in. García had actually served in Vietnam and Laos. 21 1⁄2 × 34 1⁄2 in. The orange.14 ¡Fuera de Indochina! (Get Out of Indochina!) by the Chicano activist Rupert García shows just how powerful political poster art can be. Hensleigh. screaming face in this silkscreen is both engulfed and penetrated by a deep black color. The obvious reference for this frightening poster is Goya’s mon44 strous vision Saturn Devouring One of His Children (1821–22).A. “¡Fuera de Indochina!” Born in California’s Central Valley in 1944. Detroit. The Gilbert and Lila Silverman Fluxus Collection. In yet another vein is Jay Belloli’s 1970 poster Amerika Is Devouring Its Children. made after the National Guard shot and killed student protesters at Kent State University in Ohio and at Jackson State University in Mississippi. In a totally different mood is the gentle and rather sweet but memorable 1967 poster by Loren Rehbock (b. H. while below yellow letters cry out. 1941).

and such Mexican artists as José Guadalupe Posada and Los Tres Grandes. Pronouncing Andy Warhol’s works “provocative. Center for the Study of Political Graphics. and antiwar demonstrations. San Francisco.he guarded napalm bombs. organized by the Third World Liberation Front. RUPERT GARCÍA ¡FUERA DE INDOCHINA! 1970 Silkscreen. before going on to study painting at San Francisco State College (now University). I am. against war and violence JAY BELLOLI AMERIKA IS DEVOURING ITS CHILDREN. 24 × 18 in. he shifted from easel painting to devising striking silkscreen images dealing with a variety of political concerns. In using the images of mass-media I am taking an art form whose motives are debased. Picasso. After participating in the 1968 student strike. and Mrs. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. so to speak. including racism. exploitative. as well as the emerging mural movement in California (see chapter 3). the struggle of the immigrant farmworker. Like the Pop artists. 1970 Silkscreen. and the poisoning of the environment.” García wrote: “My art is committed to the paradox that in using mass-media I am using a source which I despise and with which I am at war. Gift of Mr. Courtesy of the artist and Rena Bransten Gallery. and setting it into a totally new moral context. but passionless. but he transformed its message. 45 . reversing the process by which mass-media betray the masses. Robert Marcus. and becoming more and more aware of the artist’s role as a social activist. 21 1⁄2 × 15 in. the Chicano movement. In this he was influenced by Goya. García didn’t hesitate to use ready-made imagery (when relevant). leading to emotional sterility. and indifferent to human welfare.

Photo: Ron L. but eventually it was delivered to the museum. Petlin had been a central figure in the group of artists who formed the Artists’ Protest Committee. Roy Lichtenstein.”17 The AWC encountered resistance from members of the printers’ union while having the poster printed. 25 × 38 in. 500. Robert Motherwell. Arnold Mesches (see pp. produced jointly by Frazier Dougherty. and 46 . which shows children lying dead on a dirt road. The words superimposed over this image are from an interview by Mike Wallace with a My Lai participant who had killed dozens of Vietnamese civilians. a tensional configuration of an octahedron and two tetrahedrons designed by Mark di Suvero (see below). and John Weber (then director of the Dwan Gallery). Alice Neel. June Leaf. Leon Golub. Nancy Spero.19 Then came the difficult process of securing the site and obtaining a building permit and safety approval for the fifty-five-foot-high tower. Ad Reinhardt. George Sugarman. who asserted that the museum could not commit “to any position on any matter not directly related to a specific function of the museum. who approved a proposal by Petlin to distribute the poster and show that “this Museum—its staff. Various Los Angeles artists and dealers. and Jean Helion as well as stylistically diverse American artists to secure the project funding. César. Moses Soyer. head of the fund-raising committee. The project was first announced in the Los Angeles Free Press in a letter from Petlin. Hedda Sterne. James Brooks. Paul Brach. Philip Guston. Dillon’s direction. Donald Judd.16 The Art Workers’ Coalition. Judy Gerowitz (now Judy Chicago). Philip Pearlstein. Center for the Study of Political Graphics. In November 1969 AWC members met with representatives of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Felix Landau. only to be vetoed by trustees William S. Jack Levine. 1970 Lithograph. More than four hundred panels were received from artists of many generations and stylistic persuasions. Louise Nevelson. James Rosenquist.S. which was responsible for erecting the Peace Tower on a vacant lot at the corner of Sunset and La Cienaga boulevards in Los Angeles in 1966. Jon Hendricks. and betraying the images of mass-media for which they are designed: the art of social protest. very close to the lively art galleries of the time: Eugenia Butler. AND IRVING PETLIN Q: AND BABIES? A: AND BABIES. Esther Robles. and eventually built under his and the architect Kenneth H. 97–98). including Rudolf Baranik.”15 Perhaps the most compelling and memorable antiwar poster of the Vietnam era is Q: And Babies? A: And Babies. and based on a photograph of the My Lai massacre taken by the army combat photographer Ron Haeberle. JON HENDRICKS. Haeberle. Philip Evergood.FRAZIER DOUGHERTY. also assisted in the enterprise. and Nicholas Wilder. Ferus. David Stuart. decided that the poster. Eva Hesse. an antiwar activist group. military’s official line. wrote to politically committed European artists like Karel Appel. Craig Kauffman. Raphael Soyer. including Larry Bell. some were given out by the AWC in front of Picasso’s Guernica (1937) at the Museum of Modern Art. all the artists who contribute to its greatness—is outraged by the massacre at My Lai. Artists from all over the world were asked to send small paintings to be mounted on a hundred-foot-long billboard at the foot of the tower. and Irving Petlin.”18 Nonetheless. should be widely distributed to counter news reports that generally followed the U.000 copies of the poster were printed and distributed worldwide. Paley against war and violence and Nelson Rockefeller.

recollected over and over in his mature work. Los Angeles. and were helped by a rotating gang of young men from Watts. But nothing materialized. more than forty feet high and made of steel I-beams. Susan Sontag. the former West Coast director of the Archives of American Art. Speaking of the tower. in The Rise of the Sixties: American and European Art in the Era of Dissent. “The first thing he recalls seeing when their ship reached San Francisco was the Golden Gate Bridge. raising about twelve thousand dollars to benefit the Artists’ Protest Committee. as graceful as they are tough. di Suvero came with his parents to San Francisco in 1941.”23 Di Suvero studied philosophy at the University of California. and the tower had to be scrapped. The museum’s director. Mark di Suvero built another antiwar tower. Among other photographers. PEACE TOWER. Although the project was mentioned in the New York Times and the Nation. assembled MARK DI SUVERO ET AL. supported the idea. for the informative book Art. and the former Green Beret Donald Duncan spoke at the tower’s dedication. We defended the tower night and day against attacks. and Matta.”20 The tower also attracted attention from unexpected individuals. 1966 Steel and mixed media. He moved to New York and began making large sculptures. When the four-month lease on the lot ran out. not a single panel was damaged. documented the Peace Tower. Politics and Dissent: Aspects of the Art Left in Sixties America by Francis Frascina. Walter Hopps. Photos: Paul Karlstom. 55 ft. Even as late as 1996. There was also discussion of moving it to the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions in Santa Barbara. Petlin. but seeing a painting by Jackson Pollock helped him decide to become an artist. against war and violence 47 . Paul Karlstrom.22 A few years later. Telegrams were dispatched by Jean-Paul Sartre. Petlin commented. when public opposition to the war made the editors feel such prominence was safe. who visited it with his Merry Pranksters in their Day-Glo bus. The tower stood. Berkeley. breathtaking cable suspension and bolted steel girders. Born of Italian parentage in Shanghai in 1933. Its soaring arches. Mother Peace (1969–70). the organizers hoped to relocate the tower by helicopter to the garden of the Pasadena Art Museum. 1955–69. but the museum’s trustees were opposed. became an indelible memory. the mainstream postmodern art historian Thomas Crow failed to mention the Peace Tower. in the Bay Area. such as Ken Kesey. painted red.21 five years passed before Art in America finally featured it on the cover of the November– December 1971 issue. André Masson. The artists’ panels were wrapped in brown paper and sold by lottery. “The idea of an ‘offering’ like this in a public place drew every kind of right wing maniac to try to destroy it. high.Adja Yunkers. A thorough discussion of the Peace Tower and its importance in the antiwar movement had to wait until 1999.

On a blackboard appear the names of 475 nations that no longer existed in 1968. which are put in place by large cranes and often jut into space with a precarious equilibrium. so offended by the peace sign that di Suvero had painted on one of the I-beams. The mute TV screen displays the body counts of “American dead. with the working-class macho G. 8 in. In the left part of the tableau we encounter a variety of war messages: standing inside a trash can and reminding us of the characters in Samuel Beckett’s Endgame.MARK DI SUVERO MOTHER PEACE. however.” he affirmed. Ogden Foundation.”25 Even the title of the other 1968 installation. “I would never insult this country as I love it perhaps as well as you do.” “American 48 . By sheer determination he has. × 44 ft. but a judge. north of New York City. a table lamp. Mother Peace was originally installed near an entrance to the Alameda County courthouse in Oakland. however. 5 in. however. returning to the United States in 1974. a clock marking the time. abstract sculptures impress us with their spatial energy. Whereas di Suvero’s open. Photo: Jerry L.S. “I would. that when Kienholz was approached to join the production of the Peace Tower. after a near-fatal accident. a Coke machine. written some ten years earlier. “identifying.” with a young couple at a hot dog stand. from wooden beams he found in the streets. Kienholz produced two significant antiwar installations. The Eleventh Hour Final. 41 ft. We see a middle-class living room with wood paneling. managed to create monumental sculptures. is an image of Kate Smith. Marines raising the American flag (an image based on a posed photograph).” as Kienholz later wrote in a letter to Artforum. in many ways. The Eleventh Hour Final and the monumental Portable War Memorial. presume to change it. Mountainville. ordinary tables and chairs. and a television set with a remote control (although the “station” cannot be changed). Storm King Art Center. made with huge steel I-beams. clearly calls for a change in American awareness. In 1960. famed for her singing of “God Bless America”. he refused to do so.I. New York. as many did. a coffee table.”24 Two years later. Thompson. however. It would be difficult to conceive of a greater contrast in style than that between Mark di Suvero and Edward Kienholz (see also chapter 2). 3 in. In contrast. × 49 ft. The work is now beautifully installed at Storm King Art Center in Mountainville. he was told that he would be paralyzed for life. a World War I poster of Uncle Sam beckons “I Want You”. transformed himself into an art judge and insisted on its removal. and a replica of Felix de Weldon’s Iwo Jima monument shows the U. and a tombstone as a memento mori “indicating mankind’s nuclear predictability and responsibility. Irving Petlin recalls. The latter narrative tableau measures thirty-two feet across. Di Suvero himself moved to Europe in 1970 in protest against the war in Vietnam. the right side of the installation against war and violence presents “business as usual. Gift of the Ralph E. Kienholz’s super-realistic tableaux stun us with their social and political revelations. a cross commemorates V-Day. 1969–70 Painted steel. Inc.

Working in the Abstract Expressionist vein of the period. moved to California in 1951. Glaubman. Venice. Venice. EDWARD KIENHOLZ THE ELEVENTH HOUR FINAL. Berlin. 1968 Mixed-media installation. Museum Ludwig. California. It is worth noting that both these antiwar pieces have left the United States and are now in German collections. Courtesy of L. Courtesy of L.A. she was motivated to turn to political art by the American invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs in 1961. A much earlier antiwar canvas is Evelyn Glaubman’s Hot Damn Vietnam (1963). born in Brooklyn. In against war and violence 49 .” The dismembered head of an Asian child with ominous glass eyes stares out of the console. wounded. Louver. resembles a tombstone. © Edward Kienholz and Nancy Reddin Kienholz. Photo: © Friedrich Rosenstiel. Kienholz’s tableaux are reminiscent of Luis Buñuel’s films in their scathing confrontations of accepted clichés and social apathy. California. 144 × 168 in.EDWARD KIENHOLZ THE PORTABLE WAR MEMORIAL. © Edward Kienholz and Nancy Reddin Kienholz.” and “Enemy wounded. Cologne. later graduating from the California College of Arts and Crafts. 1968 Mixed-media installation. Sammlung Reinhard Onnasch. 114 × 384 × 96 in. Shocking in their realism.A. made of concrete. which. Louver.” “Enemy dead. She proceeded to produce a number of paintings on the theme of a bloodied American flag.

Flames about to burn the red cloth are mirrored in a great fire erupting in the background. he replaced Marsh’s Rubenesque women and robust derelicts with cadaverous figures. cramped between stone and steel walls.”27 In the 1950s he painted mostly very large. but also of the twentieth century as a whole. Brueghel. In an essay on Burkhardt’s paintings of catastrophes. In 1970 he painted Rebellions and Revolutions (p. As the Vietnam conflict garnered headlines. Hot Damn Vietnam a mere fragment of the flag flies over three black gas masks. Donald Kuspit argued that these images 50 are “among the greatest war paintings.” summarizing “the brutality and inhumanity. This became a defining experience in his life.000 Americans and close to 150. as well as the biting grotesqueries of Otto Dix. Burkhardt. In 1938 he enlisted in the Abraham Lincoln Brigade to fight in Spain against the Fascist forces of Francisco Franco. not only of the Vietnam war. felt compelled to protest the slaughter in Southeast Asia. A crowd of people fortified with threatening machine guns and holding vicious ser- against war and violence . showing both his anger and his despair. mounted against a textured ochre ground. Alienated masses huddle in narrow canyons between enormous high-rise buildings. Norman started work on a monumental triptych. conveying a message of humanity trapped by capitalism’s tools. War and Peace (1965–67). He admired the solemn and agitated works of Bosch. now Vilnius.”26 Another artist of Burkhardt’s generation who brought his long-standing antiwar perspective to bear against the Vietnam conflict was Irving Norman (1906–1989). already known for his agitative paintings in response to the Spanish Civil War and the Nazi death camps (see above). Although Norman was influenced by Reginald Marsh early in his career. 54 × 48 in. an outstretched corpse is held aloft by four dark arms and covered by a red flag that contains a system of blood vessels. Lithuania). The work. meticulously detailed canvases. In the center of the large canvas. which he covered with a heavy scuffed and clotted impasto applied with the impulsion of Abstract Expressionism. He decided to become a painter and soon became known for his “rather bitter commentaries on war and society shattered by war. he loaded his brush to create a potent gray surface. of the exploitation and the dehumanization of people in the urban environment.EVELYN GLAUBMAN HOT DAMN VIETNAM. Into this textured field. is an ominous signal of an undeclared war in which an estimated 50. Skulls rather than gas masks are incorporated into Hans Burkhardt’s deeply disturbing My Lai (1968). 1963 Mixed media. and Grünewald. 52). Courtesy of the artist. often in dissonant colors. with a central panel depicting two crazed warriors. crowded with oppressed human beings. In My Lai. Norman came to New York in 1923 and moved to California in 1936.000 Vietnamese would lose their lives. Burkhardt then embedded parts of human skulls. Born as Irving Noachowitz near Vilna (then under Russian control. which probably refers to the students killed at Kent State University. like other paintings by Glaubman of the time.

had long been neglected. Lobdell’s is also subdued in color. who at the time was teaching at Stanford University. the painting is dedicated to his friend James Budd Dixon. coming home with horrendous memories of the burned and mutilated bodies of death camp victims in Germany. Lobdell had driven to Chicago with some fellow students to see Picasso’s Guernica when it was on view at the Art Institute in 1940. As a young art student in Minneapolis. however. 1968 Oil and skulls on canvas. his large canvases. it is a statement against war. Burkhardt Foundation. As Lobdell pointed out. 1921). A very different tradition of antiwar painting is evident in Summer 1967: In Memory of James Budd Dixon (1967) by Frank Lobdell (b. reproaching the world’s inhumanity and painted in his own brand of social realism. 77 × 115 in. Lobdell’s father had served in World War I. His own son had been sent to fight in Vietnam.pents. Courtesy of Jack Rutberg Fine Arts. 51 . an Abstract Expressionist painter who died in 1967. Based on prints Lobdell made at the Tamarind Lithography Workshop in Los Angeles. surges against a structure of steel I-beams. and he himself had served in World War II. When Norman died in Half Moon Bay. Twenty-seven years later he “would emulate Picasso’s perception of painting as a political act in his own antiwar works such as Summer 1967. and Thordis W. painted on a chalky white against war and violence HANS BURKHARDT MY LAI. as an infantry lieutenant in the Battle of the Bulge. © Hans G. which spew poison onto the helpless masses.”28 Picasso’s work is done in black and grays. Los Angeles.

© The Norman Trust. 1970 Oil on canvas. 90 1⁄2 × 173 1⁄2 in. 1967 Oil on canvas. FRANK LOBDELL SUMMER 1967: IN MEMORY OF JAMES BUDD DIXON. 90 × 96 in.IRVING NORMAN REBELLIONS AND REVOLUTIONS. . and Charlotte Lobdell. Gift of Judson. Gift of Hela Norman with additional support from the Museum’s Collections Committee. in honor of the San Jose Museum of Art’s 35th anniversary. San Jose Museum of Art. Heather. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.

. Lobdell’s style is more abstract and more gestural than Picasso’s. while a figure on the upper right. 92 3⁄4 × 142 in. after returning to the Bay Area. with funds from the Friends of the Whitney Museum of American Art. full of pornographic imagery and salacious inscriptions. was first introduced to the visual arts by the sculptor Sargent Johnson and got a chance to watch against war and violence 53 . Saul discovered the appropriate medium for his visual polemics in Day-Glo paint. . the torture. using this lurid pigment to great effect in paintings such as Saigon (1967). His shrill pictures. rape his women. Born in 1925 in Oakland. he became an active partici- pant in antiwar protest rallies and began exposing the violence. The critic Thomas Albright fittingly interpreted Lobdell’s paintings as images of “ponderous existential uncertainty. In the center. and all the madness of war in his paintings.”29 Peter Saul offers yet another approach to the cruelty of war. with its dot pattern and claws. but one attempted by many of the protest artists. to sneak into his camp. heavy black shapes twist and churn against a blue field. commit perversions on children. Purchase. fearful form. making use of the vernacular (as did the Pop artists) and putting images of consumer items such as Coke bottles and comic strip characters like Mickey Mouse in his paintings. are meant to scandalize the anesthetized viewer—not an easy task. Influenced by Clyfford Still and the Abstract Expressionists. where he was “discovered” by the eminent Surrealist Matta. 1967 Oil on canvas. Saul studied art in California before spending eight years in Europe. Colescott. Whitney Museum of American Art. Photo: Sheldan C. Enraged by American atrocities. . crossing each other and creating an anxious. his object is to get around the enemy. ground. In my view [war is] a filthy pervert’s game. New York. Born in San Francisco in 1934. “My idea of a soldier is a dirty freak . whose parents were both musicians. Dismembered and scrambled human limbs appear on the left of the tripartite composition. He does not equivocate.”30 Robert Colescott also responded to the fiendish conflict in Southeast Asia with biting irony. .PETER SAUL SAIGON. In 1964. . seems caught in a spiral web. Saul declared. Collins.

his rifle at the ready for his conjectured attack on the map of South and North Vietnam. 1971 Acrylic on canvas. however (see also p. Martha Rosler sometimes used photomontage as part of a seemingly neutral strategy to make the viewer a witness to the atrocities in Vietnam. as many of us were—the world seemed so violent. but on close examination they are not as cool as they seem.” but at the same time she admitted. but her subjects looked very different from those painted by Johns and Warhol in New York or Ed Ruscha and Wayne Thiebaud in California. whose ability to fuse the formal values of Cubism with his Communist sympathies in his carefully structured paintings of workers and modern buildings certainly informed Colescott’s mature paintings. The painting’s dull haze reflects the passive apathy with which Americans watched such deadly battles on the evening news.”31 Her work. Here his blonde Miss America is nude. covering her pubic area. After studying at Yale University. Similarly aware of the desensitizing effects of the media. but it is just as potent. based on photographs and painted in blacks and grays. with only a piece of pie. Anger at deceit and injustice took the place of hope for black artists of Colescott’s generation. the television screen in TV shows a violent airplane battle. Her family fled to the West when she was ten. eventually settling in Indianapolis. Born in Brooklyn in 1943. Colescott studied in Paris with Fernand Léger. Museum Acquisition Fund. TV is more than a simple picture of a television set surrounded by a gray background. and over 54 against war and violence . but it’s also possible to emphasize one’s point with understatement. 150). Celmins was born in Riga. the daily viewing making it so familiar that the horror seemed quite acceptable. Saul’s and Colescott’s paintings may raucously declare their convictions. After serving in the army during World War II and attending the University of California. Miss American Pie (1971) Colescott’s acidic sense of humor is directed at the war situation. ROBERT COLESCOTT BYE. In 1962 she moved to Los Angeles. Her first solo show there was noted for its paintings of everyday objects. in contrast to that of such older artists as Hans Burkhardt or Irving Norman. Collection of the Akron Art Museum. She may have told Chuck Close. Berkeley. is lowkeyed and restrained. Celmins’s canvases.Diego Rivera paint his mural Pan-American Unity for the 1939 World’s Fair on Treasure Island in San Francisco. Latvia. “I don’t look at work from any kind of political standpoint. in 1938—a short time before her country was occupied by the Russians. Instead. may appear to be objective. 78 7⁄8 × 59 1⁄8 in. but her work is rarely as balanced and calm as that of the Italian master. Bye. “I was totally crazed about [the Vietnam War]. Rosler decided to make art that comments on political and social matters. MISS AMERICAN PIE. BYE. where she was deeply moved by the grays and blacks in Diego Velázquez’s paintings. In Bye. she traveled to Europe. In a lower register we see a black GI dressed in army fatigues. whom she admires. cut out of the pie over her head. as in the austere canvas TV (1964) by Vija Celmins. Critics have often compared Celmins’s early paintings with those of Giorgio Morandi.

VIJA CELMINS TV. 1964 Oil on canvas. variable dimensions. 26 1⁄2 × 36 in. MARTHA ROSLER VACATION GETAWAY. Collection of Jamie and Steve Tisch. Courtesy of McKee Gallery. Courtesy of the artist. 1967–72 Photomontage. New York. FROM BRINGING THE WAR HOME: HOUSE BEAUTIFUL. .

After their confinement. Before moving back to New York. who was born in San Bernardino. San Diego. in- against war and violence . his parents opened a grocery store in Los Angeles. 73). taking photographs of opulent homes from House Beautiful magazine and superimposing documentary photos of the slaughter in Vietnam. among others. faces a bloody war scene. and performance. as was done by Pop artists. including feminism. and Moira Roth. cheerful labels glorifying this quintessential product of California sunshine. While doing graduate work at the University of California. Courtesy of Jan Sakoguchi. California. 1979 Acrylic on canvas. the years her work has addressed a variety of issues.BEN SAKOGUCHI NAPALM BRAND. he employed black humor to subvert his source material. where he noticed that the orange crates all carried bright. Recently. after working in video. NAFTA. Rosler uses the photograph not as a high art form but as a means of wide communication of a subversive message. as well as writing critical essays on art and culture. instead of looking out on a swimming pool or golf course. Vacation Getaway shows an expensive vacation home. Helen Mayer and Newton Harrison. Rosler has returned to the photomontage—this time addressing the war in Iraq (see p.32 Equally subversive is the art of Ben Sakoguchi. suggesting that even the affluent cannot “get away” from the grim reality on the other side of the globe. but its window. 10 × 11 in. installation. Rosler created a series of cogent photomontages entitled Bringing the War Home: House Beautiful (1969–72). Linda Montano. the urban landscape. and the commodity display/consumer gaze. Influenced by the writings of Bertolt Brecht and Herbert 56 Marcuse. Instead of simply appropriating these images of popular culture. in 1938 and spent the defining years of his childhood in an internment camp for Japanese Americans. recontextualizing the labels in a series of ten-by-eleven-inch paintings. she became part of an avant-garde group that included Eleanor and David Antin.

1976 Oil on wood. after her village had been doused with napalm.S. Courtesy of the artist. bomber with the word “napalm” written above it in bold graphics. serves as the subject of Ariel’s Nixon Behemoth (1976). Ariel is known for paintings that are political or visionary. A red cord or cordon dangling below—the only color in the grisaille work—signifies both military decoration and the blood that goes with it. In the foreground is an image appropriated from the well-known 1973 photograph by Huynh Cong Ut of a naked Vietnamese girl running down a highway. Nixon’s secretary of defense. Instead. The top of the small canvas is occupied by a U. Spiro Agnew. This picture “advertises” the Golden State’s product. or sometimes both. and invaded Cambodia in 1970 and Laos in 1971. In Nixon Behemoth a mask of the president’s head is held by a skull riding the legendary beast of monstrous power. who was forced to resign the vice presidency on charges of corruption. At the same time. who facilitated the Cambodian incursion. Blue Room Gallery. but it also takes aim at California’s profitable military industry. culminating in the Watergate affair and Nixon’s forced resignation in 1974. Photo: Paul Mahder. On his shoulders are epaulettes—badges of honor for both the president and the death head. cluding Napalm Brand (1979). below it we see the flames from the bursting bomb it has just delivered. The “monstrousness” of his administration. Born in 1926 in Oakland and educated in both California and Europe. destroying much of North Vietnam. before reaching a ceasefire accord in 1973. FBI director J. Edgar Hoover. and finally the president’s vassals against war and violence 57 .ARIEL NIXON BEHEMOTH. Nixon initiated saturation bombing. domestically. he reversed many of the economic and social reforms of the Kennedy- Johnson era. In the lower register we see the masks of Melvin Laird. screaming in pain. Sakoguchi’s image exposes the emptiness of Richard Nixon’s 1968 presidential campaign promise to bring “peace with honor” in Vietnam. looking like a toad. 6 × 9 ft.

Allen’s piece conveys betrayal. flinging the paint quickly. based on a kachina doll. which occupied him from 1982 to 1988. Vietnam veterans encountered on their return. became known early on as an assemblage and installation artist. who was born in 1943 in Wichita. One of more than sixty works in the series. An audio element plays “Torso’s Hell. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman. including hostility.33 It stands on a raised platform in a brightly illuminated space—perhaps it has just landed there.”34 A somewhat different perspective comes from Vietnam-born artists who arrived in the United States as refugees at a young age. pictures. A musician as well as a visual artist. both convicted in 1975 for their involvement in the Watergate scandal. The impact of the Vietnam War did not end when 58 American soldiers came home. It is not surprising that they took stock of their feelings about the foreign invasion of their country and its disastrous consequences for their land and its people. Similar in some ways to the work of Rico Lebrun. with suggestions of sucking undersea animals and indeterminate organic forms in the background. producing animate flecks and a mottled surface. . FROM YOUTH IN ASIA. he was commissioned by a German studio to work on the sound track for a documentary about Amerasian children who remained in Indochina or went to live in Thailand. made after World War I. Allen. who also often eschewed color.TERRY ALLEN TREATMENT (ANGEL LEAVING DIRTY TRACKS). deception. Kansas.” telling the surreal tale of a soldier who is now only a torso. R. As Allen said to the critic Dave Hickey: “Youth in Asia is about a . You don’t have to be a veteran of some war to understand that. Treatment (Angel Leaving Dirty Tracks) (1988) is a large red robot. but went to Los Angeles schools and graduated from the Chouinard Art Institute. The work as a whole is painted in many layers on a dark ground. and more. Like Otto Dix’s horrific paintings of cripples. The heads are clearly delineated. Significantly. . as Terry Allen revealed in some ingenious multimedia installations about the wrenching memories and problems. Courtesy of the artist and Gallery Paule Anglim. with an old typewriter for its head. Thai music. Striations created with a comb give a sensation of vibration to the painting. 1958) re- against war and violence . 1988 Mixed-media installation with sound. Long Nguyen (b. Ariel’s behemoth—a creature described in the Book of Job as “having bones as strong as bars of iron” and a “tail like a cedar”—spreads its limbs all over the threepaneled picture. and sound effects ranging from gunfire and the noise of helicopter blades to rock and roll. H. Vietnamese songs. He began conceiving his Youth in Asia assemblages when he went to Thailand for this project. His most important work in this context is probably his Youth in Asia series. Ariel’s expressionist form conveys her deeply felt humanist social concern. texts (both poetry and narration). as his limbs have been attached to another survivor from hell. often dealing with the issues of dislocation and cultural fragmentation. 81 × 32 1⁄2 × 32 1⁄2 in. and abandonment. culture that betrays its children. with the artist’s brush. this monster holds a missile in its hand. These multidimensional explorations include sculpture.

rise from a sampan (a small boat often used in Vietnam). is a disembodied head. riddled with bullet holes. finally arriving in the United States in 1975. against war and violence 59 . he produced a series of paintings. Some depict victims of American napalm bombs. He studied painting at San Jose State University. from Titian. selfreflective painting. Courtesy of the artist. The background. Brueghel. which he called Tales of Yellow Skin. painted green and yellow. to affirm his ethnic identity. viewing the changes with adult eyes. developing a personal style that was both informed by his Asian roots and influenced by various European and American artists. signifies the sea. when he was cast in a minor role in Oliver Stone’s film Heaven and Earth (filmed in Thailand). Nathan Oliveira. Upon returning to California. Grünewald. and van Gogh to Philip Guston. Nguyen paid a visit to his homeland. 66 × 84 in. who was born in 1968 in a LONG NGUYEN REFUGEE CHRIST. 1992 Oil on canvas. The head on the cross at the left and the foot on the cross at the right reveal stigmata.calls the horrors of the war in his native Vietnam and the personal tribulations he and his family suffered. The slaughter in Vietnam and Cambodia has also preoccupied Dinh Q. In the center. After his hazardous departure from South Vietnam at the age of seventeen. Its title refers to Nguyen’s experience as a student in a Catholic seminary in Vietnam. in the place of Christ on the Cross. Lê. suggesting Calvary. Nguyen was lost at sea for several days and then transported to a refugee camp. and Frank Lobdell. interlocking image and paint to produce works of troubling power. Nguyen depicts human effigies mutilated beyond existence. In 1991. Nguyen’s Refugee Christ (1992) is a deeply felt. The crosses.

measuring ten by twenty feet and composed of hundreds of photographs and texts from everyday people in Cambodia and Vietnam.DINH Q. Oregon. LÊ RUSSIAN ROULETTE. Born on the Fourth of July.500 people were slaughtered during the Cambodian terror. were methodical in their killing. After studying in California and New York. from family stories. or American riflemen. His large painting Russian Roulette (2002) plays on the terrifying scene in The Deer Hunter in which an American soldier. small town close to the Cambodian border of what was South Vietnam. played by John Savage. about to be executed. During the 1990s Lê developed a technique of weaving together strips cut from photographs. Courtesy of Elizabeth Leach Gallery. where more than 12. After the takeover by the North Vietnamese. The boys all have numbers on their 60 chests. but woven into these mosaic-like images are photographs of Angkor Wat. He effectively uses this collaging technique to convey the horror of Pol Pot’s killing fields. although he spends part of each year in California. Lê’s family fled to Thailand and immigrated to California in 1979. Portland. and since 1998 he has lived mostly in Ho Chi Minh City. Lê obtains his knowledge from visits to war-torn places.” Mot Coi Di Ve (True Journey’s Return). In 1999 Lê produced a huge “quilt. and from films such as Apocalypse Now. from the war photographs by Eddie Adams. Lê’s choice of deadly green or gray colors and his burning of the edges of these works heighten the sense of trauma. The overall images in this series are based on photographs of boys staring ahead. wounded soldiers. and The Deer Hunter. like the Nazis. helicopters. based on the craft of weaving straw for grass mats he had learned from an aunt. has been captured by the Vietcong and is forced to hold a gun that may be loaded to his own head. (Lê relates that kids in his class in Los Angeles used this gesture to denigrate the young immigrant from Viet- against war and violence . 39 1⁄2 × 59 1⁄2 in. Lê returned to Vietnam for the first time in 1992. in the series Cambodian Splendor and Darkness (1988). 2002 C-print and linen tape. Indochine. Too young to remember much of the war itself. showing that the Khmer Rouge.

How can we keep on building such deadly bombs? That is the question asked by Chris Burden. while standing on the rear bumper of a car with his arms stretched over the roof. Oppenheimer’s Sink (1998) features a sink whose faucet gushes water that has been dyed red. Courtesy of the artist. It seems so strange to think that Vietnam today is a place that can offer a refuge from the madness of war that America is heading into. Born in Boston in 1946. for example.” Bars of white soap on the white wall are imprinted with words about death in the atomic age— “disintegration. reminding the viewer of Robert Oppenheimer’s statement to President Harry S. 1998 Mixed-media installation. Italy. and selfdestruction. his crisscrossing of different and often opposing views.” “security.” On a white towel above the sink. In other actions he deliberately implicated the spectators. and Switzerland before moving to California. as well as to the consequences of nuclear tests in the Pacific Ocean and the Nevada desert. Truman: “I have blood on my hands. testing the limits of pain. 71 × 79 × 17 in.” “incineration. The Reason for JUDY HIRAMOTO OPPENHEIMER’S SINK. Then around 1975 he shifted the thrust of his work from personal exposure to danger to public issues. made all the more threatening by an ongoing arms race. In Trans-Fixed (1974). to warn their viewers of the devastation of nuclear warfare. who was born in Hawaii in the 1950s. who had the responsibility of saving his life in works where he literally took the risk of being killed.nam. vulnerability. Interwoven with the geometric pattern of the Deer Hunter scene is the iconic image of a South Vietnamese general shooting a Vietcong youth. whose identity emerges slowly. shortly before the American attack on Iraq.” “vaporization”— along with rationalizations: “defense. he had nails driven through the palms of his hands and then had the car pushed halfway out into a speedway with the engine turned on. In 1979 he created a large installation evocative of the Minimalist sculpture of the time. violence. 2003. I am currently in California and can’t wait to get back to Vietnam. has made a series of installation pieces directing attention to the disaster of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In 1971 he began a series of extreme actions. I also think it speaks a great deal about Americans’ inability to learn anything since the Vietnam war. artists have tried.) Lê shows his mastery of visual counterpoint in Russian Roulette. whose work is known for probing the established institutions of the art world and examining his own physical and psychological person.”35 The Threat of Nuclear Weapons In addition to delineating the horrors of specific wars. and American victims of the atomic bombs. For instance. where he studied at Pomona College and the University of California. The names are also chanted on a tape recording that is an integral part of this stark installation. Korean. against war and violence 61 .” even “democracy. Irvine. since World War II. such as the perils of the weapons industry. like that in Vietnam. we can read the names of some of the Japanese. On March 13. San Francisco artist Judy Hiramoto. Burden grew up in France. Lê wrote to the art historian Moira Roth: “This is a crazy time we are living in.

000 highly sophisticated tanks massed in Eastern Europe. 1979 Fifty thousand nickels and matchsticks and signage. Collection Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego. [Arneson] brings us to the verge of active social protest. Yet after his commissioned bust of the murdered mayor George Moscone was rejected in 1981 by San Francisco city officials (see p. each one more destructive than the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima. In his earlier work Arneson had helped redefine ceramics. born in Brooklyn in 1931. which is patinated green. Burden leaves it up to viewers to draw their own conclusions. she married a rabbi at eighteen. A target mark is stamped on the head. because the Soviets had about 50. 1979. while the cross is black. personal and social activism are inseparable. variable dimensions. Of these works. © Chris Burden. For him. measuring 514 square feet. he realized just how much impact artwork could have on social and political issues and turned to political sculpture as a major theme. He created bronzes such as Minuteman (1983) to describe the effects of nuclear fallout on human beings. where Ad Reinhardt inspired her.”37 Another artist who interweaves personal and social activism is Helène Aylon. “The reason for the neutron bomb. but was widowed at age thirty and went to study art at Brooklyn College. had her first child at nineteen. the daughter of Jewish immigrants from Central Europe. imprinted with a semblance of a nuclear missile. This bicoastal artist began to question the preciousness of art with Paintings That Change in Time (1974–78) and a series from 1978–79 in which liquid sacs filled with linseed oil would burst apart. Arneson has inscribed the details of the effects of radiation.”36 The work is simply a visual statement of a factual situaagainst war and violence tion revealed in an ordered grid. She then taught at San Francisco State University and in the women’s studies program at Antioch College West. This work. is composed of 50. 97). In this work a battered head is skewered on a cross. of raising our own voices in expressionist plainspeaking—realist speech. in a nearly obliterated text. On the pedestal. museum purchase. the Neutron Bomb.000 nickels and matchsticks arranged in a regular grid. Brought up in the Orthodox faith. Donald Kuspit has written: “By forcing us to face the unpleasant truth of the likelihoods and human consequences of nuclear disaster. In 1980 Aylon heard a lecture by the progressive 62 . Each nickel and matchstick represents one Russian tank. In this and other pieces Arneson pursued a narrative mode to confront the unspeakable.” the artist explained in an accompanying text. the United States built a number of thermonuclear weapons of nearly 10. Photo: Philipp Scholz Rittermann. “is that as part of the strategy of deterrence.000 warheads. A great deal less objective than The Reason for the Neutron Bomb are the lacerating images of nuclear warheads by Robert Arneson (1930–1992). elevating it from a traditional craft to the realm of fine art.CHRIS BURDEN THE REASON FOR THE NEUTRON BOMB.

California. In appearance the piece recalled Eva Hesse’s mute modular fiberglass units. on the fiftieth anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. a group of women carried pillowcases in which they collected earth from numerous weapon sites from coast to coast. “I have never felt totally accepted in the political world. Aylon hung pillowcases collected from the United States. HELÈNE AYLON BRIDGE OF KNOTS. she invited Arab and Jewish women to work together carrying stones. the work seemed too arty. and Brian Gross Fine Art. the former Soviet Union. 48 × 31 × 15 in. but Aylon’s Postminimal art intervened directly in the political landscape. Courtesy of George Adams Gallery. Napa. New York. creating an “earth painting” whose colors and textures varied depending on the area the material came from. and stopped at various Strategic Air Command (SAC) sites on their way to Dag Hammarskjold Plaza at the United Nations in New York. Photo: Lee Fatherree. and Japan in knotted lines from the concrete walls of the Berkeley Art Museum. Aylon then turned her focus directly on the threat of nuclear weapons to human life and the environment. who told the audience to do whatever they could to stop the deadly arms race. against war and violence ROBERT ARNESON MINUTEMAN. they left from the University of California’s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. she gathered sand from the Pacific Ocean and brought it to the San Francisco Women’s Building. Photo: Pat Craig. © Estate of Robert Arneson / Licensed by VAGA. In 1983.” 39 But that has not kept her from continuing to produce political art. For Stone Carrying (1981). performed in Israel.antinuclear activist Helen Caldicott. in her piece Bridge of Knots.38 In 1995. Berkeley Art Museum. carried it out of the building. Underlining a dilemma many politically involved artists feel. New York. Aylon closed her studio temporarily to pursue meaningful actions. © Helène Aylon / Licensed by VAGA. There they emptied their pillowcases into large transparent boxes. for her action Terrestri: Rescued Earth. where much nuclear research was performed. In Sand Carrying (1980). where five hundred people. San Francisco. 1995 Pillowcases and ink installation. Aylon has said. Di Rosa Foundation and Preserve. University of California. Traveling in Aylon’s Earth Ambulance. in the art world it seemed too political. New York. 1983 Bronze. 63 . accompanied by music by the composer Pauline Oliveros. substances that know no political boundaries.

They sent him to see the New York museums. he came to a keen political awareness when he witnessed the Mexican police killing as many as five hundred students during a protest. Reagan’s national security advisor. and a little later by those of the radical artists of the Weimar Republic. and who is “recovering” the Central American economy? The artist and political activist Robbie Conal. Henry Kissinger appears in the lower left corner. and Colonel Oliver North of the Marine Corps—directed a clandestine operation that sold arms to Iran. Daumier. among other things.Intervention in Central America and the Iran-Contra Affair During the 1980s artists in New York took to the streets to protest the U.S. after enrolling in the San Francisco Art Institute. After studying political economy at the University of Mexico. to his work. W. and murder” and to say.” Irony governs Chagoya’s comment here.S. and he brings a thorough knowledge of pre-Columbian culture. who might be described as the most prominent “ambassador” of American popular culture. In 1984. He has obviously loaded his brush from the receptacle of blood held by his other arm—a bucket with a dismembered foot sticking out. Kollwitz. Bush just before he left office in 1992 and in the early 2000s were reappointed to critical government positions by President George W. In 1968. sporting big Mouse ears. Conal uses against war and violence . 64 holds a bucket of blood and writes the message: “By the way. Chagoya visited nearby Teotihuacan as well as the city’s museums as a child. Their Freedom of Expression . as it does his title for this work. Bush. studying at San Francisco State University and Stanford University before moving south to Venice. For a large drawing of this time. where he has lived since 1984. . Whose “freedom of expression” is being supported. used the proceeds illegally to fund American-trained “freedom fighters” attempting to overthrow the left-wing government of Nicaragua. painting the words “Ruskies and Cubans out of Central America” on the wall in red.) A “red diaper baby. Initially he painted pictures in the Abstract Expressionist mode. The Recovery of Their Economy (1984).” Conal was born in New York in 1944 to parents who were both union organizers. he helped organize an exhibition in conjunction with the national movement Artists Call Against Intervention in Central America. He encountered the strongly polemical art of Leon Golub and Nancy Spero. Several California artists also joined in this outcry against the Reagan administration’s policies in Central America. Chagoya moved to California in 1977 and began working as a graphic artist. including ancient codices. a small figure of Mickey Mouse as Dr. John Heartfield’s photomontages served as a paradigm for Conal’s own work. government—in the persons of John Poindexter. Chagoya’s “oversized cartoon” features Reagan. Chagoya appropriated Mickey Mouse. “Central America is not for sale. Conal entered upon a career of agitprop poster making. . California. propaganda. who leaves very few political controversies untouched. Born in Mexico City in 1953. government’s intervention in the politics of El Salvador and Nicaragua. produced a series of posters denouncing the IranContra affair. Feeling that the social significance of simply painting canvases was limited. but soon his work took a political turn. In 1963 Conal moved to California. For good measure. and Heartfield. and others. which brought artists from various fields together to express their “outrage over the current government policies. He. finding inspiration in the work of Goya. Like other California artists such as Rupert García. as well as Posada. and Ben Sakoguchi. in which the U.”40 Chagoya made a series of etchings satirizing President Ronald Reagan. Erika Rothenberg. keep art out of politics. who encouraged the younger artist. where he was first affected by the political prints of Goya and Daumier. at age fifteen. (Both Poindexter and North were later indicted for these activities but were pardoned by President George H. Henry Kissinger. too. and then flew narcotics from Central America back to the United States for illegal distribution. among them Enrique Chagoya.

1984 Charcoal and pastel on paper. 53 × 40 in. 80 × 80 in. 53 × 40 in. in honor of the San Jose Museum of Art’s 35th anniversary. . Collection of David Arquette. 1988 Oil on canvas. THE RECOVERY OF THEIR ECONOMY. Gift of Enrique Chagoya with additional support from the Museum’s Collections Committee. 1988 Oil on canvas. Collection of Charlie Sheen. ROBBIE CONAL CONTRA COCAINE. . . San Jose Museum of Art.ENRIQUE CHAGOYA THEIR FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION. Also done as poster and postcard. ROBBIE CONAL CONTRA DICTION. . Also done as poster and postcard.

popular media such as postcards and photographs, as well as posters, to render his work accessible to a wide audience. Since the early 1980s he has organized political action groups for his “art attacks” to provide for mass distribution of his irreverent and biting pieces, which expose the corruption of the system. Over the years Conal has created a rogues’ gallery of portraits, with few individuals in public affairs remaining safe from his attacks. He often begins by slinging paint on canvas in the gestural approach of his Abstract Expressionist period; he then superimposes figures, faces, and objects, producing trenchant canvases that he photographs and prints in multiple copies as posters. Armed with wallpaper glue and big brushes, Conal and his helpers set out at night and plaster the posters on surfaces throughout the city— whether Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Washington, D.C., or someplace else—to surprise, shock, and delight people on their way to work the next morning. Outraged by news of the Iran-Contra affair, Conal cogently satirized this complex and messy operation in such works as Contra Diction (1988) and Contra Cocaine (1988). In the first, a stinging hyperrealist portrait, President Reagan opens his mouth to speak: “The simple truth is, I don’t remember—period,” Conal quotes him as saying on the back of the postcard version of this image. In the second, a ghastly skull cannot be hidden by a camouflage background or pinstripe suit and tie. “No matter how hard we tried to disprove the rumors about the contras and drugs, the stories never went away,” Oliver North confesses on the back of the postcard version. Conal did not end his vigilance against government corruption and the “spoils” of war with the IranContra affair. In 1994 he was commissioned to contribute a weekly poster and accompanying text for the Los Angeles Weekly, that city’s premier free paper. Called “Artburns,” these drawings of corrupt individuals in public affairs provoke and attack the establishment that nourishes them. They are, Conal says, “just one way of turning anger, disappoint66

ment, sometimes utter disbelief at the unconscionable doings of our political and cultural leaders into a silly-satirical joyful resistance.”41
Operation Desert Storm

The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 may have ended the cold war, but it did not bring an end to military actions. The United States, as the remaining superpower, could deploy its military might virtually unopposed in other venues. In 1990 Iraq’s ruthless dictator, Saddam Hussein, whom the U.S. government had supported with arms and economic aid in his war against Iran, invaded the small, oil-rich country of Kuwait. In response, President George H. W. Bush formed a coalition that unleashed its military strength against Iraq in Operation Desert Storm. During six days of massive aerial bombardment, the citizens of Iraq suffered innumerable losses of life. Hans Burkhardt (see p. 36), now in his eighties, once more turned from his abstract painting to produce a series of works protesting the suffering wrought by war. In a creative surge, he made a large number of paintings in which the American flag appears as a symbol of death, its stripes starkly painted in black and white or obliterated altogether in a gestural field of pigment. In one disturbing canvas, Tar Pit (1991), the flag’s upper-left field, normally occupied by stars, is covered by a frazzled piece of burlap painted dark gray. Red paint, simulating blood, soaks through the layers of cloth and paint. In the center of the painting a wooden cross rises like a tombstone above a second, larger piece of tattered burlap. It is a compelling homage to those killed in the Gulf War—or in any war. Llyn Foulkes also deployed his art to protest the Gulf War, but in a sardonic mode, one that fits the anti-establishment thrust of much of his work. Born in Yakima, Washington, in 1934, Foulkes, like Burkhardt, did not have an easy childhood—his father abandoned the family when Llyn was a small child, and his mother had to go to work in a cannery. Unlike Burkhardt, however, Foulkes belongs to a cooler, more restrained generation of artists who ap-

against war and violence

HANS BURKHARDT TAR PIT, 1991 Oil and assemblage on canvas, 60 × 48 in. Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Museum purchase with funds provided by the Collector’s Council and the 20thCentury Art Acquisition Fund. © Hans G. and Thordis W. Burkhardt Foundation. Courtesy of Jack Rutberg Fine Arts, Los Angeles.

proach their art in a less openly emotional manner. After graduating from the Chouinard Art Institute in 1959, Foulkes worked briefly in an Abstract Expressionist style and then experimented with Pop Art, which he found too simple and arid: “Pop Art almost killed painting,” he later said. “Believe me. I was there.”42 His subsequent work shows the impact of the gutsy painting of Picasso and de Kooning, the political criticism of the Berlin Dadaists Raoul Hausmann and Hannah Höch, and the use of light in paintings by Vermeer and Rembrandt.43 Often intensely realistic, it is concerned with real-life horrors and with a per-

ception of present danger in the body politic. In particular, Foulkes has come to satirize popular culture, revealing its effect on California’s landscape and people. Mickey Mouse, for example, makes frequent appearances in Foulkes’s work, reflecting his belief that the Walt Disney Company has ruined Los Angeles with its cartoon mentality and squeaky-clean, sanitizing presentations. In the mordantly sardonic work Where Did I Go Wrong? (1991), we see Clark Kent dressed in a black business suit. Beneath the formal dress, he wears his Superman outfit, a motif Foulkes has used frequently against war and violence

LLYN FOULKES WHERE DID I GO WRONG? 1991 Mixed media, 71 × 54 in. ©Llyn Foulkes. Courtesy of Tom Patchett.

in his work. The Kent figure is seated on a rock in an eerily lit, desolate landscape dominated by a large, threatening boulder that recalls the artist’s disquieting images of a lifeless American landscape in his Post Card series of the 1960s. He is reading The Outlook, a newspaper that bears the banner headline “WAR!” and shows a picture of George H. W. Bush. The subhead reads: “Pre-Dawn Raids Pound Baghdad and Kuwait. Bush Vows Liberation.” The front page goes on to proclaim (presciently, in light of the second Gulf War): “Rumsfeld Vows to Crush Foes.” To the left of the helpless Superman, we see a bare “bush” and a “quail” by his feet (the inept Dan Quayle was vice president in the first Bush administration). A bubble shows Superman’s thought: “Where did I go wrong?” One answer to Superman’s question can be found in Allan Sekula’s photonovel War without Bodies (1991), created in response to the first Gulf War. Born in Erie, Pennsylvania, in 1951, Sekula moved to San

Pedro, California, and studied at the University of California, San Diego, when its art department was pioneering new concepts and art forms. His principal teachers there were John Baldessari in art and Herbert Marcuse in philosophy. Sekula read Marx, Brecht, Kafka, Sartre, Freud, Barthes, and Foucault, becoming engrossed with semiotics and theory and increasingly aware of the workings of the late capitalist system and its effect on ordinary people. At the time, San Diego was an active military center, sending air and naval forces to Southeast Asia. Sekula, like many students, became active in the antiwar movement. He soon came to feel that his early activities as a sculptor and performance artist were foolishly romantic, self-aggrandizing, and remote, and embarked on a dual career as a photographer and a critic, fusing praxis and theory. Taking up photography did not keep Sekula from writing extensively against the privileging of photography as high art. With Martha Rosler, he called for a reconstruction of documentary photography, proposing a “reflecting documentation with text as an integral part of the work to form ‘photonovels.’” Sekula would agree with Bertolt Brecht’s oftencited observation that “a photograph of the Krupp factory tells us next to nothing about the institution.”44 Unlike many strictly documentary photographers, Sekula often combines his images with texts to scrutinize American (that is, Western) economic, social, and political systems and their meanings, as in Against the Grain (1972–83), Fish Story (1995–97), Dismal Science (1989–92), and Titanic’s Wake (2002). War without Bodies includes a photograph of a victory celebration at El Toro Marine Corps Air Station in Santa Ana, California, on April 28, 1991, in which men and boys touch the gun barrels at the snout of an aircraft that has just returned from Operation Desert Storm. In the accompanying text, Sekula writes about the repetitive TV images and press stories detailing the speed and range of military planes and the cost of their payloads, and about the characterization of modern warfare as simply pitting

against war and violence

ALLAN SEKULA BOMB, VICTORY CELEBRATION, TORO MARINE CORPS AIR STATION, SANTA ANA, CALIFORNIA, 28 APRIL 1991, FROM WAR WITHOUT BODIES, 1991 Cibachrome, 24 × 30 in. Courtesy of Christopher Grimes Gallery, Santa Monica; Allan Sekula; and Generali Foundation, Vienna.

steel against the “enemy.” The illusion of a “war without bodies” is exposed in Sekula’s comment: “The mix of tactile caution and blunt aggression that one detects in this gun-touching becomes all the more ominous when we learn that these cannon fire armorpiercing shells made of depleted uranium, the radioactive material now suspected of being one cause of the mysterious bundle of afflictions known as ‘Gulf War Syndrome.’” Robert Arneson also addressed Operation Desert Storm. In 1991 he produced Oily Bush, a rather ghastly image of President George H. W. Bush, who went to war ostensibly to protect Kuwait from invasion by Iraq but mostly to keep oil flowing to America. Using a heavy black oil stick, Arneson almost literally made the oil ooze over his likeness of the commander in chief, whose green necktie is decorated with red dollar signs.
Operation Iraqi Freedom and the War on Terror

ROBERT ARNESON OILY BUSH, 1991 Conte, oil stick, and plastic enamel on paper, 47 1⁄2 × 31 3⁄4 in. © Estate of Robert Arneson/Licensed by VAGA, New York. Photo: Lee Fatherree. Courtesy of George Adams Gallery, New York, and Brian Gross Fine Art, San Francisco.

In 2003 antiwar activists took to the streets again, in California and elsewhere, as a second Gulf War threatened. On a single day—February 19, 2003—an estiagainst war and violence

JULES GREENBERG SKATEBOARDER AND GANDHI AGAINST THE WAR, JANUARY 18, 2003 Archival pigment print, 8 1⁄2 × 11 in. Courtesy of the photographer.

mated ten million people demonstrated worldwide against the pending preemptive invasion of Iraq by the United States. The demonstrators protested doubtful claims made by the administration of George W. Bush that weapons of mass destruction lay at the ready in Iraq, that Saddam Hussein had purchased uranium from Niger, and that he was connected to Al Qaeda’s attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon in 2001. The loudness of the cry “no war” comes across in poignant photographs taken at demonstrations in San Francisco by Jules Greenberg (b. 1966), who studied photography in Rome and Berkeley. Originally drawn to photography by seeing the work of the 1930s Farm Security Administration photographers, Greenberg has carried her commitment to socially relevant photography into action, participating in FotoVision, an organization that offers workshops in documentary photography. Her Skateboarder and Gandhi against the War (2003) attests to the new forms of political expression and participation being developed by San Francisco’s ethnically diverse youth. As she explains, “I was struck by this young man

marching so defiantly, yet so joyously, down the middle of Market Street, proudly displaying, not a cardboard sign, but the underside of a skateboard, a longtime symbol and favored mode of transport for rebellious youth, now an oddly compelling placard for peace.”45 Indeed, skateboards have been the object of contention in many cities, with some municipalities banning their use or subjecting it to curfew, perceiving them as unruly and in the way. Skateboard owners, however, tend to make their attitudes known, often decorating their boards with graffiti or underground cartoons. It is in just such a contentious stance that Greenberg has caught the spectacled young man with the white head of Gandhi on his T-shirt. Jaw set, standing against a wall painted maroon, he holds up his board at a tilt, causing it to resonate with the vertical repetition of dry standpipes on the left. The power of visual street theater is caught in Kat Wade’s highly evocative 2003 photograph of the blackclad “Mourning Mothers” who regularly appeared at San Francisco antiwar demonstrations. In Wade’s image there is no escape from these imploring women, with their huge, expressive masks and their outstretched arms, bearing what look like the remains of their children. Wade (b. 1947), a San Francisco Chronicle staff photographer who studied journalism and photography at San Francisco State University and then backpacked around the world for two years, has also focused her camera on the homeless and individuals of mixed race. The massive worldwide demonstrations did not, however, stop the Bush administration from attacking Iraq, in what was euphemistically called Operation Iraqi Freedom. When, under the guise of liberation, Saddam Hussein was quickly toppled by American troops, Iraqis called “insurgents” continued to fight against the occupation of their country, At the time of this writing, two years after Bush declared “victory,” the United States remains mired in a low-intensity guerrilla war, with no end in sight. The number of Americans killed keeps rising, and the U.S. military does not even report all the Iraqi casualties.


against war and violence

As Mark Danner, a professor of journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, has written: “It will be an increasingly obvious irony that the United States acted in Iraq in a way that not only gave the world the specter, for the first time, of what untrammeled American unilateralism would look like but that demonstrated, at the same time, the stark limits of American power. For the expedition in Iraq has revealed again an America that is a strange hybrid—a military giant yoked uncomfortably to a political dwarf.”46 In spring 2004 photographs taken in Abu Ghraib prison surfaced, showing American troops resorting to the humiliation and unspeakable torture of Iraqi suspects, in direct contradiction of the Geneva Convention. At times this abuse even led to death, as former New York Times columnist Anthony Lewis reported: “The Army has admitted that at least thirtynine prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan died, and some of them died while being interrogated.”47 The image of a hooded Iraqi man with electrodes tied to his hands has for many people around the world replaced the Statue of Liberty as the symbol of what the United States stands for. The San Francisco novelist Robert Mailer Anderson and his cousin Zack, also a writer, made posters showing this hooded man in front of the American flag, along with the caption “Got democracy?” They then placed these posters on walls and buildings all over the city and in other locations. In Los Angeles two politically committed artists, who work anonymously under the name Forkscrew Graphics, appropriated Apple’s trendy iPod billboards, with their figures silhouetted against fluorescent backgrounds, and reminded people of the Abu Ghraib atrocities with their own silkscreened “iRaq” posters, displaying the hooded prisoner all wired up. Forkscrew Graphics plastered their posters not only all over Los Angeles, but also in New York and other parts of the country as well as Europe. When the image was printed in the 2004 election issue of the Nation, Forkscrew Graphics stated: “We want to show that no against war and violence

KAT WADE MOURNING MOTHERS, 2003 Color photograph. San Francisco Chronicle.

FORKSCREW GRAPHICS IRAQ, 2004 Silkscreen, 24 × 36 in. Courtesy of the artists.


Fein studied industrial psychology before moving to Los Angeles in the mid-1980s and later settling in San Francisco.annoy. Born in Johannesburg. Courtesy of the artist. say can you feel by the dusk’s fading light How so sadly we mourn our constitution is screaming?50 In another image. Fein is no stranger to censorship. which made it illegal to send “indecent” communications over the Internet. A 2004 exhibit in San Francisco was explicitly intended to make viewers aware of the “nightmarish rollbacks of the Constitution by an Administration that has done more to kill civil liberties than Osama bin Laden could ever have wished for in his wettest dreams. while the right arm of the statue holds Bush’s dismembered head aloft. Clinton Fein (b. winning a partial victory in the U.) A phallic missile. there are ways to take the symbols of marketing and use them to disrupt the barrage of commercial 35 × 26 in. He went so far as to sue Attorney General Janet Reno over the law. 1964) has used the iconic image of the hooded prisoner. Here bin Laden’s head replaces that of Miss Liberty. which claimed the work vi- olated company policy against depicting torture and disparaging religion. the digital print Who Would Jesus Torture? (2004) depicts Bush on the cross in place of the Savior. along with another by Fein. Fein shows the president and his cronies seated around a table with almost no food left on it. Supreme Court in 1999. matter how manipulated the media sphere becomes. equipped 72 against war and violence .CLINTON FEIN WHO WOULD JESUS TORTURE? 2004 Digital archival ink jet print. Earlier. he established a provocative website. www . in response to the 1996 Communications Decency Act. where he witnessed the effects of apartheid. instead of the great torch of freedom. and no matter how many tons of messages the marketing world dumps on the public. The work is accompanied by a verse that begins: Oh. This image. Continuing the religious theme. from urban blight to the masochistic and homoerotic implications of life in the military to the ongoing “war on terror” and erosion of American civil liberties.”49 Typical of Fein’s ongoing attack on the Bush administration’s policies is a 2001 photocollage titled Blood-Spangled Banner. was shredded and destroyed by a high-tech Silicon Valley printing firm.”48 Like Forkscrew Graphics. titled Better Be the Last (2004) and modeled on Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper. in red ink between white intervals. The flag’s stripes are replaced with the official text of the Abu Ghraib report.S. multiplying it fifty times to stand in for the stars in the American flag in his print Like Apple Fucking Pie (2004). (The original version of this image was also destroyed by the printer. His art ranges over a variety of political issues.

in 1948.”51 Using advanced technology. on an electric chair. In Photo-Op (2004) she shows us a digitally duplicated girl in a sexy garment admiring herself in a camera phone. emerges from Bush’s loincloth. 2004 Photomontage. sits Private Lindy English. 73 . SECOND SERIES. producing antiwar statements that fuse the visual and the verbal. and Franklin Delano Roosevelt speaking in a reassuring tone. with a photograph from the deadly battlefield in the background. Another piece in the same exhibition. DeMarinis.with the American flag. uses “manometric flame photography. 3 1⁄2 × 32 × 1 1⁄2 in.” a phonological device for recording and viewing the patterns of speech on a screen. The war in Iraq motivated Martha Rosler (pp. the visual and performance artist Paul DeMarinis. Several of these figures dangle toy elephants—alluding not only to the Republican Party logo but also to Thomas Edison’s demonstration of the strength of the electric chair (his own invention. while two war wounded are seated in modern chairs in the glitzy living room. the record player and the incandescent light bulb. the soldier photographed “taming” naked prisoners with a dog leash. Below English. at a time when innovative work in synthetic movement. Braunstein/Quay Gallery. 2004 Photograph of manometric flame in lightbox. In reviewing Rosler’s show in New York. In 2004 the artist turned to political statements. In The Edison Effect (1999) he combined laser technology with two of Thomas Edison’s inventions. Courtesy of the artist. Joseph Stalin voicing patriotic slogans. Ohio. San Francisco. PAUL DEMARINIS TONGUES OF FIRE #10. and it has the visual zap of rock music hooks. From one arm of the cross hangs the icon of the hooded man. while Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz (the chief architect of the Iraq invasion) appear on the lower right. Tongues of Fire. we see John Ashcroft and Donald Rumsfeld strapping Saddam Hussein to a chair. Through high-tech means. Benito Mussolini sounding brash and defiant. Holland Cotter observed that “socially engaged art is out of favor with the New York art industry at present” and urged viewers not to overlook Rosler’s art: “It’s caustic but cool. We hear Adolf Hitler screaming with vituperative sputters. though this fact is rarely mentioned) by shocking an elephant to death. infuriated but funny. variable dimensions. which emerge from torches in contraptions that look like bird cages. occurred at that school. Courtesy of the artist. He exhibited his Firebirds series. has also responded to the Iraq war. studied at Mills College in Oakland in the early 1970s. DeMarinis applied against war and violence MARTHA ROSLER PHOTO-OP. Bin Laden sits above. fusing the aural and the visual. which takes advantage of the way gas flames conduct sound in a 360-degree radius. he gives visibility to the voices of prominent men. born in Cleveland. while below the other arm. recalling a tradition that stretches back to Wassily Kandinsky’s color-tone composition The Yellow Sound (1911) and Marcel Duchamp’s Erratum Musical (1913). FROM BRINGING THE WAR HOME: HOUSE BEAUTIFUL. Who invented this torture? we might also ask. 54– 56) to once more counterpose the reality of war with frivolous life on the home front.

crosses. each excerpt appearing inside an individual lightbox in the form of a backlit image of flames. were facsimiles of Spanish colonial folk paintings.”53 When the Filipinos revolted against this new effort to “Christianize” them. narrow images that suggest distant horizons ablaze at night. Very much the iconoclast. an estimated half million were killed in the lengthy guerrilla war. A Christ with spread-eagled wings and bird’s claws presides over a city square. shows a large cockroach with a crown of thorns and halo presiding in triumph on an altar. devils. and curators. the Spanish Baroque and Goya. showing the true business of the art world and demonstrating Jean Baudrillard’s notion that global capitalist society is based on the circulation of signs. VOICES AGAINST IMPERIALIST INTERVENTION In weighing in against war. no more executions of dissidents. Miss American Pie and Ben Sakoguchi’s Napalm Brand. scraped and weathered to look authentic and then sold to tourists. .this technology to excerpts of speeches by President George W. swastikas. The Recovery of Their Economy. and his first artworks. which transform horror into a quality André 74 Breton would have described as “sublime beauty.” His visual repertoire overflows with hooded Klansmen.” and “No more prison factories. and words in many languages. the culmination of the series. swords.”52 In Tongues of Fire viewers can compare the messages of world leaders by listening to their voices and actually seeing the sound patterns they produce. skeletons. a source of wealth for the Iraqi people. In President William McKinley’s words. He was sent to Catholic schools. and uplift and civilize and Christianize them. Ocampo’s paintings reflect a Philippine history in which three hundred years of Spanish oppression were followed by the U. The critic Kenneth Baker explains: “DeMarinis recorded the flame’s ripples with a slit-lens camera. rats. producing long. and older contemporaries such as Joseph Beuys. which—teeming with skulls and crossbones and devils preparing for massacres— refers both to the Spanish Inquisition and to the Nazi against war and violence . He is known for his apocalyptic visions. Although Ocampo has traveled widely and is frequently on the move. collectors. no more torture chambers and rape rooms. with heaven becoming hell. . Catholic iconography is turned upside down. and the Viennese Actionists.S. One finds echoes of the anxious vision and violence in paintings by such Surrealists as Max Ernst and André Masson. as well as influences from Filipino folk art. occupation in 1898. One of Ocampo’s strongest and most typical works.S. It can thus be instructive to look specifically at how certain artists call attention to the dangers of imperialism and the violence it provokes. painted with a vigorous brush. for instance. mission was “to educate the Filipinos. Hans Haacke. conveys multiple messages. Manuel Ocampo was born in the Philippines in 1965 to parents who were both journalists. It is Christianity that comes under fire in many of Ocampo’s paintings. Twelfth Station. Bush. Its strange mixture of images strikes the viewer both viscerally and intellectually. roaches. Bye. Some artists draw on their own culture’s experience of past “conquest” or oppression to make their comments on current government policy all the more incisive. as can be seen implicitly in Robert Colescott’s Bye. done under the supervision of priests. Ocampo tried to demystify the sanctity of art in several exhibitions by carpeting the floor with his paintings so the visitor had to step on them. Ocampo displayed his correspondence with dealers.” “The security of the world requires disarming Saddam Hussein. instruments of torture. or more explicitly in Enrique Chagoya’s Their Freedom of Expression . where one would expect to see paintings. In his 1994 series Stations of the Cross. during the 1990s and early 2000s he lived and worked in California. or ex-votos. such as “Do not destroy the oil wells. artists have often critiqued the underlying imperialist tendencies. On the walls. the U. Untitled (Burnt-out Europe) (1992).” These words are made visible in the work.

actor. . 1992 Oil and decal on canvas. had an excellent turnout. interactive pieces that depended on both the place and the audience. San Jose Museum of Art.54 This work stands as a powerful indictment of the malevolence of organized religion and the fascist imperial state. then returned to the United States in 1973. were often symbolic and ritualistic in nature. Museum purchase with funds contributed by the Museum’s Collections Committee. He went to high school in Paris during a period of social and cultural turmoil. Later in 1995 I sold them each for $37. ‘what on earth will I do with them?’ . filmmaker. poetry. death camps. . MacLeod has become an international political activist. and gave the paintings away for free. “Soon the house was filled with paintings and the question became. Since receiving a degree in interdisciplinary studies from San Francisco State University. coupling irreconcilable realities. narrative approach in favor of a disjunctive array of arbitrary images. I invited everyone I knew. reminiscent of the Theatre of the Absurd. first-asking-first-served. and drama. working as a writer of avant-garde fiction. Scott MacLeod avoids a logical. mostly silent actions. In the foreground a young woman testifies to the auto-da-fé of the Inquisitors. 72 × 108 in. and painter.MANUEL OCAMPO UNTITLED (BURNT-OUT EUROPE). traveled as a child to such places as Indonesia and Venezuela because his father was in the American Foreign Service. as well as a performance artist. hitchhiked around the country. . Like Ocampo. one per customer. installation artist. . . Photo: Douglas Sandberg. MacLeod. did construction work in Colorado. His seemingly meaningless. In 1994 he began painting seriously. and two large Nazi swastikas dominate the front of the Savior’s large black wings. who was born in 1956 in a small rural town in Virginia. His early impressions of the social and psychological dynamics of colonialism are reflected in his adult work.”55 against war and violence 75 . and ended up in San Francisco in 1976.50 (a price low enough that some consider this also as a political act). In the 1980s and early 1990s MacLeod performed site-specific.

Courtesy of the artist. spray paint. who was born in 1959 in Mexico City and grew up in Cuernevaca. made with many layers of spar varnish. He worked in Mexico with some of the outstanding secondgeneration muralists there before coming to live in San Francisco in 1988. Their installation was entitled Evil Empire. Chamberlain and Zaballa first worked together on a 1991 exhibition at the Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts in San Francisco to commemorate the five thousand Native Americans who had died at Mission Dolores. Embedded in the bubble are a leaping stallion. who was stabbed by a fan of another player. 76 Ann Chamberlain (b. and North Korea as an “ axis of evil. 60 × 48 in. 1951) approaches political issues more directly. A map of the United Sates lies on its side. and military reports. the two artists took fifty thousand discarded library catalogue cards. a crashing airplane. and collage on canvas. Most of the space is taken up by a giant inflated bubble painted in a sonorous red.” Beneath each drawing of a skull was a photographic image of Bush. this pyramid is decorated with skulls. where he apprenticed in the workshop of David Alfaro Siqueiros. MacLeod painted this picture in response to September 11. and affixed them onto three levels of the library’s walls. in which he stigmatized Iraq. while on the bottom five young girls. Iran. Assisted by two hundred volunteers. In 2002 Chamberlain and Zaballa collaborated on an altar for a Día de los Muertos exhibition at the San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery. Chamberlain has also collaborated with Victor Mario Zaballa. Educated at Smith College and the San Francisco Art Institute (where she later taught). Chamberlain has worked on various public art commissions. with the great bubble standing for the psychological bubble of fear that was creating a suicidal move toward war. Inside the pyramid was a whitewashed map of the world on which only the United States was visible and from which radiated circles of soldiers: the military force of the United States against war and violence . including a collaboration with Ann Hamilton in 1996 for the newly built San Francisco Public Library. Bush’s recently delivered State of the Union address. an armed soldier. a woman holding a child and wearing a hood with the word “escape” on it. who committed suicide. paint thinner. blow bubble gum (an image taken from a photograph the artist found). MacLeod’s paintings are usually assemblages with a rich multiplicity of images. Primarily an installation artist. which had been annotated in numerous languages over many years. spray enamel. making library patrons aware of the shift from fingering handheld cards to tapping a keyboard for cyberinformation. an institution near San Francisco that supports artists who explore new directions. We also see the rock star Kurt Cobain. dressed in gray cocoons. some of them emblematic and delving into the imaginative. in response to President George W. American Pop! (2002). and the tennis star Monica Seles. she served as the program director of the Headlands Center for the Arts.” The artists explained: “Evil Empire is based on Aztec architecture—like the Mesoamerican temples. and microchips. is a good example of the complexity MacLeod creates.SCOTT MACLEOD AMERICAN POP! 2002 Varnish.

where it was displayed in the nave of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco and installed for two months in the then-new Oakland Federal Building. socialite. where it was carried by young children at a peace conference. Light radiating through the silk made one think of stained glass in cathedrals.imposing its will and protecting itself from the rest of the world. and white and imprinted with images of white doves emerging from red flames. The most ancient bells have been found in Babylonia. which stated in part: “Among the many factors which play a role in this award are community involvement and public outreach. CALLS FOR PEACE Two California artists who have produced work that holds out hope for peace are Ariel (see p. and thousands of children in twenty countries worked to finish the banner. The resulting work. stitchers. Courtesy of the artists. however. Banner of Hope (1986–87). For two years calligraphers. The banner eventually came back to the San Francisco Bay Area. The bell has been an almost universal symbol of communication for as long as mankind has known how to cast metal. dyed red. has built great bells to call for peace. It was then taken to the Great Cemetery in Leningrad and to the Berlin Wall at the time of its breach. in Oakland. Its real contribution. It also carries the names of thousands of places where the child victims of war have met their deaths: London. the building received a TOBY (The Office Building of the Year) award. both as a memorial to their tragedy and as a symbol of truth and hope. 57) and Bruce Hasson. born in Los Angeles in 1954 and trained at the academies of Florence and Carrara. and against war and violence ANN CHAMBERLAIN AND VICTOR MARIO ZABALLA EVIL EMPIRE. Berlin. black. which was completed in 1988 and first displayed in Moscow. Coventry. not long after the banner’s display. while the interior contained a rotating disco ball. Nagasaki. Often it was displayed in children’s processions. to Hiroshima. South of Market Cultural Center. and so on. 2002 Mixed-media installation. Treblinka. printers. Your moving ‘Banner of Hope’ certainly impressed the judges. Leningrad. Hiroshima. The pyramid was topped with a red flashing light of the kind commonly used on police cars. to the Great Wall of China. There. 77 . In 1986 the fashion model. and. remains the heightening of public awareness of the horrible price our world pays for violence. BergenBelsen. as they were literally pulled upward one hundred feet in the glass-domed building. In July 1998. moving President Mikhail Gorbachev to tears. to Belfast. the names of the children became powerful signifiers. Italy.”56 Bruce Hasson. despite disapproval by authorities. is some two miles of silk. and writer Pat Montandon commissioned Ariel to design a large banner to serve as a pledge for peace. 6 × 8 × 8 ft.

In 1999 the artist created his huge Millennia bell. 2 miles long.ARIEL BANNER OF HOPE. they can also be struck for peace. Titled U.” In 1995. U. but its upper portion is streamlined and recalls the shape of a missile. bells or gongs have been an essential part of ceremonial events in Assyria and Egypt. or to ring loudly as sonorous instruments. Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali and President Bill Clinton stood by the bell and Attorney General Janet Reno struck the side of it. Italy. 1986–87 Silk. where the United Nations charter was signed.” written in 1799 during the French Revolutionary Wars: “May the first sound be hallowed to peace. China and Japan. India and Burma. this bell was first displayed at the United Nations Plaza in San Francisco and then was installed for six months in the Piazza del Campidoglio in Rome. It is now installed in the holy city of Assisi. who publicly donated his organs. where 140 bells of different sizes commemorate a boy killed in Calabria. by bandits (the bells were sent by Italians in gratitude to the boy’s parents. Hasson made a carbon steel bell from melted weapons collected by the police. At a celebratory event. The ambiguity of the bell’s strucagainst war and violence 78 . to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. Children as the Peacemakers Foundation. north of San Francisco. they can be tuned to sound as delicate chimes or carillons.700 pounds. also cast in carbon steel from melted weapons and weighing 1.N. They summon worshippers to church and soldiers to war. Courtesy of Pat Montandon. thereby encouraging other organ donations for children). In Europe bells were placed on the spires of churches or in belfries and campaniles.N. Bells strike the hours. the work was installed in the lobby of the San Francisco War Memorial Building. The shape of the Millennia bell is unorthodox: its lower part looks like a traditional bell. Intended as a monument to inaugurate the third millennium. Also in 1995 Hasson erected the Children’s Bell Tower in Bodega Bay. where Mikhail Gorbachev struck it at its dedication. The great German Romantic poet Friedrich von Schiller concluded his famous moralistic poem “The Lay of the Bell. Bell. and throughout Western Christendom. a metaphoric casting of swords into plowshares.

whether through torture or the death penalty. at times executing innocent individuals wrongly accused of capital crimes. The artwork is intended to inspire humanity’s search to restore the planet’s environment and to develop greater efforts toward global peace. “The sheer heat of the anti-Communist feeling in the country should have warned a cool judge away from. In ancient mythology. however. Photo: Courtesy of the Comune di Roma 2000. 2000 Bell: cast melted firearms. protests arose against this brutal practice. Kaufman. The sounding of Millennia also offers participants a chance to join in the world celebration marking the passage to the next millennium. claimed that the secrets that Julius Rosenberg supposedly obtained from his brother-in-law provided the key that enabled the Soviets to build an atomic bomb. who had plea-bargained with the prosecution to avoid the same fate. do not believe that the transmitted information would have been of much value. Even before the Supreme Court debates on the death penalty. The questionable evidence came from Ethel Rosenberg’s brother. and a fair trial for the Rosenbergs. but in 1976 the Court reinstated the constitutionality of the death penalty. a confessed spy. the artist points out.57 The Rosenbergs had been arrested in 1950 and indicted on an espionage charge for allegedly having transmitted data on nuclear weapons to the Soviet Union. 1953. which took only fourteen days. the United States continues to kill its own citizens. would have been difficult to obtain at the time. 79 . Scientists. not against war and violence BRUCE HASSON MILLENNIA: MAYOR FRANCESCO RUTELLI AND MIKHAIL GORBACHEV STRIKE BELL IN THE CAMPIDOGLIO. The trial. coincided with the crest of McCarthyism. carbon steel.AGAINST “CRUEL AND UNUSUAL PUNISHMENT” ture is in itself a poignant comment on destiny. Activists have also called for an end to the violent treatment of prisoners. The sides are carefully patinated and embellished with reliefs relating to the imagery and geometry of early cartographers. ruling that it does not entail “cruel and unusual punishment. Protests against violence are not limited to protests against war. Peter’s Church. One death penalty case that provoked a worldwide outcry was that of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. Although most democratic countries have abolished capital punishment. bells served as charms against the forces of destruction. 13 × 8 × 8 ft. ROME. who sentenced the Rosenbergs to death. Playwright Arthur Miller recalled. On June 19. The artist has written that the sounding of the bell is a call to forge a peaceful future among all nations. In 1972 the Supreme Court brought a halt to the executions. more than a third of them in Texas. Judge Irving R. Italy.” Since then almost a thousand people have been executed in the United States. Now located in front of the Museum of Art and St. Assisi. millions of people here and abroad protested against their execution. who were close to the Communist Party. with steel structure.

and then settled in Los Angeles. Doctorow’s The Book of Daniel. studied at the University of California. Courtesy of the artist. no resentment as coruscating as that between related people. excerpts from E. 1987 Assemblage. which includes the 1987 piece Other (In Memory of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg). civilians had ever before suffered the death penalty for treason.S. Brooklyn. Martha Rosler. while the chair’s burnt arms and affixed copper coils hint at the electric chair. including pieces by such California artists as Robert Arneson. as well as new works.KIM ABELES OTHER (IN MEMORY OF ETHEL AND JULIUS ROSENBERG). and Léger. A Movie (1958). Abeles became interested in Buddhism when she was sixteen. In the 1980s she produced room-size installations and made assemblages based on the Dead Sea Scrolls. In his first of many collage films. against war and violence . In 1978 she moved to California. as all civil wars display. The old typewriter beneath the seat may refer to the reporting and recording of the Rosenbergs’ story and points to the power of language. as an American Field Service student in Japan. Martinez. A number of well-known artists protested the execution. L. In the United States Arnold Mesches was among those who produced poignant paintings. but also on assumptions made about anyone who is different. where she began exhibiting her innovative. Rupert García. and Saint Bernadette’s shrine in Lourdes. Born in 1952 in Richmond Heights. Collection of Doug Simay. covering an old desk chair with passport photographs of unnamed people of color (“The Other”). who issued a limited edition of portrait lithographs to raise money for the Rosenbergs’ defense. while the leading Italian Realist painter Renato Gutusso created a poster of the couple that was shown all over Italy. The book included a memoir by Arthur Miller.” The Dutch CoBrA painter Karel Appel made a painting of anger and despair. In this work Abeles used commonplace objects in unexpected formulations. In her work Abeles reflects not just on the Rosenbergs. you have to take long thought before believing him. who was born in McPherson. The slats to which they are affixed suggest prison bars. multifaceted work.”58 No U. and when you have a brother as one of the main supports of the prosecution’s case against the sister’s husband. Conner’s art is at times forcefully political. the tarot. Allen Ginsberg. France. and Kim Abeles. and Mike Gold. he appropriated film footage from newsreels. 37 × 25 × 19 in. in 1933 and arrived in San Francisco in 1957 via Wichita. Nebraska.” an essay I wrote. including Picasso. The death penalty in California in particular was strongly condemned by Bruce Conner. Photo: Daniel J. Missouri. and Lincoln. among others. There is no hatred on earth. The book and exhibition contained art made at the time of the execution. toward. As time went on she also made objects dealing with the Los Angeles smog. Between 1984 and 1991 she produced the series Biographical Portraits. westerns. poems by Adrienne Rich. Kansas. Paix. much of it in a Dada or conceptual vein. In 1988 a book was published and a national exhibition was mounted 80 in memory of the Rosenbergs. the death penalty. who created a poster showing their portraits with the words “Liberté. but the Rosenbergs were sentenced to the electric chair in Sing Sing. Irvine. and “Full Disclosure. Solidarité.

Out of the Holocaust (1976). an obnoxious-looking three-dimensional piece made of Styrofoam and coated with many jarring colors. signaling the separation of visitors from inmates. and it says. In the 1960s Kamler. ‘If you believe in an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. but found this mordant sculpture so disturbing that it has almost never been on view. Conner was outraged at the death sentence given to Caryl Chessman. and twine in high chair. 1935). Chessman was eventually executed in 1960. Just what it means to kill another person comes through in the work of Richard Kamler (b. but who claimed that the confession he signed was the product of police brutality.59 Edward Kienholz also expressed outrage against Chessman’s execution. which presents a shrunken. The title is a pun on the Sacco-Vanzetti case. in The Psycho-Vendetta Case (1960). Table of Voices. and when you open it. metal. grotesquely gnarled. narrow table of black lead and gold leaf is bisected by a vertical sheet of safety glass. 1959 Wax figure with nylon. When the young Kamler heard Kiesler’s remark that “through art we can change the laws of the world. The Museum of Modern Art. © Bruce Conner. Kamler completed an important installation. After returning to San Francisco. in which he reconstructed part of a barrack at Auschwitz. it’s Chessman shackled with just his ass exposed . and sculptor. it is now in a state of great disrepair. As Kienholz described the work: “It’s just a box that swings open . The visitor who picks up a phone is able to listen to the real voices of incarcerated criminals or those of close relatives of against war and violence BRUCE CONNER THE CHILD. 81 . and mutilated manchild modeled in wax. and lust for power embedded in our culture.) To protest this decision. . He was also deeply affected by Joseph Beuys’s social sculptures. . filling the inmates’ bunks with slaughterhouse bones. went to New York to apprentice with Frederick Kiesler. stick your tongue out. stage designer. the visionary architect. German propaganda. cloth. who had been arrested in Los Angeles for rape and robbery. Gift of Philip Johnson. The Museum of Modern Art. The figure is wrapped in nylon hosiery and tied to a high chair.’”60 Peter Saul added his vitriolic comment on Chessman’s execution with Man in Electric Chair (1966). and other sources and then assembled these images (including scenes of the atomic blast at Bikini Atoll) in a way that causes viewers to apprehend the speed.” he knew that this was what he wanted to do with his life. Unfortunately. realizing its import. To encounter THE CHILD in its original shape elicited a great frisson. an earlier politically motivated miscarriage of justice. a horrendous cry seems to come from the hole that has taken the place of a mouth. In 1996 he made an astonishing piece. Berkeley. acquired it soon after it was made. (Despite worldwide protest. violence. New York. . victims from perpetrators. A long. .girly films. In the 1980s Kamler worked as artist in residence at the San Quentin prison and became increasingly concerned about the United States’ killing of its own citizens. Here Conner revealed the death penalty as a relic of barbarism that mocks society’s claim to civilized status. The seats on each side of the table are equipped with telephones. having studied architecture at the University of California. Conner collected scavenged materials to create the assemblage THE CHILD (1959). 345⁄8 × 17 × 161⁄2 in.

Born in China in 1948 and brought up during the Cultural Revolution. This window display featured the Stars and Stripes. The board was so big that his hands couldn’t reach his mouth. He will be in this situation for five years. but there are other forms of punishment that are equally abhorrent. but also acknowledging the Chinese tradition of the scholar-painter. rather than religion. At times she uses old photographs. In one series of paintings. Bush’s first five years as governor. The installation was shown in Huntsville. the lead and gold of the table are particularly important. Kamler has continued to work with the theme of the cruelty of the death penalty. She unlearned much of her original training and entered into the cultural discourse with pieces dealing with her family.”61 Two contemporary Los Angeles artists offer a more cynical perspective on the death penalty and incarceration. together with a flag-burning kit and a “freedom of expression” drug. a conceptual artist. educated at the University of Chicago. a pretty heavy board and a strong punishment. a woman. First installed at Alcatraz in 1995–96 for visitors to view at the conclusion of their tour of the former prison’s facilities. the capital punishment center of the United States. where Social Realism held sway. At the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York she created Have You Attacked America Today? (1989)—a title that she might not get away with in the post–September 11. is an artist of amazing versatility. Erika Rothenberg.murdered victims in recordings that range from rage to pain to compassion. and immigration. which first speeds up. world. migration. or even torture. politics. I think the reason I probably decided to paint it was because I felt the board was very much like a canvas. Believing that art. Liu studied at the University of California. the window was vandalized during the against war and violence . Liu explained: “Yoke depicts a Tibetan criminal wearing a wooden headboard around his neck. and a social satirist. Trained at the Central Academy of Art in Beijing. who 82 would ask his students what it means to be an artist rather than reiterating facts about techniques or composition. the work has since traveled to other venues. When she came to the United States. she has never stopped working in a realist vein. San Diego. has the potential to create change on an elemental level. or education. For Kamler. (Not too surprisingly. so he couldn’t feed himself. Rothenberg is familiar with media tricks and strategies for influencing the public mind and uses them to her advantage. and there is also the sound of a heartbeat. for their alchemical properties suggest the possibility of transforming the cruelty of prisoners’ punishment. but she uses this approach to critique historical and political issues. A clock ticks away the passing minutes. based on old Chinese books. A feminist. combining words and images to attack patriotic clichés. Having worked as an art director for the advertising firm McCann-Erickson. simulating a cell on death row in San Quentin. Texas. and now living and working in Los Angeles. and sex. and he had to depend upon the mercy of monks. where at the time more than two hundred prisoners had been killed by lethal injection. In an interview conducted the year this poignant painting was done. Hung Liu has looked at the cruelty of torture with great empathy. and an artist in a foreign land. who is able to recapture the spirit and form of older art. In 1998– 2000 he created The Waiting Room. then comes to a stunning stop. with Allan Kaprow. It consists of ordinary plastic chairs and signs with prison rules and warnings on the wall. as in her painting Yoke (1997). in another she denounced the cruelty of breaking and infantilizing women’s feet in order to make them powerless sex objects. race. she uses her talent and mordant wit to critique the political and economic establishment as well as traditional attitudes toward religion. Much of her work examines oppression. Her work deals with memories and with the problems of being an immigrant. she went through “reeducation” before arriving in California in 1984. over half of them during George W. she looked at the position of prostitutes. adopting postmodern strategies of appropriation. born in New York. The death penalty stands at an extreme.

1996 Mixed media with sound. 1997 Oil on canvas. Photo: Ben Blackwell. Courtesy of the artist. HUNG LIU YOKE. Courtesy of the artist. 80 × 80 in.RICHARD KAMLER TABLE OF VOICES. 6 × 54 × 10 ft. . Collection of Esther Weissman.

with twelve percent of African Americans between the ages of twenty and thirty-four behind bars. The cost of their incarceration is estimated at over twenty thousand dollars per prisoner per year. Rothenberg comments on the banality of tragedy. and the series The War of the Californians (1995–2000). where the state executes its death-row prisoners. Théodore Géricault. The picture is based on Bierstadt’s Passing Storm over the Sierra (1870). driving close to each facility. is barely visible behind craggy rocks. and Paris. in what may be regarded as censorship from below. More than one of every two hundred residents of California is in prison or jail. most of them imprisoned for nonviolent crimes. course of the installation. a small stretch of sandy beach. but the epic grandeur sets the stage not for an Arcadian idyll but for a hidden prison. accounts for public amusement. comic books. where rays of the sun (or blinding searchlights?) pierce through dark storm clouds.) In her piece God/Death Penalty/Amusement (1988) the upper register indicates the pious American praying to God. England. Birk. and then making paintings that evoke the idyllic Romantic landscapes of artists such as Frederic Church. appropriating famous history paintings in Western art (by Albrecht Altdorfer. a cave. These ironic narrative paintings trace the history of the rivalry between Los Angeles and San Francisco. A similar sardonic attitude prevails in a series of paintings of “correctional” facilities that Sandow Birk visited and painted in 2000. In 2000 Birk turned his attention to the prison system. with its roller coaster. In his “unreal” landscapes Birk manages to conceal his prisons in bucolic splendor. 67 3⁄4 × 28 1⁄4 in. the ongoing suite Great Battle of San Francisco (1996–). Birk set out to paint the thirty-three penitentiaries in the California system. taking photographs. signifying Americans’ willingness to kill black people. Eugène Delacroix) as well as war photographs. born in Detroit in 1962 and educated in Los Angeles. and a vast sky. and the lower register. Jacques-Louis David.” The sheer number of incarcerated persons in the United States is shocking: more than two million in 2003. The other paintings in this series offer a similar against war and violence .ERIKA ROTHENBERG GOD / DEATH PENALTY / AMUSEMENT. and political propaganda posters—each work offering a great visual travesty of the glories of warfare and bloody victory. With mordant wit. Thomas Moran. Courtesy of the artist. In the center hangs a noose. In San Quentin State Prison (2000) California’s oldest and most infamous penitentiary. making an extensive cycle of what he calls “improvisations. 84 came to public attention with the series Gates of Hell: Los Angeles Landscapes of 1992. and Alfred Bierstadt. 1988 Acrylic on canvas. Francisco de Goya. creating an ironic disjunction of nostalgia and grim reality. Diego Velázquez.

66 × 90 in. Much like a railroad or smokestack in an Impressionist painting. As Joan Didion has noted. California spent more on its prison system than on its two university systems. “In 1995 . In his work Sandow Birk takes issue with the myth of California as Eden. the ten campuses of the University of California and the twenty-four campuses of the California State University. Gift of The Lipman Family Foundation. contrast. CA. as the miraculous destination of the westward course of empire. where all California automobile license plates are manufactured and where the exploitation of convict labor allows favorable competition with foreign imports. . Only a few discarded shopping carts thrown into the river in the foreground and the electric power lines with a barely visible prison in the background make the viewer aware of the twenty-first-century reality. In California State Prison in Centinela (2000) the penitentiary is barely visible behind an enormous cactus in a large and tranquil desert—except for its looming high-tension towers and glaring searchlight. against war and violence 85 . 2000 Oil and acrylic on canvas. . SAN QUENTIN. It must be added that none of these penitentiaries should be confused with the country club prisons reserved for convicted CEOs and politicians. The California Institute for Men in Chino (2000) presents a pastoral landscape with large trees set against the San Gabriel Mountains. San Jose Museum of Art.”62 Birk is quite aware of the horrors of incarceration as well as the flourishing prison industry. the intervening hand of man is the subtext of the painting.SANDOW BIRK SAN QUENTIN STATE PRISON.


not only in economic and political affairs. But it was far from paradise. Disney created a gargantuan amusement park for the multitudes. it seemed an era of calm and prosperity. The Supreme Court declared segregated schools unconstitutional. bebop). in which James Dean epitomizes youth alienated from smug 87 . and Rebel Without a Cause (1955). but also with its music (jazz. The possibility of nuclear destruction cast a shadow on the 1950s. Time and Life announced the onset of the “American Century. Fast-moving automobiles helped to liberate the young from parental authority and stuffy morals. with Marlon Brando disrupting a typical American small town. Rosa Parks refused to give her bus seat to a white man. Pop Art). would later sing. Consumerism flourished. California promised ranch houses of comfort and joyous living for all. and the proliferation of TV sets added to the cultural desert of suburbia. All over the country people built fallout shelters and schoolchildren practiced “duck and cover” during air-raid drills. The individual little homes contributed to the atomization of society. of course. its Hollywood movies. Teenagers rocked and rolled to Elvis Presley’s sexual beat. and. the balladeer of the Age of Aquarius. experienced an almost unprecedented economic boom and national plenitude. selling a fabulous faux fantasy that many could ill afford. In Los Angeles the freeways began to stretch beyond the horizon as developers built endless subdivisions and malls.” The United States had become a world leader. destroying both the natural environment and the fabric of community life. To many. and especially California. its art (Abstract Expressionism. Fissures also appeared in the confidence of the younger generation. and suburbs sprouted across the land. Alabama. A few Hollywood films popularized alternative models: The Wild One (1953). The times were “a-changing.” as Bob Dylan. in tidy tracts connected by freeways for mobility. and in Montgomery.COUNTERCULTURAL TRENDS CHAPTER 2 in the years following world war ii the United States.

regardless of their partners’ gender. Setting out to break all the taboos of conventional morality and cultural consensus. they predicted New Age dreams of self-realization. an artists’ cooperative started by San Francisco Art Institute students. They were in search of mystical experience. countercultural trends . Eliot. to San Francisco’s North Beach. the Beats. and Kenneth Rexroth. naked. In addition. they shared with their existentialist contemporaries a feeling of alienation and an insistence on the importance of acting in the face of the absurd. Rexroth. such as Walt Whitman. Marianne Moore.” It was an era in which many people challenged and rejected received canons and attitudes. éminence grise of the Old Left. Although not primarily political. It responded in its own manner. angel head hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery at night. as well as political rebellion that is implicit in Ginsberg’s exhilarating poem Howl: I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness. They embraced Eastern thought. living on the edge in anarchic nonconformity. Ginsberg’s Howl (published in 1956) and Kerouac’s On the Road (1957) entered the canon of Beat literature almost immediately. Jack Kerouac. The real rebels in the 1950s were the Beats. In their journeys toward the inner world. and Lionel Trilling among its distinguished faculty. S. advocated a kind of moral. and William Burroughs met at Columbia University. realizing the alienation of their generation. and in 1955 he presided over the reading of Howl at the 6 Gallery. hysterical. making this an action that had consequences in the world. William Carlos Williams. the Beats believed that drugs inducing hallucinogenic states and visions expanded the artist’s consciousness. which counted Jacques Barzun. Mark Van Doren. when Allen Ginsberg. art meant action.1 Wounded and angry as it was. This turbulent decade underwent what Friedrich Nietzsche called a “transvaluation of values. the Beat generation refused to be destroyed. and they perhaps signaled the countercultural revolution that would shake California. Ezra Pound. dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix. as for the Abstract Expressionist painters. the Beats and their renegade friends openly declared their disdain for established norms and values. Ginsberg and Kerouac had studied in the English Department. which became a focal point for countercultural art and poetry. in the 1960s. and searched for Zen-enlightened consciousness. T. A NONCONFORMIST LIFESTYLE The Beats had their start in New York in 1944. The Beat writers and poets came to life in the act of writing and produced some of the most original and compelling American literature of the second half of the twentieth century. Although political action was not their immediate purpose. The young men went “on the road” (as Kerouac would describe in his classic tale). in fact. Much as they derided most traditional literature. spoke in semi-Buddhist language. The Beats restored the public reading of poetry. They preached love and were open to sexual adventure. foreseeing some of the environmental concerns of the next generation. they were co-opted by a sensation-hungry press. And it made its voice heard. metaphysical. starving. as well as the rest of the country. For them. Like the Surrealists.consumer parents and rebelling for the sake of rebelling—an existential act ending in absurdity. moving west. provided a link between old radical action and the new Beat culture: in 1933 he had helped found the left-wing Artists’ and Writers’ Union. which became the center of this bohemian culture. They believed in attaining harmony with the earth and were aware of its vulnerability. the 88 Beats can be seen as revolutionaries in kinship with the Utopian Socialists of the nineteenth century. the Beats admired earlier avant-garde poets.

endowing them with aesthetic beauty and accentuating surreal contradictions to create what he liked to call “furniture of the soul. for one. to high- light a disturbing and often brutal metamorphosis. his response to Caryl Chessman’s death sentence. Conner stated: “I don’t know any artist that would call himself a beat artist. was most outspoken about his political beliefs (see pp.”5 Hedrick was later accused of stealing paintings. which featured avant-garde artists from both Los Angeles and San Francisco. If someone did. such as nylon. his wife at the time. Franz Kline. referred tongue-in-cheek to the PRB. the marvelous with the pedestrian in a celebration of absurd dissociations. mostly artist-run. Distancing himself from the mainstream of art.”3 Conner himself fashioned sculptural assemblages that combine mystery with horror. see also p. Instead. It was for “people who were making things with the detritus of society. who themselves were ostracized or alienated from full involvement with the society. Jess and Duncan’s gallery was one of a succession of underground galleries in San Francisco.” Herms’s work. conveying the hypocrisy of American culture.” collages that fused the classical with the surreal. the Syndell Studio. shunning public exhibitions and supporting himself with a home repair shop. and Bruce Conner in San Francisco and Wallace Berman and George Herms in Los Angeles. the Spatsa Gallery (1958–61). Conner established the Rat Bastard Protective Society. experimented with light machines and with the innovative use of language. the seminal visual artists in the 1950s California counterculture included Wally Hedrick. Anything that has to do with the soul also has to do with the stomach. whose acronym. he at times used materials with erotic associations. 1923–2004. you’d consider him a fake. “You’ve got to have a deep sense of the human and you have to have a political stance. is less overtly political than that of some of his colleagues. . Even when he and DeFeo. a fraud running a scam. before organizing the ambitious Action exhibition in the Merry-Go-Round Building at the Santa Monica Pier a year later and then opening the trenchant Ferus Gallery. Hedrick. RBP. avant-garde visual artists formed close ties with the Beat poets in San Francisco. were selected for the prestigious Sixteen Americans exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1959. and the Batman Gallery (1960–65). In addition to Jess. . Herms (b. He was the partner of Robert Duncan. the pious Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in Victorian England. Painting is not above politics.4 they did not bother to attend the opening or even to see the show. He also became a leader of the San Francisco Art Institute’s famous jazz band and introduced Jerry Garcia to acoustic blues and to Kerouac’s On the Road. known as an “idea artist” long before the label “conceptual art” entered the art world. however. including a canvas by Clyfford Still. 81). 211). 1935) also fabricated assemblages from discarded objects. In Los Angeles Walter Hopps opened the city’s first alternative space. He turned to almost anything to go against authority. As we saw with THE CHILD (1959. where he was teaching. Jay DeFeo. In 1957 Hopps and his countercultural trends 89 . None of them liked being called “Beats” and they especially abhorred the label “Beatniks. and Robert Motherwell were too firmly rooted in formal traditions. the 6 Gallery (1954–58). which were of very short duration as they did almost no business.A number of young. from the San Francisco Art Institute. in 1955. 40–41).” a sobriquet of disparagement coined by San Francisco’s famed columnist Herb Caen. The artist who was probably the most closely associated with Beat culture was Jess (born Burgess Collins. and together they opened the King Ubu Gallery in 1952. see p. one of the first spaces where dissenting artists exhibited. and painting his own iconoclastic pictures over them. Hedrick. There Jess showed his “paste-ups. which was inaugurated with a Bruce Conner exhibition. at times resorting to puns.”2 Instead. but which served as the gathering places of the counterculture tribe. Hedrick declared that artists such as Jackson Pollock. he asserted. . In addition to the King Ubu Gallery (1952–53). there were the Metart Gallery (1949–50).

leading toward the comprehension of the divine.partner in the Ferus Gallery. and materialist pragmatics of society’s generally accepted status quo. and Paul Valéry. who became his friend. It also included the large Cross. with Hebrew letters. In his Ferus Gallery exhibition Berman presented a sculpture that was an homage to Hermann Hesse. LOS ANGELES. Dennis Hopper. [Berman’s] ‘instant artifacts’ are Dead Sea Scrolls for the burgeoning 90 countercultural trends . 1967 Gelatin silver print. Jean Cocteau. assemblage. was raided by the Los Angeles police department’s vice squad. which he put out between 1955 and 1964. The impact of the alternative discourse presented by his work has been highlighted by Christopher Knight. a sign with Hebrew letters was suspended. genuine spiritual overtones tempered by existential wit. it had its effect in subverting the puritan sexual mores. Wallace Berman. never exceeded three hundred copies per issue and was distributed without charge. directed toward a small. revealing his fascination with the mysticism of the Kabbalah and its inquiry into the occult relationship of numbers and letters. Berman was killed in an automobile accident on his fiftieth birthday. In the mid-1960s he began his series of Verifax collages. Berman published new translations of poems by Hermann Hesse. Charles Baudelaire. both Bruce Conner and George Herms were indebted to Berman. 10). ramshackle house in Topanga Canyon. as well as mysterious boxes and stones. the day he had always predicted he would die. as were the filmmakers Stan Brakhage and Jordan Belson. Although the publication. however. which brought charges of obscenity against him after finding an issue of his magazine Semina there (see p.” which soon became a slogan for the counterculture. esoteric community. Sometimes he embellished these collages. the artist Edward Kienholz (see chapter 1). but two years later he returned to Los Angeles. AT THE FERUS GALLERY. artifacts made with primitive photocopiers. After his brush with the LA police. In this little magazine. to a small. art critic of the Los Angeles Times: “In the new post-industrial bohemia. and film. claimed that Berman would eventually be seen as “one of the most important artists of the twentieth century. In these collages a right hand (the hand of the earth? the hand of God?) holds a small transistor radio in which the speaker has been replaced by recycled photographs. Berman was an artist’s artist who had a major impact on the development of painting. were able to persuade the idiosyncratic Wallace Berman (1926–1976) to show in their space. on the other arm was a box carrying the maxim “Art is Love is God. as well as verse by his friends Michael McClure and David Meltzer and texts suggesting that taking psychoactive drugs led to visionary insights.”7 and. Berman’s show. From one of the arms. an assemblage with CHARLES BRITTIN “CROSS. antidrug bias. Courtesy of the photographer. indeed.”6 The art critic John Coplans wrote that “the California Assemblage movement stems from one artist. Berman moved to Larkspur. Carefully avoiding the mainstream. consumerism. in 1960.” BY WALLACE BERMAN. near San Francisco.

In 1962. Gift of the artist. 1962 Wood. see also pp. as does her withdrawal from the gallery scene after her early success as a painter and teacher. Brown’s Fur Rat was exhibited some five years after it was made in the Funk exhibition at the University Art Museum in Berkeley. as an art market scarcely existed in San Francisco at the time. . as well as a strangely erotic dream. one of the great icons of the Beat era. in reference to the Rat Bastard Protective Society. it is bizarre rather than formal. plaster. the participants made objects of worthless materials. San Francisco. nails. and Gallery Paule Anglim. 203–4). and irreverent in attitude.JOAN BROWN FUR RAT. but in doing so they came under the censorious scrutiny of self-proclaimed upholders of “American” values. it is committed rather than disengaged. piling on literally a ton of pigment until the painting became almost sculpture. Certainly. chicken wire. she produced Fur Rat. and frequently it is quite ugly and ungainly . Knowing that their art was hardly seen and had little chance of being sold. string. which looks like a scarily oversized rodent and is hardly pleasant to touch. counterculture tribe. Courtesy of George Adams Gallery. Freedom to create according to one’s vision and to share this vision without intercountercultural trends 91 . Photo: Benjamin Blackwell. 20 1⁄2 × 54 × 14 in.”8 This experimental and deeply personal work. New York. and raccoon fur. With this work. a precocious artist who was showing her paintings at the 6 Gallery and Spatsa by the time she was twenty. Berkeley Art Museum. . DeFeo defied artistic conventions of the time. Also offering a challenge to the status quo was Joan Brown (1938– 1990.”9 THE SHADOW OF CENSORSHIP The Beat artists offered an alternative to mainstream popular culture. University of California. Contrasting Funk with Minimal or Pop Art. I wrote: “Funk art is hot rather than cool. often assembled from junk. which was more than seven years in the making and resembles a great sunburst or a mythic mandala. this funky piece seems a refutation of the establishment. through its original form and mystical content. This show took cognizance of a Bay Area phenomenon that was saliently anti-art. it is sensuous. Berman is also remembered for his photographs of Jay DeFeo (1929–1989) and her painting The Rose (1958–66). which were mainstream at the time. confronted established authority. as its raccoon fur is studded with nails.

who labeled modern art “degenerate” and threatened to incarcerate or castrate its practitioners. .HANS BURKHARDT REAGAN—BLOOD MONEY. and attempted to get rid of any suspected Communists working for Hollywood. . Courtesy of Jack Rutberg Fine Arts. Yet since colonial times censorship of art has consistently been part of American culture. As Burkhardt 92 . a year later it was taken off the museum’s walls because its red road and sky could be taken as Communist signals. who attacked modern art as formalist. and Thordis W. Los Angeles. At times it has been malignant and overt. with blood flowing from his heart. Surrealism aims to destroy by the denial of reason. The government-sponsored murals at Coit Tower and the Rincon Annex post office in San Francisco were changed in response to allegations that they were left-wing propaganda. Burkhardt actually critiqued the dangers of overzealous anti-Communism in a series focused on the actions of Ronald Reagan. Republican Congressman George A. . fulminated against modern art as foreign and Communist. countercultural trends In America. Expressionism aims to destroy by aping the primitive and insane. . . denouncing it as “an instrument and weapon of destruction. Futurism aims to destroy by the machine myth. and at other times inconspicuous but nonetheless insidious and potent. ference is essential to artists’ integrity. 1945 Oil on canvas. Burkhardt Foundation. as well as the pernicious and corrupting menace of self-censorship. . . Although this painting protesting the cruelty of war received a 1945 Purchase Award from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. . early in the McCarthy era. Dondero of Michigan. The antiwar painting One Way Road (1945) by Hans Burkhardt (see chapter 1) also fell under the censor’s hammer. who turned against his union. . . 29 × 22 in. . Dadaism aims to destroy by ridicule. becoming a lackey of management. . . . . But in the United States in 1949. © Hans G. destroys the probity of art. addressing Congress. Reagan—Blood Money (1945) shows an actor collapsing between two blank buildings.”10 In California all contemporary art—both realist and abstract—was subject to the censor’s scrutiny. banishing it in the Soviet Union (even though innovative art had been at the forefront of the Soviet revolution). The artists of the ‘isms’ change their designations as often and as readily as the Communist front organizations. at that time head of the Screen Actors Guild. Cubism aims to destroy by designed disorder. . censorship of visual art has never extended as far as it did under Adolf Hitler. . . . or Josef Stalin. decadent. It is usually overseen or transacted by individuals or institutions who purport to act in the name of the people to protect those same people from subversive political ideas or prurient indecencies that might violate puritan morals. . . Government and commercial censorship. and capitalist. Abstractionism aims to destroy by the creation of brainstorm.

failed to properly glorify the police who had died in the line of duty. the city council threatened to have it melted down because the sculptor’s semiabstract figures. after the trial he withdrew from the art world and from public involvement in general. Peter Selz and Carole Selz. they took no works by Berman but confiscated the issue of Semina they found because it contained a drawing they deemed offensive.”11 Reagan’s insidious actions foreshadowed the witch hunt begun in 1947 by the House Un-American Activities Committee. ears. where he worked on a mural with David Alfaro Siqueiros. which had been his father’s occupation.later recalled. and then worked as a longshoreman. As a further result of Sanity in Art’s activities. and from 1959 to 1961 he resided in Chile. challenged the censorship of the Los Angeles city government by showing the work of Berman as early as 1956. San Jose Museum of Art. then the presidential candidate of CONNOR EVERTS CRY FROM THE WOMB. In postwar Los Angeles the ultra-conservative group Sanity in Art concurred with Congressman Dondero’s tenet that abstract art is subversive. The artist Connor Everts. the Expressionist painter Rex Brandt was charged in 1951 by the Los Angeles City Council with concealing a hammer and sickle in one of his landscapes. In 1952 he traveled to Mexico. Washington. the city council alleged that the numbers and emblems another artist had placed on the sail of a yacht were secret Soviet code ciphers. 40 × 26 in. Reagan claimed that “the unions were infiltrated by reds. 1964 Charcoal on paper. Born in Bellingham. When the city’s vice squad raided Wallace Berman’s Ferus Gallery exhibition. which eventually blacklisted a group of screenwriters and directors. When the sculptor Bernard Rosenthal completed his 1954 bronze American Family for the Los Angeles Police Administrative Building (the Parker Center). where he became friends with Salvador Allende. FROM STUDIES IN DESPERATION. and noses. At roughly the same time. countercultural trends 93 . but Everts himself would later be subjected to police brutality and tried for obscenity. in 1928 and raised in San Pedro. studied at the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles. Everts served in the U. whose generalized faces did not show clearly defined eyes.S. The drawing was judged pornographic by the court and Berman was found guilty of obscenity. Coast Guard during World War II. Throughout the 1950s Los Angeles “culture commissars” also went on the warpath against work they considered to be pornographic. a founder of the Exodus Gallery in San Pedro (the Port of Los Angeles). Though the drawing was by another artist. with the result that the artist Knud Merrid was accused of hiding maps and secret information about fortifications in his Abstract Expressionist drip paintings. Gift of Dr. Even if you were a Democrat they condemned you as a Communist back then. they arrested Berman for possessing it. known as the Hollywood Ten. who insisted on the Bill of Rights and refused to testify before Congress about their beliefs. Although Berman only paid a fine and was not imprisoned.

and worked as a carpenter and as a handyman. the despondency of old age and dying. religion. constructed of chicken wire and cast body parts. A portrait of General Douglas MacArthur giving a salute hangs on the wall above grotesque and mangled mannequins. He sold cars. Their single. 207). prostitution. The door is open. that you must take that person’s life. The idea [is] that assassination is the ultimate censorship—and it seems kind of fitting that I should become involved in censorship then . The image used was a face peering out of the vaginal orifice from time to time to see if the world was a safe place to be born into. and Nazism.Chile’s Socialist Party. among other works. were widely acknowledged as eloquent and highly original works of art. at the Zora Gallery in Los Angeles. “was about [an] inability to differentiate between three acts: the assassination of Kennedy. After making wall reliefs. Dorn was widely ridiculed in the press for his memorable remark at a press conference: “My wife knows about art. A self94 taught artist. such as Cry from the Womb (1964). Kienholz (1927–1994) was born in a small farming town in the state of Washington and spent his young adult years roaming the country. . which also included Roxy’s and The Illegal Operation (1962. then curator at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. its public display enraged Warren Dorn. that one would perhaps . a member of the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors. shared. that if one had an a priori concept of how difficult life is. His own battle with the censors began in 1964. displaying the horrible conditions under which abortions were taking place. as well as from Catholic and Protestant church groups. both dressed and bare. .14 Although he continued to make paintings and collages. Everts was arrested for violating the state’s anti-obscenity laws. youthful fornication. . countercultural trends . led a dance band. the Los Angeles censors came down on Edward Kienholz and his tableau Back Seat Dodge ’38 (1964). . founder and director of the Tamarind Lithography Workshop. when he exhibited a series of lithographs. In the spring of 1966 the Los Angeles County Museum of Art mounted a major solo exhibition of Kienholz’s work. politically charged assemblages such as the one relating to Caryl Chessman’s execution (see p. revealing two lovers. he began to produce highly original. is so frightening. Henry Seldis.”12 In a later interview Everts stated that the series “concerned itself with the notion of birth. 81). During the ensuing controversy. Kienholz proceeded to make tableaux attacking and dramatizing racism. caged head embodies the loss of individuality in mutual orgasms. including Back Seat Dodge ’38. the art world. June Wayne. where the person’s existence is so dangerous. p. he was fired from his teaching position at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). which consists of a truncated old Dodge surrounded by empty bottles thrown out upon swatches of Astroturf. “The series. Henry Hopkins. Dorn insisted on the immediate closure of the show. Even though Everts was exonerated.”13 During Everts’s trials the California art world came to his defense. his work became less political and more introspective. representing the brothel’s madam and the prostitutes. The prosecution brought in witnesses from the California Portrait Painters Society and the California Landscape Painters Society. Ruby’s murder of Oswald and the sovereign state of Texas’s wish to execute Ruby. Not long after the Everts case. Studies in Desperation. choose not to be born. In 1961 Kienholz received national attention with his construction of Roxy’s. eventually opening the vanguard Ferus Gallery with Walter Hopps in 1957. making love on the back seat. Although such activity was hardly unusual then (or now) among American youth. . I was arrested and suffered between two trials before being exonerated. the prison system. Although the images of Studies in Desperation. the ban on abortion. and the eminent collector Richard Sherwood all supported his case. . patriotism. In 1952 he moved to Los Angeles and started arranging art exhibitions of his own work and that of friends in alternative spaces. the art critic of the Los Angeles Times. .” he recalled. a human-scale room that re-creates a Las Vegas brothel during World War II.

California. Louver. 1969 Steel. 14 × 11 × 6 in. Photo: Lars Speyer. © Edward Kienholz and Nancy Reddin Kienholz. . Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Photo © 2005 Museum Associates/LACMA.A. Art Museum Council Fund. Collection of Lars Speyer. Courtesy of L. EDWARD KIENHOLZ BACK SEAT DODGE ’38.RON BOISE BOUND OF THE TIGER (KAMA SUTRA). 1964 Mixed media. 66 × 240 × 144 in. Venice.

Watts’s testimony concluded. White was tried for murder. when the play was performed in 1968 in Los Angeles. unless we are familiar with Hindu sculpture or Tibetan painting. McClure was physically assaulted and the play was closed by the police. At the end of the play the Kid performs oral sex on Harlow. became the exemplary Funk artist in the early 1960s. 95). Only the expert testimony of art historians Walter Horn and Catherine Caldwell and philosopher Alan Watts persuaded the court to exonerate the defendants. they had to be released. Arneson. Ron Boise (1931–1966). creating outrageous clay toilets and typewriters. “We rarely have an opportunity to see this kind of art form except as graffiti in public conveniences. “The action [in The Beard] serves primarily to expose sexual passions within the audiences and allows them to experience a form of completion. created a series of erotic works based on the Kama Sutra (p. it. He also became known for his self-deprecating self-portraits and irreverent likenesses of friends (such as Peter Voulkos) and art world paradigms (such as Picasso and Pollock). emphasized the biological and sensual in much of his work. Unfortunately. who arrested gallery owner Muldoon Elder and a salesman and confiscated the sculptures. and charges were eventually dismissed by the California Supreme Court in 1967. As Richard Cándida Smith has observed. where they aroused the interest of the police. The case went through many prosecutions and appeals. censorship did not disappear in the wake of the free speech movement or the rebellion of the later 1960s (described later in this chapter). was not immune to its shadow. the latter with their keys converted into highly polished red fingernails.”17 Michael McClure. Breaking rules and taboos. the San Francisco police interrupted the play and arrested the actors.”18 The play premiered at the Actor’s Workshop in San Francisco in 1965 to a favorable review and was produced before a much larger crowd in 1966 at the Fillmore Auditorium. the museum’s director. he dealt with sex very frankly in his play The Beard (1965). one of the youngest of the Beat poets. portraying an encounter between the sex goddess Jean Harlow and Billy the Kid. contributing to a climate of self-censorship of art with sexual or political assertions. but the censorious action had a pernicious effect. a sculptor from Colorado then living in Death Valley. In 1981 he was invited by San Francisco mayor Dianne Feinstein to submit a proposal for a commemorative bust of former mayor George Moscone. experienced censorship of art the police considered to be pornographic. Very rarely. who arrested both the actors and the playwright. who were charged with lewd and dissolute conduct in a public space. who had studied ceramics at the California College of Arts and Crafts (now California College of Arts) and Mills College in Oakland and began his distinguished teaching career in 1962.15 The controversy concluded with a mind-boggling compromise: the car door was to be shown closed and opened only by a guard to persons over eighteen years of age. the Board of Supervisors threatened to withdraw financial support for the museum. can we see anything like this done with superb mastery. supposedly caused by his consump- countercultural trends . but the jury convicted him only of manslaughter by reason of temporary insanity.” When Kenneth Donahue. signifying woman as a writing machine. with a poster by Wallace Berman advertising it. who mostly used automobile hoods and fenders. a leader in the vital transformation of ceramics from craft to sculpture. In 1964 some of the works were shown at San Francisco’s Vorpal Gallery. But when a repeat performance was 96 held at The Committee. who signifies the forces of raw nature. Nevertheless. Even as celebrated an artist as Robert Arneson (1930–1992). accompanied by a light show and live rock music. too.I know pornography. a club that specialized in political comedy. refused to close the exhibition.16 Although San Francisco was less conservative than its Southern California counterpart. Again. an outcome he blamed on Moscone and the openly gay supervisor Harvey Milk (whom White also killed). who had been assassinated by Dan White after the latter lost his bid for reelection as a city supervisor.

and other inscriptions related to the mayor’s life and career. He refused to do so. on the grounds that American critics were practicing “Marxist agitprop. the countercultural trends 97 . 1981 Glazed ceramic. describing it as an “affront to the American taxpayer. Helms’s antipathy to the free exchange of ideas. created a cartoonish bust of Moscone. the federal government was stingy in its support for the creative arts. who characterized the work as inappropriate for a city named after Saint Francis. Some years later. a phallic Twinkie.” Under the able leadership of actress Jane Alexander. on the elimination of all ROBERT ARNESON PORTRAIT OF GEORGE [MOSCONE]. spending sixty-four cents per capita per year for the arts. The unintentional result of this action and the ensuing publicity was that just as in the past. projects involving sexual and excretory activities or any projects that might be deemed offensive to adherents of a particular religion. Courtesy of George Adams Gallery. San Francisco. the NEA eliminated grants to art critics from its budget. Through its policies and budgetary decisions. New York. albeit crippled by punitive budget cuts. large numbers of people learned of Mapplethorpe and Serrano and attended their exhibitions. It hasn’t just been city governments that have interfered with free expression. Photo: Lee Fatherree. Senator Helms insisted. if not the entire work. was canceled in an act of self-censorship by the museum. Even during its most expansive days. In 1984. 63) to his experience with censorship. compared to sixty-four dollars in Canada and France. Arneson was ordered to replace at least the pedestal. and withdrew his censored work. © Estate of Robert Arneson/Licensed by VAGA. who was known for his works of political satire. including Feinstein.tion of the sugary snack food Hostess Twinkies. however.. the National Endowment for the Arts has frequently fostered de facto censorship of the arts in California and elsewhere in the nation. As an appropriate finale to this series of events. Arneson actually attributed the strong political nature of his later sculpture (see p.C.) Arneson. and Brian Gross Fine Art. greatly increasing the commercial value of their work. returned the city’s money. when “banned in Boston” movies attracted huge attendance records elsewhere. New York. D.” In 1989 Jesse Helms. (A riot broke out in San Francisco after the verdict was announced. graffiti-like style displeased San Francisco’s establishment. typical of his zany portraits. NY. fulminated against the NEA for its support of exhibitions of Robert Mapplethorpe’s photographs of gay men and Andres Serrano’s photograph Piss Christ (1987). 94 × 29 × 29 in. atop a large pedestal that memorialized the unique facts of Moscone’s killing with the etched imprint of a gun. Collection of Joyce Cooper. North Carolina’s ultraconservative Republican senator. The pedestal’s crude. House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Majority Leader Dick Armey tried to eliminate the NEA entirely. although profoundly distressing to most artists and critics. A Mapplethorpe exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington. for example. was supported by the neoconservative art critic Hilton Kramer. in 1994. the NEA survived that legislative assault.

1989 Screenprint. was born in 1923 in the Bronx to an immigrant family and came to Los Angeles in 1945 on a countercultural trends . Little door/windows in the painting open onto boxes containing politically charged messages. The man is urinating not on Christ. Courtesy of the artist. adding fighter planes and tanks. didn’t cave in to calls for removing the work. The exhibit is against the government now and patriotism.JOS SANCES PISS HELMS. the senator’s home territory. but on the disembodied head of Senator Helms. however.”20 With its “war” on terrorism. The show. For Roll On (2004) Sances created a computer-generated simulacrum of one of Kinkade’s syrupy landscapes. 48 × 36 in. who has consistently produced paintings of political significance since 1945. prompted Arnold Mesches to produce a series of collages. When Sances’s work was exhibited in the city-sponsored Fetterly Gallery in Vallejo. who had begun as an Abstract Expressionist painter. sent on to Charlotte. greatly distressed Vallejo’s mayor as well as a local Baptist minister. was. California. have provoked censorship. the administration of President George W. Piss Helms shows the figure of a naked man with outstretched arms and legs. whose work is traded on Wall Street. Mike Trimble.”19 The gallery. Sances’s works. with a cross covering her crotch. significantly. Thomas Kinkade. such as a picture of a naked woman in front of a Confederate flag. Later he taught art in the San Francisco County Jail system. artist Jos Sances contributed a large six-color serigraph called Piss Helms (1989) to an exhibition entitled Artists Respond to Censorship. These experiences radicalized Sances. first mounted at the San Francisco Art Commission Gallery in 1989. Sances’s caustic political art grows out of his life experiences. Mesches. All the increased government surveillance and harassment under the pretext of protecting national security after September 11. this piece. who stated: “I find it very offensive to Christians and offensive to Americans as a whole. with their strong sense of satire and often outrage. In addition to attacking censorship. North Carolina. The FBI Files (2002–). Born in 1952 to a working-class Sicilian family in Boston. but now decided he needed to make art that would communicate more directly and turned to printmaking. He moved to San Francisco’s Mission District in 1976 and joined the workshop Mission Grafica. taken from a Mapplethorpe photograph. but the ones that weren’t accused me of being unpatriotic and said I should go and live in Afghanistan. Bush has brought about an infringement of civil liberties that echoes the McCarthy era of the 1950s. Sances was delighted with the e-mails he received: “Nine out of ten of them were in favor. with its hidden images. 2001. In 2002 Sances took on America’s most commercially successful artist. he served in the navy during the Vietnam War but went AWOL to protest the war and was sent to 98 jail.

Ben Shahn. Eugène Delacroix.24 Mesches responded by using some of the 760 file pages the FBI had accumulated on him to make relevant political comments. and Edouard Manet. 14 × 22 in. Over the years Mesches’s work has been informed by painters ranging from Giotto to Robert Rauschenberg. In his paintings Mesches achieves a dialectic synthesis of seeming opposites. countercultural trends 99 . #41. the Ku Klux Klan. Hitler. and the collection of library and other business records. In 1946. ARNOLD MESCHES THE FBI FILES. similar to that of action painting.”21 In the 1950s he painted pictures of survivors of the Holocaust and World War II. he joined the almost yearlong Hollywood strike. against monochrome backgrounds. “The Hollywood strike and its aftermath. There he studied with Lorser Feitelson. “a condition of society marked by the absence of moral standards. The slightly later Anomie series (1989–94) describes.”23 Moreover. to make socially relevant art. he portrayed contemporary figures. I came out of that strike politically aware. Mesches was upset by the 2001 Patriot Act. In 1966 he actively participated in the Los Angeles Peace Tower project. stunning figurative canvases. and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev facing the famous Hollywood signboard. In 1984 he returned to New York and began creating paintings that touch on the grotesque and disasters such as war. marching on the picket line. reflecting on historic and current events. spying on religious services and the meetings of political groups. and José Clemente Orozco. He recalls. Honoré Daumier. through a program called Total Information Awareness (now ended). As its title suggests.” Against these documents he juxtaposes a variety of collaged images. who instilled in the young artist a respect for the masters. the FBI Files series documents the files the FBI kept on Mesches beginning in the 1940s. including Hollywood actors. The unexpected juxtapositions in these works make for a very personal pictorial surrealism. 2002 Acrylic on paper transfer on Plexiglas on canvas. in Mesches’s words. combining his narrative subject matter with gestural brushstrokes that create a vital surface. Senator Joseph McCarthy pointing to cells of Communist infiltration. Francisco de Goya.scholarship to the Art Center School. Political activism has been an essential part of Mesches’s life. We learn that Mesches was suspected of being a Communist because he showed Czech films to his class and because “he was dressed in blue denim like a Communist. President Richard Nixon. his greatest admiration is for artists of social conscience. Théodore Géricault. the collection of Internet and e-mail addressing data. witches. such as Pieter Brueghel. wideranging secret searches and wiretaps. In this respect his work relates to Willem de Kooning’s paintings of women and Philip Guston’s late. criticism of the government could be decreed a felony and “suspicious” individuals could be closely tracked by sophisticated Internet scanning and digital records. determined. when he was working as a set designer in Hollywood. under which “the government has authorized official monitoring of attorney-client conversations. the blacklist. painted in vivid colors. as well as works concerning the execution of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. Käthe Kollwitz.”22 Here. he mixes reality and fantasy into disparate kaleidoscopic visions where a great cyclops reigns supreme. Courtesy of the artist. taught me who really controlled American culture. While quoting famous works by Jacques-Louis David. more than ever.

Like the Flemish painter. and kicked by the police. The newly formed Berkeley chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) organized protests against discrimination in the workplace.One example. “Mario Savio [who would become a key figure in the free speech movement] exemplified the straight line many students walked from the Civil Rights Movement to the FSM. Philip Roth reflected. there was the libertarianism extending orgiastic permission to the individual and opposed to the traditional interests of the community. Mesches places disparate events in the same picture to allow viewers to arrive at their own associations. “There were two strains to the turbulence [in the 1960s].”25 By the beginning of the 1960s there were indeed serious causes for action. as the art critic Robert Hughes explained in an interview for Time: “In Mississippi an autocratic and powerful minority rules.26 Arrested with 166 other demonstrators at a 1963 sitin at the Sheraton Palace Hotel. they were doused with high-power water hoses. This official text is framed by a flowered border. When students demonstrated against the committee’s activities. THE FREE SPEECH MOVEMENT Outrage at censorship and limits on the free expression of ideas helped spark a youthful rebellion on college campuses in the 1960s—a revolt that essentially began on the campus of the University of California. When he returned to Berkeley in the fall of 1964. Mesches likes to refer to Pieter Brueghel. Students flocked to Bay Area demonstrations in 1963 in support of the Birmingham protests led by Martin Luther King Jr. The burgeoning struggle for civil rights (see chapter 3) further energized these activists. who would put the flight of Icarus and a Flemish farmer plowing his field in the same picture. he heard of the Freedom Summer project in Mississippi while he was in jail and decided to join it.27 Savio and other student volunteers were attacked by the Ku Klux Klan as “nigger lovers” but continued to register black voters anyway. what existentialist writers called authentic experience. there was the communal rigorousness about civil rights and against the war.” feminist writer Jo Freeman remembers. the disobedience whose moral prestige drives through Thoreau. 1964 Gelatin silver print. University of California. Or. who felt a need for positive acts of volition. In 1960 the House UnAmerican Activities Committee held hearings into alleged subversive activities in the Bay Area at San Francisco City Hall. clubbed. as if it were a medieval manuscript page. A taxing sense of alienation had been growing not just among the Beats but among a variety of young people. presents a page from Mesches’s file with almost everything blacked out. #41 (2002). Courtesy of University Archives. often wedded to it. Berkeley. he became aware that the restrictions on freedom of speech at the university paralleled the disenfranchisement in the South. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. When he combines unlikely images in this way. MARIO SAVIO SPEAKING FROM ROOF OF CAR. 100 countercultural trends . The FBI Files. LON WILSON STUDENTS IN SPROUL PLAZA SURROUNDING POLICE CAR. To the right Mesches juxtaposes a picture of a sexy woman from Playboy magazine and ads for Winston cigarettes and Cutty Sark scotch. Berkeley. The Bancroft Library. but with it. The Dying Animal. In his 2001 book.

IRA SANDPERL AT RIGHT. University of California. Twelve days later. The struggle for academic freedom had a long history at Berkeley. Those professors who maintained their independence were dismissed from the university (some were reinstated at a later time. swearing that they did not belong to “subversive” groups. in defiance of a ban on political advocacy. Courtesy of University Archives. University of California. 101 . Hundreds of police reinforcements arrived.’”28 For several months in the fall of 1964 the Berkeley campus was in uproar as students. Jack Weinberg. 1964 Gelatin silver print. The “free speech” controversy of 1964 erupted when. The Bancroft Library. when the odious oath was abolished). set up a table in Sproul Plaza to distribute CORE information. ANONYMOUS JOAN BAEZ ON SPROUL HALL STEPS. two years after President Harry S. Savio climbed on top of the car and gave a memorable speech to the crowd. Back in 1949. The Bancroft Library. offering passive resistance and immobilizing the police as well as the administration. 1964 Gelatin silver print. the magnetic folk singer Joan Baez was photographed strumming “We Shall Overcome” countercultural trends DON KECHELY THOUSANDS OF STUDENTS MARCH TO UC REGENTS MEETING. Weinberg went limp in the police car. on November 20. the university required its faculty to sign its own notorious loyalty oath.through organized violence. students distributed political leaflets on campus. who had dropped out of the University of California to become an organizer for CORE. while hundreds of agitated students offered passive resistance and surrounded the car. That ‘respectable’ bureaucrat masks the financial plutocrats: that impersonal bureaucracy is the efficient enemy in a ‘Brave New World. and campus police handed out citations. to suppress the virtually powerless majority. eventually supported by faculty. In California the privileged minority manipulates University bureaucracy to suppress the student’s political expression. On October 1. journalist Don Kechely documented students’ massive free speech march to a meeting of the university’s regents. A month and a half later. a photojournalist for the Oakland Tribune. but thousands of students gathered. Truman ordered federal employees to declare their loyalty to the country. Berkeley. an exciting moment photographed by Lon Wilson. Berkeley. University administrators ordered police to arrest him. Courtesy of University Archives. fought for First Amendment rights on campus.

which tends to dominate any public space with its self-importance. with the most fundamental issues of freedom and dissent versus authority. and the excitement he created in a powerful record of this decisive moment. Column of Earth and Air (Free Speech Monument) (1991). I. 1964 Gelatin silver print. like Maya Lin at the time of the Vietnam Memorial competition. In 1988 a group of Berkeley faculty members decided that the approaching twenty-fifth anniversary of the free speech movement called for a work of art to commemorate the event. Unlike Minimalist sculpture. The work for the Berkeley campus.) The next day more than eight hundred students were hauled off to the Santa Rita Jail—at the time the largest mass arrest in American history. and of the city. however. the university’s chancellor. staff. © Nacio Jan Brown. it is located where most free speech movement actions (and later antiwar protests) took place. is simply a round granite slab. studied at the University of Utah and then did his graduate work at the San Francisco Art Institute. Sproul Hall. faculty. a universally shared value. perhaps most. determined that. many of whom also helped fund it. The work was installed and dedicated in September 1993. after which the winner was chosen by a committee representative of the students. perhaps more countercultural trends . in 1964 or in the campus community today. as students took over the administration building. after being accepted by a new. Michael Heyman. his complete dedication to his task. The process of creating this anti-monument was by no means without problems. (Baez was a bridge between the political activists in Berkeley and the denizens of the counterculture in San Francisco. After the winner was announced.” Installed at Sproul Plaza directly in front of the administration building. Brest van Kempen. had its way. and alumni of the university (including Savio).”29 The free speech movement. it did not extend to proponents of the free speech movement. 41–43) discloses Savio’s magnetic personality. which “was not. A two-stage competition was announced: A jury of nationally prominent artists and art experts selected five finalists from among 275 entries. Mario Savio spoke again on the steps of Sproul Hall. For many. who. was still a graduate student. 1964 was a time of agony. Around the circumference the artist inscribed “This soil and the air space extending above it shall not be a part of any nation and shall not be subject to any entity’s jurisdiction . approximately five feet in diameter. with a six-inch hole filled with earth in the center. this work has no physical presence. although “free speech” was fine. 102 as it was known. The Berkeley Art Project. essentially what the free speech movement was all about. It deals. calling for no further infringements on students’ hard-won rights.NACIO JAN BROWN MARIO SAVIO ON SPROUL HALL STEPS. Although by 1966 the students had won on the major free speech issues. The winning entry was a conceptual work by Mark Brest van Kempen. born in Salt Lake City in 1962. however. was soon supported by more than a hundred faculty members. An image by the press photographer Nacio Jan Brown (see pp. the regents and the administration were still intent on restrictive bureaucratic regulations.

a University of California alumnus. and subsisted directly on what he found within a five-mile area. The San Francisco Chronicle headlined its report on the festivities: “UC’s Change of Heart—Celebrating the Transformation of a Pariah [Mario Savio?] into an Icon. Shown before installation (left) and in Sproul Plaza. however.” and in working on the restoration of creeks and waterways. This experience. 1991 Granite and soil with laws. 72 in. University of California. along with statements by Mario Savio. Courtesy of the artist.”31 countercultural trends 103 . In October 2004 the university honored the fortieth anniversary of the free speech movement with a week-long celebration comprising fifty events. he said. The walls of the cafe are covered with photos of that critical occurrence.MARK BREST VAN KEMPEN COLUMN OF EARTH AND AIR (FREE SPEECH MONUMENT). funded the Free Speech Movement Cafe in the Moffitt Undergraduate Library. Brest van Kempen inverted the genre of landscape painting.”30 He has since been engaged in photographic projects that visualize areas of San Francisco in their pristine condition. Chang-Lin Tien. (diameter). Berkeley. “helped me to realize a little more that our species (humans) [is] not the center of the world. Like the Earth artists described in chapter 4. dwelling inside rather than standing outside nature. by actually surviving on the land. Mark Brest van Kempen’s subsequent art has focused increasingly on the environment. in connection with an exhibition entitled Spaces of Nature at the Richmond Art Center. In 2000 a further commemoration took place when Stephen Silberstein. brought no food. He went further than artists such as Robert Smithson or Walter De Maria. prior to the impact of “civilization. enlightened chancellor. he lived in a wilderness area in Colusa County for thirty days. In 1998.

organized the Trips Festival. in the neighborhoods. It was all very communal. but in their rebellion against the straight-laced and upwardly mobile attitude of the previous generation. took off with his Merry Pranksters in a multicolored bus (driven by Neal Cassady).) Prankster Stewart Brand. which. Often apolitical and lacking a coherent vision of the future. Meanwhile the San Francisco Mime Troupe. Their slogan “Make love. In the fall of 1966 they sponsored a series of “free fairs. In 1964 Ken Kesey. advocating an end to private property and setting up free food distribution as well as “free stores. as well as countercultural news. When city officials rejected the Mime Troupe’s and 104 other artists’ input into a new cultural center. (Their journey was chronicled in Tom Wolfe’s Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test [1968]. began publishing.” The San Francisco Oracle. with the goals of mutual support and creating an art for the people. The hubs of hippie activity were the rock concerts countercultural trends . the countercultural scene was shifting across the bay. a multimedia “acid test” event held over three days in San Francisco’s Longshoreman’s Hall in January 1966. the Artists Liberation Front formed. such as Timothy Leary. the hippies offered a fundamentally different lifestyle. as the hippies began to succeed the Beats as the protagonists of an alternative lifestyle. both onstage and in the streets in San Francisco. At the same time the anarchist guerrilla theater group called the Diggers came into being in Haight-Ashbury. they sought a utopia. not war” pointed to a more humane way of living. the king of psychedelia. At the Hungry i nightclub Lenny Bruce held forth on the hypocrisy of establishment culture with four-letter words. into city parks.CELEBRATING LOVE. The locale moved from North Beach to the Haight-Ashbury district. psychedelic lighting. who later published the Whole Earth Catalog (1968–71). could never be attained.” offering participants a taste of California music. a multicolored weekly filled with Beat poetry. took theater outdoors. fiction. performing political plays of an anarchic bent in which ribald humor commented on the climate of social change. in San Francisco. which announced “further” as its destination. founded by Ronnie Davis in 1959. and sometimes LSD. directed by Peter Coyote. This new bohemian fringe did not produce the astonishing poetry and art of the Beat generation. although gurus emerged. already known for his One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1962). As they made their way across the country to New York’s World’s Fair. A lot was happening. or Civil Rights in a Cracker Barrel (1965). in the 1960s. the group staged “acid tests. as in their controversial Minstrel Show. and psychedelic art. NOT WAR While the Berkeley campus was erupting.” community-based celebrations of the arts. as is the nature of all utopias.

dancers. 22 1⁄2 × 13 3⁄4 in. and the stroboscopic lights playing over walls and ceiling—with added amazement from fluid psychedelic slide projections (the projector at times operated by Bruce Conner). They looked at the work of the Belgian designers (Jan Toorop. 20 × 14 in. the Avalon Ballroom. Young designers like Wes Wilson. OXFORD CIRCLE AT AVALON BALLROOM. employed flat space. Its form and appearance recall fin-de-siècle Art Nouveau posters. like its Art Nouveau predecessor. Impresario Bill Graham featured groups like the Grateful Dead. the fragrance of cannabis. the close touch of the dancers. © Chet Helms DBA Family Dog. the graphic arts. The events were advertised and promoted in psychedelic posters. and. 1967 Lithograph.WES WILSON THE BYRDS. Photo: Michael Erlewine. Victor Moscoso. and Winterland. 1967 Lithograph. Courtesy of the artist. Courtesy of the artist. The hippie poster. and a positive-negative relationship whereby countercultural trends 105 . 1966 Lithograph. ALTON KELLEY AND STANLEY MOUSE GRATEFUL DEAD. They felt an affinity with Art Nouveau’s fusion of architecture. actors and mimes. © Wes Wilson 1967. all aspects of the man-made environment—toward a unified ambience. ClassicPosters. in fact. Alton Kelley. All the senses came alive with the ear-shattering rock and roll. ClassicPosters. with light shows and dancing at the Fillmore Auditorium. the designers themselves acknowledged their admiration of that period’s opulence and decadence. Jules Chéret) who had helped erase the distinction between high and low and mystics came together in large crowds. Courtesy of the artists. The hippie poster is complex and convoluted in form and difficult to read for those not initiated into the popular cult. © wolfgangsvault. singers. a decorative. sinuous linear pattern. and Big Brother and the Holding Company. 20 × 14 in. © Chet Helms DBA Family Dog. the Jefferson Airplane. SAN FRANCISCO. and Stan- ley Mouse discarded the traditional function of the poster: legibility. they created a tangible experience of synesthesia. Protected from intruders by the Hell’s Angels. VICTOR MOSCOSO FLOWER POT. Rick Griffin. and crafts—indeed. Poets and artists. Henry van de Velde) and French poster artists (Henri de Photo: Michael Erlewine.

When I asked Moscoso why he preferred to make posters rather than painting. hash pipes. and played. There were also a few genuine seers and artists like Gary Snyder.33 Among the photographers documenting the events was Michelle Vignes (b. see also p. 143). The red-orange letters on the blue ground.32 Instant gratification was an important aspect of the psychedelic culture. fired up barbecues. hair ties. Some fifty thousand people came together for the Human Be-In. Allen Ginsberg. which is dominated by the sweeping upward flow of the exuberant bird. earrings. back from ten years of studying Zen in Japan. while Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert represented the expanded consciousness and bliss. who did many photo essays on major political. sitars. he replied that painters had to wait a long time. and Zen master Shunryu Suzuki Roshi. which attempted to find an answer to anxiety and alienation through mind-expanding and often hallucinatory experiences. harmonized. tie-dyes. danced. painted their faces. 106 Beyond the dance hall events. communed. It didn’t matter if they were hard to read. Hippie poster designs generally covered the sheet completely and tended to flaunt intense colors. Victor Moscoso. Peter Coyote described the action: Paisley banners and flags stenciled with marijuana leaves fluttered in the balmy winds that seemed to be blessing the fifty thousand people assembled before a single stage crowded with celebrities and Haight Independent Proprietors (HIPs). give a vibrancy to the image. abbot of the nearby San Francisco Zen Center. very difficult to make out. Fifty thousand people took drugs. social. for an Avalon event. Photojournalist Ted Streshinsky (1923–2003). causing a dynamic reversibility of images. in January 1967. and reveled in their number and variety. and saxophones. aware that they were an emergent social force. Although the psychedelic posters were aimed at a distinct subculture. congas. on the great green meadows of Golden Gate Park. their style soon influenced the design of album covers as well as advertising. crawled into the bushes and made love. using a gruesome skeleton.figure and ground became almost interchangeable. Wes Wilson’s Byrds (1967) was made for a rock event at Winterland. and political tracts. to expose their work to relatively few people. and the revolving patterns used in many of the posters. with its literary allusion to “going to the ball” and the medieval motif of the danse macabre. an artist who painted expressionist canvases early on and studied with Josef Albers at Yale University. Nearby. such as “Blue Cheer. Jerry Rubin was representing the “political aspect” of the counterculture. and sang. 1926. bongos. this was the purpose. Alton Kelley and Stanley Mouse collaborated on Grateful Dead (1966) for the Avalon. and sometimes in vain. dressed in outrageous costumes. scheduled in as a photo-stop opportunity for visiting tourists. originally called A Gathering of the Tribe. they captured the atmosphere of the psychedelic dance hall. smiling and enjoying himself. tablas. and cultural issues. whereas poster designers could see their work displayed and sold cheaply almost at once. tambourines. his old crony. there were largescale outdoor gatherings. the flower children congregated.” as well as the date and place. and sold wares— crystals. guitars. pitched tents. used Albers’s lessons in the pulsating contrast of colors in his Flower Pot poster (1967). solid as a rock. The vibrating Op Art hues rendered the performers’ names. and other mainstream cultural artifacts. which became a sort of secret code for the “in” group. including the United Farm Workers’ strug- countercultural trends . Fifty thousand people played flutes. department-store window displays. Flower children quickly assimilated the wild typography. The poster was an integral part of this tribal counterculture. Haight and Ashbury Streets soon became identified with the hippie movement. But then. both colors held at primary intensity. who caught Allen Ginsberg wearing his love beads and speaking to the troops with a benevolent expression. born in Spain in 1936. the bright and fluid complementary colors.

And. SAN FRANCISCO. “[a] Renaissance of compassion. Ted Streshinsky. Anthony (b.” and revelers like Michael McClure and Richard Brautigan sauntering down a street as a trumpet blares. in Berkeley. the denouement came in December 1969 at Altamont Speedway. They fertilized the land. A number of students and community members set out to convert it into a small urban park. they are subjective in their approach. It was just four years after the struggle for freedom of speech. Today we can get an impression of just what it was like to be there from some fine documentary photographs. east of San Francisco. documentary photographers do more than just give us the facts. where turmoil and violence replaced brotherhood. revealing the evanescence of these utopian events. It was a time that promised. in the spring of 1969. named People’s Park. and attempted to revive the euphoria of the Summer of Love. the students and community members proceeded to tear down the chain-link fence.” This hardly happened. and where one of the attendees was killed. Ronald Reagan. who gave up a career in political science to become a photojournalist. In angry response. governor of the state at the time. © Michelle Vignes. Perhaps a harbinger of the end of the sixties was the conflict that had erupted several months earlier. after the acme of the counterculture during the Summer of Love and at Woodstock on the East Coast. fenced off the land. called upon the National Guard. in which a loving couple is watched by a woolly dog as the crowds disperse. and more than two thousand bayoneted guardsmen came to support the local police forces. The powers that be now contested a small parcel of land near the campus that had become a dumping ground after the university had razed houses that once stood there. But the university. Helicopters teargassed the campus area. photographed the Be-In through a soap bubble. like all image makers. America was still sending troops to their death in Southeast Asia (see chapter 1). often working with countercultural trends MICHELLE VIGNES ALLEN GINSBERG AT BE-IN IN GOLDEN GATE PARK. SAN FRANCISCO: FLOWER CHILDREN BLOWING BUBBLE. photographing subjects such as a cluster of rock musicians flowing out onto the street from an upright Victorian. captured the zany optimism of the era in his images. planted flowers and vegetables. A similar transience comes across in Gene Anthony’s After the Be-In (1967). as documented in Nacio Jan Brown’s photograph in which a helicopter’s propeller blade cuts across the steeple of the Campanile. maintaining its property rights. interpreting what they see. awareness and love of the Revolution [and] the unity of all mankind. 107 . a “cosmic car. as a press release for the Be-In proclaimed. 1967 Gelatin silver print. 1967 Gelatin silver print. 1932).” GOLDEN GATE PARK. perhaps the chief chronicler of hippie life in Haight-Ashbury and during the 1967 Summer of Love. and built a stage for free speech and free music. TED STRESHINSKY “LOVE-IN. Working in the tradition of aesthetic realism. where a vast crowd gathered for an all-star concert. © Ted Streshinsky A battle ensued.



who simply stands there. Walt Whitman once defined the role of poetry in the modern world as the “vivification” of facts. HAROLD PARIS SOUL ON TELEGRAPH AVENUE (#12). © Nacio Jan Brown. 10 × 8 × 2 in. 1970 Mixed media and cast resin. A threatening mass of steelhelmeted soldiers. James Rector. Robert Hughes reported that “the like [of these pieces] has not been seen in America since Joseph Cornell’s Boxes. PEOPLE’S PARK PROTEST. things got nasty. The murder was never prosecuted. which resembles a spilled brain. into bronze and experimented with countercultural trends vacuum-forming to create abstract vinyl sculptures that serve as light-reflecting dreamscapes. Low-flying helicopters spread more tear gas as the police opened fire on demonstrators. such as chairs. he worked for some time casting everyday objects. clutching her newspaper. which he called Souls.” Still. was killed by a gunshot. bayonets drawn. As the historian Leon Litwak noted: “For many young people. The slaying of James Rector impelled Harold Paris to make his Soul on Telegraph Avenue (1970).” also recorded by hippie siren Janis Joplin: “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose. 1969 Gelatin silver print. advances on a young girl. As time went on. the sixties counterculture created far-reaching changes. with her hair in a headband. mysterious works. His extraordinary photograph People’s Park Riots. A tiny red cross has been infused into the resilient gel. however ephemeral its lovefests and however hazardous its successes. is the ground for a gray substance. Kris Kristofferson epitomized this feeling in a line from his song “Me and Bobby McGee. This small commemorative work serves as a tragic finale to a historic moment filled with hope. analogous to human flesh. an innocent bystander who was watching the turmoil from the roof of a nearby building. self-expression lay not in politics but in personal transformation 110 . whose photograph shows us the face of the mortally wounded man. he began making small. No staging could have produced what Streshinsky saw at this decisive moment in his camera lens.”34 In Soul on Telegraph Avenue a quivering slab of silicon. is no exception. This event was documented by Nacio Jan Brown. such writers as Joan Didion and Tom Wolfe.NACIO JAN BROWN MORTALLY WOUNDED JAMES RECTOR. and that certainly applies to this image of force against innocence. National Guard and Protester (1969) clearly depicts the power structure. In the late 1960s. both exuberant and naïve. vulnerable. using silicon gel. Private collection. After producing his ceramic Walls for Mem (see chapter 1).

“ill-lit basements. the Weirdos. They substituted the ‘be-in’ and the ‘love-in’ for the protest meeting. A-Hole Gallery. showing a smiling young man in a Nazi uniform with multiple pictures of Hitler clowning in the clouds. Fear. Inc. and Club Foot.”35 FROM UNDERGROUND TO FOREGROUND: SUNSHINE/NOIR “Instead of healing the wound. poetry. In Los Angeles “X” emerged as the great garage band of the time.” inscribed above—all set against a vibrating Op Art background. linking the new punk culture back to earlier Beat activity. 1981 Montage by Winston Smith. their predecessors played in the Studio 13 Jazz Band. and the Residents. Black Flag was launched by Greg Ginn. their show was opened by the Nuns and the Avengers. a Filipino nightclub in North Beach at the center of the punk scene.” (1976) “launched a transformation of pop music all over the world. along with groups like Germ.through ecstatic non-conformity. we were rubbing salt into the wound. just as two decades earlier. 111 . and biker bars. the Skulls. which succeeded the Beat and hippie eras. and in significant ways the changes generated by the counterculture were more enduring than the changes the Movement managed to effect in American politics. When they played at the Winterland. art.” according to the cultural critic Greil Marcus.”38 A major influence was the music of the Sex Pistols. Garrett.39 As Marcus points out. and performance.”37 This subculture produced a recognizable style in music. whose brother Raymond (Ginn) Pettibone (b. words. abandoned synagogues. It sprang up simultaneously in Los Angeles and San Francisco. At the San Francisco Art Institute students started punk groups like Romeo Void. 1959) became an unofficial incountercultural trends DEAD KENNEDYS IN GOD WE TRUST.36 In the 1970s. “mounting anger over corporate and government collusion in the nuclear weapons industry gave rise to the widespread anxiety most vividly displayed by the punk movement. (Bruce Conner also frequented Mabuhay Gardens. and the Explosions.K. this British group’s stance of anarchic provocation and total negation owed much to the Situationists in France in the 1960s and the Dadaists in Berlin in 1920. The latter pub- lished a satirical cover and poster for their album The Third Reich ’n’ Roll (1976). Pearl Harbor. and visual images —a style that was anti-establishment and enraged. A 1981 Dead Kennedys album cover (with artwork by Winston Smith) depicts Christ crucified on a dollar bill with “In God We Trust. whose “Anarchy in the U. in garages. two local bands who were regulars at Mabuhay Gardens. the Dead Kennedys. The punk aesthetic could be found at alternative spaces like Interweave. which featured cabarets with music. In January 1978 the Sex Pistols came to San Francisco.. insolent Filipino nightclubs.” remarked the artist J.) Other San Francisco punk bands with connotative names included the Screamers. and Black Flag. where they gave their last concert (they broke up afterward). an active participant in the punk movement. Catholic Discipline. as the art historian Kristine Stiles has noted. C. INC. Courtesy of Decay Music.

despite their nihilist philosophy and opposition to all forms of sociopolitical organization.SLASH (VOL. and a real-world reiteration of the violence people enjoy when playing video games. His drawings were initially distributed in selfpublished photocopied booklets. Pettibone.”40 Among the more politically minded artists to emerge from this punk scene was J. C. At their site. SRL created performances and installations using machinery countercultural trends . has equipped the snake with a seven-pronged hydra head. reminiscent of Franz von Stuck’s seductive Sin. shows Patty Hearst (Tania) with a snake curled around her body. crazies). in May 1978. by Peter Belsito and Bob Davis. who. 1). In a 1987 drawing. using digital technology. done some ninety years earlier. 1950) and working with artists and engineers. album covers. COVER FEATURING DAVE VANIAN OF THE DAMNED. In its May Day issue from 1977 Slash magazine displays a woman’s face on a black ground with the 112 letters “S-l-a-s-h” in blood-red ink running down her white forehead. Today the towers have become a symbol of the vulnerability of power. and other artwork. the magazine took an explicit political stance—something punk publications generally avoided—and dedicated its issue “to the handful of enragés (French for maniacs. In the late 1970s an extreme form of alternative art. Revolutionary Sex! (1982). 1955). New York. a constant reminder of unabashed hatred by religious fanatics. ten years ago tried to change life. 1977 Photograph by Melanie Nissen. a pretext for preemptive war. He had come to the Bay Area in 1978 from Albany.” Ad hoc mimeographed or photocopied publications appeared. 1. Garrett depicted the twin towers of the World Trade Center as symbols of corporate globalization and American hegemony. who. using ink and watercolor. where he had been active in a collective of political artists. Pettibone reveals his neo-Dada attitude by placing four men behind a bench with the caption: “Let’s destroy inferior works of art. a new “Freedom Tower” promises to reach to the topmost point of the Manhattan skyline. a book of epigraphs with fervid accusations against mass culture in all its guises.41 The interface of text and image in Garrett’s work indicates his familiarity with the Frankfurt School as well as the French Situationists. In his 1980 piece. 2001. mocking the think tanks. house artist of the LA music scene in the 1970s and 1980s. In San Francisco he produced the amazingly prescient work entitled The Splinter in Your Eye Is the Best Magnifying Glass (1980). In Hardcore California: A History of Punk and New Wave. took part in the uprisings at Strasbourg University in 1966 and in Paris two years later. Garrett (b. His prophetic piece of agitprop has acquired new meanings since September 11. Founded by Mark Pauline (b. however. who cofounded Club Foot and participated in other alternative venues in San Francisco. creating posters. for instance. called itself Survival Research Laboratories. fanatics. NO. The title comes from Theodor Adorno’s treatise Minima Moralia.” and in red: “Let’s start here. A year later. as well as fanzines like Search and Destroy.

C. installations. Yet their art. might be powered by a jet engine. they staged fierce and dangerous performances accompanied by disorienting music.they designed. From performances in various San Francisco parking lots. GARRETT THE SPLINTER IN YOUR EYE IS THE BEST MAGNIFYING GLASS. In the preface to the catalogue Lars Nittve. In 1990 the head of the National Endowment for the Arts. 113 . Denmark— a show that focused on the LA art scene. when galloping murder statistics failed to sully the marketers’ promise of ocean groves. torture. drawings. they viscerally hit the deep underbelly of the sunshine city. affirmed how performance art posed fundamental challenges to traditional views of the visual arts . the author Bruce Sterling explains. writings. small farms.S. for example. After graduating from the San Francisco Art Institute and receiving a Guggenheim fellowship. it isn’t nice. deemed such work pornographic and denied grants to her as well as three other performance artists. sometimes incorporating sophisticated surplus equipment from the U. 17 × 11 in. videos. 1980 Screenprint. and photographs. a city where the American dream is produced for mass consumption worldwide. These pieces served as metaphoric attacks against war. . violence. attracting large crowds for a 1988 performance at the Shea Stadium parking lot in New York. As Kristine Stiles notes: “The national controversy . And it offers us no answers at all. and terror. . 1956). . Sunshine or Noir? That remains the question. military. . Finley became famous for smearing chocolate on her naked body as a symbol of women being treated like dirt. “everything that industrial society would prefer to forget and ignore and neglect takes on a pitiless Frankenstein vitality. it isn’t spiritually elevating. remarked: “Capital of visuality: Helltown or Eden? That was the question [in Los Angeles] as early as the second half of the nineteenth century. With enormous automated anthropomorphic robots and motorized dead animals. the museum’s director. Frequently they resorted to scatological images in their performances.”43 Several anti-establishment artists were included in the 1997 exhibition Sunshine and Noir at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebaek. and clear blue desert skies. It isn’t beautiful.”42 Another major artist to emerge from the California punk scene was the performance artist Karen Finley (b. . strove for (alcountercultural trends J. Working and playing with many media.”44 Two prominent artists in this exhibition were Paul McCarthy and Mike Kelley (both born in 1945)— men of multifarious talents whose work was maximal at a time when minimal was the leading mode. Helltown or Eden. . A huge flame thrower. in a manner that not only embodied the life experiences of the performers but touched the social experiences of viewers. It casts the darkest kind of suspicion on the lives we lead and the twisted ingenuity that supports these lives. At an SRL event. under pressure from conservative legislators. . in all its grizzly forms. SRL moved on to actions in other American cities. Courtesy of the artist.

“In Bossy Burger the Alfred E. that the phallus is detachable. Paul McCarthy. which entertained families with much sugar and little spice. 61). as fear turns into delight. McCarthy remarked. videotape. McCarthy’s violent performances call up deep subconscious memories. elicits pleasure. though it may not have achieved) the realm of feelings described by the eighteenth-century British philosopher Edmund Burke as the Sublime. Neuman. McCarthy was also familiar with the works of self-endangerment countercultural trends executed by Chris Burden in the early 1970s (see p. Switzerland. Neuman character never leaves the architecture. .”46 In many of his actions McCarthy uses the body to perform unspeakable and totally absurd acts. In Bossy Burger (1991) he appropriated the TV sitcom Family Affairs. Watching an immense cataract during a wild thunderstorm is a frequently given example. He dragged in rotten hamburger meat. the icon of Mad magazine. and highly influential “in your face” actions and videos have managed to violate any boundaries still extant. We are aware. In the 1980s and 1990s he did a number of installation/performances that satirized the American way of life. 1991 Performance. Collection of Hauser & Wirth. In the performance itself McCarthy felt a sense of confinement comparable to that experienced by Jackson Pollock when he was filmed by Hans Namuth. installation. and behaving like a fool. McCarthy dressed himself as a chef and donned a grimacing mask that made him look like Alfred E. the construct of reality is absurdity. further back. which scandalized the public and led to the repeated arrests of the participating artists.PAUL MCCARTHY BOSSY BURGER. Rosamund Felsen Gallery. On a number of occasions McCarthy has worked in collaboration with Mike Kelley. poking his face through the wall.45 The Sublime. born in Salt Lake City. and all that blood comes from the ketchup bottle. which can be difficult to face. and empty condiment bottles. which. I envisioned him as an entrapped person. St. according to Burke. . debased rituals of all kinds: men may hump hamburger meat or a boy may hump a goat. And the house is a trap. although terrifying. the human body is both subject and medium. After building a stage with lumber from the set of the discontinued show. such as Shit Face Painting (1974). unorthodox. . He could barely peer out of the small eye opening in his mask—an experience that relates to the way a viewer peers into Marcel Duchamp’s Etant donnés (1946–68). His works of overblown brutality are often sexually provocative and horrendously bizarre. is a spiritual state in which the mind is transported beyond the rational toward an overwhelming experience. however. . . to create an episode set at a cheap country restaurant named Bossy Burger. came to Los Angeles in the late 1960s. They find their antecedents in punk and. the earth is a trap . and then performed for an hour. When interviewed by Kristine Stiles. poking fun at both 114 . splattering ketchup on his white uniform. that the horrendous faces are masks. Gallen. Los Angeles. in the bloody performances and agitative experiments of the Vienna Actionists and in the 1966 Destruction in Art Symposium in London. For McCarthy. McCarthy’s early work consisted largely of private performances for the video camera. the semen is mayonnaise or cold cream. His visionary. penises may extend fifty feet. curdled milk.

John Baldessari. Although they were not able to replay Acconci’s famous Seedbed (1971). the culture at large and art world pretensions. His conceptualist orientation toward a taboo-breaking art of scatological content and traumatic imagery is similar to McCarthy’s. McCarthy and Kelley’s video shows several naked female and male professional actors mimicking soft-core pornography. C. where he worked with Michael Asher. discussing the artists’ strategy. Kelley. Allan Kaprow. H. they directly responded to the revival of body art in the 1990s by restaging several of Vito Acconci’s performances of the early 1970s. but Kelley often brings in the touch of a homespun craftsman. fabricating dolls and fauxantique furniture. variable dimensions. wrote: “Mirroring then-current concerns. in which the seminal performance/ process/body artist masturbated below the floor of the Sonnabend Gallery in New York. After studying at the University of Michigan. no matter how transgressive his art. for example. In Fresh Acconci (1996). and Laurie Anderson.”47 Kelley was born in a working-class suburb of De- troit. Westermann. Fresh Acconci postulates that the body of today performs the function of a specialized subcultural erotica for the art world despite what could be construed as its deconstructive pretensions. 1991 Multimedia installation.MIKE KELLEY PROPOSAL FOR THE DECORATION OF AN ISLAND OF CONFERENCE ROOMS (WITH COPY ROOM) FOR AN ADVERTISING AGENCY DESIGNED BY FRANK GEHRY. artists who helped formulate that hybridization that came to be called postmodern art. Kelley admired the satirical work of Robert Crumb. In addition. In 1991 Kelley produced his Proposal for the Decoration of an Island of Conference Rooms (with Copy Room) for an Advertising Agency Designed by Frank countercultural trends 115 . and his blue-collar background has remained a motivation. Courtesy of the artist. and Peter Saul. he went to CalArts.

Gehry. poetry and religion—all areas eschewed by the generation of Conceptual artists that form Kelley’s parentage and the generation of NeoConceptualists in which he lives. Graffiti is an expression of the disenfranchised. “One of the worst problems facing this city is graffiti. often understood solely by initiates.”48 Kelley built a model with portholes between offices.” “The flogging will continue until morale improves. Paul Schimmel. with texts like: “If assholes could fly this place would be an airport. the codes that people live by.” “I’m 51% sweetheart and 49% bitch. 2002 Mixed media on wood panel. including Kelley. graffiti is a more insidious problem. Graffiti has a long history. The well-known Los Angeles architect asked a number of artists. best exemplified by Greenbergian formalism. and Cy Twombly transformed graffiti-like marks into diaristic elegance. There were wall murals of animals and jokes of low humor on the walls. Work carefully. Graffiti artists use spray paint. from empty walls in alleyways to subway cars. While it can’t kill or maim. his work explores belief systems. felt-tipped markers.”50 Philadelphia began spending three 116 . even lipstick to cover any available urban surface. In modern art. pointed out: “The piece concretely addresses how corporations do business and how people interact. Kelley’s art embraces the psychoanalytic and the psychosocial.” “Remember it only takes one prick to get AIDS. wash your hands and use gloves. graffiti can be seen as early as 1902 in Giacomo Balla’s well-known painting Bankrupt and in the remarkable photographs of Brassaï in Paris and Aaron Siskind in Chicago. which in its own way is a political act of defiance. Courtesy of the artist and Gallery Paule Anglim.”49 The art system. going back to ancient Egypt and the walls of Pompeii. In 1995 the mayor of Philadelphia announced. More closely related to the California markers. the show’s curator.” The project was not built— cancelled for financial reasons — but the work was transformed into a countercultural trends sculpture and included in the Helter Skelter exhibition at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art in 1992. Private collection. don’t push it in.BARRY MCGEE UNTITLED #20. who mark and claim their territory with their “tags” (names) and various signs and symbols. 55 × 20 in. “to conceive of an artwork for the office of an advertising agency. The authorities have felt the need to take action against this apparent defacing of property. often risking fines and even arrest. was further challenged by graffiti artists such as Barry McGee and Margaret Kilgallen in San Francisco. Jean Dubuffet admired graffiti as a kind of Art Brut (Outsider Art). he revealed pipes and ducts in the ceiling in the manner of Brutalist architecture (anathema to Gehry). providing direct access to psychic states. Although founded on Conceptualist principles. It can kill morale. New Yorkers Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring transported graffiti from obscurity to high esteem in the art world.

they are executed with deliberation. San Francisco’s Latino area.”51 Like Mike Kelley. including the Venice Biennale in 2001. Like the earlier punk artists. the wall of the office of the then-president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. she mended battered books. Although Kilgallen was not a graffiti writer per se—there probably are very few women who have actually marked the walls of abandoned buildings—her work was greatly indebted to graffiti artists’ letters and signs. It can all be painted over with a roller. In the six-paneled aquatint Sloe (1998) she offered a “folk” alternative to conventional sign-making. a fat lady countercultural trends 117 . studying typography as she did so.” McGee has said.C. but there’s actually no damage.”52 There was also Mark Pauline and the Survival Research Laboratories. 144). phrases. as he does not need to worry about police surveillance. he enjoyed the energy and freedom of making art in the public sphere without asking for permission to do so. Rigo (see p. These installations carry the vitality of chaos created by a free-spirited artist. bowling pins. Kilgallen. Yet there’s always the danger of co-optation. where McGee was born in 1966. and cartoonish heads that he calls “everymen” may be layered on top of a red ground and surrounded by a labyrinth of street objects. a stubborn mule struggles against its fetter. He then lived in Brazil for a year and soon began exhibiting his paintings and installations in prestigious galleries and shows. 2004. In his late teens McGee began “writing” on the walls of the city streets. born in Washington. McGee comes from a workingclass family. “really do whatever they want.54 McGee was part of a loose group of San Francisco Mission District artists sometimes called the Mission School. He speaks of the influence of “punk groups like The Residents and The Dead Kennedys. such as empty liquor bottles. with the latter’s permission. Her paintings and installations also show an appreciation for craftsmanship.”53 McGee did obtain more traditional training as an artist. she painted the entire gallery floor as well as the walls. Two years later she died of breast cancer. but more than anything there was a really strong political climate. dangerous things that have huge visual impact with all the public standing around those machines that fight until completely destroyed. at the age of thirty-four. McGee spray-painted “Smash the State” in bright orange on a landmarked space. where visitors had to enter through an overturned truck—it seems that street art has become chic.. has asserted: “There’s a lot of talk about how damaging graffiti is and destruction that happens with graffiti. In 2002 Barry McGee had a solo exhibition at the fashionable Fondazione Prada in Milan. It was the Reagan years and there were always organized protests. Barry McGee. In 1999 she married McGee. earning a BFA degree from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1991. on the other hand. in 1967. especially in the Mission District. In 1999. which included Chris Johanson. spray-paint cans.” We are left to guess whether “sloe” refers to the berry that flavored homemade gin or is a naïve way to spell “slow. completing her art training at Stanford University. On December 10. His father repaired and repainted old Chevrolets in San Francisco. As a book conservator at the San Francisco Public Library. Words. His indoor pieces are not merely reconstructions of street graffiti. and Margaret Kilgallen. D. she had no use for the pristine white cube of the art gallery. as well as to underground comics and Beat poetry. learned letterpress printing at Colorado College in Colorado Springs and moved to San Francisco in 1989. a dedicated surfer like herself. Adopting the moniker Twist. for an exhibition at Deitch Projects in New York.million dollars a year to fight graffiti and threatened graffiti artists with fines of ten thousand dollars and up to five years in jail. humorously collaging a placard that tells us to “Let it ride—sloe. There is a picture of a tree that looks as if a child might have drawn it. “These guys. and other discarded objects. Matt Gonzalez.” The lettering signals a movie-style “Wild West” (tempered by a little bird resting on the “L”).

to punk artists trashing artistic standards—was directed against established authority. The sociologist Daniel Bell wrote in 1976: “Despite some continuing use of the language of the Protestant ethic.55 By the mid-twentieth century. 2001. Dissenters all. fun. Berkeley. spend. didn’t know what to do with himself—he’d go to church. a big-lipped woman looks out. speaking on NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. For some time it was sports that had served to divert the populus from real economic and social issues. a retail business. Now consumption could serve a similar function. in a compulsive way. Overall.” The American family. the phenomenal success of countercultural trends . Kilgallen’s delightful folk aesthetic can be seen as a reaction against the technological boom that appeared to take command in the 1990s. which had for a long time determined mass production. It was promoted to fill a void in almost all aspects of a person’s life. display and pleasure—and. soon after Mark Twain defined the “Gilded Age. this work has a carnivalesque and nostalgic quality. he was unhappy. they challenged the “American way of life” and its economic foundation. the fact was that by the 1950s American culture had become primarily hedonistic. spend. Like Kilgallen’s installations.’ climate controlled into the simple activity of perpetual shopping. New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani. As Simon Head has pointed out in the New York Review of Books.”56 Twelve years later Jean Baudrillard suggested that “all life is ‘massaged. Wal-Mart. After the terrible catastrophe of September 11.”59 Spend. Today you’re unhappy? Can’t figure it out? What is the solution? Go shopping. magnified mass consumption. however. Gift of Paulson Press. 1998 Color aquatint etching with chine collé. especially since many products rapidly became obsolete. typical of things in America. has become the center of consumption.”58 The mall has become the central gathering place for the youth to “hang out. Already in the late nineteenth century. to hippies making love in the park. I have a great way of helping. San Jose Museum of Art. with $258 billion in revenues in 2003. 353⁄4 × 243⁄4 in. ART AND CONSUMER CULTURE The counterculture—from students defying restrictive university rules or protesting the war in Southeast Asia. has now emerged as the successor to General Motors as the leading corporation in the United States and even the world.MARGARET KILGALLEN SLOE. start a revolution— something. “I encourage people from all over the country who want to help. California. once the center of production. An extravagant consumer culture has long been an essential part of the American economy. holds on to her buttocks. Come here and spend money.” the economist Thorstein Veblen analyzed the excessive and wasteful con118 sumption by the leisure class and coined the term “conspicuous consumption” for the egregious use of luxury goods and services to indicate elite status. the capitalist economy. said. concerned with play.”57 In Arthur Miller’s play The Price (1968) the old furniture dealer Gregory Solomon complains that “Years ago a person. Advertising served not so much to call attention to a product as to promote consumption.

”60 The abundance that is characteristic of American consumer culture was the primary source material for Pop Art. Called Six More. in his catalogue The Reality of Appearance. 90 1⁄2 × 68 1⁄4 in. painted in 1802. For their subjects Pop artists chose objects from consumer culture such as billboards. After years of war and postwar rationing. During the postwar prosperity of the 1950s. Phillip Hefferton. art became a commodity depicting commodities. which took time to find acceptance. Hefferton. girlie pinups. countercultural trends 119 . and painted in the Abstract Expressionist mode before he turned to depicting dollar bills. above all. and benday dots. The German painters Sigmar Polke and Gerhard Richter called it Capitalist Realism. such as airbrushing. They were captivated by what the art critic Lawrence Alloway called the “aesthetics of plenty. it comprised the work of Billy Al Bengston. Houston. played the sax-trombone. such as Eduardo Paolozzi and Richard Hamilton. Ed Ruscha. young English artists. Painting money belongs to a tradition in American art that goes back to Raphaelle Peale’s A Deception. in distinction to the Socialist Realism practiced in Eastern Europe. their American counterparts seemed to accept it all with glee. Their serial imagery related to the industrial assembly line. William Michael Harnett and John Haberle produced trompe l’oeil paintings of American currency that deceived viewers with their versimilitude. which originated in Britain in the postwar period. 1933) grew up in Michigan. Alfred Frankenstein.this leviathan of consumption has come at a price: “The exploitation of the working poor is now central to the business strategy favored by America’s most powerful and. Unlike previous movements in modern art. by some criteria. What Walter Benjamin referred to as the “aura” of a work made by the artist’s hand indeed gave way to mechanical reproduction. Money Phillip Hefferton (b. and Wayne Thiebaud. and. Mel Ramos. providing this PHILLIP HEFFERTON SINKING GEORGE. The least-known artist of the group. An exhibition of West Coast Pop Art was curated by Lawrence Alloway at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1963. Gift of Betty and Monte Factor. produced work that was undeniably critical of established values. edibles and drinkables. 1962 Oil on canvas.” Whereas the English artists were by no means enthusiastic about what they saw coming from Hollywood. which accentuated the exaggerated size of his depictions (five and a half feet across in a typical Hefferton painting).” which the architecture critic Reyner Banham referred to as the “aesthetics of expendability. Photo: Neal Sacharow. and Madison Avenue. Like his fellow artist Robert Dowd. silkscreen reproduction. and the distinction between high and low art blurred. most successful corporation. Joe Goode. he used a painterly brushstroke. noted. even though he painted another sort of value—the dollar. looked with sheer amazement at the ads in slick American magazines. at technical journals and comic books. Detroit. The Menil Collection. “With all the counterfeiting. Pop art achieved popularity almost at once. comic strips. They also tended to use techniques found in commercial art.

(1963). The outrageous portrait of America’s fortieth president in Ronald Reagan II violates just about every taboo. play money. receipts. newspaper magazines. After all. his equally red hand gripping the toast. Slumpy and cuddly. Image courtesy of George Adams Gallery. The faux money is neatly stacked and tied into orderly bundles. but Haberle enjoyed acting against the law. and what she called “grunge” and then covered with hand-sculpted mud. a champion of abstraction and Minimalism. 94–96) contrived Conceptual Tableaux: on identical pieces of paper he stamped amounts. Private collection. According to Spence. sails on the dark sea above. The following year Larry Rivers painted French Money. as F. With a Day-Glo red face and wild eyes. of American parents. Rather than our grabbing the “president. in 1962. who left San Francisco in 1975 and has been teaching at the University of Texas since 1981. In the latter the dollar bill’s portrait of the first president is sinking into the ocean. trompe l’oeil depiction was actually against the law of the time. these mud creatures sit on the floor. Robert Morris and Les Levine made conceptual pieces about money. has written admiringly of Saul’s recalcitrant work: “Modernism can endure Peter. Andy Warhol produced a number of silkscreens on the theme of dollar bills. The art historian Robert Storr. Germany. Spence grew up in Colorado and earned an MFA at Mills College in Oakland. I think of the gargoyles on the cathedrals. the president greedily devours a sandwich of five-dollar bills. 120 . while a small boat. 1984 Acrylic and oil on canvas. the grotesques on the pews. it needs him. Spence used similar refuse materials with the addition of coupons. giving them a weighty character. as if they had just been scolded. 53). including pigeons made largely of street debris and mud animals built up from pieces of discarded bathrobes. this piece “came out of the physical experience of feeling a wad of one dollar bills in my front apron pocket while waitressing. and photocopied money. Scott Fitzgerald avowed in The Great Gatsby. It certainly confused both the primary and secondary art markets. is the Great American Dream. She came to public attention by making art out of trash. and the devils in the prayer books. has by no means tamed his fierce accusations of the American establishment. In 1998 Kathryn Spence displayed a huge stack of it and simply called it Money Pile.”61 Almost a century later. and in 1969 Ed Kienholz (see pp.” the president grabs our money in Peter Saul’s Ronald Reagan II (1984). Big G. and Sinking George (1962).”63 Money. Badly. ranging from $1 to $998. flying the Stars and Stripes.PETER SAUL RONALD REAGAN II. acquiring a human quality: they look fragile. helpless. Born in 1963 in Stuttgart. In fact. For her phantom Money Pile.62 Saul (see p. 84 × 72 in. as indicated by his titles: Winkin’ Lincoln countercultural trends (1963). which priced the artwork. Hefferton’s currency appeared in various denominations. New York.

Robert Motherwell’s Elegy for the Spanish Republic (1958) into For a Song (2000). you haven’t bought anything.KATHRYN SPENCE MONEY PILE. for example. and paintings dealing with varied themes.”65 Questions about the value of money/art become explicit in the work of Ray Beldner. by Paul Wonner and Joan Brown. leaving no doubt that “art is money. newspaper. 2002 Sewn U. replicating art from the modern canon with actual dollar bills— transforming. they continued a traditional approach to the still-life genre. RAY BELDNER ALL YOU NEED (AFTER ROBERT INDIANA’S LOVE. and Robert Indiana’s Love (1966) into All You Need (2002). Where does the value lie? What are we hoarding so carefully? Perhaps. 1966). “When you trade a piece of green paper with a picture on it. It became about the process of keeping faith that what I was doing has meaning and seriousness— collecting a few dollars at each table to pay for my real job— cutting out fake money when I got home. Born in San Francisco in 1961 and educated at the San Francisco Art Institute and Mills College. the artist. 1998 Mixed media. Marcel Duchamp’s Foun- tain (1917) into Peelavie (1988). 17 × 18 × 21 in. cakes. Lee Fatherree. and Wayne Thiebaud approached his depictions of pies. form and light.”64 It took a great deal of time and energy to accumulate and assemble all this trash into a faux money pile—a comment on a society for which the acquisition of money is primary. in his still lifes. signed by an artist. Courtesy of Ron Casentini. signed by a bureaucrat. are rather startling. apples and oranges were painted by the Bay Area Figurative artists. Photo: M. Beldner uses real money to fabricate the artwork. string. sandwiches. To be sure. Oakland Museum of California. In 1998 he began his Counterfeit series. Instead of using currency to buy the art. Gift of the Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation. San Francisco. by David Park and Richard Diebenkorn.S. Jasper Johns’s Three Flags (1958) into Three More Flags (2000). exact in size and dimension. Claes Oldenburg’s Soft Toilet (1966) into Down the Toilet (2000). for a piece of white paper with a picture on it. and Catharine Clark Gallery. and various confections from a strong formalist pocountercultural trends 121 . Raimonds Staprans brought forth geometry and poetry. has also been a dominant subject for California counterculture artists. but their vigorous gestural brushstrokes notwithstanding. from human control and consumption of the landscape to art as a background for pornographic images (sex deleted). sculptures. as the art critic Dave Hickey put it. a subject that occupied the Pop painters. Beldner has created installations. since neither piece of paper is worth anything. The replicas.” Food Food and the plethora of comestibles in consumer culture. currency. 12 × 12 × 6 in.

Saul remembered the accumulation of food in American refrigerators and produced a series of Ice Box paintings. vinyl tablecloth. THE COOK. Here he serves a vast smorgasbord of every imaginable kind of food: a turkey. None of these artists. Arneson shares a defiant sarcasm with Saul. has helped him achieve work full of personal iconography that also deals with politically charged issues like the catastrophe of nuclear annihilation or the absurdity of overindulgence. Donald Duck and a hide-a-bed. and cartons of frozen food. Photo: Lee Fatherree. Thiebaud mixed his pigments and applied his brush to emulate the real texture of his pies. a man who lives “out there” on the coast. This critique was left to Peter Saul and Robert Arneson (see earlier). New York. the ceramicist as baker. most are part of this artist’s enduring search for identity. soda bottles. with 122 whom he spent time talking and drinking beer in the mid-1960s. find his way in the art world? Arneson’s sense of humor. How can an outsider. San Francisco. Smorgi-Bob. sition. and wood table. milk bottles. cheeses. The work appears much larger than its actual dimensions because of strong foreshortening in countercultural trends . purchase. a craftsman who works in the humble medium of clay. All these objects seem to push against each other and tumble and spin in their restricted space: Excess leads to chaos. a ham. slingshots and axes. Different as his works are. 73 × 66 × 53 in. knives. 1971 Glazed earthenware. finger food. and Brian Gross Fine Art. courtesy of George Adams Gallery. in a way to suggest their delectable tastes and to tempt the viewer’s palate. his ability to poke fun at himself. Smorgi-Bob is Arneson. he added hammers and nails. In 1967 both artists were featured in the Funk show at the University Art Museum in Berkeley. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.ROBERT ARNESON SMORGI-BOB. and wine. however. New York. comparable to Giorgio Morandi’s sensitive paintings of bottles on their shelves. And there’s plenty to eat it with: shiny porcelain plates. the Cook. body parts and condoms. cakes. © Estate of Robert Arneson / Licensed by VAGA. cakes. and forks. was in any way critical of America’s almost obscene amassment and consumption of edibles. In 1971 Arneson produced the first of many selfportraits. To slices of meat. NY. While living in Paris and Rome between 1958 and 1964.

” “We don’t need another hero. and ceilings with her verbal-visual messages. a status it enjoyed among Futurists. often strongly feminist. Kruger had experience in design and typography. she is basically a New York artist. © Barbara Kruger.”66 The artist Barbara Kruger’s silkscreen I Shop Therefore I Am (1987) encapsulates the manipulation of behavior to serve the profit motive. in 1945. well informed by a knowledge of visual and verbal clichés and stereotypes. appeared on billboards. and the School of Visual Arts in New York. without color. Educated at Syracuse University. 1987 Photographic silkscreen on vinyl. New Jersey. have helped bring respectability back to typography in art.” and “How much money do you make?” Her agitprop messages. 111 × 113 in. leading directly to the chef at the head of the table. critic. Constructivists. We may be able to eat all we want. where she has been on the faculty since 2002. installation and video late 1980s shout “Your body is a battleground. curator. the lettering in this image is in Futura bold italic type. and the University of California. photographer. T-shirts. Private collection. whom she found compelling. a graphic designer. As with many of her stern slogans. and political agitator. Michel Foucault. and Jacques Lacan. Jean Baudrillard. Occasionally she has ventured into other formats. she taught at the California College of Arts and Crafts and at the University of California. butting through all the clutter of visual and verbal oversaturation. was born in Newark. At Parsons Kruger had studied with Diane Arbus. subway trains. recalling the device used by Leonardo da Vinci in his Last Supper. but during an important gestation period in her career. and shopping bags. straddling the shoulders of RFK and countercultural trends BARBARA KRUGER UNTITLED (I SHOP THEREFORE I AM).” “It’s a small world but not if you have to clean it. 123 . the white letters appear on a red card. In the 1990s she began producing large installations. she chose to aim her camera at the unexpected angles of modern buildings instead of odd people. For almost ten years she had worked for Condé Nast. Courtesy of Mary Boone Gallery. in the mid-1970s. doing layouts for Mademoiselle and serving as head designer of the magazine from the age of twenty-two. Sound adds to the impact of these gesamtkunstwerke. Parsons School of Design. Her slogans. It was there that she began her extensive reading of the Frankfurt School and postmodern criticism by Roland Barthes. she attacked it with reductive messages. where at different times she has taught at perspective. Since about 1990 Kruger has split her time between New York and Los Angeles. walls. When she turned to photography of her own. Berkeley. often covering the gallery floor. as in Family. Other political “ads” by Kruger from the mid. San Diego. UCLA. But everything is white. as in I Shop Therefore I Am. but what will it taste like? Shopping and Dumping The poet Kenneth Rexroth spoke of “the immense deadly system of false values. however. New York. Using the syntax of the establishment. her 1997 painted fiberglass sculpture of Marilyn Monroe. teacher. held out by a hand and thrown into the viewer’s face. Kruger. and the Bauhaus earlier in the century. buses. Later she began using photography as a means to unmask late-capitalist consumerism.

for example. along with an old home-economics textbook. vacuum cleaner. while signs urging “Buy” are tagged to various parts of the room. admire a display of television sets that show stills of romantic lovers from the latest soap opera in Window Shopping (2002). JFK. for example. Born in rural Pennsylvania in 1940.” As a feminist. for a total of 236 million tons of waste. and television set. This was followed in 1998 by a larger and more ambitious exhibition. paper and cardboard. What to do with all this bounty? The Environmental Protection Agency reported in 2003 that the average American discards nearly four and a half pounds of solid waste daily. Snowden attended Brown University before studying art at the University of California. who have just supplied her with the latest 1950s-model washing machine. Rubins. Refrigerator Chase (2000). Hello Again. Courtesy of the artist. nationwide.67 Mary Snowden has dealt with issues of consumerism and feminism in a more modest and personal manner. as it does all industrialized states. metal objects of all kinds. inner tubes and tires. 44 × 64 in. it was clear how she takes words and images from advertisements and reveals their manipulative strategies in an art world context. at her major multimedia retrospective mounted by the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art at its Geffen Contemporary wing.68 Several artists have. Troubled by overconsumption and waste and the resultant environmental degradation. who was born in Naples. attended the Maryland Institute College of Art and 124 countercultural trends . Young girls.MARY SNOWDEN BUY. mounted an exhibition of such art called Living in Balance. San Francisco. Using these items as documents and introducing comicstrip personae such as Little Orphan Annie. Dagwood Bumstead. taken from comic strips. per year. Texas. and was struck by how the commercial world focuses on selling all kinds of new home appliances to the homemaker. Berkeley. 2001 Painting on board. and later teaching at the nearby California College of Arts and Crafts. with her skirt flying. addressed the enormous accumulation of junk that defiles the Golden State. some of these artists have transformed discarded trash—broken glass. in 1952. shows us a refrigerator with a funny face and a chef chasing a woman wearing a white apron over her pink dress. In the fall of 1999. she looks very critically at all the manufacturers’ messages that promised the postwar woman bliss if she just acquired the right stuff. cookbooks. In the late 1990s and early 2000s Snowden made a series of paintings shaped like jigsaw-puzzle pieces as metaphors for the bewildering and confusing roles women face as they are constantly encouraged to shop and buy. California. carpet scraps. and Little Lulu. she ridicules the message that “a woman’s place is in the home. Her canvases poke fun at the whole idea of woman as homemaker. In 1994 the Richmond Art Center in Richmond. Braunstein/ Quay Gallery. In Buy (2001). who tries to hold him off. The same aproned housewife. from the best kitchen cleaner to the proper family car. In the 1990s she came across some old sales catalogues. Little Orphan Annie brings dollar bills to two smiling salesmen. in a variety of modes. stove. flies jubilantly over a dreary housing tract in Levittown (2001). old videos and bottlecaps—into art. at the Oakland Museum of California. and advertisements. accompanied by her husband and draped in the Stars and Stripes. The piling up of waste on a colossal scale is the distinctive feature of Nancy Rubins’s gigantic assemblages.

David. Roy de Forest. then went on to the University of California. which destroyed itself in public at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1960. MARK THOMPSON’S AIRPLANE PARTS. which looked like Abstract Expressionist sculptures. Wiley. created between 1921 and 1954. and William T. and Eugenio Lopez. countercultural trends 125 . This tradition of junk sculpture finds new energy in Rubins’s sculptures. In 1983 she settled in Los Angeles. Steven.NANCY RUBINS CHAS’ STAINLESS STEEL. dispersion and waste. ABOUT 1. and to César’s compressions of smashed automobiles and John Chamberlain’s assemblages of rusty car bodies. 25 × 54 × 33 ft. 2001 Stainless steel and airplane parts. Seitz asserted that certain artists “have brought a truly magical transformation: from banality and ugliness. Linda and Bob Gersh. where she studied with Funk masters like Robert Arneson. shells. purchased in honor of Beatrice Gersh with funds provided by the Acquisition and Collection Committee. Museum of Contemporary Art. and whole mobile homes. Photo: Erich Ansel Koyama. Rubins uses domestic refuse: old mattresses.”70 Writing in 1953. These fantastic spires.” in the words of William Seitz.69 Describing the “poetry” of assemblage. For her assemblages. they have created challenging.000 POUNDS OF STAINLESS STEEL WIRE. Davis. Susan. some of which have reached fifty-five feet in height. Shown at MOCA. discarded hot-water heaters. bottles. © Nancy Rubins. a masterpiece of Assemblage. The Broad Art Foundation. and Laura Gersh. and often beautiful objects ordered by principles inseparable from this century. where she discovered Simon Rodia’s Watts Towers. were constructed from broken dishes. becoming “a unique creation of inspiring power and beauty. crushed household appliances. tawdryness and commercialism. he was referring to such works as Jean Tinguely’s Homage to New York. AND GAGOSIAN’S BEVERLY HILLS SPACE. and whatever else was available. meaning- ful. Los Angeles.

California. Rubins gives her gargantuan pieces appropriately massive titles. He returned to California in 1970. we reflect on how much energy was used to construct these airplanes. dented. Rubins took crushed airplane parts. completing his education at the San Francisco Art Institute. 66 × 88 in. Looking at this commanding work. Born in Pasadena. Piles of refuse from our material culture have been painted with skilled craftsmanship by Chester Arnold. and cantilevered to create a work of dynamic buoyancy and great formal power.000 Pounds of Stainless Steel Wire. only to be later discarded. San Francisco. but the great masters. especially Albrecht Altdorfer and Pieter Brueghel. But at the same time the piece evokes a sense of devastation. Mark Thompson’s Airplane Parts.CHESTER ARNOLD ACCUMULATION. Photo courtesy of Catharine Clark Gallery. about 1. where he gained a great admiration for the old masters. For this sculpture. Collection of Katie and Drew Gibson. and Gagosian’s Beverly Hills Space (2001). such as Chas’ Stainless Steel. Arnold grew up in Munich. 1998 Oil on linen. in 1952. unless the work remains in its present con126 figuration to puzzle the anthropologist of the future about the instruments employed by humans at the turn of the millennium. We may even think of the additional nonrenewable energy required to ultimately dispose of all the steel. which may have inspired his care about how a painting is made. which she twisted. from Théodore Géricault and Caspar David Friedrich in the nineteenth century to Max Beckmann and Oskar countercultural trends .

which depicts everything Arnold has thrown away since his childhood. In the nineteenth-century painting the sheets of ice and the destruction wrought by the iceberg symbolize the grimness of fate. Arnold replaces the shards of ice with his own discarded canvases piling up against the horizon. a flowerpot. a stuffed dinosaur. What. just flicks of the brush. have continued to serve as springboards for his own work. a penknife. Only a splinter of sky is visible above the heap. The figures raise their right arms in union in a Sieg Heil! salute. recalling a horrendous past—or pointing ahead to a fearful future. shoes. stuff and more stuff—that’s the feeling that comes through in Accumulation (1998). a wheelbarrow. Kitchen furniture. connoting the chaos of one person’s accumulation in half a century of gathering and its ultimate futility. There is also no escape from Ghosts (2000). Mimicking that painting’s pyramidal composition. More and more. filling the canvas from edge to edge. countercultural trends 127 . but all the same. In the 1990s Arnold made ominous paintings of natural catastrophes and human despair. car parts. a reconstruction of Friedrich’s famous painting The Wreck of the Hope (1824). a skeleton. and an old painting are just some of the items we can make out in this Sears catalogue of waste. a ping-pong table. mattresses. can we expect in the next half century? In a series of mob scenes made in 2004. Arnold painted crowds of tiny figures. then. in Abstract Expressionist allover style. The vast surfeit of accumulation. a canoe.Kokoschka among the moderns. Ascencion Day (1992) shows a man and a boy who have managed to escape a flood by climbing a large oak but are left sitting high up on its branches with no way down.


129 . such as race. Bush. Many of this declaration’s provisions are grounded in the U.ON RACISM. it states. and security of person (with a specific prohibition against slavery). these rights can be easily and quickly destroyed. All these rights. adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. language. AND IDENTITY POLITICS CHAPTER 3 living in a democracy. Constitution. to participate in one’s own government. to exercise freedom of thought. the McCarthy years. life. . . representing close to sixty countries. we tend to believe in people’s fundamental rights to equality.S. the California Constitution explicitly states: “All people are by nature free and independent and have inalienable rights. liberty. liberty.N. Reinforcing the guarantees made by the U. DISCRIMINATION. birth or other status.S.” It specifies the rights to enjoy life. and the administration of George W.” The Constitution of the State of California also expressly protects many of these fundamental rights. during World War II. con- science. . document extends these protections to “all members of the human family. . religion. to be protected against unreasonable search and seizure and to be guaranteed due process. are held by “everyone . How could anyone argue against such basic human rights? Yet. even though California allows the death penalty. and assembly. as history has shown again and again. [and ] assemble freely to consult for the common good. In 1948 the two-year-old United Nations General Assembly. and political expression as intuitively recognizable. without distinction of any kind. write and publish his or her sentiments on all subjects . national or social origin. sex. Constitution’s Bill of Rights and the Thirteenth and Fourteenth Amendments.” The California Constitution also specifies the rights to freedom of religion and equal access to privileges and immunities. religion. opinion. colour. . but the U. property. Every person may freely speak. . . political or other opinion. expression. participation in government. and it prohibits the infliction of cruel or unusual punishment. and to work and to organize to protect workers’ rights.

70. signed Executive Order 9066.S. No such harsh legislation was enacted against persons of German or Italian ancestry anywhere in the country. censorship. even those who were U. On February 19. But it is one thing to declare these seemingly unambiguous rights and another to make their enjoyment freely available in real life. President Franklin D. Born and educated in Tokyo. Obata Family Collection. 1942. 1945 Oil on canvas. Asian Americans. African Americans. an arbitrary and brutal justice system. targeting western residents of Japanese ancestry as potential enemies and calling for their internment. even though non-Latino whites now form less than half the population). MATSUSABURO HIBI TOPAZ—COYOTES COME OUT OF THE DESERT. 11 × 15 3⁄4 in. Artists have joined the protests against the deprivation of fundamental rights and the stigmatizing of “minorities” (a term still used in California.000 people of Japanese descent. Chiura Obata (1885–1975) was among those interned. 26 × 22 in. more than 110. Latinos. Ibuki Hibi Lee Collection. under pressure from conservative forces on the West Coast. As a result of Executive Order 9066. women.000 of whom were U. 1942 Sumi on paper. and the death penalty and other cruel punishments. Native Americans. were evacuated from seven western states and sent to “relocation” camps.CHIURA OBATA A SAD PLIGHT. discrimination. and homosexuals have all had to struggle to obtain such basic rights. challenging discriminatory laws and practices. identity politics . Roosevelt.S. citizens. Obata had emigrated to San Francisco in 1903 and became a successful landscape racism.1 THE ASIAN AMERICAN EXPERIENCE Remembering the Japanese American Internment The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor brought about 130 laws curtailing the civil rights and liberty of Americans of Japanese descent. The exacting rules against the Japanese seem related to the general bias against Asians in California. citizens.

and he recorded the plight of the internees in his own artwork. which at times include Buddhist themes. When Obata was transferred to the Topaz Relocation Center in Utah. a quickly modified racetrack and stable in San Bruno. and later painted in Mexico and Yosemite Valley. Topaz—Coyotes Come Out of the Desert (1945) shows the marauders prowling in the snow at night around the desolate barracks. just outside San Francisco. sewing dresses. and he died in 1947. where he was instrumental in establishing what became known as the California Watercolor School. After Executive Order 9066 was issued. Upon release from Topaz. In 1932 he was asked to join the art department at the University of California. But his position as a highly regarded teacher and exhibiting artist did not stop him from being imprisoned in 1942 at the Tanforan Assembly Center. showing landscapes indebted to Paul Cézanne. His health deteriorated. frequently incorporating Japanese calligraphy while at the same time relating to contemporary American and European painting. Hisako Hibi (1907–1991). In 1933 he had a solo show at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco. he and racism. which pictures the hard work imposed on the internees. he painted “vistas” of the relocation center. 1944 Oil on canvas. Henry Sugimoto (1900–1990) also portrayed life in the internment camps. Born in Japan. attended by forty percent of the prisoners. identity politics HISAKO HIBI FETCH COAL FOR THE POT-BELLY STOVE.painter. fusing Asian brushwork with Western approaches to produce superb views of Yosemite Valley and other locales. where he exhibited and hoped to make a new start as an artist. After her release from the Topaz camp and her husband’s death. working in a style more Western than Japanese. Berkeley. he studied in Paris. telling of the people’s destitute existence. He organized an art school there. are high-colored abstractions. Born in Japan. Gift of Ibuki Hibi Lee. Obata was released from the camp in 1943 and went back to Berkeley to teach until he retired in 1954. discrimination. A Sad Plight (1942) includes his own poem (in Japanese). Matsusaburo (George) Hibi (1886–1947) took over the direction of its art school. Hibi was well known as an animal painter before he was detained and sent first to Tanforan and then to Topaz. She continued painting. he immigrated to the United States in 1919. His wife. however. and laboring in a factory. however. he had studied law and art in Kyoto before emigrating to the United States via Seattle and settling in San Francisco in 1919. Her later works. 20 × 24 in. an artist of remarkable talent. After Obata left Topaz. A founder of the East-West Art Society. 131 . There he registered at the California School of Fine Arts and took classes with the Swiss American landscape painter Gottardo Piazzoni. and returned to California in 1954. He corresponded with Eleanor Roosevelt and Dorothea Lange about life in the internment camps and made many drawings of the conditions people endured in them. Hibi moved to New York. he again established an art school. serving as a domestic. painted the sorrowful canvas Fetch Coal for the Pot-Belly Stove (1944). Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. she supported her children through more hard work. After graduating from the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland in 1928. There.

one series 132 showing young Japanese American men wearing the uniform of the U. 32 1⁄2 × 23 1⁄4 in. His father was an eminent Japanese poet and racism.S. There. Sugimoto also created portraits. identity politics . Gift of Madeleine Sugimoto and Naomi Tagawa. where he took a job creating fabric patterns for a textile company. his family were taken to the Jerome Relocation Center in the swamplands of southeastern Arkansas. Japanese American National Museum. After his release. Isamu Noguchi (1904–1988) was born in Los Angeles. In the lower-left foreground a coiled snake seems poised to strike. he captured the feeling of disruption caused by internment in paintings such as When Can We Go Home? (1943). In his paintings and woodcuts he continued to record his memories of incarceration and to examine the Japanese immigrant experience in America. while in the background a lightning bolt fractures an internment camp building. Army after joining the service from the camps. discrimination.HENRY SUGIMOTO WHEN CAN WE GO HOME? 1943 Oil on canvas. Sugimoto too moved to New York. which depicts his young daughter stretching out her arms toward her concerned mother. living in a minimal shelter.

who had written favorably about an earlier exhibition of Noguchi’s work. Based on a photograph of a lynching.” calling it “just a little Japanese mistake. However. as well as a beautiful memorial waterfall on the campus of San Francisco State University. 1939) recalled the concentration camps in a series of poignant paintings reflecting on his own confinement at age three at the Tule Lake Relocation Center in Northern California. in the 1980s. As a result. The Noguchi Museum.’ . . Howard Ikemoto (b. Reproduced with permission of The Noguchi Museum. California. Later in her career. He savored visiting the teahouse of the sixteenth-century tea master Sen no Rikyù in Kyoto. At one point. I organized a group called ‘Nisei Writers and Artists for Democracy. he found family photographs and conducted research into the iniquities endured during that time. Eventually he became one of the twentieth-century’s foremost sculptors. seemingly crucified.”2 Noguchi’s act of human engagement is best understood by looking at an early work of stunning power.S. In 1933 he produced a shocking image of a lynching: a grimly contorted metal figure hangs from a piece of rope. Isamu was taken back to Japan. Noguchi wrote about the harshness of life in the camps as well as the magnificent Arizona desert with its great heat and cold nights.”4 Ruth Asawa (b.writer on art. As Dore Ashton stated. the sculptor designed a public space with swelling forms and mounted apertures. Like most of his imaginative playground designs. He later wrote: “With a flash I realized I was no longer the sculptor alone.” Deeply offended. In 1949 he traveled to the land of his ancestors and in time created a personal fusion of East and West. when he was asked if he wanted to help plan the landscape at the camp. . Noguchi’s contact with Japan and its art became increasingly important in his own art. but Nisei. identity politics 133 . she created a sculpture for the Japanese American Internment Memorial at the Robert Peckham Federal Building in San Jose. discrimination. 1943 Magnasite and plastic. As a child. within a metal framework. . government against Japanese Americans. Noguchi decided to leave New York and voluntarily return to his native California. 1926) learned to draw and paint under the instruction of Nisei animators while she was incarcerated as a teenager at the Santa Anita Assembly Center just outside Los Angeles. the body imprisoned. New York. Noguchi never forgot this sign of intolerance.3 Reflecting on his internment. this sculpture was a searing indictment of human hatred and violence. he was sent to the Poston Relocation Center in the Arizona desert. the critic Henry McBride. Outraged by the actions of the U. . . I was not just an American. it was never built. who had absorbed similar principles in the studio of Brancusi. I willfully became part of humanity uprooted. “Rikyù’s insistence on the minimum of ostentation in decora- tive detail pleased Noguchi. New York. quoting it in his autobiography thirty-five years later. could not avoid a racist comment about this “gruesome study. but at the age of thirteen he returned to America. racism. which he called My Arizona (1943). 18 3⁄4 × 18 × 4 in. the paintings were a way of coming to terms with the fact that Americans in- ISAMU NOGUCHI MY ARIZONA. For him. In addition to immersing himself in the stories relatives and friends told him.

” similar to the kind of work done by eugenicists in Nazi Germany. he showed large paintings depicting the camp’s watchtowers. 301⁄2 × 26 in. Courtesy of Charles Hilger. Using pseudo-scientific “findings. discrimination. it claimed: “life here adduces a rule-of-thumb from racism. The kind of racism that led to the relocation camps serves as subject matter for Ben Sakoguchi (see p. identity politics . 56) in How to Tell the Difference (1981). The painting is based on an illustrated article that appeared two weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor in an issue of Life magazine with the American flag on its cover. 1995 Acrylic and collage. who was fifteen at the time. and the family numbers by which the inmates were identified. At an exhibition at the Art Museum of Santa Cruz County in 1996. from which one of his pals was gunned down. inmates celebrating the Fourth of July as they had done before their incarceration. terned Americans in concentration camps and with the pain this caused his own family. Ikemoto talks about the strong emotional reactions of visitors to the exhibition and how prob134 lems continue for the ethnic minorities—now mostly Mexicans—in the area.HOWARD IKEMOTO FAMILY NUMBER. his sister. In a video about the exhibition.

BEN SAKOGUCHI HOW TO TELL THE DIFFERENCE. and General Hideki Tojo. as long as it could be categorized and racialized as “Oriental” and patronized as being “exotic. was foregrounded among artists from Asian cultures. In 1913 the Alien Land Law excluded Asian immigrants and other noncitizens from owning property and limited them to menial jobs. minister of economic affairs in Chungking in northern China. the Japanese prime minister. who were fighting on the American side. Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 in response to fears that Chinese immigrants would be willing to work for lower wages and take jobs from American workers. People spoke of the “yellow peril” and eugenicists declared Asians an inferior race. faced a dilemma: Should they replicate the art of their patrimony or borrow from the prevalent modernist styles? The debate between traditional and modern. Courtesy of Ed and Marcia Nunnery. followed by the less political Chinese American Art Association. racism.” The artists themselves began to form their own organizations. East and West. but they were not permitted to bring their families with them. such as the Chinese Revolutionary Artists’ Club. the anthropometric conformations that distinguish friendly Chinese from enemy alien Japs. After the railroads had been built and extra workers were no longer needed. Asian American artists. From Exclusion to Inclusion The internment of Japanese Americans arose from a long history of discrimination against all Asian immigrants to the United States. Slowly. identity politics 135 . In the late nineteenth century Chinese workers were recruited to build the railroads of California (which they referred to as “Gold Mountain”). some Asian American artists were able to cross the boundaries erected around them and enter the mainstream. with careful notations suggesting the racial inferiority of the Japanese in comparison with the Chinese. and Dong Kingman’s picturesque watercolors enjoyed great popularity. 10 × 20 in. Berkeley. artists of Asian descent were still able to exhibit and even sell their work in California institutions. 1981 Acrylic on canvas. much like artists in those Asian and African countries in which colonialism created a break with traditional cultures.”5 The article juxtaposed head shots of Ong Wen-hao. established in Los Angeles in 1935. Chiura Obata (see above) was appointed to the faculty of the University of California. founded in San Francisco in 1926. Not considered a threat to the labor market. discrimination.

blood. 1977 Acrylic on canvas with taffeta lining and feathers. pouch on lining contains sperm. Courtesy of Erin GoodwinGuerrero. . 67 × 67 1⁄2 in. teeth. hair. and spit. CLOSED AND OPEN VIEWS. (without feathers).CARLOS VILLA FIRST COAT.

fabric. 1936). paper pulp. and resemble open coffins. especially as these issues affect human rights (see chapter 1). Born in San Francisco of poor Filipino immigrants. has a cruciform shape. As we have seen. the sense of being between cultures. They serve as reminders of Villa’s heritage. Villa’s mantles are also tributes to Hawaiian feather cloaks. Lê have been at the forefront of artists offering critical perspectives on such issues as war and violence. the hats worn by “Manongs—unmarried Filipino immigrants—who worked as laborers in this foreign country where they lost their pride and identity. underlining what it means to be of both Asian descent and American. like that of other ethnic minorities. on which he suspended fedoras. In due time some artists would conflate traditional Asian practices with contemporary idioms. even laudable. serves as potent subject matter. In 1968 Villa returned to San Francisco and soon began fabricating ceremonial pieces that drew on Filipino and other Oceanic cultures. black. bones. measured to his own body. Villa attended the California School of Fine Arts.” as I wrote in the catalogue accompanying a 1997 exhibition of these works. oppression. Villa organized a three-year multicultural project and a series of symposia on this subject at the San Francisco Art Institute. Yong Soon Min. and Manuel Neri and joining a close-knit community that included fellow students Joan Brown. discrimination. identity politics 137 . In order to create seeming artifacts of shamanistic rituals. Long Nguyen. as well as to Henri Matisse’s designs for ecclesiastical vestments at the Chapel of the Rosary in Vence. Other Asian American artists and organizations like the Kearny Street Workshop (founded in 1972 in San Francisco) have called attention to notions of difference and diversity. was brought by her parents to America at the age of seven. born in Seoul in 1953. His First Coat (1977).where appropriation of older art was considered not only legitimate. which he then painted in acrylic. During the past forty years. He also made mixed-media installations that explored his identity as a Filipino American artist. tai chi movements. She earned an MFA from the University of racism. studying with Elmer Bischoff. particularly those who came as refugees from the wars in Korea and Vietnam. where he was influenced by the teacher Leo Vallador. Ben Sakoguchi. One such artist is Carlos Villa (b. glass. he went to Lowell. In these remarkable artifacts the artist achieved a fusion of the personal with Christian and totemic pagan culture. France. when done with great skill.7 For a number of Asian American artists. but also of dreams. which were published as an important sourcebook in 1994. Villa moved on to creating ritual performances. the immigrant experience.S. he conducted anthropological research on early cultures and looked into his own cultural roots.”6 Deeply concerned about the place of artists from all ethnic backgrounds. Asian American artists like Hung Liu. a painter of geometric abstractions who was Villa’s cousin. teeth. Taking feathers. and his own imagination. but. Villa finished his education under Ralph Ducasse at Mills College in 1963 and then lived in New York for several years. After serving in the U. anxieties. In part this greater impact arises from the increase in the Asian American population with the easing of restrictive immigration quotas during the Johnson administration and the influx of Asian immigrants after the end of the Vietnam War. The doors “are not the open doors to the Land of Opportunity. art by Asian Americans. and death. hopes. Richard Diebenkorn. he blended these materials into assemblage garments (often mantles or capes). Wiley. which may refer to his Catholic upbringing. but they are closed. Army in Korea. as well as Native American and African art and his own personal his- tory. the civil rights movement helped demarginalize Asian American culture. has significantly contributed to the ever-changing fabric of American art. Frank Lobdell. the city’s premier secondary school. twine. and Dinh Q. and hair. In the 1990s he made framed wood doors. often by including autobiographical references. In addition. inspired by Dogon religious dances. and William T. who is also a provocative teacher and a political activist. Robert Hudson.

a view of Mount Baektu. Commissioned by Real Art Wars in Hartford. steel grating. global politics. the Cold Wars that the United States lost. Min conflates crucial moments in Korean history with her own life by etching significant dates and words on photographs of her body. the date riots in Central Los Angeles destroyed much of Koreatown. which made it possible for Min’s family to leave the country. the date of the Kwangju rebellion and massacre. feminism. yet undeniable reality of divisions—geopolitical. Courtesy of the artist. In Defining Moments (1992). In her poignant installation DMZ XING (1994).S. She has commented: “To me this bridge has come to epitomize the absurd. The result is an eloquent photo documentation about “the parallels and intersections between the histories and legacies of the Korean and Vietnam wars. in which many students were killed—an experience that politicized the young Min. blinking red lights. a six-part photographic ensemble. ideological. the legendary birthplace of the Korean people. Each soldier was given an irreversible choice of returning to either South or North Korea. discrimination. and her own body. Her work consists mostly of installations that deal with issues of colonization. The title refers to a bridge at the thirty-eighth parallel.YONG SOON MIN DEFINING MOMENTS (NO. Min worked with etched and mirrored glass. California. In each a different image covers Min’s torso: U. the year of Min’s birth. and finally 4/29/92. 4 OF 6). lived in New York for several years. in 1979. It consists of a permeable wall/fence. identity politics . this piece evolved from interviews with South138 east Asian refugee families like her own. Other images in this series present just her head and shoulders—again with the word heartland on her chest and the letters dmz (for demilitarized zone) etched on her forehead. we see the word heartland written across Min’s chest and occupied territory on her arms. and the date that motivated her to produce Defining Moments. We then encounter 4/19/60. which resembles the yin/yang symbol at the center of the Korean flag. Berkeley. Defining Moments literally embodies Min’s personal trauma about the separation of the Korean people and her hope for unification. Min covered the sides of a fence with magnets displaying words that refer to the cruelty of the division. where a prisoner exchange occurred at the end of the Korean War. which coincided with the end of the Korean War. Irvine. The chain begins with 1953. racism. Connecticut. and now serves as the chair of the department of studio art at the University of California. Korean soldiers advancing on students during the Kwangju rebellion. located in what is now North Korea. made of aluminum and wood and shaped in an “S” curve. 1992 Gelatin silver print. Min’s birthday. and color photos. In the same image. the date of the popular uprising that overthrew Syngman Rhee’s dictatorship. The first image presents this commingled history through a series of dates spiraling out of her belly. For her installation. then 5/19/80. soldiers making their way across Korean rice paddies. cultural. 20 × 16 in. war.”8 Min’s installation Bridge of No Returns (1997) visualizes geography and history. The bridge was then closed and guarded on both sides. cultural identity.

Saint Thérèse.”9 Like Yong Soon Min (with whom she was friends). University of California.”12 Hanh Thi Pham. she played with words. an exercise. She appeared with a headband marked voix (voice) tied over her eyes and another band. studied the classics. Cha “tells of the Korean War and the arbitrary and externally imposed separation of the peninsula as a result. Language and art were to be fused in her work as a conceptual artist. Did she mean “me without word” or “word without me”? “Blind without a voice” or “a voice that is blind”? And what about her female body with its long. without me). a dictation. and French. identity politics 139 . 90 1⁄2 × 6 3⁄4 in. covering her mouth. where she earned a degree in comparative literature before immersing herself in the study and practice of art. discrimination. Berkeley. as well as multiple voices. language. Versed in deconstruction theory and fluent in Korean. At times the references are quite specific. and Alain Resnais. Jean-Luc Godard. While still a graduate student. which often combined slide projections.—which render border crossing hazardous. using repetition and fragmented recitation. however. She went to Catholic school. At the University Art Museum in Berkeley she saw exhibitions of conceptual artists such as Terry Fox. her own voice. Howard Fried. This early work is paradigmatic of Cha’s other performance pieces. Gift of the Theresa Hak Kyung Cha Memorial Foundation. she came with her family to San Francisco at age thirteen. After spending two years in Hawaii.10 Combining personal and family history with a re-visioning of Korean history. 1975 Performance still (detail). The Greek Muses. French. then enrolled at the University of California. She leaves it to the reader to assimilate the language: “It should be understood that the liberated voice will necessarily confront. at the Pacific Film Archive. line for line: “aveugle / voix / sans / mot / sans / me” (blind voice. including video and film. Berkeley Art al. questioning and deconstructing their meanings in a variety of media. demand that listeners even alter ways of hearing and being. In 1982 she published her book Dictée—a hybrid. in 1975. and Korean. Or these words could be read in reverse. and Linda Montano. disturb. even an oxymoron. Among the writers she read. Joan of Arc. written as THERESA HAK KYUNG CHA AVEUGLE VOIX. Stéphane Mallarmé and Samuel Beckett found the greatest echo in her work. in English. In addition. The ‘Melpomene/Tragedy’ section begins not with narration. the artist’s self were all interlaced and made to shift. black hair (so often associated with Asian women)? Image. without word. especially in relation to the artificial division of Korea. it includes poetry and suggestions for a film script. divided by the DMZ. but a simple map showing North Korea and South Korea. She then unrolled a scroll that read. there were the words on her head—an almost infinite play with words seemed possible. she grew interested in the cinema of Marguerite Dumas. where she worked. Cha performed Aveugle Voix. Lynn Hershman. and Korean heroes all make appearances. Tom Marioni. English. and herself as the performer. Cha writes in an elusive voice. Theresa Hak Kyung Cha (1951–1982) left Korea as a child. Latin.”11 Overall. marked aveugle (blind). like Yong Soon Min and Theresa racism.

The evacuation was a painful experience for the young woman. “I had to surrender my given name. and left the country in 1975. composed verses. In 1995. She was born in Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City) in 1954. she produced the installation racism. discrimination. 10 × 6 ft. Photo: Fujimoto Kempachi. identity politics . Fullerton. Hak Kyung Cha. who received an MA from California State University. The experience was like a death sentence upon me. working with the sculptor Richard Turner. for I was uprooted and forced into self-erasure. who later wrote. the year the American invaders were forced out.”13 Pham. came to California as a refugee from Asia. Courtesy of the artist.HANH THI PHAM EXPATRIATE CONSCIOUSNESS #9 (KHÔNG LÀ NGUOI O). semiautobiographical work that often deals with memories of her flight and her search for and establishment of self-identity. the year the French colonizers were expelled. my real birth date. produces poignant. in 1982. 1991–92 Chromogenic development print. and my original identity to comply with set requirements dictated by the United States government’s 140 overseas policy regarding Vietnamese evacuees.

legal segregation.14 THE AFRICAN AMERICAN EXPERIENCE The Rebellion of the Black Panthers In the 1950s and 1960s. identity politics 141 . D. conflating personal history with references to her lost homeland and her lesbian sexuality. who as the Black Panther minister of culture produced revolutionary posters. they affected Californians. they disrupted the system that had kept blacks “in their place. the so-called Watts riots. Edgar Hoover responded racism. Civil rights in California gained national attention when persistent discrimination led to an uprising in 1965 in Los Angeles. Some leaders in the black community began to lose faith in King’s nonviolent actions. African Americans rose up in large numbers and succeeded in confronting the prevailing order. FBI director J. and dire poverty. Pham summarizes her political concerns: As an activist artist.Along the Street of Knives. the “manifest destiny” that eventually. street demonstrations.C. in which thirty-four people (mostly African American) died and parts of the city burned. both college students at the time. Alabama. bare-breasted and flexing her arm above Buffalo Bill in a gesture of strength and anger. Newton and Bobby Seale.” King himself widened his message from integration to a deeper concern for poverty and a strong condemnation of the war in Vietnam. led American troops across the Pacific to the failed mission in Vietnam. formed armed patrols to curb police brutality against the black community. Lesbian Precepts (1992) also claims her Asian lesbian identity by showing us her naked body in the Buddhist lotus position. with her hands in mudra-like gestures. while continuing to confront the police.) In 1966 a radical organization. Although most of these landmark civil rights actions took place in the South. on the road to Empire. With economic boycotts. The Black Panthers developed a broad following through community programs offering free food. organized lynchings. education. was founded in Oakland by Huey P. I continue to construct Lesbianspecific imageries (sexual and non-sexual) and to explore metamorphic Asian identities. and other mobilizations. Dominating the picture is a photograph of Hanh Thi Pham herself. I am organizing my collaborative work to become even more brutally honest. Buffalo Bill is shown upside down and crossed out. In Expatriate Consciousness (1991–92) she offers a grand collage of photographs. Freedom Rides. the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964—all marked an upsurge directed at bringing about a more equitable society. discrimination. Martin Luther King Jr. They were joined by Eldridge Cleaver. They espoused revolutionary activities as a means for black liberation and. author of Soul on Ice and the 1968 presidential candidate for the Peace and Freedom Party. and medical aid. helping to inspire the free speech movement (see chapter 2) and César Chávez and his United Farm Workers (see below). citing a California law that permitted carrying guns in the open.’s march on Washington. marches.. Significantly. more inflammatory when need be. and all the more blatant to bring about change. Here she presents herself as proud of being an outsider: both as an immigrant and as a lesbian. the Mississippi Summer Project’s registering of black voters in the face of violence.” Rosa Parks’s refusal to give up her bus seat in Birmingham. The images include archival family photographs. almost a century after the Civil War. (It was while planning the Poor People’s March on Washington in 1968 that King was assassinated. which consisted of color photographs that examined her childhood memories and her sense of displacement. and Emory Douglas. I personally believe that the future is to be reshaped most likely by outlaw leadership—by aware. the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. and new voices called for “Black Power. as well as a drawing of Buffalo Bill Cody. after enduring years of Jim Crow laws. as well as many courageous personal acts. autonomous beings—many marginalized femmes who along with their brothers and sisters have formed revolutionary roots throughout North America. who represents American westward expansion. sit-ins.

identity politics .GENE ANTHONY BLACK PANTHER OFFICE SHOT UP BY OAKLAND POLICE. which is ephemeral. In the racism. . unlike television. leading to the killing of a number of Black Panther leaders. using their eyes and lens to reveal the truth as each experiences it.” or “This is what is important. Documentary photographers are engaged witnesses. Like all art. The activities of the Black Panthers have come down to us largely by means of photography. 1968 Gelatin silver print. The previous year Huey Newton had been arrested and indicted for killing a white police officer during a shootout in Oakland. “The picture is not made by the 142 photographer. As the Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado has put it. As Marshall McLuhan argued. making it more memorable. . by organizing a campaign of infiltration and repression against the Black Panthers. One of those occasions was an attack on Black Panther headquarters by members of the Oakland police in 1968.” and still photography. or less good [is a] function of the relationship that you have with the people you photograph.” but also “This is what I think. many cogent documentary photographers have expressed their personal concerns in the way they present social and political events. © Gene Anthony. One photojournalist who always seemed to be on the spot during newsworthy events in the 1960s was Gene Anthony (see pp. who had studied with Ansel Adams and Dorothea Lange at the San Francisco Art Institute.”15 The photograph also gains power by isolating and preserving a particular moment in time. “The medium is the message. photography is a matter of individual perception. discrimination. and Newton was convicted of manslaughter instead of murder. but the case was by no means clear-cut. freezes the event. A fine documentary photograph tells us not only “This is what happened. Ever since Lewis Hine used photography to help enact child labor legislation.” The photograph gains its power from the photographer’s commitment to what he or she is photographing. [whether] the picture is more . 107–8).

and numerous demonstrations were organized in Oakland and elsewhere. clearly shows the bullet hole in the window. she shows three men wearing the Black Panther uniform (leather jackets and black berets) and waving a “Free Huey” banner. and the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago for the muckraking magazine Ramparts—caught Bobby Seale thrusting out his right arm in a gesture of powerful defiance as he defended his coleader. Vignes had belonged to the Magnum photo agency in Paris. 1967. Newton. a “Free Huey” movement galvanized African Americans. with the surrounding political posters providing commentary. identity politics 143 . attack recorded by Anthony. Before focusing her lens on the Black Panthers and later the American Indian movement. discrimination. Stanford University Libraries. ALAMEDA COUNTY COURTHOUSE. the antiwar marches. during the late 1960s the Black Panthers were arguably the most influential revolutionary organization in the country. In a picture of formal precision and visual clarity. Jeffrey Blankfort. police officers. Pirkle Jones. © Jeffrey Blankfort. 1934)—a photojournalist who also covered the Berkeley free speech protests. Anthony’s innovative photograph. In 1967 Blankfort (b. 106) covered a more disciplined demonstration at the Alameda County courthouse in Oakland. MICHELLE VIGNES IN FRONT OF ALAMEDA COURTHOUSE. Courtesy Department of Special Collections. Although internal disputes and the violent FBI campaign against them would bring an end to the party. taken at very close range with a wide-angle extension lens. 1967 Gelatin silver print. A few months later Vignes (see p.JEFFREY BLANKFORT BOBBY SEALE SPEAKS TO FREE HUEY NEWTON. and Michelle Vignes documented some of these events in compelling photographs. where she had worked closely with Henri Cartier-Bresson. holding an African spear and a rifle. their asserracism. © Michelle Vignes. During Newton’s initial imprisonment. Without question. 1967 Gelatin silver print. fired guns at a photograph of him symbolically seated in a great wicker throne. Stephen Shames. and then had served as photo editor for UNESCO and as an international press photographer. irate that Newton had been spared the death penalty.

1968 Gelatin silver print. In 2002 Rigo made a huge mural in San Francisco in recognition of Robert Hilary King. Rigo (born Ricardo Gouveia in 1966) came to San Francisco from Portugal’s Madeira Islands and studied at the San Francisco Art Institute and Stanford University. which brought him to San Francisco. and their legacy can be seen in a recent case of wrongful imprisonment. The Black Panthers were instrumental in exposing police brutality. In California black artists established the Watts Towers Art Center. he went on a speaking tour.”16 Affirming African American Identity and Calling for Justice Of course. reaching out to the community after the 1965 riots.” Mayor Brown also dedicated Rigo’s mural Truth. a place that has been described as a plantation. who worked largely for the Bay Area underground press. tion of political power served to raise ethnic pride among the black population. who was wrongly convicted of armed 144 robbery and spent twenty-nine years in solitary confinement in the notorious Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola. for his “ink-jet paintings” scanned from drawings. 41–43). When he was finally released in 2001. Rigo was deeply disturbed by the fate of Robert King. who became a member of the Black Panther Party after he was convicted of a crime he did not commit. many African Americans affirmed pride in their heritage well before the Black Panthers. and for his gigantic murals. He became known for his paintings of Native Americans in which he used pushpins to create his images. documenting major antiwar and civil rights activities. with the prisoners as slave laborers. identity politics .NACIO JAN BROWN SAN FRANCISCO HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS. This kind of pride is eloquently portrayed in a photograph of two San Francisco high school students by Nacio Jan Brown (see pp. initi- racism. discrimination. © Nacio Jan Brown. The yearly Watts Summer Festivals. Mayor Willie Brown issued a proclamation praising King for the way he “had dedicated his life to the struggle for equality between the races and to the struggle for the advancement of civil rights in the United States. created in honor of King and to celebrate “truth prevailing after so many years of hardship and wrongful imprisonment.

© Noah Purifoy Foundation. Collection of California African American Foundation. he displayed great artistic talent as a child and gained admission to the Art Institute of Chicago after having been refused by several other institutions on racial grounds. does not effect change. discrimination. John Outterbridge.”17 Purifoy continued to make assemblages. In 1968 Cecil Fergerson and Claude Booker organized the Black Arts Council at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. jor impact on younger California artists. 52 × 37 in. like Aaron Douglas. The black-owned Brockman Gallery opened in Los Angeles.ated in 1966. operating in temporary quarters at the California Museum of Science and Industry until 1984. in his studio in Joshua Tree. especially black artists. Noah Purifoy’s work. 1966 Mixed-media assemblage. Russel Gordon. Born to a povertystricken family. The racism. a new building designed by African American architects Jack Haywood and Vince Proby. demanding the inclusion of African American art in the museum. as well as various sociopolitical causes. and many others. with its political thrust. John Riddle. Born in a small Alabama town. identity politics 145 . it is somewhere in Watts today.” In the same article Purifoy is quoted: “Art itself is of little value if it . in California’s desert. White painted a very large mural for the Hampton Institute in Virginia. consisting of charred wood and other debris collected in the wake of the uprising. when it moved to its present site. by Alonzo Davis. postulated: “If there is a breath of fresh air in smog-filled Los Angeles. had a ma- NOAH PURIFOY WATTS RIOT. where he lived in his later years and where his work is permanently installed. Later. at the time of the Olympics. In the same year Raymond Saunders. and this book’s author formed a special Committee for the Acquisition of African American Art at the University Art Museum at Berkeley. fusing social realism with modernist devices. These painters were convinced that artists. he attended Alabama State Teachers College in Montgomery and worked as a social worker and high school teacher before earning a degree from the Chouinard Art Institute in Los Angeles in 1956. An important advocate for African American artists. Along with other African American painters. . especially Betye Saar and David Hammons (see below). Courtesy of California African American Museum. We mean a change in the thought and behavior of human beings and not in the physical appearance of things. Charles White (1918–1979) came to California from Chicago in 1959 and spent the last twenty years of his productive life in Los Angeles. many of them of weighty metals. White participated in the mural project of the Works Progress Administration (WPA). was Noah Purifoy (1917–2004). . In 1981 the California African American Museum was founded in Los Angeles. included artwork. Belonging to the same generation as Purifoy. had a responsibility to further the emancipation of the oppressed African American minority. followed by the Heritage Gallery and the Alitash Kebede Gallery. reviewing it at the time. often with a political thrust. who served as the founding director of the Watts Towers Art Center. In 1966 he completed the large assemblage Watts Riot. It is a celebration of destruction. Arthur Secunda.

At their side a guitar player croons: racism. by a segregationist mob. He also produced a series of prints on black history. a nitty-gritty ghetto experience resulting in contradictory emotions: anguish. White has continued to work for broader horizons of human expression and the exploration of deeper dimensions of truth and reality. identity politics . love. In 1949 he moved to New York and. Alabama. happiness. a political printmaking workshop. discrimination. Yet stubbornly holding onto an elusive romantic belief that the people of this land cannot always be insensible to the dictates of justice or deaf to the voice of humanity. Czechoslovakia. sometimes battling obstacles like icy weather. towering protectively over a young boy as he reads a huge book. Mary McLeod Bethune.” wrote White’s friend Harry Belafonte. The boy is dangling a plumb line in front of the rubble of the church pews and altars. He worked for the Daily Worker and Masses and Mainstream. which show black men and women of great force and dignity. White produced a large drawing. portraying such heroes as Harriet Tubman. and etchings. In 1946 White went to Mexico for a year and worked at the Taller de Gráfica Popular. White went on to make a series of charcoal drawings. and in 1965 he began teaching at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles. and the Soviet Union. often looking directly at the viewer as if to ask. and economic problems. from the writers Langston Hughes and Richard Wright to the painters Jacob Lawrence and Romare Bearden. Frederick Douglass. where his work was well received. He also visited Socialist countries such as the German Democratic Republic. 71 7⁄16 × 40 1⁄16 in. John Brown. “In a period when many artists have deserted reality for various schools of nonobjectivity and abstraction. Atlanta. became deeply 146 concerned with social. 1964 Ink and charcoal on paper. “What are you going to do?” White later wrote: “My work takes shape around images and ideas that are centered within the vortex of a black life experience. where he influenced many young artists. simple mural for the Los Angeles Public Library.CHARLES WHITE BIRMINGHAM TOTEM. and Philip A.”19 In 1976 White created a large. and Sojourner Truth. like many of his friends. Georgia. Rhodes and the National Endowment for the Arts. dreams. making compassionate drawings. Birmingham Totem (1964). despair. In the mid-1950s White moved to California. J’Accuse (1966). The “totem” shows a naked black boy under a large shroud on top of a very tall pyre of wooden sticks. lithographs. hope. which traced the history of black Americans from the American Revolution to Marian Anderson and Paul Robeson.18 In response to the 1963 killing of four black children in a church in Birmingham. It shows the early-twentieth-century black educator and activist as a larger-than-life figure. faith. High Museum of Art. Poland. lack of faith. Contribution of the Negro to Democracy in America (1943). political. Purchase with funds from Edith G.

In a 1976 interview White explained. Photo: © 2004 Museum Associates/LACMA. In 2003 he exhibited Concerto in Black and Blue. Museum Acquisition Fund. social commentator. 63 × 401⁄2 in. a directtransfer image of Seale’s body as he was bound and gagged in court during the Chicago Eight trial. . trees. using discarded and outlandish materials such as chains.”20 He also discussed how his own work had shifted from more propagandistic paintings toward more objective and universal ones. Hammons attended various art schools in Los Angeles. a sculptor. hair. After moving to Harlem in the mid-1970s. identity politics 147 . chicken parts. discrimination. . bringing it from the mid-twentieth century up to the cutting-edge present.22 Parts of the Stars and Stripes decorate the picture’s frame. agonized faces and expressive hands in White’s work. with admiration. writing later. bottles. margarine. contrasting patriotic bunting with the American justice system. 1970 Body print. which cre- DAVID HAMMONS INJUSTICE CASE. is David Hammons. Hammons continued to create assemblages and installations with a strong political thrust. he produced Injustice Case (1970). but he also studied privately with White. who has also been described as a magician and philosopher.”21 Hammons was strongly affected by the Black Panther movement and by the trial of the Chicago Eight after the 1968 Democratic National Convention. locates himself “somewhere between Marcel Duchamp.S. and U. racism. Hammons. flag. “I look to the life of my people as the fountainhead of challenging themes and monumental concepts. and arte povera. bricks. basketball hoops. Outsider art. Continuing in the same tradition of protest art. Having earlier made prints of his own body. He became known for his “anti-art” pieces. dirt from the streets. dealing with the black experience in America. consisting of a large empty dark space that viewers entered with tiny blue flashlights. powdered pigment. born in 1943 in Springfield. Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Illinois. and conceptual artist. of the unsmiling. and elephant dung to shape his own pointed visual metaphors.I leave you love I leave you hope I leave you faith .

Bearden fused these and other influences racism. in a home that became a hub for such distinguished writers. until the mid-1960s. Duke Ellington. The experience could evoke a sense of dread or simply nothingness. Aaron Douglas. 1973 Collage of paper with paint. City of Berkeley Council Chambers. 121⁄2 × 16 ft. Public Art Collection. and musicians as W. Drawing on jazz and his deep knowledge of Western and African art. mostly cut from magazines. as suggested by Yves Klein’s zones of “immaterial pictorial sensibility. North Carolina. City of Berkeley. or it might elicit the feeling of exploring the void. B. pieced together with small scraps of paper. among others. During the early 1950s he wrote songs for Billie Holiday and Billy Eckstine. From the mid-1930s to 1969 Bearden worked as a social worker while creating his art. however. discrimination. ink. known for his political 148 works. California. Paul Robeson. Bearden grew up in Harlem. but Hannah Arendt encouraged him to return to painting. and Fats Waller.” presented in a vacant space in Paris in 1958. While studying at New York University. Bearden began publishing political cartoons and took classes at the Art Students League with the German emigré artist George Grosz. and graphite on seven fiberboard panels. Langston Hughes. but he created a major piece for the city of Berkeley in California. ated beams of light that might crisscross with those of other viewers. identity politics . NY. when he turned to collage. Romare Bearden (1911–1988) is usually considered a New York artist. Seven years older than Charles White and one of the foremost American artists of his generation. It was not. In his intricate collages. Born in Charlotte. Bearden created evocative metaphors for the often disparate life of African Americans in both southern and northern cities.ROMARE BEARDEN BERKELEY—THE CITY AND ITS PEOPLE. © Romare Bearden Foundation / Licensed by VAGA. His early gouaches and watercolors deal with the life of black Americans as well as mythological themes. that he came into his own as an artist. New York. but nobody before had given the medium the same quality of human presence. DuBois. E. Earlier in the twentieth century political artists such as Hannah Höch and John Heartfield had used collage and photomontage. artists.

The manufacturer’s emblem of “good. . became Bearden’s largest collage. history. Saar found assemblage. After seeing a Joseph Cornell exhibition at the Pasadena Art Museum in 1968. University of California. including students demonstrating against the Vietnam War. old” humble Aunt Jemima appears in three guises: a stereotyped smiling black mammy holds a mulatto baby in front of a militant Jemima with a broom and pistol in one hand and a rifle in the other. women of racial minorities were hardly encouraged to become artists. In its numerous segments. . Bearden’s work is not only an affirmation of his own freedom and responsibility as an individual and an artist. while behind a Warhol-like grid of wallpaper shows the advertisers’ “new. and they embody Bearden’s interrogation of the empirical value of a society which mocks its own ideas through the blindness induced by race.” more contemporary Aunt Jemima. European. . this intricate work reveals Bearden’s amazing familiarity with the landscape. that depicts Aunt Jemima as a female survivor and woman of racism. Who’s Afraid of Aunt Jemima?. Saar is of mixed African.. Purchased with the aid of funds from the National Endowment for the Arts (selected by The Committee for the Acquisition of AfroAmerican Art). At the bottom Bearden placed four overlapping profiles in different colors.24 This mural. an appropriate medium for conveying political messages. it is an affirmation of the irrelevance of the notion of race as a limiting force in the arts. with its history as a counteraction to purist aesthetics. pottery. titled Berkeley—The City and Its People (1973). 1972 Mixed-media assemblage. Berkeley Art Museum. and various groups of people. Born in Los Angeles in 1926. she remembers.into compelling works of art. and tile in Watts. She studied graphic design at UCLA at a time when. and this image has since been adopted as the city’s logo. As the novelist Ralph Ellison observed in 1964: “In the poetic sense these works give plastic expression to a vision in which the socially grotesque conceals a tragic beauty.”23 In 1971. which Betye Saar produced at about the same time. After the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. (Some twenty years later Faith Ringgold [see p. after the exhibition Romare Bearden: The Prevalence of Ritual traveled from the Museum of Modern Art in New York to the University Art Museum in Berkeley. On a far different scale is the small assemblage The Liberation of Aunt Jemima (1972). Bearden was commissioned to create a mural for the Berkeley City Council chambers. underlining the city’s racial diversity. But she was able to watch the Italian immigrant Simon Rodia at work when he built his soaring towers of glass. identity politics 149 . she began to collect all BETYE SAAR THE LIBERATION OF AUNT JEMIMA. and his premier public work. and Native American ancestry. 151] would make a quilt. These are works by a man possessing a rare lucidity of vision. and life of the city. specific buildings. In The Liberation of Aunt Jemima she appropriated a stereotypical racist image and recontextualized it as art. discrimination. 11 3⁄4 × 8 × 2 3⁄4 in. kinds of objects herself and create her own boxes. as well as producing window frames filled with random articles. depicting San Francisco Bay and the Bay Bridge. measuring ten by sixteen feet. addressing racism and the black experience more directly. Photo: Benjamin Blackwell. The central figure stands as an image of black feminist power.

reminiscent 150 racism. at times also using sound and light for poetic environments. Her mature work. and ancient cultures. Courtesy of the artist and the Phyllis Kind Gallery. His big. drink. and gamble in the stern. Alison Saar (b. shamans. sprouts branches of empty white bottles from her head. 53–54). Colescott makes his viewers consider racist as well as gender platitudes. and Emanuel Leutze. Colescott’s pictures are implicitly autobiographical narratives. In contrast to her earlier pieces. including a thoughtful memorial to the jazz singer Bessie Smith (1975). 1988 Acrylic on canvas. mysticism. Although not as forthrightly personal as Philip Guston’s haunting late paintings. rootmen.ROBERT COLESCOTT SCHOOL DAYS. Inspired by African and Haitian religion and art. In George Washington Carver Crossing the Delaware: Page from an American History Textbook (1975. Pablo Picasso. irony-filled comments on the black experience. In 1975 she became the third black woman to have a solo show at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Francisco de Goya. and inspired by trips to Mexico. Influenced by comic strips and Pop Art. as in Compton Nocturne (1999). 90 × 114 in. with figures pressing against one another on tilted planes. Colescott’s colors are often incongruous. Her sculptures have a symbolic presence. bawdy paintings exhibit a wicked sense of humor: he comes on like the Lenny Bruce of painting. Colescott offers his misshapen figures as tragicomic observations of the world in which he resides and the way he experiences it. (In black folklore an empty bottle can fend off evil spirits. she has produced totems. with a large family and a long narrative.56. painted black. 20). in which an odalisquelike female body. Before the term “appropriation” became part of art-critical jargon. Based on history as well as nostalgia. these pieces address slavery and the continuation of racism in an attempt to penetrate visually into the essence of black American culture.) A different kind of commentary on African American identity comes from the Oakland-born painter Robert Colescott (see pp. including art icons. made mostly in New York. he likes to use a distorted perspective. art in line with what Marcia Tucker referred to as “Bad Painting” in her salient 1978 exhibition at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York. with reverence for ancient folk traditions. By subverting accepted values. Colescott’s paintings are sarcastic. also turned to assemblage after graduating from Otis Art Institute. 1991. Haiti. Betye Saar’s daughter. Betye Saar expanded her scale to create ceremonial altars. Fascinated by ritual. 1956). which were also based on comic strips. With a lush palette. strength. Henri Matisse. the occult. which tend to be more didactic.) Saar continued to create boxed assemblages that paid tribute to black women’s strength. adding his own brand of aggressive humor and replacing the white people in the paintings with caricatured blacks. In the late 1960s he adopted his cartoonlike images. her later work is more spiritual. p. and fetishes. he appropriated images from Jan van Eyck. discrimination. and by questioning the conventional authority of history and traditional art. and then returned to assemblages of long-discarded photographs. and Nigeria. identity politics . we see the famous peanut farmer and botanist in the general’s place at the helm of the boat. Denver Art Museum Collection: Funds from NBT Foundation. focuses on the human body. while stereotyped “darkies” fish.

© 1967 Faith Ringgold. standing and lying down. 1967 Oil on canvas. of Mannerist paintings. identity politics 151 . but since 1984 she has split her time between California and New York. But the gun that kills is ultimately pointed at you. In School Days (1988) the central figure is a naked black woman with large breasts and tiny hips. Colescott reminds us that painting is first and foremost a sensual experience with the power to set in motion thoughts. Summarizing Colescott’s contribution. who curated the exhibition. and other black women. both literally and figuratively. Although she was unsuccessful in her attempt to join Spiral. a wheatfield where a scale weighs a white man against his dollars. A black artist whose work was certainly outside the art historical discourse of the 1990s thus entered its very center—at least for a short period. Around her we see football players. an almost all-male black artists’ group. and memories that force us to confront the reality of the world and deepen our sense of what it means to be human. but she comes from a distinctly feminist position. A versatile artist and writer. Faith Ringgold (b.”25 In 1997 Robert Colescott was chosen to be the sole representative of the United States at the Venice Biennale. including one who echoes the central figure’s pose with her arms at right angles.FAITH RINGGOLD THE FLAG IS BLEEDING. On the left a tough guy points his gun at the viewer. she did form connections with other black racism. Most of his mature paintings are narrative. concluded: “In lush compositions of form and color. housing projects) are battlegrounds. Courtesy of the artist. she was born and bred in Harlem and graduated from the City College of New York.”26 Like Colescott. Colescott explains: “The relationships (about race) are fragmented. Miriam Roberts. discrimination. 1930) has stories to tell of the black experience. 72 × 96 in. emotions. a school. and institutional spaces (schools. but ambiguous in their intention and multilayered.

sensing a parallel between his own writing and Saunders’s art.27 In her work Ringgold has managed to bridge many gaps: between painting and quiltmaking. discrimination. 1934) may not tell stories directly. 152 Raymond Saunders (b. in which she reflects on how race. as well as restorers and dealers of antiques. our doctors cannot cure. Coming of age in the 1950s. between racial bias and African American achievement. Preferring to let viewers respond in their own ways.”28 Much more pointed in her commentary is Mildred Howard (b. gender. her dealer was arrested for “desecration of the flag. whose parents were activists in the radical International Longshoremen’s and Warehousemen’s Union in San Francisco. and in 1995 she published her memoir We Flew over the Bridge. in 1985. It seems to me obvious that we are in line for a great catastrophe of some sort and that nothing will avert it. and cultural politics affected her life as a black artist. In this trenchant painting the American flag sheds blood from its stripes. between visual art.artists in the 1960s. and writing. as well as his own drawings and calligraphy—anything that “looks right” and also serves his own inclination toward paradox. and his works are frequently full of references to the art of the past and the world of the present. he rarely makes works with overt political meaning. our artists cannot explain. identity politics . which was based on Ringgold’s 1985 performance piece. postcards. he was also influenced by the intensity of the Abstract Expressionists’ painterly act. San Diego. performance art. is armed with guns (concealed in his pockets). In 1985 Ringgold joined the Visual Arts Department of the University of California. and in 1966 he included her in a group show of African American artists he curated. Ringgold has stated. fabricating story quilts that combined “high” art and folk traditions with texts. as Ringgold does. In the quilt Ringgold tells the story of Cee Cee.” During the 1960s and 1970s Ringgold took part in various demonstrations and organized the group Women Students and Artists for Black Art Liberation (WSABAL). suggested that she look at the work of Max Beckmann and other modern German masters. however. Earlier. Saunders uses anything that comes to hand—posters. Like Robert Rauschenberg. but Ringgold’s work focuses more pointedly on the issue of racism. During this period a number of artists used images of the Stars and Stripes to protest the war in Vietnam (see chapter 1). Saunders studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia as well as the Barnes Foundation (where he had the opportunity to take in European modernism firsthand) and later received degrees from the Carnegie Institute of Technology and the California College of Arts and Crafts. noted. newspaper clippings. the playwright David Mamet. which he transferred to the making of collages. which clearly addresses “White/Colored” relations (as the signage on the top left insinuates). when it work was shown in New York. Part 2: Harlem Renaissance (1988). Romare Bearden. including the large canvas The Flag Is Bleeding (1967). 1948). he made a major collage. our politicians cannot represent. a creative young African American woman who dances with joy at a dinner party for the celebrated figures of the Harlem Renaissance. and ticket stubs. with amazing prescience: “Our poetry does not rhyme. Typical is The Bitter Nest. Like many black artists of her generation. observing the semirealist style of her American People Series. Beauty in Darkness. scraps of material. Between 1992 and 1999. that these symptoms are unimportant in themselves and are only the inescapable forewarnings of that which is to come. In 1980 she began her signature work. in which she showed works about civil rights issues. Howard focuses on memory and black folk racism. She has produced art that is both uniquely her own and widely accessible to the public. Soon afterward she had a solo exhibition . while a young white woman—the peacemaker—stands between a black man wielding a knife and a white man in suit and tie who. but his use of collage and gestural painting suggests a narrative about the black experience nonetheless. he came to feel that a fusion of painting and collage would impart a tactile sense of the urban environment.

95 × 176 in. burned at the edges. discrimination. she made direct reference to the African belief that bottle trees have the mysterious power to protect against bad spirits. 1992–99 Mixed-media collage on metal and wood.”29 Early in her career Howard collaged color photocopies of sepia-toned old photographs. San Francisco. prompting visitors to ponder and meditate as they are protected from menacing spirits. . “My early sense of what an artist was. with various abandoned materials. Howard voiced her opposition to apartheid in South Africa. what an artist did. grief. Arranged around a large cross on the floor. surrealism and photographic realism. In Memory Garden (1990) a shack made of four thousand green bottles refracts and reflects light. which racism. like David Hammons and Alison Saar. The open palms call attention to the horrible deed. in her installation Ten Little Children Standing in Line . Howard presents us with a large number of opened hands.culture. was shaped by a Bay Area art scene hovering between funk and conceptual art. Later. Here the title’s not-soinnocent nursery rhyme reminds us of the gunningdown of black children in Soweto in the summer of 1976. identity politics RAYMOND SAUNDERS BEAUTY IN DARKNESS. It was a time when artists made pictures from found objects and odd pieces of junk. 153 . and mourning. and she speaks of Betye Saar as a mentor. craft and abstraction. She recalls. but perhaps they are raised also to protect other children from a similar murder. Courtesy of the artist and Stephen Wirtz Gallery. where folk artists were worshipped. made of copper using molds that originally served to make rubber gloves. and showed these assemblages in storefronts. the hands stand in front of a seemingly abstract geometric design. In her solemnization of anger. standing upright on wooden sticks. one got shot and then there were nine. . In 1991. where natural materials were as common as paint.

They wear the uniforms of World War I. Born in Portland.S. narrative. and political activist by anti-Communist zealots. establishing the woman as the dominant person in the relationship: she is the wage earner. so they stand there like decoys on which to fire. variable dimensions. football hero. the props carefully chosen. gender. troops such as this returned to Jim Crow America. Africa (1990– 93). to explore black lives and problems across various continents at different times in history. and Picture Revolution (1998)—Weems has created eccentric installations. and began to use texts in her work. is actually a wall composed from thousands of bullet casings. hand on the table’s surface. in the way they combine art with acute political awareness. furniture. Courtesy of the artist and Gallery Paule Anglim. poignant work. the political activist. She then produced a racism. Family Pictures and Stories (1982–84). A couple sits at a kitchen table. what Henry Louis Gates refers to as “the speakerly text. asserting her strength. In later works—Sea Islands (1991–93). discrimination. In 1992. New York. drawing on a tradition that extended from James Agee and Walker Evans to conceptual artists and her contemporaries Barbara Kruger and Jenny Holzer (and also relating to film and photonovellas). referring to the vilification of the famed singer. she gazes at the viewer across the table under a glaring hanging lamp. identity politics suite of images. The cycle tells of their love. . Oregon. the most familiar place for eating and talking. when. she studied with political artists like Allan Sekula at the University of California. their child. Weems returned to the Bay Area to study folklore at the University of California. 1991 Mixed-media installation. In a later. old daguerreotypes. She abandoned the 35 mm camera. using allusive texts. which was suitable for the informality of her early work. banners. The figures are posed. soldiers behind rocks. ONE GOT SHOT AND THEN THERE WERE NINE. In Red (1998) Howard manipulates a photograph of Paul Robeson. the series deconstructs the clichés of patronizing views of black folks to construct a life story of two individuals—a romantic. and identity. printing a red screen across his face. she began taking documentary photographs in the San Francisco Bay Area while working at different jobs and participating in socialist and feminist actions. Who What When (1998). In her Kitchen Table series (1990) the visual and the verbal are interrelated constructions.” Consisting of thirteen panels. It deals with issues of power. 154 . where the anthropologist Alan Dundes led her to understand that photographs can be constructed as folklore. dealing with her family’s migration from the South to Oregon. for a larger format. Untitled (Woman Standing Alone). who knew how to use the photograph as a political tool. Line of Fire (1996). San Diego. actor. and became aware of the work of such black photographers as James Van Der Zee and Roy DeCarava. The narrative draws on the oral tradition of the disempowered African American people. the lighting painstakingly controlled. with single images as well as triptychs. in 1953. As a young adult.MILDRED HOWARD TEN LITTLE CHILDREN STANDING IN A LINE . as well as class. Berkeley. and digital photographs. but very real. the one who instigates the separation. for an exhibition at the Everson Museum of Art in Syracuse. after fighting in Flanders. Howard places silkscreened cutouts of a regiment of young black U. In one panel toward the end of the story. and their separation. . Carrie Mae Weems also directly addresses the issue of racism. One might compare Mildred Howard’s powerful installations to Robeson’s performances.

“[I] had this very strong feeling that [there] was a cauldron of racial separation and hatred that would one day explode. and Paul Celan. 1934). Weems summarized her goals in a plaque placed outside the show: “I want to make things that are beautiful. seductive. As he explained. Any form of human injustice moves me deeply . Irving Petlin (b. 27 1⁄4 × 27 1⁄4 in. Petlin has attempted to recapture his Jewish heritage and to relate his painting to great Jewish writers like Primo Levi. identity politics 155 . for example. For the most part his art has rarely turned to overt political statements. After studying at the Art Institute in his native Chicago and at Yale University with Josef Albers. so too have some white artists taken a stand against racism in America. Courtesy of the artist. responding more to the sensibility and imagination of Odilon Redon. . discrimination. the battle against all forms of oppression keeps me going and keeps me focused. . formally challenging and culturally meaningful. he arrived in Los Angeles in the 1960s to teach at UCLA. 1990 Gelatin silver print. . But he was not unaware of his immediate surroundings in Los Angeles during the mid1960s.”30 White Artists Standing Against Racism Just as white activists joined African Americans in the civil rights movement.CARRIE MAE WEEMS UNTITLED (WOMAN STANDING ALONE) FROM KITCHEN TABLE SERIES. . as well as his own personal memories and contemplative fantasy. . Bruno Schulz. produced a major painting about the Watts riots in 1965. [My wife] racism. I’m also committed to radical social change.

one of four panels. The last time we went there we were the only whites and I knew that it was the last time we would come. Somerville’s pictures probe the history of the South. he painted the twenty-onefoot-wide Entry of Christ into Washington (after Ensor). each panel 96 × 60 in. James Dee. a white California artist who comes from the South. but racial stereotypes still ruled in daily life and the presence of the Ku Klux Klan was felt. alarmed by President George W. total). but not as straight portraits. 1965–67 Oil on canvas. A more recent outcry against racism can be seen in Raft of the Grand Wizard (2003) by Travis Somerville. Although he remained politically active as a founder of Artists and Writers Against the War in Vietnam and the Venice Biennale Action. He eventually went to study at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Bush’s radical abuse of power. (96 × 240 in.”31 Artists may not have the gift of prophecy. Sarah and I would go to Watts to listen to music and dance. it actually was begun six months before the Watts riots. then moved to San Francisco in 1984. identity politics . working in an evocative. a rebuff against the Biennale establishment. Petlin’s moral and aesthetic vision may come across so strongly here because nothing is defined distinctly. The Burning of Los Angeles. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. with its legacy of slavery and Jim Crow. In 2005. courtesy of Odyssia Gallery. Since the 1980s he has lived mostly in Paris. his mother a schoolteacher. it is evocative on a more basic level. New York. he refrained from making political art. gift of Odyssia Skouras. I started The Burning of Los Angeles [1965–67] shortly after that.151a-d. They are immersed in a surface fissure that suggests an eerie expanse of flames and evokes Dante’s Inferno. discrimination. but some do seem to be able to sense the pulse of the time. Photo: © 1986 D. He was born in Atlanta in 1963 and grew up in Georgia and Tennessee at a time when there may have been de jure desegregation in the South. an ambitious polyptych measuring fifteen feet across. see chapter 1). Petlin also helped plan the Peace Tower (1966. While living in Los Angeles. however.IRVING PETLIN THE BURNING OF LOS ANGELES (DETAIL). Aware of the con- 156 racism. Travis’s parents were liberals—his father a Protestant minister. He has painted individuals who have made an imprint on history. 1999. depicts black men in positions of combative action. postsymbolist mode that is entirely his own.

The artist himself articulates some concerns: “As a whole my work raises the question: What does it mean for a white man from the South now living in California to explore race issues from the privileged and outside perspective of being a white person? Who has the right to render or write about black history?”32 TRAVIS SOMERVILLE RAFT OF THE GRAND WIZARD. San Jose Museum of Art. hoping to reach the shore. Details of old newspapers remain visible. 106 × 147 1⁄2 in. but the artist encourages the viewer to become engaged in doing so. On the right. layered in turn over a stratum of architectural blueprints. A sizable red dab. Somerville’s work has proved highly provocative. The boy stands on a beer cask labeled “Dixie Brewing Company. the legend “I’m living on Fifth Avenue. He retains much of Géricault’s pyramidal composition as well as the boy raising the cloth. Somerville has substituted eight figures in Ku Klux Klan garments for the dead and dying in the original painting. Géricault painted these desperate figures piled onto the raft. calling this painting. 2003 Mixed media. (The Méduse may have been involved in the triangular slave trade. For some viewers. their twisting bodies struggling and striving as they direct the viewer’s eyes toward a powerful black youth raising a piece of cloth in the hope of rescue.” and railroad ties line the bottom of the raft. wrinkled black servant in a white kerchief with Walt Disney birds chirping and. as do sheet-music covers (such as a picture of Harry Belafonte with the song title “I’m Just a Country Boy”). which is in the shape of an altarpiece. appears in The Only Begotten Son (1997–98). Gift of Jeffrey N.tradictions and paradoxes of southern culture. Dauber. Géricault’s image was based on a news story about the frigate Méduse. THE NATIVE AMERICAN EXPERIENCE In the 1960s Native Americans—frustrated by persistent betrayals. above an image of the Capitol dome. not a billowing sail. is a clipping headed “Four Men of the Apocalypse”—the vision of ultimate disaster. below. he paints a dismembered head of Malcolm X wearing Hollywood sunglasses and a white Klan hood. But now this figure is balanced by a large burning cross. forced relocations. Somerville has several narratives working simultaneously (the railroad ties probably refer to the Chinese laborers who built the railroads in conditions of servitude). and “Emancipation Day” is written in large letters by the ropes on the bottom. a ship in bad condition and severely overloaded that was shipwrecked on the west coast of Africa while transporting soldiers and settlers to the colony of Senegal. It can be difficult to figure out a Somerville painting. and abuse by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.) Fifteen men climbed on a raft. and suffering from high unracism. More direct in its meaning is Everybody Needs a Mamma (2001). Martin Luther King Jr. The canvas is done in oil and oil stick over collage elements. discrimination. appears in the center of the picture. depicting an elderly. a highly controversial painting when it was shown at the Salon of 1819. along with a Nike logo and architectural drawings. Boy in the Hood (2000) in reference to John Singleton’s 1991 movie Boyz n the Hood. As in much of his work. identity politics 157 .” In Raft of the Grand Wizard Somerville appropriates Théodore Géricault’s The Raft of the Medusa. suggesting blood from a bullet wound.

for a variety of reasons—including the General Services Administration’s cutting off electric power and disrupting phone communications. a Mohawk leader of the occupation. © 2005 Stephen Shames/Polaris. identity politics . Others also began to leave the island. They put up tepees. Press reports of violence on the island eroded public sup- racism.S. she foregrounded the tired young son of Richard Oakes. women. These activists then waged an unsuccessful court fight for the island. and within a month more than two hundred Native American men. proclaiming that Alcatraz should serve as a symbol for Native American liberation and proposing the establishment there of an educational and spiritual center for American Indians (the American Indian Center in San Francisco had burned down just a month before). The occupation grew. with her eye for the human portent of a historic occasion. photographed a similar view from Alcatraz. stimulated by the civil rights movement and the social activism of the times. 1971 Gelatin silver print. employment and impoverished living conditions— began organizing civil disobedience actions. even though the Coast Guard blocked some of the 158 landings. In November 1969 a group of Native Americans again occupied the island. which had been Indian land for thousands of years prior to its occupation by the U. and children were camping out at the Rock. In March 1964 five Sioux activists landed on Alcatraz Island to claim it for Native American use. Army in the 1850s. as seen in Stephen Shames’s photograph of the traditional conical tent outlined against the San Francisco Bay and the city’s skyline—an image that would have intrigued the French Surrealists. When Michelle Vignes. discrimination. who had been a student at San Francisco State University.STEPHEN SHAMES INDIAN OCCUPATION OF ALCATRAZ. Oakes and his family would leave the island in early January 1970. after his stepdaughter died in a fall. after the notorious federal penitentiary there had stood vacant for years and the government had declared it excess property.

and the government had no trouble removing them. Native Americans were stereotyped as either howling.” This attitude was clearly evident in the way Native Americans were photographed. Food and fresh water became harder to come by. In an article about the noted Native American photographer and filmmaker Hulleah J. N. © Michelle Vignes. and we can turn the camera and show how we see you. indigenous culture in North America had been seen as an archaism. captivity. as did concerns for safe navigation. For too long. discrimination. We document ourselves with a humanizing eye. Tsinhnahjinnie (b. Many stereotypes generated by early images of Native American life and culture continue to be insidiously pervasive. we create new visions with ease. 1969 Gelatin silver print. an initial change racism. this situation has changed. Yet. Gorman Museum at the University of California. Davis (see below). Native American photographers are bringing about a new vision.MICHELLE VIGNES ALCATRAZ: THE SON OF INDIAN LEADER RICHARD OAKES. Tsinhnahjinnie. as the lack of electricity shut down the island’s lighthouse and fog signals. the writer and curator Veronica Passalacqua observes: “Early encounters between photography and Native Americans have a history laced with racism. creating a greater awareness among the American public of the plight of its Native population. despite the failures. the nineteen months of occupation had been widely publicized. port. identity politics 159 .”33 Over time. the camera is held with brown hands opening familiar worlds. Diné/Seminole/Muscogee). Courtesy The Bancroft Library. broken treaties. and romanticism. 1954. By June 1971 only fifteen people remained. Before the medium found its artistic outlets it purveyed so-called factual evidence by functioning as a mode of onesided documentation serving governmental and scientific purposes. Berkeley. colonialism. however. now the director of the C.”34 Within the mainstream art world. University of California. filthy heathens or “noble savages. Telling their stories of resistance and survival. says: “No longer is the camera held by an outsider looking in.

however. When Art in America published a special issue on “The Native American Indian” in the summer of 1972. and introduces the horizontal word “alter-culture. transcending and denying cultural identity. where each tribe’s culture has its own character and each artist his or her own individuality. these tribal cultures do all seem to share an intimate relationship with the world of nature. the earth. Tradition and Protest The takeover of Alcatraz and the succeeding occupation of Wounded Knee in 1973 were undoubtedly instrumental in sparking a new self-awareness among Native American artists. it was not seen within its own cultural context but rather as part of a “universalist” art. He discussed and illustrated contemporary American Indian art that was based on traditional artifacts and totemic images. the sun. abstract. plants. Stereotypes need to be discarded. They offer a holistic worldview. ideologically and imaginatively.38 160 Perhaps in discussing Native American culture we should refer to multiple “alter-cultures.”39 Within their diversity. and Earl Eder’s image of the head of a Sioux Ghost Dancer crying for revenge. discrimination. art became venerated for the way it inspired modern Euro-American artists. and can be seen as part of the larger American counter-revolution that in turn likes to identify itself with the Indian. the critic Thomas McElivey has questioned any universal hegemony for Western art. Instead of displaying Native American art as specimens in a natural history or ethnographic museum. This linear equation of “primitive”/modern underlay the Museum of Modern Art’s well-publicized (and beautiful) 1984 exhibition “Primitivism” in Twentieth Century Art: Affinity of the Tribal and the Modern. When Edward Said described “Orientalism” as a discourse “by which European culture was able to manage—and even produce—the Orient politically. and the stars. these exhibitions put it on an equal footing with Euro-American art.” simply connoting the condition of Otherness. “Indian art is not realism. mixed media or traditional items but includes all of these things and more. a rapport with animals. . the rain.” whose prefix signifies the hegemony of a higher culture. a member of the Lumbee tribe and former director of Native North American Artists. the wind. Gaspar de Alba was writing about Chicano art. including a painting of an American flag on buffalo hide by Wayne Eagleboy. During the twentieth century socalled primitive. with two Native Americans in the field customarily reserved for the stars. . for it is a diverse and rich combination of cultural expressions. or as curios at a trading post. In doing so. McElivey postulates the emergence of a new postmodern model in which each ethnic group would write its own history and create its own art without resorting to a linear view of historic evolution.37 Also arguing for a nonlinear approach. the writer Alicia Gaspar de Alba criticizes the vertical term “subculture. it included a contribution by Lloyd E. they also placed Native American art outside its indigenous cultural context. Oxendine asserted that much “recent American Indian painting and sculpture is protest art. so any consideration of indigenous art must finally deconstruct the EuroAmerican separation of art and craft.” The nearly 2. but her terminology is applicable to the art of all ethnic groups. Instead.5 million Native American citizens in the United States belong to more than five hundred separate tribes and bands. identity politics . As the artist Frank LaPena has pointed out. . which was essentially Western modernism in disguise. Oxendine. For the first time a generation of articulate well-educated Indian artists have positive Indian identity to which attitude toward Native American art can be traced to two exhibitions organized by René d’Harnoncourt: Indian Art in the United States and Alaska for the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco and the highly acclaimed Indian Art of the United States at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1941.”35 he could easily have been referring to whites’ attitudes to American Indian culture. or tribal. 36 Taking issue with the basic concept of this exhibition. of performing arts and ritual.

and received a master’s degree in anthropology from California State University.”40 Fritz Scholder (1937–2005. After spending some time teaching juvenile delinquents in San Francisco. an essayist. Sacramento. Scholder’s work has dealt directly with such issues as dislocation and alcoholism. empowering the maker to achieve a greater understanding of life. an art that was open to but not dominated by EuroAmerican influences. A decade later he produced Diaspora: California Indi- ans. Sacramento. LaPena speaks of art making as a spiritual act. A painting by Frank LaPena is also illustrated in Oxendine’s article. After this work was shown in a special exhibition at the Venice Biennale in the summer of 1999. Often LaPena has turned to naracism. and a founding member of the Maidu Dancers and Traditionalists. Later he went to California State University. Courtesy of the artist. LaPena is a singer. saying that he “looks at Chumash rock art through the eyes of Abstract Expressionism. In addition to working as a visual artist and publishing in ethnography. . like many Native Americans at the time. LaPena joined the faculty of California State University. The great epidemics of the 1800s were brought to a population that had no resistance to many of the diseases. Moreover. His 1989 monoprint Destruction: Hostage shows dead men on hangmen’s ropes with a skeleton and skull looking at the viewer and a cross below the dead bodies. tuberculosis. malaria and smallpox . LaPena wrote: “Diaspora: California Indians” . LaPena has also created works inspired by prehistoric rock painting. His borrowing from artists such as Francis Bacon can be seen as a reversal of the interest of Jackson Pollock and other Abstract Expressionists in the totemic imagery of Amerindian art. although he did study with Wayne Thiebaud at Sacramento City College in 1957–58. was to let the world know what happened in California to the indigenous population and to point out that survival issues are still of concern. Chico. LaPena (Wintu/Nomtipom) was born in 1937 in San Francisco and. by which time he was an exhibiting artist. . Born in Minnesota.”42 At times he has painted total abstractions. identity politics 161 . Luiseño) was prominently featured in the article. influenza. 1996 Mono-transfer print. was sent to a government-run Indian school. . though more often his works show a strong sense of his Native heritage. an art that is Indian in a whole new way. discrimination. Measles. he is of signal importance because early on he established an art that honored American Indian culture yet opposed romantic clichés about it.they may relate. a series of frontal views of heads of Native Americans on which he superimposed texts referring to key events in the history of California Native Americans. The enslavement of the Native Americans to create and maintain the Mission system in California was reinforced by the militia. Scholder has lived mostly in the Southwest. Their new solidarity focuses their art. 41 FRANK LAPENA HOUSE OF SOUND: MOUNT SHASTA. and of dancing as an act of renewal. While Scholder is not really a California artist. 21 1⁄2 × 29 3⁄4 in. breaking the ice for a politically potent Native art. where he taught for some thirty years and headed the Native American Studies Program. . in 1978. Some of his work is harrowing in its defiance. The destruction/desecration of California begins with the Mission system. a poet.

In his paintings Longfish. turning it into a showcase for Native art that he considers some of the best contemporary art being made in America. and studied at the Art Institute of Chicago before racism. For many years a professor in the Native American Studies Program at the University of California. Some of this contemporary imagery might be compared to that of older California painters such as William T. identity politics moving to California. N. The way he juxtaposes Native American images with ones from extrinsic cultures makes for powerfully incongruous and idiosyncratic work. Canada. while a red cross is set against the dark blue sky. Large black circles appear on the road below. 1992 Acrylic on canvas. who calls himself a “narrative abstractionist.”43 George Longfish. Longfish’s The End of Innocences (1992) is a triptych inspired by the quincentennial of Christopher 162 . each 8 × 9 ft. feels strongly about the way images of Native peoples have been distorted in American culture: “The images I create are meant to question the stereotypical romantic image of Native People so often portrayed in past as well as current media. a Seneca/Tuscarora artist and writer. 243–45) and Robert Hudson. speaking admiringly of Arshile Gorky and aiming for an inclusive art. when he could swim in the stream below it. discrimination. ture for his inspiration. a sacred place for healers and shamans. As LaPena describes it: “I am remembering stories of Creation that the mountain is alive and that it has been teaching people for many generations. Longfish also directed the C. Davis.”44 Longfish was born in 1942 on a reservation in Ontario. Longfish is acutely aware not only of his ancestral spiritual culture but also of the dominant outside culture. two of three panels.” merges Indigenous emblems (which may at first appear abstract) with contemporary forms and images. artists who themselves were influenced by Native American art. House of Sound: Mount Shasta (1996) grew out of his memories of the sacred mountain before it was dammed and polluted. This ancient wisdom has continued to direct the elders with its teaching. In this monoprint a great spiral ascends to the snow-covered volcanic peak. Gorman Museum at Davis. Wiley (see pp.GEORGE LONGFISH THE END OF INNOCENCES. We can learn something about being distant from the land by knowing these stories. Courtesy of the artist.

Like Longfish. Courtesy of the artist. Commemoration of the Ohlone Way of Life. and joined forces with Chicano/Chicana classmates in rejecting Eurocentric biases.” Jagged shapes and thrusting forms. 1990 Screenprint. She was born in 1945 in Susanville.” “Land.” “Spiritual. As Longfish noted. In the right panel a chief presides over Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This monumental painting is about Native Americans renewing their tradition of martial courage and spirituality to regain power and create change.” “Rain Forest. In the early 1970s LaMarr designed a poster protesting the government attack at Wounded Knee. Columbus’s arrival in North America. appear on a ground that is mostly red. the city of Berkeley would commission her to paint a large mural. are having to overcome their own ignorance and come to terms with the alternative concept of making change that doesn’t destroy the elements of this planet and its people. Much later. dark blue. as she did not adhere to the abstract modern art favored there at the time. At Berkeley she encountered difficulties in having her work accepted.” and other evocative words.” “Wounded Knee 1973.” “Termination. updating the Iroquois warrior clan. Against a background of electric colors. Berkeley. Together. in Ohlone Park. all painted with a vigorous brush.” “The Only Good Indian Is. In a series of monoprints in racism.” the caption read..” “Sacred Land. identity politics 163 . 24 × 36 in. Jean LaMarr (Paiute/Pit River) makes works with Native themes. the artist has inscribed “Sioux.JEAN LAMARR SOME KIND OF BUCKAROO. the three panels measure more than twenty-five feet long. who have had little respect for human rights.”45 The left panel of the triptych shows an Indian chief in elaborate attire. discrimination. near the Nevada border of the California high desert. in the 1970s.” “Wounded Knee 1892. where she now directs the Native American Graphic Workshop. in 1995. and green. animal rights or the earth’s environment. “We don’t want to be your whiteman’s Indian anymore. with contradictory words and phrases stenciled seemingly at random: “Blackfeet Pencil Co. She came to the Bay Area through the relocation program of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and studied painting and printmaking at the University of California.” “Broken Treaties. “Five hundred years later the nonIndians.

honoring the land and its flora and fauna prior to its despoliation. 2000 Mixed media on canvas. which is more than seventeen feet wide. 1 in. and he frequently paints himself as one. Painted largely in blue and earth colors. identity politics ster par excellence of Native American mythology. In her silkscreen Some Kind of Buckaroo (1990) a Native American cowboy stands on a flowered lace ground that symbolizes the earth. Fonseca’s painting Creation Story (2000). depicting the creation of the world. But he is shut in by barbed wire. or a woman’s rose-flowered dress. this canvas captures the color and energy of the earth. 3 in. a fighter plane and a missile whiz by. In semiabstract landscapes. Clusters of semicircular humps suggest hills or mountains. first at Sacramento City College and then at California State University. starvation. he grew up and attended college there. a hipster outfit. especially the testing of MX missiles. The trickster irreverence evident in Fonseca’s coy- 164 . × 17 ft. Certainly this is true of the art of Henry Fonseca (Maidu/Niseman/Hawaiian/Portuguese). the 1980s she depicted contemporary women in the Great Basin area expressing their opposition to the government’s actions on their land. Overhead. presumably toward the testing grounds in Nevada. Stylized trees and running deer animate the landscape. during the first Bush administration. while serpentine lines indicate streams. the trickracism. he has recorded how.46 For many Native American artists.HARRY FONSECA CREATION STORY. standing or seated with outstretched arms and legs. such as The Discovery of Gold in California (1979). not dissimilar to devices found in Outsider Art. Indigenous people who had lived in the Sierra Nevada foothills for millennia were subjected to forced labor. Its story is told through schematic figures. and murder by prospectors and their crews. A large concentric circle appears in the center on the left. against a dark red sky. and a spiral turns around itself on the right. disease.47 Fonseca is also fascinated by the coyote. National Museum of the American Indian. discrimination. dropping “test” bombs. is based on Native American pictographs. he may show us his coyote alter ego in street clothes. 6 ft. during the Gold Rush. Fonseca’s coyote is able simultaneously to laugh at himself and at others. LaMarr has described how. In his effort to deconstruct clichés. Born in 1946 in Sacramento. irony serves as a foil to the tragedy of life inside or outside the reservation. Smithsonian Institution. war planes would fly across the desert almost daily. He embodies paradox and ambiguity and personifies the Native American as both separate from and a part of the dominant culture. or as a Hawaiian-shirted tourist visiting a pueblo.

produced for the ethnographic Museum of Man in Balboa Park. Courtesy of the artist. It’s just that the new warriors are armed with legal. lying on a bed of sand in a display case. leaders. We see Luna. he did not think they could JAMES LUNA TAKE A PICTURE WITH A REAL INDIAN. Luna again exposed himself as an exotic specimen. identity politics 165 . The piece was a response to Pope John Paul II’s beatification of Father Serra. in the novels In Dubious Battle and The Grapes of Wrath. He has explained: “I feel like my art is strong as long as I stay working as a counselor. His work questions the dominant culture’s views about Native American art. this installation presented Luna. such as a Rolling Stones album and United Farm Workers buttons. Spectators were invited over a public address system to have their pictures taken with a living ethnographic artifact to show how fond they were of the Native population. 1991 Performance at the Whitney Museum of American Art. inseparable from its reception in the sociopolitical sphere. San Diego. racism. We still have our healers. the United Farm Workers. and warriors. The Artifact Piece (1987). 1950. before returning to obtain his degree. The resulting photos. political. New York. once again in a breechclout. and La Causa When in the 1930s John Steinbeck. with museum visitors posed next to the live Indian artist. described the plight of California farmworkers (migrants from Oklahoma at the time). Photo: Sheldon Collins. recalls the exhibition of the “Hottentot Venus” at fairs in England and France during the nineteenth century.”48 THE CHICANO EXPERIENCE César Chávez. We Indians have survived as long as we have because of our ability to adapt. next to cutout portraits of himself in traditional garb or in Western street clothes. and a third contains various trappings of the 1960s counterculture. like an object in a museum of anthropology. wearing a leather breechclout. near the La Jolla Reservation. where he was born. discrimination.ote paintings takes an even more provocative form in the installations and performance pieces of James Luna (b. For a 1991 show at the Whitney Museum of American Art. An adjacent display case is filled with medicines used in rituals at his reservation. I am one of the warriors. but became dissatisfied with the limitations of the college curriculum and worked as a labor organizer. Luna studied at the University of California. Irvine. condemning the Catholic Church and Father Junípero Serra for their subhuman treatment of the Native population. confronting problems such as alcoholism at the Palo- mar College. Entitled Take a Picture with a Real Indian. He sees his art as functioning beyond the discourse about art itself—as a strategy for confrontation. and artistic weapons. Luiseño/Diegueño). turned the humiliating photo op on its head: Who is the subject here? James Luna has worked as an academic counselor. A year later Luna and the Chicano artist David Avalos (see below) created the satiric California Mission Daze.

Robert Kennedy. The struggle of the California farmworkers and the personality of their leader became central to the progressive movement. identity politics . Chávez combined personal charisma with the strength of perseverance and an astute tactical sense. and other leaders befriended Chávez and supported his efforts. one is tempted to raise one’s fist and shout out in unison with the workers in their demand for power. as racism. In 1965 he photographed the Delano Grape Strike. Chávez and many of the Mexican and Filipino workers who followed him were devout Catholics. the lack of potable water. In another moving photograph from the same demonstration Blankfort focused on a worker. discrimination. But during the turmoil of the 1960s—with the civil rights movement and the New Left’s revolt against the status quo—the young. 1966 Gelatin silver print. showing us a determined Chávez leading a group of Filipino and Mexican laborers. later. the exploitation of child labor. George McGovern. and Mahatma Gandhi was his paradigm. energetic César Chávez succeeded in organizing Mexican American. organize into a viable labor union. Viewing his photograph of a march in Sacramento County in 1971. 43. or Chicanos. with millions of Americans joining the United Farm Workers’ call for a boycott of table grapes and. many of them waving the union’s banner with the word huelga (strike) in large letters. who had photographed the activities of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in Missis166 sippi and filmed the struggle of dispossessed Native Americans. Many fine photographers came to document the farmworkers’ long strikes. Among them was George Elfie Ballis. wearing a headband with the word “war” imprinted on it. Ballis was intimately familiar with the farmworkers’ cause as he had worked as an organizer for the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee. A man of the people. The UFW movement activated a broader push for civil rights for Mexican Americans. which predated the United Farm Workers. © 1976 George Ballis/Take Stock. Filipino. 143) also documented the UFW’s struggle. who raises his clenched fist as he stands behind a large crucifix. Steinbeck told of the abominable wages and housing.GEORGE BALLIS UNITED FARM WORKERS UNION: GRAPE STRIKE. and other laborers in the fields of California to bring about potent change. He also followed the radical activist Saul Alinsky’s strategies for community empowerment. and this picture stands as a powerful and memorable image of the fusion of religious feeling and determination among the farmworkers. lettuce.. Martin Luther King Jr. He believed in militant nonviolence. Jeffrey Blankfort (see pp.

and he quickly became a hero among the racism. both for moral reasons and because a proportionally large number of Mexican Americans were being killed in Southeast Asia. a massive demonstration by some twenty to thirty thousand people in Los Angeles. Young rebels began proudly calling themselves “Chicanos.”49 Chicanos rallied for La Causa and affirmed their consciousness of a history dating to ancient pre- colonial times as well as their Spanish ancestry.JEFFREY BLANKFORT Both photographs. Chicano activists voiced strong opposition to the Vietnam War. stressing their duality. 1971 Gelatin silver prints. In addition to calling for basic civil rights. discrimination. LA RAZA MARCH: LA MARCHA DE LA RECONQUISTA. they came to call themselves. their mixed-blood heritage. During that march Rubén Salazar was killed by a sheriff’s deputy . the Nahuátl name for the Aztecs’ mythical homeland in what is today the southwestern United States. Both © Jeffrey Blankfort. Prior to the selfaffirmation of the 1960s. melting pot like other ethnic minorities. from which the Aztecs supposedly migrated to central Mexico. the appellation “Chicano” purposely differentiates this group from the dominant culture. As a self-description. STATE CAPITOL. identity politics 167 . assimilation was challenged. They emphasized their link to Aztlán. But as the Mexican American community began to assert itself. “A Chicano is a Mexican-American with a non-Anglo image of himself.” taking on a slang term used earlier by pachucos. As the Los Angeles Times correspondent Rubén Salazar explained.S. In August 1970 they organized the Chicano Moratorium march against the Vietnam War. 1971. Mexican Americans were expected to assimilate into the U. SACRAMENTO.

using the barrios as performance spaces and calling attention to Chicano culture. Galería de la Raza (1970) and Mission Cultural Center (1977) in San Francisco. 1965–1985. underlining the importance of Catholicism in the lives of many Chicanos.. and European Modernist tradition which variously positioned itself Although early Chicano art was rooted in the UFW’s struggle. The Chicano Art Movement against much of the above concerns of the Chicano Art Movement. Frank Romero. the show went through six years of planning by artists. Rupert García remarked: Forming a part of a pronounced and critical national and international social and cultural shift. EuroAnglo ethnocentrism.Chicano population. Also prominent was religious imagery.) Extensive in scope.52 Unlike most art exhibitions. it quickly spread to the barrios. Frank Romero. appeared in many Chicano artworks of the time. Salazar became the subject of paintings by Rupert García. the Chicano Art Movement was truly a post-modernist cultural activity during the late 1960s and into the mid-1970s. . Asco staged actions and events in the streets. the concern with Mexican. Willie Herrón. police brutality. (Cara means “facing” or “confronting” in Spanish. a stylized black eagle with extended wings. the appropriation and conflation of popular and high art. (It remained active until 1985. but it also expressed discontent with the U. sexism. 1965–1985. the ubiquitous use of the figure and an expressive representationalism. Centro Cultural de la Raza (1970) in San Diego. Gronk. to near-mythic status as a martyr of the movement. Through its employment of satire for cultural and political critique. and art. and Patssi Valdez. the merging of everyday life. who showed their work at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 1974. In the personal and collective “affirmation of the complex identity and vitality of the Chicano . A different. scholars. drug abuse. gang warfare. the Vietnam War. established direct connections with the UFW and brought their art into more and more visible public spaces. especially the political. as well as the broader civil rights movement and unrest of the 1960s.” Chicano Art diversely and unevenly protested not only against racism. Indian and Mexican American histories and traditions. The UFW emblem. This artists’ collective used graffiti as an art form and spray-painted murals depicting Chicano life. more performance-oriented collective was a group called Asco (Spanish for “nausea”). The first Chicano art exhibition in a mainstream venue was by Los Four (Roberto de la Rocha. Gilbert Lujan. identity politics . . Los Four. In the catalogue for the show Chicano Art: Resistance and Affirmation (CARA). and much more. the subversive use of the mass media aesthetic and a critique of the same’s perverse depictions of “America” and “Americans. imperialism. In 1990 the Wight Art Gallery at UCLA presented the major exhibition Chicano Art: Resistance and Affirmation. which remained active until 1983. the almost nonexistence of an art for art’s sake attitude.S.) In the tradition of guerrilla theater. and many others (see below). Art centers were established in major cities.50 César Chávez’s organizing of the United Farm Workers inspired posters and murals by politically oriented Mexican American artists. especially the Virgin of Guadalupe. Raised. helped give birth to the Chicano art movement. and Carlos Almaraz). CARA emphasized the close 168 racism. and Centro de Artistas Chicanos (1972) and Royal Chicano Air Force (1972) in Sacramento.51 The political struggle of the farmworkers. known by its acronym CARA. which was organized in East Los Angeles in 1971 by Harry Gamboa Jr. Asco helped move Chicano art into the postmodern era. which traveled to nine museums throughout the country before it closed in 1993.”. such as Plaza de la Raza (founded in 1969) and Mechicano Art Center (1970) in Los Angeles. and many national and local working committees consisting mostly of Chicanos. like Che Guevara. discrimination.

created posters promoting La Causa. Photo courtesy of California Ethnic and Multicultural Archives. Various Chicano groups organized a picket line in front of the company’s racism. 53 × 42 in. such as the Royal Chicano Air Force in Sacramento and La Brocha del Valle in Fresno. 1935) made the dynamic offset lithograph Huelga! for the Delano Grape Strike. As early as 1965 Andrew Zermeño (b. including a compelling oil painting by Salvador Roberto Torres. Courtesy of the artist.” “low. In his grape strike lithograph. SALVADOR ROBERTO TORRES VIVA LA RAZA. Long Live Humanity (1969). CARA was decisively a kick in the face of the mainstream cultural canon. identity politics 169 .” and “folk” art. became the icon for the farmworkers’ causa. more than being a transgression into the boundaries of the art world. discrimination. Courtesy of the artist. it was thus in keeping with postmodern critical strategies. stepped like an inverted Aztec pyramid. This red UFW flag. 1965 Ink drawing. Zermeño worked on the UFW staff as a cartoonist for the bilingual newspaper El Malcriado and for the Mexican political printmaking workshop El Taller de Gráfica Popular. Artists’ involvement with the farmworkers’ struggle went far beyond documentary photography. 17 × 11 in.”53 Artwork in Support of the Farmworkers ANDREW ZERMEÑO HUELGA! (STRIKE!). LONG LIVE HUMANITY. In a sizable study analyzing the exhibition and its reception. entitled Viva La Raza. Artists’ collectives. a shouting young man runs with great speed out of the word Huelga! while waving the banner of the United Farm Workers. which led to a nationwide boycott and the merging of the two existing farmworkers’ unions into César Chávez’s United Farm Workers. with its white circle around a stylized black eagle with spread wings. This painting grew out of a protest against the San Diego Gas and Electric Company. erasing distinctions between “high.54 It appears in various artworks. which came into wide use as a poster. 1969 Oil on canvas.relationship between art and life among Chicanos. Alicia Gaspar de Alba concludes: “The response to CARA received from all sides— from the critics who could not stop writing about it to the Chicano/a and Latino/a audiences who came by the thousands to each of the venues—proved that. which had placed two advertisements in Life magazine that were degrading toward Chicanos.

built up with a palette knife. “Viva La Raza!” Dominating the upper portion of Torres’s painting is the word viva.”55 Hernández achieved renown with her Sun Mad (1982. and spray cans. a bandana. grew up among farmworkers and worked on farms herself. which was widely distributed as a poster and postcard. ochres. From below a bold red Aztec eagle. “but immigration always occurred. identity politics . the struggle continues. discrimination. Like a flag. herbicides. and so does the art in support of it. and senior centers. he went to Mexico City and met David Alfaro Siqueiros. 1991 Installation at Davis. in which the American cultural icon is transformed by a Chicana sculptor into a Mayan goddess. In this setting the print appears like an avatar to remind us of the men and women who died picking grapes. becoming involved in civil rights early in her life.” Hernández later said. in 1989. and he worked in the fields as a child. California. and reds. she placed implements used by farmworkers. offices. Its ironic use of commercial advertising calls to mind Ben Sakoguchi’s use of orange crate labels (see p. Like Torres. while living in San Francisco. Like many of his colleagues. In 1991. in a circular bed of sand. Villa worked with a group of young Filipino American artists to produce the installation piece Asparagus. . first to harvest pineapple in Hawaii . and then on the West 170 racism. Berkeley. 172). and green coloring reflects that of Mexico’s flag. [and] fungicides. such as the Filipino American artist Carlos Villa (see p. In the caption we learn the grapes are “unnaturally grown with insecticides. believing in cooperation among artists. “Borders did not always exists. colleges. Courtesy of the artist.CARLOS VILLA ASPARAGUS. . 13). In 1969 Torres helped establish El Centro Cultural de la Raza in San Diego’s Balboa Park and became a leading force in creating the murals in San Diego’s Chicano Park. She holds her torch high. Ester Hernández. In 1974. which is inscribed in large letters on the statue’s base. Hernández made an installation in which she greatly enlarged Sun Mad and placed it on a screen. After deciding to study art. which was inspired by the Filipino migrant workers who labored in the fields of the Central Valley in the 1930s and 1940s. rising majestically from “La Raza” (a designation for the Chicano community). p.” The whole image is placed on a primary red ground. Although the UFW has been able to bring about slight improvements in the living conditions of farmworkers. in 1936 to a family of farmworkers. white. she assisted Las Mujeres Muralistas (see p. he attended the California College of Arts and Crafts and later California State University. the canvas is composed in horizontal bands. echoing not only the Sunmaid box but also the UFW flag. That was my American Bicentennial contribution. and its red. miticides. In 1976 she made an etching called Libertad. welcoming immigrants to Aztlán. Texas. Below the print. where they cried out. Villa tells a familiar tale: In the early 1920s young men had been recruited from poverty-stricken villages in the Philippines. 137). Later. San Diego. to study art and has since taught in elementary schools. including a laborer’s hat. Sun Mad transforms Sunmaid’s pretty girl offering a basket of grapes into a skeleton dressed in a white blouse and red bonnet. Torres was born in El Paso. 56). She went to the University of California. A parody of ads for the Sunmaid brand. seems to fight its way upward. brushed in broad black strokes over a textured surface of greens. both by Chicano artists and others. who was born in 1944 in California’s San Joaquin Valley.

Another wall repeats a photographic image of workers sowing asparagus seed. In 1968 Antonio Bernal painted one of the first Chicano murals in California. reminiscent of JeanFrançois Millet’s famous painting The Sowers (1859– 62). a steady stream of Filipinos bought steamship tickets to America to chase their dream. The young men had been tempted by glowing descriptions of golden opportunities of American wealth and the possibilities of dating movie stars. California (no longer extant). like much of the work produced by avant-garde artists at the time.58 These figures clearly associate the Mexican Revolution and Chicano affirmation with the black civil rights movement.”57 On one wall of the installation we see asparagus plants growing under electric grow lights and photographs of Filipino workers in silhouette. 6 × 15 ft. A third wall holds farm implements: asparagus knives and a small hoe. often by untrained individuals and groups under the guidance of professional artists. he writes. which began in the late 1960s and served as a means of social communication in the barrios. gamblers. on the far right. 171 . Prostitutes.500 murals were produced in California. at least 1. AT TEATRO CAMPESINO CULTURAL CENTER (DETAIL). While not disposable. Most focused on the call for racial equality. it was much more community oriented. Del Rey. César Chávez. and the Filipino labor groups celebrated in high fashion at the time of the harvest. and a Black Panther leader. There was much less emphasis on individual expression than in the earlier murals.Coast where they were called Manongs. and. Although the Chicano movement had its roots in the work of the Mexican muralists and the domestic WPA murals.56 Villa focused on asparagus because it was. Photo: Robert Sommer. In addition. Bernal’s mural in turn clearly roots the mural movement among the farmworkers. from Land and Earth artists to conceptual and performance artists. near Fresno. of the murals were painted by people within the communities. especially as Chicanas began questioning the movement’s male domination and the cultural value placed on machismo. this art was not marketable. The Teatro Campesino arranged impromptu performances and street actions for and by farmworkers. Many. In racism. identity politics ANTONIO BERNAL DEL REY MURAL. “a fragile crop that Filipinos were famous for harvesting. the Chicano murals were less concerned with the art- work’s permanence than with the immediate benefit of direct communication. perhaps most. Those labor gangs were always rewarded very well for their endeavors. but gender equality also appeared as an issue. for the United Farm Workers’ Teatro Campesino Cultural Center in Del Rey. discrimination. The installation confronts discrimination while affirming the fortitude of the farmworkers. With these dreams in mind. Martin Luther King Jr. Murals Chicano artists brought their work directly to the people through the Chicano mural movement. Their reputation as a cheap and effective labor force spread quickly. 1968 Mural. During the first decade of the movement. resembling a picture of a small town. Included within the mural’s virtual procession are the Mexican revolutionary leaders Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata. The fourth wall collages clippings from various California newspapers containing racist comments about Filipinos.

race. The mural. women dressed in beautiful traditional garments. The Great Wall. 14) in 1976. She attended Siqueiros’s workshop in Cuernevaca and later cofounded the Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC) in Los Angeles. and Guatemala. Born in Los Angeles in 1946 to an immigrant family. as well as forty assisting artists and numerous scholars. such as Juana Alicia. which. put Marxist ideologies of class. leading indirectly to the 1994 Women’s Building murals in San Francisco. including Ester Hernández. who began working on The Great Wall of Los Angeles (p. Rodriguez joined forces with the Chicanas Graciela Carrillo and Irene Perez and with Consuelo Mendez. (Other women. One of its guiding spirits. CONSUELO MENDEZ. have worked on the mural. celebrates the history. which met with great appreciation. discrimination. as well as the sun and the moon. assisted in this collective project.) With a bright palette. Another prominent Chicana muralist is Judith Baca. agaves. GRACIELA CARRILLO. 1944). Some four hundred youth. with images of corn stalks. and spiritual ceremonial pieces. became the longest painting ever made. under the auspices of the city’s Department of Recreation and Parks. Patricia Rodriguez (b.LAS MUJERES MURALISTAS (PATRICIA RODRIGUEZ. In the 1980s Rodriguez began 172 to concentrate on more personal work. 1973 a team of female artists formed Las Mujeres Muralistas in San Francisco. has sponsored more than a hundred murals in diverse areas of the city. and became active in the Mexican American Liberation Art Front. San Francisco (no longer extant). Bolivia. to create socially committed murals that portrayed the strengths of their community. including gang members from the barrios. 1974 Acrylic on concrete. Baca was raised in a house of women. identity politics . in San Francisco’s Mission District. AND IRENE PEREZ) PANAMERICA. such as box constructions. assemblages. which was painted mostly racism. like the Mujeres Muralistas. eventually studied at Merritt College in Oakland and the San Francisco Art Institute. located in the Tujunga flood control drainage canal in the San Fernando Valley. grew up in Texas. moved to California. banana palms. culture. Peru. and gender solidarity into practice. who was from Venezuela. helped pave the way for other women muralists. and family life of diverse Latinos. their signature work Panamerica (1974). It incorporates traditions from Mexico. reliquaries. 20 × 72 ft. eventually extending into a mural more than half a mile long—and new sections are still being planned. Baca.

the Dust Bowl refugees. © SPARC www. called World Wall: A Vision of the Fu- ture without Fear. love. handpainted mural for the Denver International Airport in 2000.sparcmurals. That’s how the Great Wall got done. “the process of making art is the transforming of Recently. When an eight-lane freeway was cut through the center of the neighborhood during the 1960s. during five summers between 1976 and 1983. Chicano Park in San Diego is the site of another major mural project. She began another major project in 1987.JUDY BACA GREAT WALL OF LOS ANGELES: ZOOT SUIT RIOTS (DETAIL). It was not an easy project: “For me. it explores the Chicano/Mexicano history of and landscape of the Southwest. and at its corniest base. together with Frank Romero and other Chicano artists. discrimination. among other places. For the 1984 Olympic Games. and various other racism. “Jewish achievements in arts and science. Called La Memoria de Nuestra Tierra.”59 The Great Wall—with its images of the “illusion of prosperity.” the Great Depression. Chávez Center for Interdisciplinary Instruction at UCLA. an ongoing portable installation mural. After I got through all of that I could love myself. In addition to painting murals and directing SPARC. Baca has spent prodigious energy organizing a community of poor immigrants in Central California and served as a professor at the César E. 1983 Acrylic on cast concrete. comprised of eight ten-by-thirty-foot canvas panels. my art. painted the mural Hitting the Wall: Women in the Marathon along a Los Angeles freeway. my people. below that rage is indignation.” Baca explains. a grand panorama of social struggles.” and the gaining of citizenship and property by Asians—is. “unsigned Indian treaties. turning to contemporary technology and working with Latino and African American groups as well as a digital engineer. below that indignation is shame. she produced a digitally generated. In 1970 local residents. who I really was. below that hope. identity politics 173 . some five thousand families were displaced. Baca. students.” the deportation of Mexicans. Japanese internment camps.” as well as such positive moments as the civil rights movement. First there’s rage. above all. The park is located in an area of the city formerly known as Logan Heights and now as Barrio Logan. The art process takes pain to its furthest transformation. and the “red scare and McCarthyism. which has been exhibited in Finland and in Moscow’s Gorky Park.

portraits of Mexican artists. as well as lesser-known. Aztec pyramids. Chicano Park. discrimination. in a vaulted passageway near a downtown shopping mall in Santa Cruz. Photo: Zia Salim. They began to plant cacti and flowers. where he remained until his death in 1997. stopping the bulldozers and managing to reclaim an area intended for a California Highway Patrol headquarters under the freeway interchange. Carrillo’s ceramic mural for Los Angeles was done 174 . and also spent a year in Spain. San Diego. identity politics quez. the Virgin of Guadalupe. and weaving for the production of fine salable items. which he directed for several years. Santa Cruz. Born in Santa Monica. The resulting wall paintings range over revolutionary subjects. California. death. forty-four feet long. and fantasy images. Diego Velázracism. where he came to admire the paintings by Hieronymus Bosch. In 1966 he founded El Centro de Arte Regional in La Paz. he combined the Spanish and Mexican Baroque traditions with European modernism. as a commission for the city of Los Angeles. activists occupied the site in protest for twelve days. by a bank that later acquired the property. In 1972 Carrillo joined the art faculty of the University of California. There he helped revive the regional crafts of ceramics. Eduardo Carrillo (1937– 1997) created a remarkable mural. As he matured. The mural was obliterated. as well as the work of Giorgio de Chirico. In 1976. Carrillo studied at UCLA with Stanton MacDonald Wright and William Brice. dyeing. and soon started to paint murals all over the massive columns and retaining walls. ASSISTED BY CARMEN KALO AND COMMUNITY LAURA RODRIGUEZ. using ceramic tile.MARIO TORERO. leatherwork. as a gift to the community. he painted a mural based on the theme of birth. 1995 Acrylic on concrete. and El Greco in the Prado. achieving work of highly personal authenticity. In 1979. and regeneration. Baja California. the manager claiming he had no idea of the value of the work. Famous. however. Chicano artists from all over the state have since been invited to paint murals in this large ongoing project.

Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costillo. But his grito. launched the revolt with his cry for independence. including Guadalajara. was not forgotten.” racism. Entitled El Grito. In 1848. close to Siqueiros’s mural Tropical America on Olvera Street. shown in a solo exhibition at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento in 1986. Leading an insurgent army in the early fight for independence. women carrying baskets of corn. predominantly in blue and ochre. and children at play. discrimination. these depictions of human drama convey a sense of mystery. Hidalgo was defrocked and shot. at the conclusion of the United States’ “manifest destiny” war against Mexico. The border between Mexico and the United States figures as a major concern in the lives and art of Chicanos. Painted in closely hued vibrant colors. history. the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo ceded. In Carrillo’s mural Hidalgo is the central figure. but was eventually defeated by the royalists. endow the work with an amazing glow. a Mexican Creole priest. Carrillo’s later paintings. La Frontera and the Continuing Colonial Threat EDUARDO CARRILLO EL GRITO (DETAIL). “in the name of Almighty God. it commemorates the Mexican revolt against Spain in 1810.on a curved wall in front of the Church of Dolores. identity politics 175 . in the original Mexican section of the city. Placita de Dolores. The luminous glazes of the ceramics. known as El Grito de Dolores. Hidalgo is said to have carried the banner of the Virgin of Guadalupe in the revolt’s crucial battle. who lay claim to the ancient land of Aztlán. The revolutionary army conquered many cities. Los Angeles. Spanish grandees flee on horseback. and a black flag displays a skull and crossbones. calling for the freeing of slaves and the redistribution of land. and contemporary culture. 1979 Ceramic tile. reminding the viewer of Surrealist imagination. Courtesy of Museo Eduardo Carrillo. Next to him we see a woman carrying the standard of the Virgin of Guadalupe. were often preoccupied with images from Mexican mythology. 8 × 44 ft. and farther to the right Native men with arrows.

but in the small print on the lower right includes his own commentary on “The Spiritual Plan of Aztlán. 1998 Offset lithograph of collage/mixed media.S.S. It must become part of our very being as artists. and Utah to the United States. identity politics . 1848 (1998). Colorado. built great fences and walls. the federal and state governments passed anti-immigration measures. Increasingly aware of their heritage and inherent power.” they asserted. the mines. The struggle of all people cannot be merely intellectually accepted. border police and Mexican “coyotes” (those paid to conduct illegal crossings). Montoya not only documents the treaty that was forced on Mexicans. and agriculture. One of the artists who has graphically portrayed the aftermath of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo is Malaquias Montoya. he wrote. Berkeley. including what is now California. thus subsidizing the U. Courtesy of the artist. and Texas and large sections of Nevada. 1848.” The command “¡Resistencía!” cries out above the doubleheaded Aztec warrior to the left. New Mexico. xenophobic attitudes made their lives increasingly difficult. New Mexico. and so they crossed the border. Montoya knew he had to obtain an education and.MALAQUIAS MONTOYA THE TREATY OF GUADALUPE HIDALGO. In a powerful expression of the continuing struggle of his people. discrimination. 24 × 18 1⁄2 in. Born in 1938 in Albuquerque. “As a Chicano artist I feel a responsibility that all my art should be a reflection of my political beliefs. economy. David Avalos also confronts viewers with just what racism. 44–46). economic conditions were worse for people to the south. including shootings and rape by U. The word “undocumented” scrawled across the figure seems literally written in blood. studied art at the University of California. The bold yellow block capitals at the top shout “Stop deportation!” while the jagged black barbs of wire against the blood-red ground leave no doubt about the human consequences of U. he later chaired the Ethnic Studies Department at the California College of Arts and Crafts. While people of Mexican descent living north of the Rio Grande were humiliated and exploited. about half of Mexico’s territory. the border crossed us. Arizona. an art of protest. and he has continued to produce posters and prints of relevance and power. In Undocumented (1981) an immigrant runs headlong into the barbed wire fence at the border. Chicanos began to reframe the whole concept of the border. and did little to stop violence at the border.” denouncing the “brutal ‘gringo’ invasion of our territories” and calling for “reclaiming the land of [our forefathers’] birth. policies. he spent his childhood on farms in the San Joaquin Valley.”60 In his print The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.S. During the first three decades of the twentieth century more than a million Mexicans came to El Norte. Marines. after serving in the U. As time went on. or 176 La Frontera. “We didn’t cross the border. During the late 1960s Montoya was one of the leaders of the vital political poster movement in San Francisco. causing blood to flow.S. Although they provided low-paid labor for the railroads. otherwise we cannot give expression to it in our work. Similarly compelling is the 1973 silkscreen ¡Cesen Deportación! by Rupert García (see pp.

MALAQUIAS MONTOYA UNDOCUMENTED. painter. 20 × 26 in. Avalos focuses attention instead on an undocumented Mexican worker. dedicated to dialogue on border issues. There. and sculptor. Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. he helped found the Border Arts Workshop/Taller de Arte Fronterizo. Avalos was raised on the border. and Mrs. based on the colorful but absurdly overdecorated carts. The son of immigrants who came north during the Mexican Revolution. Robert Marcus. 35 × 23 in. in National City. Rena Bransten Gallery. which led to the formation of the Committee on Chicano Rights. border policing means in human terms. performance artist. “shot to death by the Border Patrol on Dec. 1981 Silkscreen. RUPERT GARCÍA ¡CESEN DEPORTACION! 1973 Silkscreen. On the back we find a section of chain-link fencing and a photograph of Francisco Sanchez. Gift of Mr. San Francisco. as well as the writer of trenchant essays. Eliminating the romantic backgrounds that typically appear in such photos. with his sense of irony. San Diego. in 1974. showing Mexican scenes with cacti and sunsets. Born in San Diego in 1947. Courtesy of the artist. identity politics 177 . he helped start the Chicano newspaper Voz Froneriza. An installation artist.”61 This work was installed outside the federal courthouse in San Diego but was removed almost immediately by court order racism. who assumes a Crucifixion-like pose as he is frisked by a border patrolman. pulled by donkeys. discrimination. The artist. In 1985 Avalos produced the sculpture Donkey Cart Altar. has placed a ladder of success above the bracero and a dollar sign below him. 1980. 8. he studied at the University of California. Courtesy of the artist. A typical Day of the Dead skull sits on the step below the altar. with its highly innovative faculty. that are used as exotic photo opportunities for tourists to Mexico. where he still resides.

. in 1988. to an Irish father and a Mexican mother.” Like ads. for “security reasons.” referring to the activities of armed border patrols as state-sponsored violence. a deconstruction of the role of the beatified Father Junípero Serra. Using money from the Centro Cultural de la Raza. 1985 Mixed media and acrylic on wood. flanked on the left by a worker’s hands scraping dirty dishes and on the right by a hand reaching toward a doorknob with the notice “Maid service . and Proposition 209. the posters could be taken in at a glance. Ricardo Duffy’s Curtain Raiser (1997) depicts this in its outright cruelty. a colonized people. Fullerton. he distributed ten-dollar bills to undocumented migrant workers in Encinitas. which attempted to cancel bilingual education. please. In his exhibition Café Mestizo (1989) at the In178 tar Gallery in New York. He addressed such California ballot initiatives as Proposition 187. It’s a situation where we do not have entry into society. identity politics .”62 Avalos’s Art Rebate (1989) plays on the notions of what is inside and outside the law. 42 × 28 × 45 in. We exist as a community outside the law. and later opened his own ceramic studio in Costa Mesa. As an art activist. Avalos has also spoken out against “border-aspower. as well as media coverage. In the 1980s Duffy began to concentrate on painting and printmaking. disputing the picture of civilized settlers and savage natives drawn in books such as James Fenimore Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans (1826) or Frederick Jackson Turner’s widely read The Frontier in American History (1920). To make his point he often combines different narratives.” After public protest against this violation of the First Amendment. in the center of Chicano gang activity. making ceramic sculpture in the vein of Mexican folk art. Courtesy of the artist. Avalos sees his role as an agent provocateur challenging the status quo. discrimination. in contrast to public perception. where he majored in ceramics. creating often highly sardonic works dealing with the plight of immigrants. In 1988. Avalos had collaborated with the Native American artist James Luna (see above) in California Mission Daze.DAVID AVALOS DONKEY CART ALTAR. who was born in 1951 in Monterey Park. In an interview Avalos commented: “It is not surprising that today the situation of people of Mexican ancestry in this country is a situation of conquered people. California— individuals who. Avalos exposed another Anglo assumption. Earlier. Photo: Manuel “Memo” Cavada. He went to California State University. Bus passengers saw the cuffed hands of an immigrant beside a border patrol officer’s gut and gun. pay taxes but do not receive social benefits. The work can be seen as an investigation of the systemic operation of market capitalism. The artists’ strategy was to expose visitors to actual life in the city with this display of the unexpected. In his 1996 seri- racism. California. the matter went into litigation. grew up in East Los Angeles. Avalos produced posters with the message “Welcome to America’s Finest Tourist Plantation” (San Diego refers to itself as “America’s finest city”) and then placed them on a hundred city buses just when eighty thousand visitors were arriving in San Diego for the Super Bowl. aimed at denying health care and education to immigrant children. . Duffy. working with Louis Hock and Elizabeth Sisco.

(In ancient Meso-American reliefs the jaguar is the armed god of the underworld who requires human blood. with its open mouth and sharp fangs. aggressive jaguar in the foreground. Additional labels in the center read “Prop. The hood is ornamented with a statue of a conquistador. instills terror in the viewer. dressed in a skeleton-print suit and dangling a cigarette. This fearsome work protests the violence at the border. and in front he places a large bust of President George Washington. his sword dripping blood.S. Above. and photomontage on canvas. 48 × 72 ft. acrylic. while in the center a border patrol truck drives down a mountainside of human skulls.”63 The border clash. On the ground lies a green card dated 1492. fearing that “the long-term effect of corporate colonialism was to devour the last remnants of resources and wilderness. identity politics 179 . a “caution” sign shows a family on the run. the word “monstrous” ghosts over the omnipresent Marlboro logo advertising the toxin. In Curtain Raiser Duffy depicts the harsh attacks of armed border patrols with their sniffing dogs. Courtesy of the artist. immigration card. 187” and “The New Order. which seems a hypocritical contradiction to the “open” border of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). he depicts the redrocked Arizona mountains from which Native Americans once jumped to their deaths to escape U. Undocumented migrants remain locked in the back.) Above the jaguar. troops. to demolish the viability of any traditional local culture or taste. is painted with stunning simplicity in the ironically titled When Paradise Arrived (1989) by Enrique racism. 1997 Oil. with Mickey Mouse as his passenger. Donald Duck drives a patrol truck. In recent work Duffy has also addressed pollution and environmental problems.” Despite the diversity of images the message is clear. stimulating global and ecological disintegration. in which capitalist power looms large. the year Columbus landed in the New World. graph The New Order. with the torch of the Statue of Liberty right behind them. To the left. discrimination. A fierce. for example.RICARDO DUFFY CURTAIN RAISER.

He sprinkles salt on a terrified Mickey Mouse. who is tied up on a plate. identity politics nished with chili twentieth-century Mexican verse. and images of ethnic stereotypes. Rascón was part of a second generation of politically conscious artists who benefited from the earlier Chicano art movement. he exhibited a number of his own codices. It deals with the clash of cultures in a most sardonic manner. Photo: Stefan Kirkeby. after joining the art faculty at Stanford University. with the juice falling into the mouths of lambs—symbolizing the devout drinking Christ’s blood at the Eucharist. California. Chagoya has also produced works that celebrate Mexican culture. presumably that of Pete Wilson. Artists of this generation were able to enter the space of postmodern mobility and 180 . The prints’ title comes from Hitler’s proclamation of his Thousand Year Reich and from John Heartfield’s photomontaged comment on this pronouncement. Napa. 64).S. Allegory of the Sacrament by Juan Correa. discrimination.”64 Like Chagoya and other Mexican American artists. often mixing pre-Columbian mythology with Catholic icons. In 1995 Chagoya made six monoprints. the hand seems to issue the command “Get out!” In 1994 Chagoya painted his acclaimed tragicomic work The Governor’s Nightmare. the Aztec Lord of the Dead. Mexico. Educated at the College of Creative Studies at the University of California. in acrylic and oil on amate-bark paper (a support used in the MesoAmerican codices). “My work is a product of collisions between historical vision and contemporary paradigms. Di Rosa Preserve. with poems selected by Octavio Paz and translated by Samuel Beckett. exhorting people to cannibalism. colonialist threat to Chicanos and their culture. in the upper-right corner. Stereotyped Aztecs sit around. who was known for his rabid anti-immigration stance. As a parallel to this event. directly across the border from Mexicali. I seek to create a nonlinear narrative with many possible interpretations. 1989 Charcoal and pastel on paper.S. garracism. border patrols. Chagoya has placed a small reproduction of a colonial-era painting. 80 × 80 in. characters from American comics. It is a thesis and an antithesis that ends in a synthesis in the mind of the viewer. In this large drawing Mickey Mouse’s gigantic thrusting hand (with “English only” imprinted discreetly on a finger) is about to flick away a young Chicana with a red heart painted on her small body. eagerly devouring parts of a human body. California. referring to the history of colonialism in the Americas from the Conquest to current U. Chagoya (see p. Syncretically fusing aspects of Meso-American culture with the political situation in California during Pete Wilson’s governorship. With arrogance and xenophobic power. as in his etchings for a privately published collection of sixteenth. a border that was very fluid at the time. Chagoya depicts the Lord of the Mitlantecutli. sitting on a pyramid. It shows Christ pressing grapes.ENRIQUE CHAGOYA WHEN PARADISE ARRIVED. In 2002. Armando Rascón protests the U. Rascón was born in 1956 in Calexico. Tausend Jährige Reich. The Bread of Days. He comments. Santa Barbara.

The “artifact” is a group of twelve “found” photographs that depict stereotypical images. when he was ten years old. within three years. an old peasant selling flowers. These declarations chart the evolution. “El Plan de la Raza Unida” (a statement by the Chicano political party). His sister attended the Denver conference. Rascón served as curator. witnessed the farmworkers’ three-hundred-mile march from Delano to Sacramento (at which Robert F. 48 × 72 in. FBI files on the UFW. racism. and “The Spiritual Plan for Aztlán” (adopted at the First National Chicano Youth Conference in Denver in 1969). and researcher for Xicano Ricorso. texts about the Chicano Moratorium.could affirm their ethnic presence without being defensive. sepia-toned family photographs. and the face of an elderly Mexican in his sombrero. a 1994 exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York that covered thirty years of work by Chicano artists in film. Here Rascón amassed many elements. discrimination. identity politics 181 . including maps. which served as the basis for the working principles of the United Farm Workers). from the movement’s first. The three manifestos are “El Plan de Delano of 1966” (the initial statement of the Delano Grape Strike. archivist. In 1991 Rascón produced Artifact with Three Declarations of Independence. which is about ENRIQUE CHAGOYA THE GOVERNOR’S NIGHTMARE. and the artist himself. demographer. basically religious and humble statement to its cry of defiance and militancy. was present).” which left an indelible impression on him. and digital photography. and. It was there that he picked up a mimeographed sheet of the “Plan de Delano. Courtesy of the artist and Gallery Paule Anglim. Kennedy. from 1963 to 1993. an attractive and “exotic” señorita. and a small monitor showing a clip of Orson Welles’s film A Touch of Evil. 1994 Acrylic and oil on amate paper. then attorney general. Private collection. The work is also partly autobiographical. such as a Mexican bullfight. for Rascón. In 1994 he also organized Occupied Aztlán at the San Francisco Art Institute. the personal is indeed political. animation.

corruption in Calexico. blue. he was able to articulate the voice and the visions of the people in the barrios. 2 miles long. Los Angeles. Underlining the significance of this event. he helped produce murals on Broadway in Los Angeles and in 1981 curated the important exhibition The Murals at Aztlán at the Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles. After joining the Chicano movement. representing gringos’ latest attempt at control and separation. the mural project addressed this new Berlin Wall. Salazar was not even on the streets but sitting inside a bar when he was killed by a tear gas projectile fired by a Los Angeles County officer. in which artists painted a two-mile stretch of the fence from Calexico to Mexicali in Baja California with circular and diamond-shaped designs in bright red. yellow. Calexico. Romero has commented. protesting the disproportionate numbers of Chicanos being drafted and killed in combat. white.Memories of a Martyr ARMANDO RASCÓN BORDER METAMORPHOSIS: THE BINATIONAL MURAL PROJECT. the color of fire. The painting is almost entirely orange. Rupert García produced a strong portrait of the fallen journalist in the year of his death. at the reopened de Young Museum in San Francisco in 2005–6. where the film was made in 1958. when the border was still open. © 1998 Armando Rascón. Rubén Salazar knew the street from the inside. 1985). His death was a devastating blow.” In order to distribute the image widely. and the gestural brushwork conveys urgency. discrimination. Romero made a silkscreen of the painting in 1998. Mexico. Romero. In August 1970 he went to cover a major Chicano demonstration against the Vietnam War. 1998–2001 Mural on metal. “I always like to paint the rhythm of things. Naco Nocturno. He had studied at the Otis Art Institute and California State University. who was born in Los Angeles in 1941. and green. based on a Mexican myth 182 . causing despair as well as great anger in the Mexican community. when he wrote about the Mexican community in East Los Angeles. Mexicali. Rascón intends to use a forty-foot segment of the CalexicoMexicali wall in an installation. The Death of Ruben Salazar (1986). remapping the borderland. we see a line of policemen shooting their guns while a bomb explodes in the Silver Dollar Bar and Poolroom. California. In Romero’s painting of Salazar’s murder. It is worth noting that the wall dividing Berlin went down soon after people in the West used it as a support for their pictures. Whereas Occupied Aztlán was discursive. which is flanked by a check-cashing place and a movie marquee. and Frank Romero made a compelling painting of the shooting. identity politics A Chicano reporter for the Los Angeles Times. racism. came to prominence as a founding member of Los Four (see above). to express the big pulse that I see in everything around me. By painting on this wall. and. The border wall became the subject of Rascón’s community project Border Metamorphosis: The Binational Mural Project (1998– 2001). before the heavy steel barriers were erected. Rascón seems to tell us that cross-cultural discourse will continue in spite of the physical barrier. He has also created such pungent and rather gruesome pictures as La Llorana (The Weeping Woman. and had worked as a designer for Charles and Ray Eames. Calexico Arts Commission.

adding shreds of glistening metal into the fabric. In Virgen de los Caminos (Virgin of the Highways. California. But the initial viewing is misleading: the praying Virgin is dead—her face racism. discrimination. for instance. In college she originally majored in religious studies but later concentrated on textiles. retablos. shrines. the killing of the buffaloes. Smithsonian American Art Museum. earning an MFA at San Jose State University. and she at times combines religious references with overtly political themes. A number of Chicana artists have produced par- ticularly powerful works that draw on this rich folk tradition involving religious imagery and ritual. and Back Seat Dodge. Washington. sees her work as sacred communication. and Franz H. 72 × 120 in. Chicano artists have created reliquaries.. Museum purchase made possible in part by the Luisita L. Consuelo Jiménez Underwood.C. In her series Revolutionary Banners (1993) Underwood transformed the custom of hanging banners in churches into potent political messages on such issues as land grabs. 1986 Oil on canvas. home altars. The brown-skinned Virgin of Guadalupe is a popular image. Courtesy of Patricia Correia Gallery. Denghausen Endowment. Santa Monica. In Mexican culture death is mediated and celebrated by ritual and pageantry not just on the Día de los Muertos but throughout the year. and sacred environments. She wove these textile pieces with consummate skill. Homage to Kienholz (1991). identity politics 183 . as are references to woodcarved santos and the calavera (cavorting skeleton). as well as Catholic piety and its Baroque manifestations. D. She was born to a family of migrant farmworkers in Sacramento in 1949.FRANK ROMERO THE DEATH OF RUBEN SALAZAR. the eleventh of twelve children. which has its origins in pre-Columbian art but reached a high point in the late-nineteenth-century zinc engravings of the Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada (1851–1913). in which a naked woman seated next to the open door of the car is in deep embrace with a skeleton. Ritual and Death Adhering to Mexican traditions that grew out of the pre-Hispanic era. 1994) she embroidered a white quilt with an image of the Virgin and lovely flower decorations at the corners. about a woman who killed her children and now wanders through the land looking for them. and the greed for gold. where she has been a professor since 1989.

codices. and Catherine T. cultural critic. as a domestic worker. 1994 Embroidered and quilted cotton and silk with graphite. domestic space. photocollages.”66 In her Ofrenda for Dolores del Rio (1984). by an artist who has said: “With beauty. using the female lenses of narrative. DC. They often focus inward. but at the same time they are political statements against women’s confinement to the home. and the image of Mexicans scurrying across the highway.” repeated in a pattern. exploring women’s psyches. ritual altars. which filtered these nutrient experiences. my work expresses quiet rage that has permeated the indigenous peoples of the Americas for over five hundred years.” Mesa-Bains has written. The shrine is replete with votive objects and hints of del Rio’s roots. MesaBains was born in 1943 in San Jose and holds degrees in art and interdisciplinary education as well as a doctorate in psychology. “Chicana artists focused on their political identity. Almost invisible within the fabric design is the word “caution. 58 × 36 in. Monterey. Yolanda Lopez’s installation The Nanny (1994) depicts a more common “role” for the Mexicana in California. Washington. “During the Chicano movement. NY. DC / Art Resource. Born in 1942 in the Logan Heights (now Barrio Heights) district of San racism. is actually a skull—and she stands on a nest of barbed wire. Mesa-Bains pays homage to the Hollywood movie queen who was the first Mexican woman to become a popular idol in the dominant culture. from glamorous movie stills to perfume bottles. Photo: Smithsonian American Art Museum. grace and traditional form. above all. At the foot of the altar. combining anger and adoration. Her artworks include sculptures. Barbed wire is also embroidered across the quilt. Mesa-Bains’s altar opulently frames del Rio’s Hollywood photograph with cascades of pink satin and lace. such as a small Mexican flag. as well as a variety of secular relics. and. a carpet of scattered glitter and crushed rose petals seems a reminder of the transitoriness of all beauty. social critique and ceremony. author. Del Rio was also a supporter of the Loyalist antifascist cause during the Spanish Civil War and a friend of the socialist artist Frida Kahlo. discrimination. prints. while at the same time offering metaphors for pride and rostrums for memory. She has received a fellowship 184 from the John D. Washington. with her maid’s uniform on a hanger and her cleaning paraphernalia in a bucket on the floor. reinforcing our need to honor and remember. Smithsonian American Art Museum. and teacher. lipsticks.”65 Much of Amalia Mesa-Bains’s work might be called critical celebration. for example. An artist. Her ofrendas are in the tradition of the domestic altars that women would decorate. identity politics . MacArthur Foundation and has served as a member of the San Francisco Art Commission and as director of the Visual and Public Art Institute at California State University. It is a work of almost secret ambiguity.CONSUELO JIMÉNEZ UNDERWOOD VIRGEN DE LOS CAMINOS. which she sees as part of the secret history of women. and lace fans. as it both honors her cultural heritage and takes a hard look at the politics affecting it. While Mesa-Bains’s altars to such movie stars as Dolores del Rio and Rita Hayworth exude glamour and luxury. contradictory roles and community structures.

Smithsonian American Art Museum. fabric. NY. Washington. . DC / Art Resource. Photo: Smithsonian American Art Museum. DC. framed items.AMALIA MESA-BAINS AN OFRENDA FOR DOLORES DEL RIO. and decorative elements. 96 × 72 × 48 in. 1984 Mixed-media installation with plywood. Washington.

her mother. where he has been teaching since 1982. Favela. 186 . and her grandmother—three generations of Chicanas—using the iconography of Mexico’s revered Virgin to take on issues of class. who raises his arm in a saluting gesture.YOLANDA M. in which she represented herself. LOPEZ PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST AS THE VIRGIN OF GUADALUPE. who was a seamstress. All three women are surrounded by a halo. Sacramento. In the intervening years it has been widely accepted as an image of liberation. Lopez became involved in the Third World Liberation Front student strike at San Francisco State College (now University) in 1968 and later continued her studies at the University of California. like many artists discussed here. but an event to be both feared and celebrated as part of the natural circle of life. a mestiza. he attended California State University. San Diego. Lopez’s most popular work is her Virgin of Guadalupe triptych (1978). 1944) gives death a total presence in his 1975 serigraph for El Centro de Artistas Chicanos in Sacramento. 1978 Oil pastel on paper. a close-knit community group committed to activist struggles. stitches the Virgin’s cape. When this work was first shown. 32 × 22 in. race. with art as an essential part of its political mission. In Sacramento he was one of the founders of the Royal Chicano Air Force. Favela’s print advertising El Centro de Artistas Chicanos and its classes presents two calaveras. who arrived at Plymouth Rock rather late in North American history. In this work an indigenous Mexican warrior with Toltec headdress and bracelet points his finger at the viewer with a fierce expression as he asks a question that subverts and inverts anti-immigrant fervor by referring to the “alien” racism. In line with Indigenous tradition. where she produced the widely shown poster Who’s the Illegal Alien Pilgrim? (1978). Courtesy of the artist. one holding up a mirror to his skeletal colleague. Diego. In the center a youthful Yolanda runs with force toward the viewer. identity politics status of the Anglo Pilgrims. holds a rattlesnake that she had skinned. was born to migrant parents in the San Joaquin Valley. With a black humor similar to that in Posada’s engravings. discrimination. Drawing on the rituals surrounding death and the calavera tradition. as it is in Anglo culture. Ricardo Favela (b. Wanting a better life. Favela suggests that the presence of death is not a matter to be ignored. In the right-hand panel her grandmother. In the lefthand panel her mother. it caused considerable controversy because to the faithful it seemed blasphemous. and gender. one hand holding onto the Virgin’s mantle as it flies behind her and the other hand grasping the rattlesnake—an image of young feminine power liberated from the constraining stereotyped icon.

In 1971.”68 They were modern-day nihilists. was a zombie altar boy. where he continues to live and work. called Getting the Fuck Out of the Way (1987). La Tormenta is Gronk’s guide. In one picture from this series. they took part in the exhibition CARA. already well accepted as a group of Chicano artists. latter-day Dadaists. In 1984 Gronk began an ongoing series of paintings. By 1985. creators of agitprop and Happenings. for example.”67 In the performance Gronk. Gluglio Gronk Nicandro was born in 1954 in Los Angeles. and certainly Cantinflas. His first exposure to art was in the form of street graffiti. who witnesses. 1975 Silkscreen. he cofounded Asco (see above). which used the unsinkable ocean liner. and Harry Gamboa Jr. identity politics RICARDO FAVELA EL CENTRO DE ARTISTAS CHICANOS. where they painted their agonizing Black and White Mural in memory of the Chicano Moratorium and Rubén Salazar. they spraypainted their names on the entrance wall of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art “in reaction to the negative response of a museum curator to their query about the possibility of including Chicano art in museum exhibitions. Gronk and the other members of Asco would walk about in outlandish costumes and perform pranks. they staged Stations of the Cross in Los Angeles “as an alternative ritual of resistance to belief systems that glorified useless deaths. and probably his alter ego. as a metaphor for the mindless disaster and misdeeds of the Reagan administration.S. lit cigarettes drop from plumes racism. Marine Recruiting Station on Goodrich Boulevard. but is not part of the event. 187 . He first came to public attention in 1971 when. performer. 25 × 19 in. concluded with a silent vigil at the U. Marcel Duchamp. lecturer. Not ignoring his roots as a street artist. Often playing the prankster. The performance. seen bare-backed from the rear or behind a fan. and he slowly turned to art that might be more accepted in the mainstream art world. She may appear as a fashionably dressed woman. In another action. and over the years he has worked as a painter. Eccentric by gringo standards. the great Mexican comedian. he became more formal. Willie Herrón represented Christ/Death. discrimination. almost ritualistic in his work. muralist. most of which include the recurrent character La Tormenta. La Tormenta is like a figure in a Greek chorus or Max Beckmann’s bellhop—someone who sees. graffiti artist. wearing a green bowler hat and car- rying a large bag of popcorn. built to withstand all danger. at the age of seventeen. and curator. filmmaker. which occurred on Whittier Boulevard and Eastern Avenue. In 1985 Gronk produced an exhibition titled The Titanic and Other Tragedies at Sea. Gronk and his associates saw themselves as outsiders in relation to the dominant culture but as “community artists” within their own ethnic group.A Prankster’s Strategy Controversy lies at the heart of Gronk’s work. he has created art that defies conventions as well as works with a ritualistic aspect that is highly personal. personified Pontius Pilate. His irreverent attitude in these works seems shaped by Antonin Artaud. Courtesy of the artist. his Beatrice. at the end of 1972. opera set designer.

With his typical bravura gestural handling of paint. Photo: William Nettles. he also made exterior and interior murals for the Saint Gertrude Catholic Church in East Los Angeles. Los Angeles. 1987 Acrylic on canvas. resembling both a bone and a penis. Private collection. hovers in the dark above and in front of the vessel forging ahead. Here La Tormenta takes on the imagined personality of Josephine at the death of the Napleonic empire. now fully accepted in the art world. oblivious to its fate. while a large. which in racism. of smoke.GRONK JOSEPHINE BONEAPART PROTECTING THE REAR GUARD. threatening to bomb the ship. while a large phallus with a huge head sits on a red drum next to her. discrimination. WOMEN’S EXPERIENCE The Feminist Movement Feminist art in its current form originated with the women’s liberation movement in the 1960s. The same year. 188 was commissioned to design sets for the Los Angeles Opera. Courtesy of Daniel Saxon Gallery. he produced an improvisatory painting in a performance at UCLA while the Kronos Quartet played. By 1995 the former prankster. Gronk depicts her hiding her face behind a large fan or the beams of a flashlight. dressed as La Tormenta. 75 1⁄2 × 63 1⁄2 in. A skeletal phallus also appears in another 1987 painting Josephine Boneapart Protecting the Rear Guard. identity politics . flaming object.

The first wave of feminism in the United States arose much earlier. and more women artists. Increasingly. In the San Francisco Bay Area. Eventually. in 1920. for the mentally ill. edited by Toni Cade. and Black Women Organized for Action. Consonant with cultural change. . and of the problematic issue of gender and representation. there were sixty-four women’s liberation groups by 1970. with women such as Margaret Sanger and the famous anarchist Emma Goldman pushing for the availability of birth control. for antiwar protesters and civil libertarians. although this right continues to be assaulted at the time of this writing. which prohibits discrimination based on gender. but in our institutions and our education. who had been active abolitionists. of the history of women.70 Other passionate voices appeared in two influential anthologies from 1970: Sisterhood Is Powerful. A woman’s right to choose abortion. organizations also formed to focus attention on concerns of women of color. articulate. led by. In 1949 the French existentialist philosopher Simone de Beauvoir published The Second Sex (issued in English in 1953). which remains a strong polemical work. however. for children. De Beauvoir raised the fundamental question “What is a woman?” She proposed that culture is the chief determining factor: “One is not born a woman. were coming into question. In 1970 the literary scholar. as bestial sluts or goddesses of nature. and by the end of the decade women’s liberation and consciousnessraising groups were proliferating. finding racism. our hormones. or our empty internal spaces. stereotypes of women as mild household nuns or commanding dominatrices. the culture was prepared for a new.”71 Nochlin’s essay and her subsequent books were followed by an outpouring of studies of art by women. in 1911). Another issue that began to take hold was reproductive choice. . in the women’s suffrage movement during the second half of the nineteenth century. among others. the image of women has undergone a process of modification. and The Black Woman. but for political prisoners. In 1966 Friedan helped found the politically potent National Organization for Women (NOW). She answered: “The fault lies not in our stars. de Beauvoir’s book initiated critiques of female identity. Friedan took issue with the notion. Wade (1973). as sirenlike pinups or innocent schoolgirls. popular in postwar America. By the middle of the twentieth century. activist. A decade or so later Betty Friedan’s The Feminist Mystique (1963) had a powerful impact.”69 A harbinger of postmodern theory. started in Sacramento in 1970. for example. and avid for justice: justice not only for women. including the Comisión Femenil Mexicana. that women could find their fulfillment through childbearing and housewifery.S. Feminist agitation expedited the passage of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. was upheld by the U. founded in the Bay Area in 1973. Artists began to look for women’s art in museums and commercial art galleries. and her book helped raise women’s awareness of themselves as individuals outside those roles. critics. the leap into the unknown. “Why have there been no great women artists?” Linda Nochlin asked in the title of her famous 1971 essay. rather one becomes one.turn was sparked by the intense political ferment of the time. and sculptor Kate Millett published her radical treatise Sexual Politics. Women can take part in the creation of institutions in which clear thought and true greatness are challenges open to anyone—man or woman— courageous enough to take the necessary risk. Susan B. women throughout the United States achieved the right to vote (California women won this right almost a decade earlier. identity politics 189 . our menstrual cycles. edited by Robin Morgan. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Supreme Court in Roe v. and for gays and lesbians. Women were examining the discrimination they faced on every front. which states had begun denying in the 1860s. and historians were appointed to tenured positions in academe. feminist image of women. discrimination. . The feminist art historian Linda Nochlin wrote that this book positioned Millett as La Passionaria of women’s liberation—fiery. The College Art Association established the Women’s Caucus for Art in 1972.

Linda Montano. asserted: “It’s the men now who are emotional and intuitive . It subsequently moved to the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in Valencia. Early on. Lynn Hershman. As late as 1982 Mary Boone. For almost two decades the Woman’s Building remained a major force in encouraging feminist art. and the United States simultaneously after World War II. the ratio of artists being reviewed in Art in America in 1970–71 was twelve males to one female. 190 followed by the Woman’s Building. the Feminist Studio Workshop. especially performance art. fostering such groups as the Feminist Art Workers and The Waitresses. shoes. it was at the Woman’s Building. But it moved from the margins of artistic expression toward its center in Europe. Joan Jonas. Helen Mayer Harrison. through which women began putting private. where “eggs over easy” covered the walls. Performance art in the twentieth century can be traced back to the Futurist Luigi Russolo’s manifesto “The Art of Noises” (1913) and his noise-organs. Suzanne Lacy. and Moira Roth.”72 In 1971 the representation of women in the Whitney Museum Annual was less than twenty percent. Womanhouse gave birth to a performance workshop. museums just don’t buy paintings by women. It both celebrated and critiqued women’s everyday experiences. from which society did not encourage escape. the ratio in Artforum was seven to one.” The central space was the kitchen.enormous discrepancies between male and female representation. introduced a year later. that miraculous machine which destroyed itself in a public performance in the Museum of Modern Art’s sculpture garden in March 1960. instead of the painter’s racism. Arlene Raven.”74 It also provided a venue for such distinguished visitors over the years as Eleanor Antin. In 1973 hundreds of women came to CalArts to attend the First West Coast Conference of Women Artists. . growing into breastlike forms. In 1970 the first study program for feminist art was established by Judy Chicago at Fresno State College (now California State University. and Sheila de Bretteville. Kate Millett. personal experiences on a public stage. Feminist Performance Art A great deal of the most outstanding feminist art was indeed in the area of performance. California became a leader in feminist art education. Adrienne Rich. In New York Jean Tinguely’s Homage to New York. identity politics . as well as to actions by the Dadaists and the early Soviet agitprop artists.73 although feminist groups like the Guerrilla Girls continue to point to discrepancies in the treatment of female and male artists. besides. Happenings—the term Allan Kaprow used for his and his colleagues’ performances in New York in the late 1950s and early 1960s—grew out of action painting. The critic Harold Rosenberg had spoken of “action painting”—here was an artwork whose action could be observed in time. led by Chicago. In 1971–72 twenty-one women in the CalArts Feminist Art Program converted an abandoned building in Los Angeles into a domestic space called Womanhouse. Yvonne Rainer. . Specially designed spaces. which came to house not only the gallery and a performance space. But with Happenings. Lucy Lippard. Slowly the situation has improved. Martha Rosler. where it was codirected by Judy Chicago and the New York artist Miriam Schapiro (then living in California). “on the West Coast—an area generally less supported and dominated by the established art world—that the most lively separatist feminist performance scene developed. linens. gave great impetus to Happenings and subsequent performance art. and. plate after plate overflowing with plenty reinforced the sense of a trap for women. As Schapiro observed. sparked questions about women’s life “at home. even with pressure from women activists. but also an alternative feminist art school. and the like. Susan Griffin. Judy Baca. In the pantry leading to the kitchen. featuring cosmetics. Japan. discrimination. such as The Dollhouse (by Sherry Brody and Schapiro) and Menstruation Bathroom (by Chicago).75 Indeed. Fresno). That same year the gallery Womanspace opened in Los Angeles. a major gallery owner in New York.

people. But her photographic sequence offered a personal visual comment on women’s fixation with the perfect body image. including power relationships. a narrative told in fiftyone picture postcards. Lynn Hershman.”77 Be-Ins. “utilized the specific substances of sight. Rachel Rosenthal. More racism. Many performances have specifically addressed political issues. women artists. and the destruction of the earth. In 1969 the Antins moved to Southern California. Antin. the poet. installation art. Antin created various personae. recalling the studies of Eadweard Muybridge. gender discrimination in the New York art world (Portraits of Eight New York Women. At times it may border on ritual. were sent to recipients the world over. the strategy of performance art shifts art from contemplation of an object to something less tangible—the audience’s direct experience in the moment. photography. where she met her fu- ture husband and collaborator. as Kaprow pointed out. 1969). Early on. the artist set actual events in motion—actions that. critic. In northern California it emerged in connection with the 1967 San Francisco Be-In in Golden Gate Park. the marginalization of women. which brought together performance. age. checking out a drive-in movie theater. and video. in her search for her own identity: “I am interested in defining the limits of myself. which. touch. the Black Movie Star and the Nurse. which emerged at about the same time and which negates the necessity of the object for the causation of an aesthetic experience. ethnicity. As time went on. discrimination. often resurrecting historical figures. war. Focusing more directly on her own person. began using performance art to reexamine their physical and psychological self-images. for example. Antin majored in creative writing and acting at the City College of New York. and early performances all differed significantly from the theater. movements. and during the 1969 People’s Park demonstrations in Berkeley. she produced Carving: A Traditional Sculpture (1972). and Faith Wilding. Antin photographed her own naked body in four positions over a period of fortyfive days and then arranged the 144 resulting photographs in a grid. Performance has also helped define art as process in the postmodern era. For this project. I consider the usual aids of self-definition—sex. in keeping with the praxis of Fluxus mail art. exchanging the New York hothouse art world for the greater freedom and reduced pressure that artists enjoyed there. 1972). with its iconoclastic and anarchic experimentation that set out to demystify the aura of the arts. Happenings. in the southern part of the state. and other issues. a satire on the way the classical Greek sculptor cut into the marble block hoping to “release” the ideal image of the human figure. Born in New York in 1935. even from the Brechtian mode with its “distance devices. The phrase “the personal is political” applies to works by such early feminist performance artists as Eleanor Antin. I have projected 4 selves—The Ballerina. made the exploration of self and female identity a central theme in her oeuvre. In San Diego Eleanor began to create personal narrative installations pertaining to consumerism in California (California Lives. Eventually they clamber onto the Staten Island ferry and reach their exhibition destination at the Museum of Modern Art. identity politics 191 . sound. odor. the King. energized by consciousness-raising groups. In California during the 1970s. or standing “out of a job” near an oil refinery. Linda Montano. her artwork became informed by the international Fluxus movement.”76 The critic Henry Sayre has traced the growth of performance art in relation to the California counterculture: “As a medium. it received its greatest impact from the feminist movement. at the Peace March the same year.confronting the canvas as an arena in which to act spontaneously with his or her brush. The postcards show a hundred rubber boots on the march across the countryside of Southern California—lining up to go to church. and performer David Antin.”78 In the early 1970s Antin came to wide attention with her 100 Boots (1971–73). performance was initially intensely political in orientation.” In contrast to conceptual art. talent and space—as tyrannical limitations upon my freedom of choice.

Her later work as a performance artist owes much to this religious culture. with funds from Joanne Leonhardt Cassullo and the Photography Committee. If you’re a nurse.a series of some sixty photographs made to look like vintage nineteenth-century prints and a related performance freely based on the figure of Florence Nightingale and her trek through the Crimean War with the British army. Helen and Newton Harrison. That work brought up many moral and ethical issues. But nurses do. and in 1973. But if a man is bleeding. and Buddhism. And bandaging the man. Linda Montano began to put her own life “onstage” in real-time performances that blurred the boundaries between life and art. After studying sculpture in Italy in the mid-1960s. Antin assumed the persona of Florence Nightingale during her tour of duty as a nurse in the Crimean War. Courtesy Ronald Feldman Fine Arts. Martha Rosler. identity politics . Purchase. until she moved back to New York in 1980. That’s what a nurse does. This piece began as an album of tinted prints of Crimean War photographs as well as photos of her friends and colleagues in the UC San Diego art community—David Antin. the curator of Antin’s 1999 solo exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. not just about war. she explained: I hadn’t yet explored the nature of “serve” and its historical role in women’s lives. It’s the human thing. clearly articulating Antin’s idea of a living self-portrait and her relation to feminist art is The Angel of Mercy (1977). 1977 Tinted gelatin silver print mounted on handmade paper with text. In 1971 Montano began what she called “life-art” performances. The Angel of Mercy was the title of both While Antin told personal/political stories by adopting the guise of real and invented historical figures. discrimination. Hinduism. and staged a performance in which she and two actors were attired to resemble the photographs. Photo: © 1987 D. In 1971 she moved to California. Whitney Museum of American Art. you have to bandage him. James Dee. New York. 30 3⁄8 × 22 in. Jerome Rothenberg—all in Victorian costumes. before managed care came into the picture. and eventually she scripted. So I looked back in history at the founder of nursing and found Florence Nightingale. but about the meaning of service to others in the pursuit of war. during the first year of Tom Marioni’s Museum of Conceptual Art in San Francisco. an action with live chickens both on the roof of the art department and throughout the city of Madison. In the church she encountered mystery and awe. she performed Handcuff. She re- 192 racism. you have in reality become a multiple murderer. New York. and you save one soldier. Montano came to feel that traditional sculpture was limited to object making and so turned to performance art. directed. in which she and Marioni were cuffed together for three days. New York. she created The Chicken Show (1969). humans don’t do it all that much. as well as to her studies of meditation. Next she created a video and an installation. is the moral thing to do. even though. then in San Diego.79 ELEANOR ANTIN IN THE TRENCHES BEFORE SEBASTOPOL (DETAIL). Montano came from a strong Catholic background and lived in a convent from 1960 to 1962. For her MFA project at the University of Wisconsin. whoever he is. working first in San Francisco. alas. In an interview with Howard Fox. and then he goes back and kills some more people. Born in 1942 near Kingston. It’s the nature of their profession—or was. FROM THE ANGEL OF MERCY: MY TOUR OF DUTY IN THE CRIMEA.

” Montano confronted the loss of control experienced in menopause and aging by acting out a series of alcoholic episodes. demanded rigor and self-restraint (a quality found in Hsieh’s other “One-Year Performances”). boxes. like Montano. caves. Photo: Minnette Lehmann. and Montano. in the video Seven Years of Intoxication (1995). chanted her experience from the time she first heard about his death to the instant when she saw him in the mortuary. Growing up in a commune in Paraguay. The performance was an exorcism of real grief and mourning. Wilding participated in the creation of Womanhouse and a female iconography: “We vied with each other to come up with images of female sexual organs by making paintings and drawings and constructions of bleeding slits. accompanied by two musicians. and I felt a tension between my ability to be permissive in my work and yet not in my life. Making ‘cunt art’ was exciting. with acupuncture needles in her face. raised questions about public/private.members. 193 . a piece inspired by a performance she had seen of Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days. “Somehow this event. subversive. first performed at the University of California. This action. One of Montano’s most powerful works is the haunting and passionate performance and later video Mitchell’s Death. had died from gunshot wounds incurred while preparing to go hunting. witnessed by her audience. In 1971–72. questioning whether she herself was in some way guilty—in an unrelenting monotone. with a seemingly similar loss of control. 1943). Mitchell Paine. or exquisite vulval jewel pillows. self-reflective performance— in which she wondered whether Mitchell had died in an accident or some other way. and fun. Sitting passively with her hands on her lap. San Diego. it was a magical piece and I discovered that Tom and I had probably been related a long time ago. her work forcefully puts a woman’s life (her own) forward as valid subject matter and a tool for art making.”81 It was at Womanhouse in 1972 that Wilding first performed Waiting. Her text began: racism. in 1978. Faith Wilding (b. her exhusband.”80 Ten years later she and the Taiwanese refugee Tehching Hsieh collaborated in Hsieh’s Art/Life: One Year Performance. She presented this ritualistic. because ‘cunt’ signified to us an awakened consciousness about our bodies and our sexual selves. and gashes. in which the two individuals were not to touch each other with a literal exhibition of male/female longing. she rocked in her chair and declaimed in a monotone the innumerable instances of waiting in a woman’s life. Despite the conflict. Courtesy of the artist. San Francisco. leading to a greater understanding of self and others. more than any other one. I needed to redefine marriage and tried to do so with art. spending twelve months (from July 1983 to July 1984) tied together with an eight-foot rope and always in the same room at the same time. came from a strong Catholic background. In a different example of her belief that “performance is therapy. discrimination. 1973 Event at the Museum of Conceptual Art. as a graduate student in the Feminist Art Program at CalArts. Although Montano does not seem as adamant about changing social structures as some feminists. holes. identity politics LINDA MONTANO WITH TOM MARIONI IN HANDCUFF.

readings. In the end a web of ropes ensnared the various objects and performers. discrimination. so powerless. smart.”84 Five years later. Lacy stamped the word “rape” in red to designate the location where a sexual assault had been reported the previous day. . waiting . The strategy of cyberfeminism is to secure innovative female empower194 ment by providing women with full access to cyberspace and all electronic resources. . then blood. brash. there was nothing I could do but [lie] there and cry softly. Wilding later became actively engaged in cyberfeminism. . 1945).”83 Another performance artist to emerge out of the Feminist Art Program was Suzanne Lacy (b. there is now a distinct cyberfeminist Netpresence that is fresh. for menopause . Every day for three weeks. enraged by violence against women. identity politics . She stayed with Chicago’s Feminist Art Program when it moved to CalArts. then clay. for my first date . who had left the small town of Wasco in California’s Central Valley to study geology and psychology at Fresno State College. Photo: Lloyd Hamrol. This work also included public discussions. . Waiting for someone to come in Waiting for someone to pick me up Waiting for someone to hold me Waiting for someone to feed me Waiting for someone to change my diaper. and iconoclastic of many of the tenets of classical feminism. . 1972 Performance at Womanhouse. for the secret . in collaboration with other women. . . . Germany. . a movement that had its first international conference in Kassel. “I felt so helpless. Aviva Rahmani. self-defense demonstrations. Los Angeles. while a taped voice repeated. Lacy. placed on display near City Hall. . which will create a place for women in a field which is still dominated by men.FAITH WILDING WAITING. to walk. created Three Weeks in May. On an audiotape women told of their rapes. . on a map of the Los Angeles area. at a time when women were just beginning to speak out about their experiences. waiting . first in eggs. In contrast to the passive stance of Waiting. and the lax attitude of the Los Angeles police in tracking rapists. Wilding sees it as a natural move beyond “Third Wave feminism”— as a new popular front of feminist activism and resistance—saying that “through the work of numerous Netactive women. . sensationalist reporting of rapes in the press. before being tied up in sheets and left as corpses. for the end of day. where she also studied with Allan Kaprow. . waiting to talk82 She went on to evoke the waiting “for my breasts to develop . where she encountered Judy Chicago in 1970. Waiting . In 1972 she joined Chicago. and per- racism. Behind them a performer nailed raw beef kidneys to the studio wall. while in front of the audience one woman was bound (starting with her feet) to a chair and two others bathed themselves. Waiting . .” Waiting was later performed for women’s and theater groups throughout the country and included in a documentary about Womanhouse. Waiting to crawl. for him to give me an orgasm . . and Sandra Orgel in creating the performance Ablutions to address the issue of rape. . . in 1997. Courtesy of the artist. .

and its carefully measured duration in time invested the performance with great beauty. The performers were dressed in black and seated at red. Labowitz. The conversation was recorded and heard by many witnesses standing on the cliff above. sea. a social network that became a nationwide forum for women’s voices. and other feminists in their group acted according to the belief that. discrimination. the physical layout of the work. Although visual aesthetics may not have been Lacy’s primary motivation in creating the piece.” The media exploited the cases with sensationalistic news reports. Los Angeles. in which 154 white-clad women. again at Los Angeles City Hall. its juxtaposition of sky. 1977 Performance. Lacy and Labowitz staged In Mourning and in Rage. an elegant large atrium in a commercial building designed by Philip Johnson. leaving them frustrated. Courtesy of Suzanne Lacy. the Waves. In 1984 Lacy produced a performance called Whisper. as Lucy Lippard put it. Lacy and Labowitz decided to create a public forum that would transform individual predicaments into collective action. Lacy. Here 430 older women again spoke with one another about growing old and facing death. “lived experience is the ground from which all politics come. who had studied in Germany with Joseph Beuys and saw “actions” as meaningful political art forms. Labowitz and Lacy then organized Ariadne. the Wind. a public media action directed specifically against the media’s presentation of the murders by the notorious “Hillside Strangler. each making a statement against the abuse of women. frightened. identity politics 195 . talking about issues of aging and survival. formances. and performers. ranging in age from sixty-five to one hundred. performed on the floor of the Crystal Court in Minneapolis. but did not offer any access to support for endangered women. Nine women shrouded in the black of mourning but gripping bright red shawls signifying action stood tall on the steps of City Hall.SUZANNE LACY AND LESLIE LABOWITZ IN MOURNING AND IN RAGE. sat on white tables on the white sand of the beach at La Jolla. sand. including Lacy’s She Who Would Fly and a theater piece by Leslie Labowitz (b.”85 In 1977.and yellow-clothed tables. The stunning performance attracted local and national attention and caused a re- versal in attitude by the media. which were arranged in a quiltracism. 1946). and helpless. This quality of Lacy’s work became even more apparent in The Crystal Quilt (1987).

In 1993 Lacy had worked with a number of women imprisoned in the maximum-security Bedford Hills Correctional Facility in New York. discrimination. where she took classes with Meyer Schapiro and Rudolf Arnheim. set up as a discourse between artists. Her work at this time was informed by Dada and Surrealism as well as puppet theater and the German director Erwin Piscator. The women. she collaborated on several pieces with children in the local public schools. Rosenthal’s theater still worked with trained actors. Artaud’s theater of cruelty.” it recalled the delights. She participated in Culture in Action. she studied mime with Jean-Louis Barrault and read Antonin Artaud’s Le théâtre et son double. the performance artist Rachel Rosenthal was also strongly influenced by the push toward feminist performance in Los Angeles during the early 1970s. where she served as dean of fine arts at the California College of Arts from 1987 to 1997. again with people listening to their amplified conversations. Julio Morales. but also the secret reality of her troubled relationship with her mother and the restraint she experienced from the servants who brought her up. performed at Mount St. with the aim of engineering social change. broke with conventional bourgeois theater. was restored inside and filled with photos and precious objects. As in earlier works. a piece named for an Oakland police emergency code. When Rosenthal was fourteen. Returning to Paris in the late 1940s. Unique Holland. urban planning. gestures. With this pattern designed by Miriam Schapiro. costumes. which she would describe as her theater bible. the intent. Here the older women were no longer frozen but gained power through their intercommunication. Lacy has continued to create works for the public sphere. In 1999 Lacy. where she created the Instant Theatre.” bringing with them colorful scarves that altered the design. Lacy then undertook similar projects involving wrecked-car sculptures with women and children in domestic violence shelters in other areas. while still wrecked on the outside. with its tumultuous action in the physical space of the stage. Called a “sonata in three movements. Through their choreographed hand movements. they made a constantly changing “quilt” for the viewers in the balcony above. a public art program in Chicago. and masks. who learned how to use power tools to work on the cars. Born to wealthy parents in Paris in 1926. she made her childhood the theme of Charm. Lacy was consciously drawing on the history of nineteenth-century tableaux vivants. for both participants and observers. which became metaphors for their own maltreatment. the Nazis occupied Paris and her family fled. There Rosenthal went to the High School of Music and Art and later attended the New School for Social Research. symbolizing the potential of amelioration. who had founded a proletarian theater in Berlin (Rosenthal had met him in New York). violated. those frozen theater pieces that usually entailed moral messages. an experimental group combining improvisational theater with music. created a “healing car” that. identity politics . and others produced Code 196 33. In 1955 Rosenthal arrived in Los Angeles. Mary’s art gallery in Los Angeles in 1977. eventually settling in New York in 1941. and she counted such future stars as Dean Stockwell and Anthony Perkins among her stu- racism. In its final performance 150 teenagers and 100 police officers sat together on the rooftop of a parking garage. The action was documented in Lacy’s video Auto-Women in Prison. Unlike the Happenings that began in New York in 1959. and funders concerning the relation of art to public life. While living in Oakland. a compendium of essays about artists who work outside the traditional venues—in performance art. In 1995 Lacy edited Mapping the Terrain. Although she is a generation older than Lacy and Wilding. their voices invited the large audience to enter the “quilt. was to raise consciousness and reexamine established values. and battered in demolished automobiles. curators. At the end of their performance. and other fields—to create a new visual language. words. the “charm” of her protected and luxurious childhood. In this collaborative work the women placed testimonials about being abused.

A wind womb secreting liquid consciousness diffused throughout the body. under her married name. and Rosenthal appears as Marie Antoinette. related to other feminist performance works of the time in its emphasis on autobiographical material and its call for audience participation. Judy Gerowitz. Rosenthal reappears. as well as the feminist artists Miriam Schapiro and Judy Chicago.”86 In Rachel’s Brain (1987) a slide is projected with these words from Arthur Koestler: “The evolution of the brain not only overshot the needs of prehistoric man. and. by a trace of self-mockery. She declaims about the Enlightenment’s rationalism and Cartesian mind-body split. just like my heart. food. the earth. Her mouth curls in passion mitigated. literally placing woman’s traditional space (in the home) in the public arena. offering discourses on self-revelation. Her performance. sex. philosophy. and ecology. and met the Ferus Gallery artists. she finishes cutting the cauliflower-brain and eats it. identity politics 197 . Loud music accompanies the performance as well as a series of slides with images of her own life. and death and redemption. just sits in an ornate chair. thought-rivers overflowing the banks of the self and creating vast cross-currents of mind in the multidimensional Universe. which seems almost excessive. this time as herself. Judy Chicago. including Wallace Berman and Ed Kienholz. is hollow at the core. Interweaving feminist and environmental issues.88 Feminist Installations and Collaborations Like performance art. going back to Artaud. and defies the observer not to be magnetized.) Her fundamental strategy. became known for her Minimalist metal racism. which resembles a brain. it is also the only example of evolution providing a species with an organ which it does not know how to use. she studied painting and sculpture at UCLA from 1960 to 1964 and. Rosenthal’s works began to delve into history. She materializes upon the stage. she begins to cut it up. discrimination. In 1966 she closed the Instant Theatre. Rosenthal’s first performance-art piece. She is a force of nature. has been to jolt the audience. as Rosenthal chants toward the end of the piece: Old Mother Earth. followed it up with another large-scale collaborative work—The Dinner Party (1974–79)— which she conceived as “a symbolic history of women in Western Civilization. Marvel and apotheosis! It took five hundred million years for the Mother to create a consciousness of herself. installation art appeared as a “new” medium in the early 1970s. wearing an ornate gown and a two-foot-high peruke with an eighteenth-century frigate on top. (She is a strong advocate of animal rights and an activist in the environmental movement.dents. After declaring that the number of possible interconnections in the human brain exceeds the number of atoms in the universe. reviewing Rosenthal’s Amazonia (1990): “The woman is a monument and a marvel. sacred Gaia! My brain. perhaps. offering an outlet for feminist expression that seemed less fettered by art-making rules.”87 Then the scene changes to a baroque stage set. began studying ceramics with John Mason. with a shaved head instead of the elaborate wig. pictures of the brain and of stars. music critic of the Los Angeles Times. the body and its parts. Tak- ing a cauliflower head. increasingly. Womanhouse (described above) was one of the earliest feminist installations. demonstrates her background in expressionist theater. Her eyes glare with zeal. I am her brainchild. and images of atrocities committed toward humans and animals throughout history. She helped establish Womanspace in 1973. she has focused on love. one of the directors of this project. literature. After the queen is beheaded. Her shaven skull gleams with defiant pride. Replays (1975). art.” Born Judy Cohen in Chicago in 1939. The impression she makes on her audience is well described by Martin Bernheimer. transformation. Later. The performance signifies the need to unify the rational with the physical.

Soon afterward she instigated the first feminist art program in the United States. 48 × 42 × 3 ft.”89 Even this significance has been questioned by those who have noticed that thirtyeight of the thirty-nine women are white. wombs . Leading feminists in the art world. Canada. to a common biological denominator” of sexual symbolism. It attracted the largest audience the museum had tallied until that time.JUDY CHICAGO THE DINNER PARTY. which “are what they are. The plates suggest female genitalia. England. “its historic and social significance is greater than its aesthetic value. Scotland. . still married but wishing to assert her independence as a woman and no longer bear a man’s surname. . Chicago produced her monumental Dinner Party. art critic of the New York Times. . . eventually finding a home in the permanent collection of the Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York. . have praised The Dinner Party as a great celebration of the history of women. At the table 39 elaborate ceramic place settings honor mythological and historical women. the program then moved to CalArts and later became the Feminist Studio Workshop (see above). Travelling under the guise of exaltation of the female principle. inscribed with the names of 999 women. from Sappho to Artemisia Gentileschi to Virginia Woolf and Georgia O’Keeffe. When first exhibited at the San Francisco Museum racism. Between 1974 and 1979. identity politics of Modern Art. Germany. and the highly embellished embroidered runners seem to review the history of women’s handwork. observed twenty-three years after its first appearance. discrimination. a large triangular banquet table that rests on a porcelain floor composed of 2. it then traveled to museums in the United States. There is no overblown pompous purpose. of women to vulvas. such as Suzanne Lacy and Lucy Lippard. Others have noted that it helped to break down the artificial distinction between art and craft. Sackler Foundation.90 From a different perspective. which showcased Chicago’s 198 . and plastic sculpture.300 hand-cast tiles. © Judy Chicago 1979. reflecting the style and technique of each dinner guest’s time. Photo: © Donald Woodman. have come from those who object to the demotion of women implicit in their being celebrated as decorated vulvas. with about 200 assistants. In response. When the work was exhibited at the Cleveland Museum of Art in 1981. In 1969. for example. Some of the strongest criticisms. the radical feminist Lolette Kuby found “the thirty-nine pudenda and thirty-nine plates” highly offensive and more reprehensible than Playboy and Penthouse magazines. The Dinner Party evoked the feeling of a religious space. in a darkened room with light reflecting on the work. at Fresno State College. she changed her last name to that of her hometown. 1979 Mixed media. They make no pretensions. They cater to what they cater to. although. Chicago. in 1990 conservative members of Congress labeled The Dinner Party “pornographic” and effectively prevented Chicago from donating the piece to the University of the District of Columbia. the Armand Hammer Museum of Art at UCLA mounted the 1996 exhibition Sexual Politics: Judy Chicago’s “Dinner Party” in Feminist Art History. as Roberta Smith. once again. Collection of The Brooklyn Museum of Art. however. The work has become generally acknowledged as part of American culture. The Dinner Party is a reduction. Gift of The Elizabeth A. and Australia.

a grizzly bear appears threateningly at the nursery window. Later she recalled it as a time “when my consciousness had been raised and . 199 . with six miniature rooms referring to woman as homemaker. The New York artist Miriam Schapiro codirected the Womanhouse project with Judy Chicago. a whole army of Magritte-like men stand at the kitchen window. my own body. and others. DC. my nest. my rhythms.”93 racism. In the late 1960s Schapiro produced hard-edge painting. while living in California. made with the collaboration of 150 needleworkers and examining the role played by women in the creation myths of various cultures.”92 For The Dollhouse. a work that took Chicago and Woodman to many former death camps in Eastern Europe. my own cycles. with a special focus on the Nazis’ treatment of women. among them The Birth Project (1980– 85). turns out to be political. and homosexuals. Although she lived and worked in California for only eight years. Including a large tapestry. DC / Art Resource. and a coiled snake awaits in the parlor. derived from masters like Giorgione and Peter Paul Rubens. But it is not that simple: The artist’s studio. identity politics MIRIAM SCHAPIRO AND SHERRY BRODY DOLLHOUSE. At the time Schapiro wrote: “Merely to speak out. the Shrines. It was at this time that she joined forces with Judy Chicago in creating the Feminist Art Program at CalArts. 1972 Three-dimensional construction. Photo: Smithsonian American Art Museum. she had a great impact on feminist art in the state. my family. my relationship to the earth around me. NY. the work tells the human story of the Holocaust. looks out at the Kremlin. with a miniature Schapiro painting on the easel and a nude male model on a stand. she felt the need for a major change. Her large paintings of the early 1960s. but often disclosed submerged female images. many images combining photography and painting. Washington. around 1970. The first thing that happened was that I looked into my own self. Smithsonian American Art Museum. . created for Womanhouse. children.piece along with works by more than fifty other leading feminist artists. Scha- piro and Sherry Brody assembled wooden liquor boxes into what seems at first a lovely dollhouse. Washington. created in collaboration with her husband. I had been taken out of a very gray area that I had lived in with regard to how I saw events in the world. . are tall “towers” that frequently include an egg shape. discrimination.91 Chicago has continued to produce large-scale visionary works. a metaphor for herself as a woman and creative artist. and The Holocaust Project: From Darkness to Light (1985–93). and stained-glass windows. 84 × 40 × 9 in. Schapiro was born in Toronto in 1923 and studied at Hunter College in New York and at the University of Iowa. as well as later in New York. Then. Her work from the 1950s was in the Abstract Expressionist mode. from 1967 to 1975. the photographer Donald Woodman. to describe the daily ways of your life.

. . Berthe Morisot. You’re protesting to all civilization that your values have been left out. Some. buttons. Linda Montano. In the mid-1970s she became a leading artist in the Pattern and Decoration movement. Asked whether this could be seen as protest art. Courtesy of the artist. quilting. 30 × 40 in. she made a series of mixed-media collages. and applying scraps. You’re protesting and in that sense you are asserting: the fact that so many women assert themselves as artists is a protest. identity politics . like Eleanor Antin. she pointed out.”94 A central concern for many feminist artists in the 1970s was the notion of self. which affirmed that the decorative arts were not mar200 ginal. predated twentieth-century collage. hooking. especially in relation to society’s image of Woman. Sonia Delaunay. spangles. Mary Cassatt. Schapiro replied: “Yes. Valerie Jaudon. and sequins—to make decorative and useful objects long before Braque and Picasso made their papier collées.” Femmage. Turning to the history of women in the fine arts. which was no longer seen as low art. called “collaborations. 1975 C-print. women artists such as Schapiro. Joyce Kozloff. for which she coined the word “femmage. Frida Kahlo. and Lynn Hershman (later Hershman Leeson).LYNN HERSHMAN ROBERTA’S CONSTRUCTION CHART #2. and the Russian women painters of the Constructivist movement. Schapiro’s femmage pieces were intended to emphasize the culture of women. .” in which she created elaborate decorative borders around central images by her predecessors: Élisabeth Vigée-Lebrun. and Cynthia Carlson were at the movement’s center. they were based on different aesthetic values and had been underrated largely because an art world dominated by males tended to dismiss them as “women’s work. discrimination. Schapiro also made fabric collages during the 1970s.” Although male artists such as Robert Kushner and the much older George Sugarman participated in Pattern and Decoration exhibitions. as women had used craft techniques—sewing. rather. tried out different personas in their ex- racism.

Like much of Hershman’s work to follow. lying in an unmade bed. and film. As a pacifist and an ecofeminist. She advertised for a roommate and went to a psychiatrist. Leviticus. as a self-replicating female automaton moves from virtual reality into the emotions of the real world. dresser and chair. discrimination. For one of her early pieces. Case Western Reserve University. bank statements. she used pink markers to highlight the most offensive words in the Five Books of Moses—Genesis. In 2004 Roselyne Swig commissioned Aylon to produce an interactive installation based on this work for the newly built Jewish Community Center in San Francisco. the biblical commentary that goes back to the second century. her strategy is to liberate the divine from the patriarchal discourse of the Torah. dirty glasses. after covering the texts with transparent velum. . photographs. and San Francisco State University. showing just how the makeup was applied to create this fictional character. made of xeroxed photographs representing the supine occupants of the bed. In 1977 Hershman began to work with interactive video installations. feeling that a videodisc “was a sculptural form that used both electricity and time in a nonlinear way. birth control pills. Helène Aylon (see pp. She also laid bare her construction. she created a series of installations that followed the tradition of midrash. Exodus. UCLA. and driver’s license. This substitution of a robotic appendage for the woman’s actual face alludes to technology’s capacity for dehumanization. old letters and seedy magazines [were] placed neatly around. she rented a room in a seedy flophouse in San Francisco. She suggests that the sexism of the Torah impedes spiritual experience and can be destructive to children reading the words of violence and prejudice. with suicide as one possible ending. Numbers. In one of her best-known pieces Hershman created an alter ego named Roberta Breitmore (1974–78). Born in 1941 in Cleveland. working in the way our brains do and so bringing us closer to the idea of reality than straight configuration can. As her title implies. Ohio. The curator Peter Samis. as I wrote at the time.plorations of who they were or could be. The Digital Liberation of G-d . Lorna (1983–84). near the nude encounter bars of the time. two “waxcast women with heavy wigs. The Dante Hotel (1973–74). Visitors entered the room to discover. rouge. Hershman’s Roberta Breitmore persona was provided with her own résumé. manipulating the video so the woman’s story takes different paths. skin cream.”95 A sound track of Siobhan McKenna reading Molly Bloom’s soliloquy from James Joyce’s Ulysses ran continuously. with Egyptian babies being killed and the Canaanite population being slain and their cities destroyed. combining her feminist concerns with her Jewish scholarship. Hershman’s playful film Teknolust (2002) presents the adventures of women in cyberspace. the viewer makes choices for the character Lorna. and Deuteronomy (which were long said to have been written by Moses himself. but also close to the area where the Beats hung out and to Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s City Lights bookstore. Tampax. racism. Their paraphernalia—curlers. identity politics 201 . . . working with installation designers Stephen Jaycox and Dina Tooley and fabricator Alain Gerbault. Hershman carefully documented Breitmore’s activities with audiotapes. Aylon takes issue with the Bible’s God of vengeance and cruelty. Hershman attended the Cleveland Institute of Art. the Dante Hotel dummies were so realistic that one visitor called the police. not by God). “looking” toward us with her eyes closed on her TV screen head. In Liberation of G-d (1990–96). It also presaged this artist’s construction of surrogates that assume lifelike personalities. Indeed. In the 1990s.”96 In one such installation. this installation addressed women’s vulnerability. 62–63) has also addressed the many knotty problems women confront. lipstick. A 1990 photograph from the Phantom Limb series (1988–) shows an elegantly dressed woman crouched on a bed. Surely inspired by Marcel Duchamp’s Rrose Sélavy. Resident cockroaches crawl[ed] over the bed. put the resulting piece. in the Beth Midrash. This elaborate objet trouvé aidé also include[d] strips of torn wallpaper.

Record for Hattie (1975) refers to her great-aunt Hattie ParsonKeyes. only seventeen years after the emancipation of slaves. Jewish Community Center of San Francisco. who was born in 1880. especially her own family’s past. she has used the medium largely to locate and reclaim memories of African American history and her family’s personal record.HELÈNE AYLON THE DIGITAL LIBERATION OF G-D. Betye Saar has taken a look back on the lives of women from the past. Photo: Peter Samis. identity politics . 2004 Video and digital installation. or “house of discourse. Continuing in the Jewish tradition of probing the holy scripture. elegant racism. flowing from the first verse of Genesis to the last of Deuteronomy and beginning again in an endless loop. it does this more immediately and directly than science and philosophy. In doing so. 149). As the progressive theologist Paul Tillich pronounced.”97 Women’s Image in Painting and Assemblage While feminist art historians in the 1970s began critiquing the sexism in many male artists’ portrayals of 202 women. Next to the video projector. Aylon provides no answers—it is the process of questioning that matters. is projected onto and seems to cascade down the white fabric. Yet ever since Saar started making assemblages in the 1960s. in both Hebrew and English. for it is less burdened by objective considerations. She is probably best known for her Liberation of Aunt Jemima (see p. art “indicates what the character of a given situation is.” In this new work the highlighted biblical text. and taught in a Missouri elementary school early in the twentieth century. she has created a personal iconography that often endows everyday items and old photographs with evocative symbolic meaning. discrimination. with its deconstruction of racist stereotypes of black women. an interactive messaging/input station allows viewers to ask questions or make comments about the text. female painters and sculptors explored new ways of defining the image of women image in their work. Through the personal effects gathered in this Joseph Cornell–like magic box—the long.

and Buddhist mythology. But the history of the black American women Saar presents is not just a bitter one. sloshing thick. that is largely handed down by women. as the term implied belittlement. “The cat is like an androgynous being. placing her humans and animals into a more two-dimensional space and using lighter color. She stands. Her great-aunt Hattie continued to appear. shifting to a smooth touch. see p. boldly confronting the viewer. While she occasionally made funky pieces like Fur Rat (1962. she often reveals women’s sense of bonding with family. Her attitude toward being a woman painter also shifted. identity politics BETYE SAAR RECORD FOR HATTIE. which she considered walk-in versions of her boxes. the baby picture. A number of artists. an artist. discrimination. including Joan Brown (1938– 1990). with her likeness showing up. She died racism.”98 Throughout her life. where she studied with Elmer Bischoff and Richard Diebenkorn. arms akimbo. “I am totally a feminist. through heirlooms and ancestral legacy. Born in San Francisco. Brown’s later work continued to explore these dualities between human and animal. buttery paint in dark or bright hues onto canvases in broad strokes. however. the crucifix. she became a strong advocate of feminist art. for example. through her. the hourglass. male and female. and above all a person. Sometimes she used a cat as her alter ego. New York. Courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery. finding resonances in Egyptian art. but as the atmosphere changed. During the late 1970s and 1980s Betye Saar made altars and installations with a metaphysical and spiritual thrust. looking at herself as a woman. She worked in a wild style. In 1981 she stated. I feel I am absolutely equal and do not put up with a lot of nonsense about women’s inequality. As in Record for Hattie. 203 . Collection of the artist. By the mid-1960s. and the dried rose lying on an embroidered purse—we are invited to remember a real woman. 13 1⁄2 × 14 × 2 in. it’s neither male nor female and it’s both. During the male-dominated 1950s and early 1960s she did not want to be classified as a woman painter. Brown changed her style and manner of painting. 91). It is a fascinating and disturbing image: human/animal. or anything like that. Joan Brown painted self-portraits as a means of introspection and self-revelation. Hattie Parson-Keyes. the kind of cultural continuity. the pearls. as well as Indian. The female body. saying. LLC. Hindu. one of several works dealing with African American women’s experience of abuse as domestic servants.hand mirror. with its sexy black lace bra and panties and red shoes. and. 1975 Mixed-media assemblage. male/female. on an old dress in Blend (2002). our own mothers.”99 Her painting Woman Wearing Mask (Cat Lady) (1972) surely refers to herself. wears the sexually ambiguous mask of a blue cat. Brown enrolled at the local California School of Fine Arts at the age of seventeen. turned to self-portraiture to explore and redefine women’s image. almost as if challenging him/her to engage in a discourse. more often she concentrated on expressionist images of humans or animals. great-aunts. grandmothers. and soon became associated with the Bay Area Figurative painters. influenced by the work of Francis Bacon and Willem de Kooning.

two decorated dagger-crosses point downward on a diagonal. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. It inspired her to create a series of black Virgins. while a baroque balustrade frames the view. In 1990. transforming critical gender and cultural identities in artwork that inseparably links ruin and regeneration. Gift of Audrey Strohl. but it may also be interpreted as selfrepresentation.”100 racism. Valdez was aware of the struggles in the developing Chicano movement. The walls slant. A tasseled red curtain at the top sets the stage. [Valdez] has expressed a visual language of self-realization and autonomy through images of the home space. A very different self-portrait of mysterious connotation is Patssi Valdez’s The Glass (Self-Portrait) from 1990. Later she participated in the pivotal LACE exhibition of Chicano art at UCLA. discrimination. 16. 90 1⁄8 × 48 in. A similar intensity empowers The Glass (Self-Portrait). On either side. paintings that often resemble Outsider Art in their intuitive certainty. Photo: Ben Blackwell. perhaps referring to Valdez’s childhood experience of sexual abuse. near Barcelona. identity politics . in loud crimsons. Born in the barrios of East Los Angeles in 1951. she appeared in Agnès Varda’s documentary film Murs. Valdez was greatly impressed by the Black Madonna of Montserrat. as well as a painter. while pieces of fruit and a dismembered hand float in the blue space. She might appear as the Virgin of Guadalupe with an aluminum skull on the back of her head or put on glamorous costumes that related 204 both to her life as a Chicana and to nearby Hollywood. San Francisco. Here a goblet half-filled with blood is suspended under a crown of thorns. and some blues. New York. Her provocative neo-expressionist paintings of the early 1990s are mostly turbulent domestic interiors. and a full-page photograph of her appeared in Andy Warhol’s Interview magazine in 1985. Courtesy of George Adams Gallery. participating in the group’s outrageous actions. saturated greens. Her installation pieces derive from Chicano popular culture and Mexican house shrines. At nineteen she became a founding member—and the only female member— of Asco (see pp. while in Europe for the traveling exhibition Le Demon des Anges. the spaces look askew. and installation artist. in 1990 in a construction accident while installing one of her obelisks in India. Amalia Mesa-Bains has written: “In her struggle for healing. 1972 Oil enamel on masonite. set designer. filmmaker. and Gallery Paule Anglim. conveying the intensity of her experience. the furniture tumbles and levitates—as if a demonic poltergeist had been at work in the house. Woman’s traditional domain has become a menacing place of utter confusion.JOAN BROWN WOMAN WEARING MASK (CAT LADY). the floors seem to creak. © Estate of Joan Brown. Valdez has worked as a photographer. The painting undoubtedly refers to Christ’s Passion and the Eucharist. Together with the other Asco members. murs (1980). 168). which is bleeding into the vessel.

M. Santa Monica. who sits on a log and holds his pipe. took risks and pursued their own orientation. In making her points. where three women hold up their stretched canvases. Women are usually the main protagonists in M. With clear feminist convictions and a strong sense of satire. LOUISE STANLEY JUDGEMENT OF PARIS. discrimination. Stanley gravitated toward the obsolete tradition of narrative painting and produced sarcastic parodies based on GrecoRoman mythology. Mills College Art Museum. like the Funk artists. as well as at art and its history. Abstract Expressionism was comme il faut. enjoyed looking at Mad magazine. which act as a screen. but Stanley and other women in her consciousness-raising group had different ideas. With practically no market for any kind of art in Northern California. offering a different view from that of the typical male artist. employing sexual politics and commenting on current events. Stanley pokes good-hearted fun at women’s foibles.PATSSI VALDEZ THE GLASS (SELF-PORTRAIT). they. Her satirical force can be seen in Judgement of Paris (1987). identity politics 205 .) Stanley’s distorted figures often seem rambunctious. 1987 Gouache. 1990 Acrylic on canvas. When she did her graduate work at the California College of Arts and Crafts in the late 1960s. she came to California as a young child. 18 × 24 in. but they also suggest that she. creating a visual energy that heightens her arch commentary. she draws on her own experiences as a woman. Louise Stanley’s paintings. Born in West Virginia in 1942 to a family of missionaries. California. The racism. 72 × 48 in. Her paintings recall such English caricaturists as James Gillray and Thomas Rowlandson. concealing them from a spectacled critic. They contacted Miriam Schapiro and Judy Chicago and began picketing and leafleting museums for not showing enough women’s art. Courtesy of the artist. like William T. which wittily examine female experience. Wiley. (Rubens and Reginald Marsh are also in the background. Courtesy of Patricia Correia Gallery.

Liu found. Although her training at the Central Academy of Art in Beijing taught her how to depict the human figure with remarkable craft. 82) offers a different reading of goddesses from Greek mythology. It was only after Liu came to San Diego. beyond the reach of the male gaze. presenting them as icons of ordinary peasant women’s strength. however. is the image that he sees? We cannot know. with its atmosphere of artistic freedom 206 and experimentation. discrimination. then. Hung Liu (see p. as viewers of this puzzling canvas. Courtesy of the artist and Rena Bransten Gallery.HUNG LIU THREE GRACES. that she felt free to appropriate photographs. and a naked woman with a great smile. San Francisco. Private collection. shown from below to give the appearance of greater height and stature. a fleshy lady wearing a blue garter belt. that the peasants had little sympathy for the authoritarian regime. identity politics . These fighters for Mao’s cause carry primitive rifles as they march forward to engage in the revolutionary struggle—helping to enforce the Cultural Revolution that put young intellectuals and artists like Hung Liu into the rice fields to be “reeducated” by the peasants. for the paintings are invisible to us. The source photographs for Three Graces depict women in paramilitary uniforms in heroic poses. 2001 Oil on canvas. How can this Paris choose the beauteous Helen? All he can see are the paintings. and she began to identify with them. 80 × 80 in. viewer sees a black woman with a wild Afro. not the goddesses hidden behind. In Three Graces she adorns the plain clothes racism. Photo: Ben Blackwell. turning to books like Famous Prostitutes throughout the Country (the source of her series Comfort Women) and a propagandistic Marxist pictorial history of China (from which she derived Three Graces). What. she chose to base her Three Graces (2001) on a photograph—something that was not allowed at the academy.

The drips of oil paint that enliven the painting’s surface. 1962 Mixed-media installation. are a part of Western praxis. Kienholz presented the intensely anguished. Attracted by the work of Peter Voulkos and Harold Paris. even as the world was shattered around them. whose work has generally confronted the viewer with society’s evils. It seems significant that Three Graces was included in Liu’s 2003 exhibition at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento. One of these artists was Edward Kienholz. painted in the traditional Chinese style. Wisconsin. in 1931. © Edward Kienholz and Nancy Reddin Kienholz. lies on top of this makeshift bed—it has been punctured. penetrated by a phallus. where he earned a second MFA degree at the California College of Arts and Crafts.A. At a time when women had to resort to surreptitious back-alley abortions. from the immorality of war to the hypocrisy surrounding sexual mores (see pp. reveal “the tragedy and horror of how these women were violated. Betty and Monte Factor Collection. California.”101 Male Sculptors on Women’s Rights EDWARD KIENHOLZ THE ILLEGAL OPERATION. charm. a small bronze that shows warriors swarming over a woman’s torso. A lopsided lampshade and its naked bulb serve as the surgical light. Born in Milwaukee. 59 × 48 × 54 in. life-size assemblage The Illegal Operation (1962). reminding us of all the women who have stood strong and endured. Venice. Below the shopping cart a hospital bedpan contains rusty implements. and on the side an old bucket is filled with filthy rags. Some ten years later John Battenberg produced Battle of Waterloo (1973). with its reference to the personifications of beauty. identity politics 207 . Louver. however. in Liu’s words. Women artists were not the only ones to protest gender inequities and violence against women. the show focused on Liu’s series on Korean comfort women. “violated” by cruel laws. Courtesy of L. who were forced into prostitution by Japanese soldiers—paintings that. A battered shopping cart serves as the operating table. a dirty sack of concrete. exposing the brutal drama brought about by abhorrent insti- tutional standards that reduce women to objects of mortification. Titled Strange Fruit (in reference to Billie Holiday’s mournful ballad about lynching). discrimination.worn by the women in the original photographs with flowers. and grace. During the Vietnam War Battenberg became known for his life-size bronzes of aviators’ uniforms eerily empty of the pilots’ bodies—reminding us that in war the individual soldier is expendable. was well prepared to transmit the spirit of modernism to his students. who. as is the painting’s ironic title. But the powerful presence of these women goes beyond Eastern and Western traditions. A few male artists also produced significant works dealing with women’s rights and the “battleground” of women’s bodies (to borrow a phrase from Barbara Kruger’s memorable poster for a 1989 pro-choice rally). Next came a seracism. Battenberg studied at Michigan State University with the American painter Abraham Rattner. through his long years in Paris. 48–49 and 94–96). representing a woman’s body. Battenberg then moved to California.

an illness. or a psychological disturbance. or are they Greek warriors fighting the Trojans for the possession of beautiful Helen? The work’s title clearly suggests that such efforts are doomed. In racism.” “pansies. Karl Maria Kertbeny. the terms “heterosexual” and “homosexual” were not in the lexicon. which revealed the prevalence of homosexuality and bisexuality in America. reporting that 35. years in which this pattern of sexual preference was seen as a sin. in both Europe and America. thrown in prisons or asylums. relating to what Max Ernst called the “surrealist coupling of irreconcilable realities.” and “sissies” by a society that did not know how to respond to their behavior. started in San Francisco in 1955. in his pamphlets protesting laws against sodomy. reminiscent of Egyptian mummies but also reflecting the artist’s disapproval of the social bondage of women. They were coined by a little-known writer in Berlin. long considered the beginning of gay libera208 tion.” began publication in Los Angeles.7 percent of American men had had homosexual experiences. THE GAY AND LESBIAN EXPERIENCE Gay Liberation and the AIDS Crisis The 1969 response to the police raids at the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street in New York’s Greenwich Village.” Half a century later. In San Francisco the Beats (see chapter 2) created a milieu where homosexuals were welcome. California gave birth to two early gay and lesbian rights groups: the Mattachine Society. during the 1950s gays faced persecution from the McCarthyera witch-hunts. but he insists that he is a strong supporter of feminism and his intent is “to say something about the human condition. ries of bronzes of women in erotic poses. Yet.” “freaks.” “queers.” “queens. and the Daughters of Bilitis. or psychoanalyzed. Post Office banned its distribution until a 1958 Supreme Court ruling against such censorship. 13 × 25 × 17 in. Overall. 1973 Bronze. discrimination.” according to the writer John Loughery. such as his openwork bronzes of endangered North American animals of the 1990s. was really a “culmination rather than an isolated uprising. sometimes bound or bandaged. This work helped to break down the stereotyping either/or approach to sexual behavior. Alfred Kinsey and his colleagues published Sexual Behavior of the American Male. But the 1960s proved to be a decade of change for gays. in 1948.” “faggots. Indeed. In 1962 Life magazine published a fourteen-page spread of photographs and text on the “furtive life” of homosexual men. and gay men were disdained.103 It occurred after a long history of suppression of homosexuality. although the U. With Battle of Waterloo. medicated.”102 More recent works have focused on environmental issues. Battenberg’s works have not been without controversy. however. They were disparaged as “fairies. written from “the homosexual viewpoint.S. identity politics .JOHN BATTENBERG BATTLE OF WATERLOO. founded in Los Angeles in 1951.104 By the time of the trial of Oscar Wilde in 1895.” shows innumerable gun-toting Lilliputian soldiers trampling over a woman’s torso. a crime. Private collection. Are these warriors attempting to overpower Mother Earth. sexual preference was not a major issue until the later nineteenth century. Battenberg. much as it was for other oppressed groups. In 1953 the magazine One.” “fruits. homosexuality had become “the Love that dare not say its name. in 1869.

That same year gay rights activists in San Francisco organized the NAMES Project. and employment. For example. the gay community rose in protest.S. Reflecting the spirit of the African American slogan “Black is beautiful. discrimination. In Dade County. mostly males. making him eligible for parole in just five and a half years. in November 1978. and the American Friends Service Committee in Los Angeles took similar steps.1961 Hollywood set aside its rule against references to homosexuality. and art exhibitions. As expected. The turmoil at the Stonewall Inn in New York was a pivotal event. In the United States. leading to a bloody riot that attracted huge crowds and lasted three days and nights. acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) was depicted as primarily a disease of gay men. In 1986 the U. identity politics 209 . the Advocate. a bathhouse. the Stonewall was raided regularly by the police. In 1977 Harvey Milk. started publishing in Los Angeles in 1967. But a few months later. however. San Francisco. In 1987 gays and lesbians in New York started the activist group ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power). including San Francisco and Los Angeles. in 1977 they mobilized voters to repeal an ordinance against discrimination toward gays in housing. a backlash arose among America’s “Moral Majority. When White was convicted only of manslaughter. Public Health Service estimated that as many as one million Americans were infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). In 1964 the Los Angeles chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union went to court to seek a change in laws dealing with homosexuality. but it faced a major crisis. By 1987 some twenty thousand people. from the start. The city’s Castro district became a center of gay activities—one estimate suggested that a fifth of the city’s population in 1970 was gay. openly campaigning on a gay rights platform. and that number was rapidly rising. In San Francisco the Society for Individual Rights (SIR) protested discriminatory actions and in 1966 set up a gay community center with a bar. and given a short prison sentence. On the West Coast.” and right-wing conservatives went into action. Anita Bryant and her Save Our Children organization denounced homosexuals as child molesters and pedophiles. asserting the word “gay” with pride and titling its newsletter Come Out! Early victories for the gay rights movement in the 1970s included the decriminalizing of homosexuality in several states and an end to the classification of homosexuality as a “disease” in the psychiatrists’ diagnostic manual. Some individuals on the extreme right spoke of nature’s revenge against unnatural acts. The first gay newspaper. had died from AIDS in the United States. The result. 1969. gay resistance to this backlash mounted. The gay rights movement was gaining momentum in the 1980s. 96–97). a place for meetings. won election as a city supervisor. together with Mayor George Moscone.” Soon after Stonewall the Gay Liberation Front was founded.000 people turned out for a gay pride parade. creating a memorial racism. Harvey Milk. In June 1978 an estimated 350. public accommodation. Bryant then took her campaign to other states. which started holding services for the gay community in Los Angeles in 1968. Allen Ginsberg remarked later. But on the night of June 27–28. which quickly spread to other major cities. was assassinated by former city supervisor Dan White (see pp. fostered by unprotected sex. was that “the gays lost that wounded look that fags all had ten years ago. especially in San Francisco. not first-degree murder. when the police came. counseling programs. the bar crowd responded. In the fall of 1980 physicians in Los Angeles. Florida. Like other gay bars in the Village. and New York began to observe signs of immunological breakdown among some homosexual patients that left them vulnerable to deadly diseases. Gay activists put energy into organizing clinics and fighting against a lack of government funding and what they called a conspiracy of silence in the press. which barely covered the growing epidemic.” the Advocate announced “Gay is good” and reported on how gays and lesbians were beginning to take political action. and the “White Night Riots” broke out in the city. a precursor of AIDS. gays founded the Metropolitan Community Church.

they founded the King Ubu Gallery (where Jess had his first exhibition). discrimination. Feeling the need for an art institution devoted explicitly to their experience. and he was in contact with such older American poets as Wallace Stevens and John Crowe Ransom. At the time the Berkeley Art Museum was showing the AIDS Timeline. discrimination against homosexuals has somewhat abated. Texas. when the quilt was first displayed on the Mall in Washington.quilt to commemorate those who had succumbed to AIDS.107 In 2004 San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom grabbed national headlines when he opened City Hall marriages to gay couples. Bush has voiced his support for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. each honoring some loved one who had died. a group that has not only sponsored annual art festivals but has helped secure funding for queer arts and maintains an online gallery (www. Although gay marriage has become possible in a few American communities. Together. 1989. they called their work the “Berkeley Renaissance.” Earlier. In 1944 Duncan had published his essay “The Homosexual in Society” in Dwight Macdonald’s Politics. while living in New York. tracing people’s body outlines with chalk on the museum’s floor.”108 With a bit of hubris.S. did the U. In 1995 the show In a Different Light. but it has by no means disappeared. When. In 1949. Expressions of Gay Identity in Art In 1948 the poets Robert Duncan. the art student Jess (see below) was deeply moved. A few months later. activists succeeded in getting the institutional art world to recognize the devastating impact of AIDS with a national Day Without Art. “The resonance of gay and lesbian experience in twentieth-century American art has been profound in ways that we are just beginning to appreciate. In this essay Duncan admonished homosexuals who kept their desires secret. the artist Rudy Lemcke (b. and it is now too large to transport by any practical means. By 1996 it covered the entire Mall. when Duncan read his homosexual love poem “Venice Poem” at a Berkeley poetry reading.”106 210 In the decades since Stonewall.C. D. advocating homosexual liberation. Supreme Court overturn sodomy laws. declaring laws regulating private sexual behavior between consenting adults unconstitutional. in Lawrence v.”105 In his later performance installation Immemorial (1992). in the words of its curator. Only in 2003. gay and lesbian artists in San Francisco founded the Queer Cultural Center in 1993. By October 1987. in September 2005. the San Francisco Art Institute presented Inside Out: Voices from Home. so only sections of it can be shown at any one time. Lemcke adapted the “die-in” technique of ACT UP and other groups. Duncan had been close to the Surrealists. Jess and Duncan became friends and started living together in 1951.. and their Victorian home in San racism. in late spring 1990. 1951). created for the Day Without Art at the de Young Museum in San Francisco. organized by the artist Nayland Blake and the curator Lawrence Rinder for the University Art Museum at Berkeley. until Duncan’s death in 1988. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger vowed to veto it. a journal that combined radical (Trotskyist) views on politics with avant-garde literature. but the legality of these weddings was contested in the courts. On December 1. identity politics . put together by the artists’ collective Group Material—a mixed-media installation that condemned the government’s inadequate response to the epidemic and the delay in funding AIDS research. most gay couples remain without the legal rights accorded to heterosexual couples. showing work that. and President George W. exhibited work that addressed the gay and lesbian experience. collaborating on art and poetry for many As Rinder wrote in his catalogue essay.queerculturalcenter. it was larger than a football field and had close to two thousand panels. the California state legislature passed a bill allowing same-sex marriages. and Jack Spicer were writing poetry “that would combine an erudite intellectualism with passionately felt homosexual desire. Robin Blaser. was “about actively constructing pragmatic strategies for fighting AIDS on a personal and political level using the medium of visual art.

and pieces of jigsaw puzzles. Like his friends Bruce Conner and George Herms. California. partly in protest against family values. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Michael McClure. He started out in the sciences. a friend of both Duncan and Jess. as well his almost epiphanic experience in reading James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake. Jess (1923–2004) was born Burgess Collins in Long Beach. studying with Clyfford Still.” preferring the more intimate. Bruce Conner. He went to the California School of Fine Arts during its days of glory. and gouache on paper. a five-volume book of collages that Jess and Duncan had purchased. © The Jess Collins Trust. including poets Jack Spicer. visual artists Wallace Berman. visionary paintings were far removed from the mainstream of art at the time.Francisco’s Mission District became central to a community of artists. remarked that Jess had turned from a chemist to an alchemist. shuffling them back and forth until JESS THE MOUSE’S TALE. and adopt the name Jess. Gift of Frederic P. Wally Hedrick. He then cut out items that he thought he might use and started to pin them down. identity politics 211 . working for the Manhattan Project during World War II and graduating from the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. childlike name for the assemblages he made with old photographs. Kitaj. The painter R. and Michael Palmer. magazine illustrations. Jess haunted Salvation Army stores in search of material. racism. 475⁄8 × 32 in. and Edward Corbett. He would later drop his surname. Snowden. Hassel Smith. comic strips. but also by his affinity with the Nabis and the French Symbolists. Although he lived the life of a recluse and produced eccentric. Philip Lamantia. made him abandon his work in atomic science and turn toward art. often bizarre art. Photo: Ben Blackwell. Jess was highly respected as an artist’s artist. With their unique combination of figurative and abstract elements. B. But a dream he had about nuclear annihilation. discrimination. and filmmakers Larry Jordan and Stan Brakhage. and Jay DeFeo. Jess’s early paintings of the 1950s were informed not only by his San Francisco teachers. and one can see his alchemy at work in a series of idiosyncratic collages that were partly inspired by Max Ernst’s Une Semaine de Bonté (1934). magazine reproductions. these romantic. Jess called his collages “paste-ups. 1951–54 Gelatin silver prints.

The translations also compare to the appropriation of graphics by Jasper Johns. with bleachedblond hair to go with his gold lamé jacket. While continuing his paste-ups. At the bottom of the collage Jess pinned a picture of a chemical factory. whereas Jess created crowded.” paintings that are haunting appropriations of old photographs. measuring four feet in height. reproductions of known and unknown works. who also believed in “the reclamation of the figure. Hockney entered the Royal College of Art in London in 1959. they are accompanied by relevant—or not always so relevant—texts.” The Mouse’s Tale (1951–54). we see the large silhouette of a crouching male figure. or Maps. receiving encouragement from his friend R. and. related to the “matter” painting of the time. shifting our attention 212 from the pictorial image to the written word. Both Jess and Duncan were very fond of Carroll. as well as work by Duncan and Morgenstern. handsome. makes a strong statement on male sexuality. thereby jolting and deepening our understanding of the work. Kitaj. with the fingers of his right hand seemingly splayed in fear. elaborate. In his first “paste-up. From the beginning he was enchanted by this magical lotus land. like some of Carroll’s nonsense rhymes. and complex collages and paintings whose metaphorical meaning calls for decoding to find a key to their enigmatic and mysterious meaning. In 1961 he painted a small picture. and others. We Two Boys Together Clinging. seem perfected works in a formalist mode. Jess played with pictures much as these poets played with words. Feeling that the new American abstraction popular at the time was “too barren. between 1959 and 1976 Jess produced a series of “translations. butting into a great lion’s head. and the left margin consists of many clowns’ heads. whose Galgenlieder (Gallows Songs) Jess translated and illustrated with drawings that are as expressive as they are decorative. The painting’s style and the way the title is scribbled in the manner of graffiti in a toilet stall show an awareness of Jean Dubuffet’s work. it relates to an early statement by Duncan that the gay writer or artist should reveal his sexual preference in his work. leading up to a gallows made of a sitting monkey. with its Mediterranean climate and apparent racism. it is an exercise in fantasy that reveals its layers of meaning slowly. The latter’s Flags. Dubuffet and Francis Bacon were paradigms for Hockney and several of his young colleagues. The juxtaposition of words and images is essential to the comprehension of the work. however.” Portraiture and a focus on male figures would become important aspects of Hockney’s work. Charles Olsen. In 1964 Hockney visited Los Angeles for the first time. which faces the viewer. We tend to alternate between looking and reading. known not only for his paintings and exploratory photography but also for his theater designs and controversial writings on art history. 1937). identity politics . a city he would eventually make his home. showing an anonymous encounter of two boys kissing. This highly ambitious work.) In the early 1960s. visual narrations whose sources range from cabalistic manuals to Gertrude Stein. It is comprised of scores of images of naked male figures cut from old magazines such as Physique Pictorial. Edward Lear. somewhat like the all-over compositions of the action painters. Much more overt in its homosexual expression is Peter Getting out of Nick’s Pool (1966) by David Hockney (b. Jack Spicer. Done with heavy pigmentation. from Pieter Brueghel to George Herriman’s comic books and bubble gum cards. gay.he got what seemed right.109 Many of Jess’s paste-ups and translations are so full that they literally seem to spill over the frames. B. Numbers. In the 1950s Jess illustrated books of poetry by Denise Levertov. The title of this work is taken from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland. (As artists committed to figurative painting. and Christian Morgenstern. He became established as an anti-establishment personage. finally pasting them on a paper support.” he concentrated on figurative drawings and paintings. Made in the same year he began living with Duncan. Born to a working-class family in northern England’s industrial area. discrimination. Hockney was very much a part of swinging London.

lack of an art scene. In California you can meet curious and intelligent people. but generally they’re not the sexy boy of your fantasy as well. He recalled in a 1980 interview: “It was incredible to me to meet in California a young. 1966 Acrylic on canvas. and he loved the swimming pools.”111 In Peter Getting out of Nick’s Pool. Hockney’s racism. I was quite taken by the place. 84 × 84 in.DAVID HOCKNEY PETER GETTING OUT OF NICK’S POOL. In his autobiography he wrote: “I must admit that I have a weakness for the pretty boys. I prefer them to the big. He enjoyed drawing and painting the young men in the open-air showers at the beach. then a nineteenyear-old history student at the University of California. National Museums Liverpool (Walker Art Gallery). very sexy. discrimination. for he had long collected its drawings and photographs of gay types. scabby ones. attractive boy who was also curious and intelligent. butch. and they became lovers for five years. © David Hockney. identity politics 213 . Santa Cruz.”110 In 1966 he met Peter Schlesinger. A special delight was going to the studio where Physique Pictorial was published.

CONTINUES REGARDLESS. the young man is placed in the very center. he creates a vertical tension. Hockney.LARI PITTMAN THIS WHOLESOMENESS. Lari Pittman was born in Los Angeles in 1952 to parents from very different backgrounds. discrimination. with 214 its carefree. and palm trees. sun-drenched life far from the turmoil of less affluent areas. while his Colombian-born mother had a Spanish-Italian Cath- racism. the foreigner. Los Angeles. 128 × 96 in.112 Almost a generation younger than Hockney. with its dancing pattern of white lines. a kind of male counterpart to the traditional odalisque seducer. Graham Trust. Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The aquamarine pool. and the viewer’s gaze focuses on his buttocks. BELOVED AND DESPISED. As in his other paintings of Los Angeles featuring its pools. Leaning against the pool’s edge with his head turned sideways. sprinkled lawns. Photo: © 2004 Museum Associates / LACMA. 1989–90 Acrylic and enamel on two mahogany panels. Courtesy Regen Projects. first of many pictures of Peter. Purchased with funds provided by the Ansley I. identity politics . takes a fresh look at the dream city. adds to the sexual energy. He was also one of the first artists to feature subjects of gay interest in paintings that appealed to a broad audience. which has influenced his work (his American-born father was from a German-English Presbyterian family.

Pittman has explained that he sees this number not primarily as indicating a physical act. often bizarre. strongly disparaged for so long. Throughout the painting arrows keep redirecting our attention. and anuses. the third of nine children in a Catholic family. Clearly. whose sense of mystery. down. Pittman wants to highlight the homosexuality in his art. and then attended CalArts. one pointing at the other’s erection. has affirmed cultural differences and advanced the recognition of Third World and women artists. There’s no one reading to this complex “morality” tale. In the center. with its claim of universality. back to the center. He studied art at UCLA. receiving both BFA and MFA degrees. Rodríguez was exposed at an early age to retablo paintings of saints and angels.olic heritage). As Pittman has noted. discrimination. on a diagonal. his interests lie at the opposite pole from the puritan reductionism so essential to much of the modern enterprise. of loss.”114 Compared with Pittman’s hyperactive surfaces. around. sonorous color.”113 Pittman’s kaleidoscopic paintings and drawings are filled with the sheer joy of painting. up. often morbid sensibility. Heavy golden ropes demarcate a theater curtain that has opened to our view. and Ross Bleckner resisted the conceptual trend and activated a vigorous return to painting. Pittman’s work revitalizes the Pattern and Decoration style of the 1970s. Like Hockney. phallic bell tower or cross a bridgelike span. He also admired the art of the Mexican Surrealist women—Leonore Fini. Rodríguez’s work is predisposed to fantasy. Leonora Carrington—and their predilection for fabulist narration. there is an equal amount of real sadness. thrusting it over the top into intense. baroque complexity. to a racism. using evocative imagery and virtuoso techniques. In the upper register small silhouetted figures occupy a huge. Engrossed in the visual activity of these often-rambunctious paintings. excluded both ethnic and gender identities. the viewer takes in these details as integral to the whole. admires Gustav Klimt’s elaborate canvases. Postmodernism. with its rich imagination. in 1965. slow visual rhythm. but they also abound with references to sexuality and his gay orientation. where he encountered the work of French Symbolists like Gustav Moreau. I am tired of sexually neutered histories of Robert Rauschenberg. Continues Regardless Pittman (who is fond of intricate titles) sets out to tell us visual stories. In the lower register two silhouetted gentlemen in Victorian dress face off on opposite sides. Be- loved and Despised. Tino Rodríguez’s small panels seem pictures of tranquillity. Jasper Johns. identity politics 215 . Cy Twombly. where he had his first solo exhibition in 1994. and Ellsworth Kelly. ejaculations. on the other hand. He studied at the Sorbonne in Paris. Mexico. two silhouetted lovers. The number 69 emblazoned on a golden star inevitably catches our eye. He has dedicated a painting to Gustav Mahler. including the number 69 as well as depictions of penises. Frida Kahlo. Modernism. saying. and allusive sexuality. with their complex interconnections and overlays. At the time the school was widely regarded as the most avant-garde in the country. Born in Guadalajara. hope. with red circles targeting their hearts and groins. David Salle. Beautifully painted sailboats glide in the water between these figures. “There are endless examples of homosexuals making art. His visually hyperactive paintings bring beauty. 190). Pittman and fellow students Eric Fischl. and speaks highly of Florine Stettheimer’s ultrafeminine. but there are very few examples of homosexual artists who erase the arbitrary distinction between the private and the public. “For every drop of ebullience and optimism in my work. but rather as signifying symbiosis and fulfillment in love. Pittman is not afraid to bring his sexual identity into his art. known both for its conceptual art and for its feminist program (see p. left a significant imprint. which is something heterosexual artists can do all the time. playful fantasies. and beauty. In his 1989–90 painting This Wholesomeness. divide the painting into two parts. Rodríguez continued his studies at the University of New Mexico and the San Francisco Art Institute.

From early on. gaining attention as a drag queen. he attended the San Francisco Art Institute. in honor of the San Jose Museum of Art’s 35th anniversary. blood streaming from raised arms.” As Avena explains. After studying ceramics at the Cleveland Art Institute. I like to depict stories and use bright jewel-like colors. and he frequently paints his own image in different guises. is the god of dreams in Greek mythology). was influenced by religious images of saints and martyrs. strict Catholic family and. He enjoyed being a sexual provocateur and accomplished trickster. But at times the lovely stories hint at painful tales. with his entwined legs covered with fish scales and his penis exposed. my spiritual yearnings. and masked figures. sacred world. Rodríguez sees his work as a way of defining his gay Mexican American identity. rare orchids. as in Elamante (The Lover. In the sky the sun is in eclipse. This transsexual odalisque returns the viewer’s gaze with a dreamy expression (Oneiros. like Rodríguez. In the latter we see him as a merman stretched out on a flowering meadow. recalls talking to Jerome about a Bosch image in which “one man uses another’s anus for a vase of daisies. while two cherubs racism. as Jerome). a man holding his penis and biting another man’s chest in a Saturnalian ritual titled Sooo Sweet (1999). Knowledgeable about art of the past. Jerome’s acute awareness of history—his deployment of the singular ‘profane’ image—is particularly frightening to the viewer who lacks a sense of historical violence and corruption. Velázquezian dwarfs. the Villa Dei Mysterii at Pompeii. He paints pictures with millefleur meadows. with headless. humans emerging from broken shells. 2002). the composition of this small panel recalls Persian miniature paintings. my fantasies. discrimination. erotic content. tropical birds. The painting. Filled with tropical plants and wondrous birds. as well as to Matthias Grünewald’s Isenheim Altarpiece (1515). world of fairy tales and romance. Jerome enjoyed cross-dressing. with its exotic. identity politics and a white rabbit frolic behind him. Promised gift of Peter and Beverly Lipman. “Like retablo paintings.TINO RODRÍGUEZ ONEIRIC SONG (THE DARKENING GARDEN). my frustrations. “These profane images embodied the art of a deeply religious. the poet and writer Thomas Avena. all kinds of butterflies. 2002 Oil on canvas. he was drawn to the monstrosities in Hieronymous Bosch’s paintings. His friend.”116 216 . stories that express my cultural heritage. and an artificial lamp shines brightly on thin Gothic spires. magic lanterns. A heavy bluish-green curtain hovers over his head and shoulder. or Morpheus. and the erotic drawings and paintings of Egon Schiele and Max Ernst. lizards. Jerome (1958–1995) grew up in a large. Goya’s Saturn Devouring One of His Children (1821–22). chubby cherubs. Born in Cleveland. San Jose Museum of Art. As Rodríguez has commented. imaginary theater sets. pissing children. a picture that is filled with both horror and awe. 1998) and Oneiric Song (The Darkening Garden. but my stories are personal and charged with contemporary issues that challenge typical gender ideologies.”115 More sharply biting commentary on gay identity in defiance of Catholic morality as well as the AIDS crisis comes from Jerome Caja (known by his first name only. fuses carnal sexuality with a spiritual longing for life in Eden. my desire to transcend the negativity of stereotypes and to show a true picture of myself and the worlds that live within me. 20 × 24 in.

“could see the racism. former West Coast director of the Archives of American Art. The figure is set against a bright blue sky and green lawn. skeletons. Fullerton. Jerome: After the Pageant. 1874–1969) comes to mind. who was also influenced by sexually explicit comic strips. which could easily be characterized as hideous. When Jerome’s close friend. seems the extreme opposite of the often grungy pictures by some recent lesbian/dyke artists. using nontraditional materials like cosmetics to paint pictures small enough in size to be carried in his pockets. Typical is Venus in Cleveland (1995). Avena and Adam Klein published a fine book. depicting Jerome’s blonde-bombshell alter ego. Smithsonian Institution. a transsexual Venus. as might be expected.Jerome. including dashing images of her friend Gabriele D’Annunzio and nude pictures of her lover Ida Rubinstein.117 Pressure from the Christian Right notwithstanding. popes. Romaine Brooks (c. penises. in the Archives of American Art. Jerome certainly raised the bar of audacity with his paintings. identity politics 217 . Brooks’s work. Jerome used his ashes as a medium for some of his paintings. Paul Karlstrom.” Avena declared. with a white picket fence and laundry blowing in the breeze. Courtesy of the Jerome Caja papers. committed suicide. and White-out on paper. collected his papers and small paintings and facilitated their exhibition at California State University. outrageously costumed in a black bra and garter belt. animals with human heads and humans with animal heads. in her influential book Lesbian Nation. which measures seven by four inches and is painted with nail polish. enamel. He expressed his passions in works with pronounced homosexual themes. painted elegant portraits of herself. and American expatriates. the painter Charles Sexton. it combines disdain with a carnival atmosphere. however. some concern about the archives being associated with the blatantly homoerotic images by this artist. who was sick with AIDS. a scion of an upper-class family. JEROME CAJA VENUS IN CLEVELAND. There was. for a conjunction of the feminist and gay liberation movements. 71⁄2 × 41⁄2 in. Brooks. 1995 Nail polish. with an introduction by the curator Klaus Kertess. perhaps. One of his less violent pictures. is the 1973 call by Jill Johnston. “Many feminists. bizarre. it is a selfportrait. the year after Jerome died. strange visions such as eggs sitting around a dining table feasting on a turkey—a whole theater of cannibalism. “To enter into Jerome Caja’s world is to risk one’s own innocence. Disturbing fantasies are expressed with a ceremonial sense of pathos. Like most of his small paintings. Between these two poles. ladies of the European aristocracy. discrimination.” she believed. In 1996. but Karlstrom was proud of acquiring Jerome’s work and of interviewing him in 1995. Lesbian Issues There were American artists known to be lesbians long before lesbian affirmation became a rallying cry. with a very visible penis hanging from crotchless panties. painted clowns. in 1999. Perhaps the hand of censorship has lightened. 1960–95. and reprobate.

190) initiated events such as the 1973 Lesbian Week.instant logic of sex with another woman as the basic affirmation of a powerful sisterhood. “I . believe that ‘lesbian’ would be a very white description of who I am. her name.123 The double bind that confronts women who are both Chicana and lesbian is addressed by Laura Aguilar in her Latina Lesbian Series (1987–90). discrimination. a Latina lesbian bar in East Los Angeles. Ten years later. confinement. which included an exhibition. curated by Bia Lowe. they’re tough. although she attended the East Los Angeles Community College and the Santa Fe Photography Workshop. some have been jailed.”119 Another outgrowth of the Feminist Studio Workshop was The Great American Lesbian Art Show (GALAS) in 1980. have produced strongly charged art dealing with both ethnic identity and 218 lesbianism. Aguilar. This exhibition was accompanied by more than two hundred “sister” events throughout the United States and Canada. Carla Trujillo used this painting for the cover of her book Chicana Lesbians. The women are working-class. displayed in the side panels.” and they “insist on defining pleasure in their own terms. a series of performances. another exhibition of lesbian art in Los Angeles. Ester Hernández (see p. “The experience helped women [both lesbian and heterosexual] better understand one another and thus put to rest divisive issues that can impede political action. In 1979. a workshop. lectures. dressed and undressed. with her lower body wrapped in the Stars and Stripes.” she has stated. as aguila. they’re femme. this group presented An Oral Herstory of Lesbianism. Also in 1990 Aguilar began work on a series of gelatin silver prints. La Ofrenda II (1990). in which her body is a template caught between the U. for diptychs that are arresting because they are so matter-of-fact. The central panel shows her corpulent body tied up with rope.121 Similarly. born in the San Gabriel Valley in 1959. Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie prefers to call herself “two spirited.” situating herself firmly within a Native American context.” In this work Aguilar seems to be asking whether she is Mexican or American while addressing issues of nationalism. feminism. .S. in a single image. Terry Wolverton observed that there was “a new generation of lesbian artists. As the lesbian activist artist Harmony Hammond explains. like the Vietnamese-born photographer Hanh Thi Pham (see pp. Men and women from diverse ethnic backgrounds stand in frontal poses. The Latina Lesbian Series focuses on middle-class Latina couples. identity politics . her large breasts provocatively exposed. and strength. As Raven described it. writing about All But the Obvious.”120 A number of lesbian artists of color have addressed the issue of multiple identities. is largely selftaught in photography. 190). Chicanas and lesbians. . demanding access to all images of themselves. and dances. is Spanish for “eagle. 139–41). Four years later Arlene Raven started the Lesbian Art Project as part of the Feminist Studio Workshop in Los Angeles (see p. including those generated in pornography.”122 Her collaborative mural Great Wall of Los Angeles focuses on issues of class and race as well as gender.”124 In 1990 Aguilar produced a polemical work that seems to summarize the plight of her life and work—the triptych Three Eagles Flying. 172–73) has insisted that “lesbian” offers too narrow a definition of who she is and “speaks counter to a belief system that’s much more incorporative. titled Clothed/Unclothed. under the direction of Terry Wolverton. “She photographed working-class Chicana dykes from the Plush Pony. but it does include a section titled “The Origins of Gay Rights” (1983). The Mexican eagle covering her face here has a double meaning. some are on welfare—they’re butch. but she followed it with what she called the Plush Pony Series. Judith Baca (see pp. bringing together two— sometimes conflicting—identity groups. and her head suffocated by the Mexican flag.”118 During the 1970s in Los Angeles Womanspace (see p. Other California artists. and Mexican flags. 170) created a silkscreen in which one woman’s hand offers a red rose to the iconic image of the Virgin of Guadalupe on another woman’s back. racism.

each. and she decided early on to become a photographer. After graduating from the San Francisco Art Institute and CalArts. Chicana. begun in 2000. discrimination. These photographs no longer seem so provocative. she taught at the University of California. Born in Sandusky. Opie’s arms in Self-Portrait/Pervert are replete with a great many needles stuck into her skin. with rocks and trees. She seems here and throughout her work to be questioning whether we can accept her for who she is— all of her—lesbian. Self-Portrait/ Pervert (1994). an expert flesh cutter from San Francisco). she grew up in a suburb of San Diego. is covered by a warlike leather mask. close up. on headshots of her lesbian friends “made up” as men. in 1961. including one. Opie generally works in series. but there could be no greater contrast to the German Renaissance painter’s portraits of resolute men than Opie’s grungy punk photographs of lesbians wearing theatrical moustaches or goatees and women whose bodies have been altered by piercings and tattoos. identity politics 219 . a New York lesbian artist of the previous generation. sometimes with women friends. In another startling work from this group. Nothing unexpected is seen in the unclothed version. 1990 Gelatin silver print (triptych). in which her back is decorated with a childlike drawing of two girls holding hands. Yet there is a catch. Opie has also created a number of sensational selfportraits. blending into nature. she has said that she drew her inspiration from Hans Holbein’s portraits. reversing the more usual gender-bending portrayals of drag queens. from 1993. For her signature series Being and Having (1991) she focused her lens. evoking a sense of serenity. however. Her head. Referring to this and other work. 60 × 24 in. Ohio. presenting the nude “forms” of Aguilar. Do clothes make the person? Or are we looking at the naked truth? Aguilar’s interest in the “honesty” of the naked self continues in her series Stillness and Motion. Courtesy of the artist and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects. Irvine. plus-sized. As a child. Catherine Opie expresses her lesbian identity with a punk orientation. she was deeply moved by seeing Lewis Hine’s photographs of the plight of children.LAURA AGUILAR THREE EAGLES FLYING. It looks nice until we realize that these red stick figures have been cut into her flesh. recalling the hooded black leather heads sculpted by Nancy Grossman. Opie is posed against a brocade curtain and faces the viewer head-on. Opie reported that she felt highly agitated by talk about the danger of “perverts” by Senator Jesse Helms and others and racism. and the word “pervert” has been cut into her flesh above her large breasts (this painful scarification in decorative script was done by Raelyn Gallina. for Aguilar’s large-size body is far from any of Western art’s handed-down female ideals.

2003. carrying scuba-diving equipment. The Hanauma Bay watercolor series (1982) followed. One of Teraoka’s erotic Venice Beach paintings (1975 ) shows a young nude Caucasian woman exposing herself seductively to a samurai warrior. In McDonald’s Hamburgers Invading Japan / Geisha and Tattoed Woman (1975). and cloning.” REFLECTIONS ON MASAMI TERAOKA’S ART THEATER In his art Masami Teraoka has tackled a variety of politically charged issues.CATHERINE OPIE SELF-PORTRAIT / PERVERT. Guggenheim Museum. In contrast. an extremely difficult and effective technical achievement. identity politics . These S/M scenes between two women could easily be called pornographic by some. especially that of Claes Oldenburg. at the hamburger in her hand. he now divides his time between the two places. In McDonald’s Hamburgers Invading Japan / Hamburger and Chopsticks (1976). For these photographs she traveled across the country. 1994 Chromogenic print. During the mid-1970s Teraoka attacked the spread of American-style consumerism through watercolors painted in the eighteenth-century Edo style. including rampant consumerism. A Japanese seal imprint on the left and a pink bra flying in the sky clearly show the clash between two cultures. He continued to live and work in Los Angeles until 1980. Solomon R. featuring humorous scenes of Japanese and American vacationers swimming and snorkeling in turbulent waves. who awkwardly fumbles with his bicycle. sexual mores. he began mimicking classical woodblock printing in watercolor. or playing with their children. and even ice chests. Purchased with funds contributed by the Photography Committee. Teraoka was born in 1936 in Onomichi. Opie’s portfolio O (1999) consists of black-andwhite photogravures made in response to Robert Mapplethorpe’s X portfolio (1980). discrimination. radios. Santa Monica Pier (1975) depicts a Buddhist monk/fisherman (actually a self-portrait) caught in racism. cameras. He sees himself as creating “a fantastical aesthetic world where human folly and dilemma are expressed in such a way 220 that the beauty and ugliness of human activity and psyche thrive in a complex pictorial recipe. for example. affirming “family values. Los Angeles. and a sprig of cherry blossoms ornaments the top. with a dubious expression. wanted to have the despised word cut into her body for the shock of recognition. In 1961 Teraoka moved to California. Courtesy Regen Projects. Opie’s Domestic series (1995–99) comprises images of lesbians at their everyday household tasks. 40 × 30 in. documenting gay women cooking. with most of the painting an elegant void. the seal marks of traditional Edo woodblocks another. a hamburger bun and chopsticks discreetly occupy one corner. New York. we see a blonde Japanese woman slurping her noodles with chopsticks while a geisha behind her looks.”125 Nowhere is this more apparent than in the series of paintings he made dealing with the scourge of AIDS. reading. censorship. Enamored of the great Japanese woodblock artists Utagawa Kunisada and Katsushika Hokusai of the Edo period. Japan. when he established a studio in Hawaii. and studied aesthetics at Kwansei Gakuin University in Kobe. studying at the Otis Art Institute and becoming fascinated with Pop Art.

as Teraoka shows himself doing. AIDS quickly became a global concern. . AIDS Series / Geisha and Ghost Cat (1989– 2002) shows two horrified. consumerism. Teraoka reached back to the ghost-inspired ukiyo-e prints of the Kabuki stage. Night fishing. Almost immediately the subject demanded modifications in my style and scale of work. I did my first AIDS-themed painting. Safe sex and the open promotion of condoms and/or abstinence were framed as health or morality issues. identity politics MASAMI TERAOKA AIDS SERIES / GEISHA AND GHOST CAT. In retrospect. which extends over about fifteen years. 1989–2002 Aquatint and sugar lift etching. San Jose Museum of Art. in 1986. 221 . 1). naked heterosexual lovers crawling to the corner of their bed.the waves. condoms along racism. while a large crescent moon rises against the black sky. . and environmental degradation. Photo: Douglas Sandberg. it was his series on AIDS begun in the late 1980s that brought him to widespread attention. seemed a natural progression. American Kabuk/Oishiwa (No. Later he worked with aquatint and sugar-lift etching. Tackling such a range of issues challenged me as an artist. an unthinkable trap! In the early eighties attention was focused on the spread of AIDS in the gay community. To create these much larger pictures. the issues surrounding AIDS . Gift of the Lipman Family Foundation. Condoms are central to this series of works. Expanding my subject matter compelled me to synthesize a variety of aesthetic traditions in an effort to create an effective visual language. which were intended as warnings and are often frightening indeed. Proponents of increased AIDS awareness and funding used the media to advance their message. mentally and physically. he devised a new technique. which raised gender and sexual issues. 38 × 30 in. He explains: After I worked with themes such as intercultural relations. awarding the lover with a death sentence. First.126 For his AIDS Series. highlighting how interconnected the world has become. is an ancient Japanese sexual metaphor. discrimination. Whether technology could stem the plague became a crucial question. spit bite. The AIDS theme encompasses many serious issues. The process was arduous. I believe this stylistic and conceptual evolution began with my AIDS paintings in 1986. Science today is advanced enough to send satellites and shuttles into space. Although Teraoka had his first solo show in Los Angeles in 1973. but still struggles with microscopic viruses that torment our earthbound race. and direct gravure. it decimates the comfort of love. dipping the canvas into large tubs of sizing and then painting in what he calls an “aerobic dance” with sumi ink and watercolor. AIDS affects so many facets of the human condition that I was compelled to address the subject in depth.

Teraoka shows President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton nailed to trees. in his New Wave series. In 1995 Teraoka created his masterpiece Media Bacchanalia. The curatorial assistant Lindsey Wylie remarked: “As an added salute to the iconography of traditional Ukiyo-e. the eyes of the man and woman are banded in blue. The left panel depicts a deadly carnival of skeletons while great apocalyptic fires annihilate the area on the right. about the victims of the information age. the hypocrisy of the church’s official response. over fourteen feet wide. Teraoka depicted naked women swimming in high waves. looms above in the sky as a messenger of death. it relates to Max Beckmann’s powerful triptychs. devouring a geisha. he painted Adam as a hooded skeleton holding a condom against Eve’s pubic area. ghostlike cat. indicating that they too will become ghosts. and a large. clearly bringing the messenger of death into Western culture. much as vinegar was served to the crucified Christ. holding onto condoms while being threatened by a huge catfish. discrimination. started in 2003. The painting. Geisha and Ghost Cat boldly considers whether the human race can survive the challenges of contemporary society. 222 racism. while voracious journalists hold their microphones up to them. In Virtual Reality (1995). and the social and cultural disintegration of human values. Like the other works from this series. identity politics .with a diaphragm and jelly lie unused on the night table. from his Adam and Eve series (which refers to paintings by Bosch and Hans Baldung Grien). consists of four panels.”127 In the early 1990s. In its symbolic and dramatic melding of current life with history and fantasy and its realistic treatment of figures. he refers to 9/11 as well as to the child molestation scandal in the Catholic Church. Teraoka has continued to address world events in paintings that simulate Western religious art rather than Japanese woodblocks. In the US Inquisition series. fierce.

The DuPont 223 . corporate. that a broad-based awareness began of human-induced dangers to the world’s ecology and of the inherent interdependence of all organisms and the environment. james wines.” The industrial establishment tried to deny Carson’s charges as “hysterical” and unfounded. it will matter very little whether civil rights have been achieved. focusing on the threat to all life on this planet posed by the use of insecticides. and have dominion over the fish of the sea. civilized nations have acted in the belief that the earth is subject to domination by humans. an environmental designer. starvation. all other social. It was not until Rachel Carson. and a lack of water. sums up the profound crisis that national. published her poetic and controversial book Silent Spring (1962). with large red letters above spelling “DDT. economic. Haiti. Green Architecture with these words.TOWARD A SUSTAINABLE EARTH CHAPTER 4 Compared to the environmental crisis. and individual greed have created for the sustainability of the earth and. an AIDS vaccine exists. or the national debts have been paid. if humanity expires from global warming. and causing irredeemable ecological disaster by extirpation of all kinds. and scientific issues pale into insignificance. ‘Be fruitful. a marine biologist. political. and dean of architecture at the University of Pennsylvania. and over the birds of the air.1 Taking up Carson’s cry. or the Indus Valley. it seems. all these threats to our survival are directly or indirectly related to environmental destruction. Obviously. and multiply. In point of fact. Even in the Bible we read: “And God said. For too long. for human survival. the Middle East is at peace. Rupert García (see pp. the color of smog. and over every living thing that moves upon the earth’”(Gen. pollution. and fill the earth and subdue it. Philadelphia. indeed. who committed biological sui- cide by cutting down their forests. This directive was of little help to the people who lived on Easter or Pitcairn Island or to the inhabitants of Greenland. 1:28). over-population. 44–46) made a poster in 1969 showing a frightened little girl who cries as she runs through a large toxic blue space. polluting their watersheds. james wines. writer.

The exponential growth of the world’s population threatens to increase environmental problems. a number of artists engaged in a direct encounter with the land itself. therefore. grew out of the Land Art and Earthworks of the late 1960s and early 1970s. “the Arctic sea-ice in summer will virtually disappear by the middle to the end of the century. to the land itself. located at sea level. making a strong. In the mid-twentieth century the philosopher Martin Heidegger provided a significant critique of Platonic and Christian anthropocentrism. designed by the artist but produced by industrial fabricators. the forester Aldo Leopold.”3 It is quite likely. they adapted the Abstract Expressionists’ gesture.” singing of “the pellets of poison . Walter De Maria. Environmental art. authentic mark.”5 Visual artists have also called attention to the overwhelming environmental challenges we face. museum. asserting that “a nonanthropocentric conception of humanity and its relation to nature must go beyond the doctrine of rights. President George W. however.” Such pessimistic views about the destruction of the biosphere have proved only too accurate as environmental devastation visibly takes its toll. is still produced for sale abroad. however. we must change not only our industrial practices. banned in the United States in 1972. Nancy Holt. topsoil built up over millions of years is being used up at a rapid rate. While the oceans are rising. causing famine to spread across the earth.and steel-enclosed International-style architecture of the 1960s. Michael Heizer. and Dennis Oppenheim—moved the earth itself to create often colossal works in the remote wilderness. the philosopher Arne Naess. the cultural historian Theodore Roszak. According to the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment Report of November 2004. flooding the waters. Adding to the magnitude of the global crisis.2 Putting the hope of the world aside. have been corroborated. The bulldozer took the place of the paintbrush. . the world’s potable water is in serious decline. Bush abrogated the treaty soon after taking office and downgraded standards for clean air as well as clean water. As climate changes destroy existing arable land. which “recognizes the intrinsic values of all living beings. Already. and the environmental activist David Brower have contributed to the new field of deep ecology. . The first generation of Land artists—Robert Smithson.corporation continued to propagate its slogan “Better Living Through Chemistry”: DDT. many of the globe’s major cities. Soon a number of Minimalist sculptors decided to move beyond the gallery.”4 Thinkers such as the theoretical physicist Fritjof Capra. numerous nations signed the Kyoto Protocol in 1997 to reduce global warming. tropical forests. 224 To change this situation. Transforming the genre that for centuries had held up a mirror to the landscape so as to transfer the view onto paper or canvas. if the present situation is allowed to continue. and the degradation of the environment has been even more serious than she predicted. Robert Morris. or toward a sustainable earth . or blowtorch. global temperatures are rising at an alarming rate. as well as forests in milder climates. In 1963 the young balladeer Bob Dylan recorded “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall. more and more land will become desert. In some respects. it is estimated to reach twelve billion by the year 2050. Moreover. that. We can dwell harmoniously on Earth only by submitting to our primary obligation to be open for the Being of beings. Early in their careers many Land artists had produced Minimalist sculpture: geometric forms that resembled the glass. chisel. are being cut down to serve the timber industry and to make room for cattle ranches and corporate agriculture. which interprets fragile ecologies and in some instances incorporates solutions for environmental problems. Six billion at the turn of the millennium. Carson’s findings. and views humans as just one particular strand in the web of life. but the way we view the world. In the face of measurable melting of glaciers and the polar ice caps and the dangerous rise in sea levels. Environmental degradation is a real and present danger. not merely a prediction for the future. will eventually be under water. some people argue.

and weeds. Countering the view that the wilderness was something to be conquered and tamed. The fragrance of the watered earth is a great relief from the fumes of the city. the California landscape was a vision of El Dorado at the far side of the North American continent. to realize that art celebrating the earth could indeed be made directly on the land. the major patron of Earth Art. Some years later. to add their art to sagging warehouse floors.corporate enclosure and to launch into open space. had her pivotal gallery in Los Angeles from 1959 until 1967. where she mounted the first important group show of Earthworks in 1968. chained trees to signify man’s interference with nature. Agnes Denes planted rice to symbolize life and sustenance. For most Californians today. harvesting eleven thousand pounds of healthy wheat. he planted a small indigenous garden. as Heizer pointed out. In the same year Robert Morris placed a small mound of dirt in the Dwan Gallery in New York and titled it Earthwork. Walter De Maria filled the Heiner Friedrich Gallery in New York with two feet of earth. from human domination over nature. spent a significant number of years in California. Many of the Earthworkers. On a much smaller scale. he saw his mission as the preservation of God’s garden and helped found the Sierra Club in 1892.7 All these artists advocated the dematerialization of art. bringing the original flora of Lower Manhattan back to the community at LaGuardia Place. COLLABORATIONS WITH NATURE AND THE BODY POLITIC Californians’ attitude toward nature has been fraught with ambiguity. and Oppenheim did his undergraduate work at the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland and earned his graduate degree at Stanford University. In the spirit of the 1960s. Alan Sonfist created Time Landscape (1965–78) on a plot near a busy New York intersection. the counterculture. they strongly opposed the wholesale commercialization and commodification of art and the art world. and the growing concern for the natural environment. But in these early years of Earth Art. in upstate New York. For painters in the nineteenth century. in 1977. Virginia Dwan. when John Muir visited Yosemite. Her 1982 concept for the Tree Mountain project. In 1988 she planted an entire wheatfield in Lower Manhattan. before moving it to New York. this installation is now on permanent view at the West Broadway branch of the Dia Center for the Arts. partly indebted to the feminist critique. They produced work that did not fit into the white cube of the museum or gallery and could not decorate the living rooms of luxury apartments. Called The New York Earth Room. calling for eleven thousand trees to be planted in an intricate geometric pattern. In fact. and buried her poetry to represent thinking in a dialectical triangulation that indicates the human relationship to nature. for example. broken glass. most still appropriated the earth for their own formal purposes. Berkeley.) De Maria earned his master’s degree in art at UC Berkeley. the landscape is something glimpsed from the freeways or seen as an opportunity for real estate development. the Sierra Club helped create a populist mind-set toward a sustainable earth 225 . Two early examples of this shift in perspective came out of the New York art world. In 1870. In her study Boettger also draws a plausible connection between Earthworks and the free spirit of the free speech movement. cement. became in 1992 part of a land reclamation enterprise in Finland designed to help alleviate the world’s ecological stress. the antiwar demonstrations. many of the artists had not yet disengaged themselves from anthropocentrism. In 1968 Carl Andre and Sol LeWitt exhibited their horizontal work. as Suzaan Boettger points out in her book Earthworks. They did not want. (Morris also studied there. where his father was an archaeologist at the University of California. Reclaiming an urban wasteland of rubble. and he studied at the San Francisco Art Institute. grew up in California. suggesting the flatness of the land. It took a new awareness.6 Heizer. In Rice/Tree/ Burial (1968).

at the same time. consisting of seven interconnected narrative maps and dialogues between a “lagoon maker” and a “witness. First and foremost among ecological artists in California are Helen Mayer Harrison (b. some of whom were dismayed by an artwork so poignantly replicating normal life experience. Edward Weston. they constructed Portable Orchard. In the twentieth century distinguished photographers such as Ansel Adams. healthful setting. who had studied literature and the psychology of education at Cornell University. concluding with an end to the cycle of life in which the fish were killed. transportation. billboards. They see this verbal art—this dialogue. Many of the Harrisons’ projects—such as Meditations on the Condition of the Sacramento River. and warfare. capturing a natural paradise far removed from the reality of the increasingly polluted urban areas. in which citrus trees could bear fruit in a well-designed. who had received his MFA from Yale University and produced well-received color field paintings. in the firm belief that their work can make a difference. suggested solutions for afflicted watersheds. London. For ten years (1974–84) the Harrisons worked on The Lagoon Cycle. toward a sustainable earth . topographical. at about the time that Smithson made his Spiral Jetty. more abstractly described. In 1970 they came to California to help form the new Department of Visual Arts at the University of California.” Alarmed by the devastation of the California orchards by smog and urban sprawl. graffiti. and New York University. This project went beyond the walls of the San Francisco Art Institute and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art into the streets of the city. This magnum opus focused attention on the state of farming. evoking the work of the historic cartographers whose maps. In 1961 three female activists started a movement to save the San Francisco Bay from a series of planned landfills that would have turned it into a saltwater lake. historians. as well as recitals of the meditations by the two artists. making the water surface resemble contemporary color field painting. fried. 1929) and Newton Harrison (b.” to use a term introduced by Joseph Beuys. and satellite— were accompanied by explicatory texts. In the Harrisons’ Delta and Bay Area project the maps— political. married Newton. the Harrisons have confronted ecological problems with eco-aesthetic metaphors. In 1953 Helen. In opposition to the general postmodern pessimism.about the value of preserving wild beauty. and the Bays at San Francisco (1977)—asked questions about and. advertisements. would change color. moving to Santa Cruz in 2004. In their “fish events. Exhibitions of the fish farms at museum sites in Los Angeles.” meditating on ecological projects from Sri Lanka to the Salton Sea. narrated. agribusiness. politicians. Large maps were central to their strategy. Artists in California soon added their voices to efforts to preserve the land and increase the body politic’s respect for the life of the natural environment. and Brett Weston focused their cameras on the High Sierra and the undefiled Pacific shore. and television programs. biologists. and Brussels were accompanied by dialogues and performances. They actively consult with engineers. geological. and businesspeople as part of the research for their projects. they began collaborating on art that combined sociopolitical concerns with aesthetic values. with posters. With their different but complementary backgrounds. used as instruments of navigation. Queens College. as expounded by Jean Baudrillard. which pointed out the problems caused by damming. journalists. the artists grew shrimp or fish in ponds containing algae that. Fish Feast.” Portable Brine Shrimp Farm. and other ventures that place profit ahead of sustainability. Groups arose to protect the land from the growing cities. and Catfish Feast. and to the south Friends of the Los Angeles River managed to stop a plan to turn the riverbed into a truck freeway. the Harrisons produced a series 226 of “survival pieces. hydrologists. and served to invited guests. and recitation—as an integral part of their “social sculpture. San Diego. and delineated space. In the early 1970s. 1932). the Delta. depending on the water’s salinity. discourse.

James Dee. Courtesy Ronald Feldman Fine Arts. × 13 ft. Photo: D. AND THE BAYS AT SAN FRANCISCO. New York. 2 in. and ink. 2001 Paper on canvas. collage. Courtesy Ronald Feldman Fine Arts. THE DELTA. 3 in. New York. 1977 Photography. graphite. 9 × 5 ft. HELEN MAYER HARRISON AND NEWTON HARRISON SO WHO’S ATTENDING TO THE CONNECTIVITY OF THE WHOLE? FROM PENINSULA EUROPE.HELEN MAYER HARRISON AND NEWTON HARRISON MEDITATIONS ON THE CONDITION OF THE SACRAMENTO RIVER. 4 ft. .

who received her B. One of the first ecological works to integrate land.”8 Two of the book’s many new maps are reproduced here. located at the intersection of two freeways in San Francisco. this work serves as the basis for a new discourse on the continent’s future. each with [its] own distinct geophysical perception. and air. at the request of the Cultural Council of South Holland. circling 140 kilometers around the “green heart” that still exists in the center of the Netherlands. Great Britain and the other islands. studied performance art with Mel Henderson at San Francisco State University. anticipating some of her later performances.with the disintegrating conditions of soil. In 1974 Sherk created Crossroads Community (The Farm). and humans. Extending their earlier concerns with “survival instruction”9 onto a grand scale. But it went beyond discussion to suggest concrete ways to attain harmony between humanity and our natural surroundings. dressed in formal attire. 1945) was collaborating with Howard Levine on the installation of a series of outdoor performance pieces she called “portable parks. embracing its cultural and biological diversity. which were fed publicly at the same time. animals. She transformed some dilapidated buildings and four and a half acres of barren cement into a place where “farm” animals— chickens. the Russian plain extending to the Ural Mountains. The Farm presented a restored sustainable ecosystem. and on the interrelationship of ecosystems. In Public Lunch she had herself caged and sat down for an elegant meal next to other animals in the San Francisco Zoo.” Sherk. In 2001 the Harrisons published a beautifully illustrated book. It would clean the water and the air and yet allow for the anticipated need to build new homes to absorb immigration. Peninsula Europe. Over the years the Harrisons have worked mostly on commissioned projects. In one of her early “portable parks” events she covered a dead-end section of a freeway with live turf and palm trees and brought in a cow to keep her com228 pany. one showing Peninsula Europe’s mountain ranges and riverbeds and the other pulling the land mass apart into differently colored sections signifying specific watersheds. pigs. water. In 1995. At the same time the Harrisons were creating their portable fish farms in the early 1970s. degree from Rutgers University. a plan for a two-kilometer-wide biodiversity ring. from Pasadena and San Diego to Baltimore and Atlanta. to Prague and Tel Aviv. rabbits. Bonnie Sherk (b. sat for some time on a discarded stuffed chair near a garbage dump in central San Francisco.A. She became friendly with the tiger in the next cage. among other places. they produced A Vision for the Green Heart of Holland. Children toward a sustainable earth . cows— could live and various plant species could grow. Posing the question “Who is looking at the continent as a whole?” they visualized Europe as a single entity “including Scandinavian countries. In Sitting Still Sherk.

1974 Plan for Crossroads Community (The Farm). Christo (Javacheff ) was born in Bulgaria in 1935. Their different backgrounds have stimulated a continuous interchange of ideas. It provides the students with the experience of gardening and thus relating directly to nature.”10 After seven years Sherk felt that it was time to let go and move on. and their first signal joint project. cultural. which will address problems of health. trained at the Sofia Academy of Fine Arts in the Social Realist manner.BONNIE SHERK THE FARM. and view from under freeeway. and adults from different economic. her study comparing the contemporary dialectic between nature and culture to prehistoric art. where he met Jeanne-Claude. which became a school without walls. and cultural backgrounds came to visit this environment.” an interactive program. and one of the first alternative art spaces. Christo and JeanneClaude have worked together on formidable projects. education. and a rural park was developed next to the freeways.”11 In 1999 she installed a living library as part of the curriculum of three adjoining schools in southwestern San Francisco. In Overlay. Courtesy of the artist. San Francisco. Iron Curtoward a sustainable earth 229 . He arrived in Paris in 1958. and worked in a brigade that advised farmers on how to arrange their harvests and tools to impress foreign travelers on the Orient Express with a vision of dynamic prosperity. Lucy Lippard asserted that Sherk’s “offspring” was “the most ambitious and successful work of ecological art in this country. and technological systems. The Farm was acquired by the city of San Francisco. They began to work together. and ecology. who had been born—on the same day as Christo—in Casablanca to a French military family. holistic community. Sherk has proposed one for Roosevelt Island. a new. They are planned to use state-ofthe-art technology to demonstrate the interconnect- edness between biological. contiguous acreage became available. which she defined as broad metaphors that use art as a “systematic framework and vehicle for environmental and educational information. far left. opposite the United Nations buildings in New York. and envisions adding a world peace institute and a sustainable development center. Sherk then developed her “living libraries. ethnic. Like the Harrisons. She had studied in France and Switzerland and received a baccalaureate in Latin and philosophy from the University of Tunis. The phenomenon of artists working as partners on large-scale environmental projects has increased in recent years. Sherk’s living libraries also link diversity and commonality around the globe.

rather than arbitrary boundaries of private property. the political process of obtaining permissions was a key aspect of the enterprise. in 1968. SONOMA AND MARIN COUNTIES. the Army Corps of Engineers.600-cubic-meter air package. with eighteen hearings with various county planning and zoning boards. For Documenta 4 in Kassel. indeed international. and civic commissions all had to cooperate for the work to be erected. planners. consisted of a big stack of oil barrels that stopped all traffic on a narrow Paris street. attention by doing a stunt on their territory. Australia. It reportedly stopped developers from building in that area. © Christo. 1972–2005. Christo and Jeanne-Claude came to California to build Running Fence. the California Coastal Commission. from Meacham Hill north of Petaluma across CHRISTO AND JEANNE-CLAUDE RUNNING FENCE. Their next major project. with one million square feet of fabric in 1969. It took four years of negotiations. community groups. was both a great engineering feat and a fine work of art. 230 toward a sustainable earth . Running Fence extended twenty-four and a half miles. Sonoma and Marin Counties. the whole negotiation process forced members of the public to focus on the geography and appearance of the land. CALIFORNIA. and other bureaucratic agencies. the “software” of the process. Germany. California. wrapping part of the coast near Sydney. which became the hallmark of the exposition.tain(1962). 1972–1976 Photo: Wolfgang Volz. Christo’s response at the hearing was that all the opposition was an essential ingredient of the work. and land regulation. Landowners. complaining that a bunch of foreigners—a Bulgarian artist with a French wife and a German project director (full disclosure: the author of this book)— were about to get national. 1972–1976. 5. A committee of disgruntled local artists tried to stop the project. The sociopolitical context. increasing viewers’ awareness of the sheer beauty of Australia’s coastal bluffs. Indeed. As in most of their projects. county divisions. they installed a lofty. After their monumental project Valley Curtain (1970–72) in Colorado. was as important for Christo and JeanneClaude as the “hardware” to follow.

pastures. leaving only the memory of the land as it had been temporarily enhanced and the visual and written record of the project. the fence reflected colors from blue to orange. This ecologically significant work increased public awareness of the beauty of the landscape. One day in October 1991 the large umbrellas were opened simultaneously in both countries: 1. Christo and Jeanne-Claude came back to California with The Umbrellas. it has been compared to the Great Wall of China.760 yellow umbrellas. 1984–1991. Photo: Wolfgang Volz. 1991. photographs. alone or grouped in nests. Photo: Wolfgang Volz. toward a sustainable earth CHRISTO AND JEANNE-CLAUDE THE UMBRELLAS. 1984–1991 Ibaraki Prefecture. and ranches. JAPAN–USA. Just as we have come to think of Mont Sainte-Victoire in Provence through the eyes and brush of Paul Cézanne. Carefully designed and produced by a large crew of engineers. and workers. The answer is that it defies classification. it lasted only fourteen days—a transitory structure. But with The Umbrellas the connoisseur became a traveler and the two-dimensional drawing of a scroll became palpable.340 blue umbrellas played against green hills in a valley north of Tokyo. zigzagging over hills. characterized by impermanence and change. CHRISTO AND JEANNE-CLAUDE THE UMBRELLAS. made of nylon panels.Highway 101. As the light changed throughout the day. JAPAN–USA. when people could view documentation in films. and meditating scholars. 1991. existing in the actual world. The work of art lasted only nineteen days. and books. both during its brief existence and after. it can be seen as architecture. This eighteen-foot-high ribbon. every part was carefully removed afterward. and 1. rocks. Viewed from the air. 231 . Japan–USA. © Christo. 1984–1991 California. but instead of enduring through the ages. I have often been asked to which category of art this work belongs. Driving on the highway and seeing the large yellow mushrooms reveal themselves reminded me of unrolling a Chinese landscape scroll to discover trees. bridges. builders. swayed like a group of great sails in the wind. As in all of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s projects. stood in the dry golden hills at Tejon Pass along Interstate 5. and then dipping into the Pacific Ocean at Bodega Bay. Japan. people now remember the Sonoma and Marin hills as construed by Running Fence. USA. north of Los Angeles. © Christo.

and the love and tenderness brought by the fact that it will not last. Central Park. to help collect trash. it was temporary. a ritual that infused a futile act with meaning. seals. Other artists have focused on how to undo the damage humans have already done to the environment—offering. with a variety of images: tellingly.Christo and Jeanne-Claude have also worked on transforming urban sites. Born in Berkeley in 1938. they note. They saw sea lions.” signifying her deep concern about the destruction of the planet and her faith in the artist’s potential to serve as a healing agent and “turn poison into nectar. devoted one day every month between 1987 and 1994 to reverentially cleaning a minute portion of the Santa Fe River. who was born in Carbondale. flowing into a bowl of goldfish. The resulting proposal [The Gates. when the Contemporary Arts Forum in Santa Barbara invited Bergman to create an installation. spare paintings. a performance artist and a chronicler. Santa Barbara. After bringing enormous quantities of refuse into the darkened gallery space. Illinois. signifying aging and death. a project directly related to the human scale. . Ciel Bergman (formerly known as Cheryl Bowers) has directly posed the question of what we can do in the face of the environmental destruction all around us.” In 1987. Her early. In conceiving a work for New York. worked with the Department of Sanitation to install a garbage recycling unit. the place of the setting sun. as was the Germanborn political artist Hans Haacke’s Rhine Water Purification Plant (1972). An audiotape played the sounds of pulsating surf and the songs of whales and seagulls. was painted black. from Santa Barbara beaches over a period of several months. derived from her resonant imagination. she trained to be a psychiatric nurse but then followed her early desire to become a painter. suggestions for waste treatment and water purification. The environmental artist and activist Jo Hanson.” Like all their projects. patterned after an American Indian ceremonial space. mostly plastic. to be sited in Central Park. swept the sidewalk in front of her house for some twenty years. to collect litter and then dis232 played the discarded objects as an archaeological find. the sculptor Nancy Merrill. Believing in the need to reaffirm beauty. whose 843 acres are the ultimate locale for walking at leisure. The walls were painted in different colors. the artist sprinkled the debris with flour.”12 Christo and Jeanne-Claude remind us of the need to preserve the beauty around us. In the Southwest Dominique Mazeaud. In New York Mierle Laderman Ukeles. beginning in the 1970s. They wrapped the Pont Neuf in Paris in 1985 and the Reichstag in Berlin in 1995. the west wall. In the 1980s Bergman began a series of semiabstract luminist paintings with veiled images of flowers or blades of grass. countering the claim by deconstructivist critics of city planning that public spaces have descended into passive. she decided to fill the gallery with nonbiodegradable garbage. in striking contrast to the rest of the toward a sustainable earth . a firepit of ashes appeared as a sand altar. giving it “a feeling of urgency to be seen. for eighteen years (from 1976 to 1994). and birds dying from ingesting plastic materials. as a visible sign of the utility of gray-water reclamation. The only “living” objects on display were flowers in vases. earning an MFA at the San Francisco Art Institute in 1973 and teaching at the University of California. Later paintings suggested landscapes with clear blue skies or darker scenes. a noted performance artist in the 1970s. “Our attention turned toward the vast flow of people walking through the streets. resembled maps of the desert. which showed how contaminated water from a sewage plant could be pumped through a filtration system. For Sea of Clouds What Can I Do. she hired a friend. In the center. as well as of the political cooperation required to do so. littering the floor with it. a deed that led to community involvement in cleaning the streets. for example. and came to San Francisco in 1955. she called these works “antidotes. The Harrisons’ 1971 shrimp farm was an early example of this approach. and in Flow City (1983–90) she tracked the city’s vast garbage treatment program. New York City (1979–2005)] was . . with openings out to the sea. to which visitors added prayer sticks. disjointed places.

and the Harrisons on the faculty and Linda Montano and Martha Rosler as fellow students. Santa Fe. with its compelling contrast of synthetic materials and natural sounds from the ocean. and Otto Dix. asks us to reflect more generally on our relation to our environment as we follow the artist’s excursions into science. In a brief essay on CutlerShaw. the Antins. encountering Allan Kaprow. the art historian Konrad Oberhuber observed that for her. and other aspects of nature. could be recycled for use on highways. human anatomy.CIEL BERGMAN SEA OF CLOUDS WHAT CAN I DO (WEST WALL). who patented it under the name of Plasphalt. a petroleum product like asphalt. six dumpsters were needed to carry away the trash. with its fusion of image and text. Georges de La Tour. the sotoward a sustainable earth 233 . where she attended New York University and Columbia University. as well as these other artists who migrated from New York to San Diego. Bergman’s installation. through investigations of bird migration. When the installation closed. 1987 Installation. was a clear call for viewers to think about how humans are harming the environment. She later moved to San Diego. where she wrote poetry and continued her studies in the visual arts at the University of California. and they were encouraged to write on the walls to express their response to the work and their personal feelings of hope or fear. She brought this concept to the attention of her former partner. she especially admired the works by Rembrandt. Bergman came up with the idea that perhaps plastic. Visitors could find places to meditate. recycling plastic waste into a paving material of greater strength than ordinary asphalt. installation. Cutler-Shaw was born in Detroit in 1932 and brought up in New York. Visiting the museums in New York. Gary Fishback. Courtesy Linda Durham Contemporary Art. “the intellectual. Joyce CutlerShaw’s work. Egon Schiele. Emil Nolde. San Diego. In thinking about this waste.

Courtesy of the artist. working with a dancer.”14 Since 234 1978 Cutler-Shaw has investigated what she calls the archaeology of the human body. inscribed with first names.JOYCE CUTLER-SHAW THE SYCAMORE LEAF CANOPY.C. Turning to environmental concerns. For the bicentennial of the United States in 1976 she proposed to erect a monument in front of the Capitol in Washington. Made of ice blocks from the waters of all fifty states. moreover. and standing eleven feet high and fifty-one feet long. Mission Valley Branch Library. San Diego. twenty-six characters based on anatomically accurate drawings of bird skeletons. each) on structural columns. eventually inventing her Alphabet of Bones. which she saw “as a metaphor for the artist. powdercoated steel sections (16 × 16 ft. on a wall of the Los Angeles International Airport to alleviate the sterility of the place and give some sense of recognition to the travelers. toward a sustainable earth . 2002 Eight plasma-cut.”13 Most of these artists. CutlerShaw placed thousands of laminated paper tiles. creating poignant drawings whose accurate and brittle lines recall the piercing drawings Ferdinand Hodler made of Valentine GodéDurrel in 1915. cial. choreographed a 1989 performance of Alphabet of Bones in San Diego. With permission from UCSD’s medical school. whose home is a portable loft. The Namewell (1974). she studied sick and dying patients firsthand. employ words. she examined the carrier pigeon. a migratory worker. such as threats to bird migration. D. written or spoken. in their artwork. the monument was to bear the inscription “We the people” in large capital letters as well as dates “central to the preservation and extension of our human rights and freedoms.”15 She also investigated bird fossils. In an early project. She then used these pictographs for her poetry and. and the political components are of equal or even higher importance than the visual one as motivating factors. Photo: Marvin Sloben.

and to understand that even something small can have a great impact on the larger watershed. was then in the early stages of his monumental Roden Crater project in Arizona.In 2002 Cutler-Shaw received a commission from the Mission Valley Branch Library in San Diego to create a permanent installation relating to the ecology of the area. Born in Oakland in 1950. The Sycamore Leaf Canopy. As an artist. He began to think globally of “Spaceship Earth. McCormick views the watershed as a found object that is to be respected. each set within the structural columns that support the library ceiling. 2002 Willow and fibermat. is composed of eight sixteenby-sixteen-foot sections of plasma-cut steel. The baskets also stabilize the banks and allow the natural riparian system to reestablish itself. Her ceiling canopy for the main reading room. hands-on. Sleepy Hollow Creek. where James Turrell was his teacher. The architect had accentuated this relationship in the building’s design. San Anselmo. he constructs woven willow sculptures. McCormick wanted “to do more than witness and document the changes in our urban and rural landscapes. These lessons with Turrell helped McCormick realize that sculpture could be more than an object. 3 × 6 × 12 ft. a pilot. would fly with his students above the Santa Barbara coast and over the Channel Islands. and works toward restoring ecological balance. and it wanted to stress the connection between the building and its books and the river. mugwort. Santa Barbara. Berkeley. he studied sculpture at the University of California.”17 Instead. all of which grow on the river’s bank. he intervenes in the environment. Having brought nature into the library. Coordinating with the National Park Service toward a sustainable earth 235 . who had been investigating the effect of light and space on human perception since the 1960s. placing them strategically to fit into the curves of streams and gullies. California.” to use Buckminster Fuller’s term. Rather than retelling nature’s story. The new library is adjacent to the San Diego River. McCormick was also influenced by Turrell’s insistence on an art that goes beyond attractiveness “to direct attention and to precipitate change. Patrons of the reading room find themselves under a canopy of leaf patterns enlivened by light. and wild mustard. which is the prime natural resource of San Diego’s Mission Valley. with natural habitats and watersheds. and Cutler-Shaw worked with elements from the river’s embankment. On the balcony and staircase. Daniel McCormick has decided to work directly. the artist received a “Divine Detail” design award from the American Institute of Architects in 2002. drawings etched into glass create the Railing of Wild River Grasses: gooseberry. Photo: Pamela Cobb. reminiscent of Indian baskets and made directly from material in the watershed. Courtesy of the artist. with the goal of reestablishing the natural equilibrium.”16 After receiving a degree in environmental design at the Univer- DANIEL McCORMICK THE WATERSHED: AN ECOLOGICAL INSTALLATION. even revered. These baskets fill with leaves and twigs and collect sediment that would otherwise have suffocated the salmon and steelhead eggs in their spawning areas. Turrell. Turrell. To this end. sity of California.

philodendrons. for works such as The Watershed: An Ecological Installation (2002). Francisco Perez has become a guiding activist in transforming fifty-five square miles of tropical forest in Puerto Rico from a huge stripmining operation into a national park. During the 1980s Perez. This eventual disintegration of any evidence of the artist’s intercession with the natural environment is part of the overall concept and strategy. spent his formative years in Connecticut.FRANCISCO PEREZ BRIGADE OF VOLUNTEERS. pointing to the disturbing dialectic between colonizer and colonized. the founder and director of Casa Pueblo. deconstructing as natural processes are reestablished. in which he placed a clay model of the United States flag below a transparent map of Puerto Rico. and orchids. I pull my audience into my constructed allegories to make them aware of their rela- tionship with nature. and attended Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan.20 The mining operation would have meant jobs for the impoverished population. but the community decided to persuade the government to transform the mining zone into a national forest. 1990). “The mountains surrounding Adjuntas are rich in gold. concerned about the degradation of the environment. Photo: Francisco Perez. as with Dilema de mi País (The dilemma of my country. 2003 Photograph of Alexis Massol Gonzales. managed jointly by the University of Puerto Rico and the community group Casa Pueblo. and zinc. especially meadows and wetlands. At times Perez has made distinctly political statements in his sculpture. distorting our natural identities. which includes a 236 toward a sustainable earth . the community has preserved the forest of gigantic ferns. “Urban culture displaces and binds us to this relationship. attracting thousands of visitors. alienating human society from the natural systems [that contain and nurture].”19 He had his students engage in such environmental community-service projects as Rubble Sculpture Garden. with three volunteers at installation in Puerto Rico. silver. McCormick includes the community. Perez was born in Puerto Rico in 1949. International mining companies sought to extract ore from open pits. on a San Francisco landfill.”18 In 1986 Perez accepted a position at San Francisco State University and devised courses in which his students moved beyond traditional art “to gain values that contribute to the well being and health of the ecosystem. Since 1997 Perez has devoted much of his time and energy to the development of a national park in Puerto Rico. to restore their ‘natural’ sense of self as part of a larger ecology. where he was influenced by the architect Daniel Libeskind. copper. On a grander scale. founded by Alexis Massol Gonzales. His own environmental sculptures lose their identity as manmade artifacts. made works to illustrate our connection to these ecological changes. Using the high-quality coffee that grows in this area to help finance the enterprise. Perez was instrumental in conceiving and designing the Jardin de las Mariposas (Butterfly garden). and the Puerto Rican government had reserved roughly 55 square miles for mineral exploitation. But the state of the environment remains an overriding concern. near the town of Adjuntas. In his own sculpture he continued to explore the connections of art to nature’s biological systems—to water and to earth and its plants—often forcing the viewer to interact with the work and become a participant rather than a disinterested bystander. CASA PUEBLO PROJECT. holding public workshops and working with children in the schools.” according to an article in National Geographic. El Bosque del Pueblo. He wrote.

wood. an extremely dangerous act. I believe that the honeybee hive and the activity of beekeeping suggest a clear and powerful ecological model for human interaction in the natural environment. The “live-in hive” was set on an old oak tree stump in a big room with two large toward a sustainable earth MARK THOMPSON A HOUSE DIVIDED. beeswax. . A different paradigm can be found in Mark Thompson’s A House Divided (1989). which define the figure by their convergence and create tension with the fluid space around them. Berkeley. 237 . This period of meditation. “Within the process of caring for honeybees. Thompson was born in 1950 into a military family at Fort Sill. While at Berkeley he became aware of the budding ecology movement and set out to explore living systems. an activity that put him in touch with beekeepers from both East and West Berlin. he placed a queen honeybee on his head and remained motionless until his head and shoulders were totally covered with bees. interdependence. an action/installation/ performance at the interface of ecology and politics. as well as a testing space for alternative. was a necessary symbolic act on his part. and Peter Voulkos.” designed by Thompson to house both the bees and his head. where he studied sculpture with Jim Melchert. and studied electrical engineering before transferring to the University of California.” As he explained. focusing on honeybees and seeing the relationship between beehive and beekeeper as “a meaningful. and balance for the larger human community. so he seemed to be wearing a kind of medieval helmet. Over a three-week period Thompson used a nineteenthcentury bee-hunting box to locate honeybees within a five-mile area of Berlin. documented in film. 1989 Honeybees. symbiotic guide toward nurturing. Photo: Michael Harms. Thompson would insert his head into the hive and stay there for about three hours. El Bosque del Pueblo is not his work. Courtesy of the artist. an essential spiritual relationship is formed with the natural world. .”21 In Immersion (1973–76). environmentally sound methods of pest control and an open classroom for students from elementary grades to the university level. Perez prefers to use his talent in a community effort. A House Divided was created for a major exhibition of art and the environment. He relates the experience of bees swarming toward his head to the lines in Alberto Giacometti’s drawings. and glass. Thompson felt. Eventually a group of bees was transferred to the glass-walled “live-in hive. Letting go of the ego involvement characteristic of so many artists’ work. but his participation in this large-scale project offers a paradigm for how art can intersect with ecological pursuits. which took place in 1989 in a converted hospital that bordered the Wall in West Berlin. entitled Resource Kunst. Harold Paris. . Oklahoma.Japanese rock garden and has become a preserve for many butterfly species.

and a young man from East Berlin assisted Thompson in covering the windows. with photographers such as Allan Sekula (see pp. and David Maisel seem to have achieved a synthesis of aesthetic form and political message. two worlds. As Thompson described it: “The city architecture of living walls of honeycomb was fused together from the flowers of two Berlins—taking form in relation to a human being. Although the California-based Group f/64.”22 PHOTOGRAPHIC MEDITATIONS Photography intensifies the act of seeing. the drone and smell of the bees. The tension between art photography and documentary photography has continued. In 1974 he published his first toward a sustainable earth . The honeybees and the artist bound together through creative. The seed crystal for the windows’ wax had been harvested before the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown and was not radioactive. that photography can make disaster look attractive. in contrast to those of documentary photography. gathering nectar from the surrounding countryside. it was donated to Thompson by a West Berlin beekeeper. and. and became involved in photography. Imogen Cunning238 ham. which helped lead to legislation establishing national parks. where he studied mathematics and psychology. did not have an overt political purpose. born in Los Angeles in 1949. 68–69) taking a strong stand against purely aesthetic camerawork. during the Great Depression. There was a wire-mesh tube in the ceiling. among others. allowing the bees to fly back and forth. it may have had the greatest impact on political action. Misrach’s photographs have been accused of “aestheticizing horror. much as Watkins and Sullivan had done. of all the visual arts. ‘Let’s dispose of the water and do nuclear tests there because it’s so ugly anyway. and these photographers failed to show the devastation of the idyllic Eden that had already begun. Dorothea Lange. paying no attention to the Wall. Brett and Edward Weston.’ For me the desert is remarkably powerful and beautiful. the photojournalist Margaret Bourke-White along with Farm Security Administration photographers like Walker Evans. attended the University of California. Beeswax also covered the room’s two tall Corinthian columns (two columns. It is because I enjoy looking that I go on looking until the pity and the shame are impressed upon me unforgettably. and others. photographs like those Adams took in Yosemite educated the public visually about the value of preserving wild beauty. Still. two windows. Sebastião Salgado. Misrach defends his work: “If you make ugly photographs. formed in 1932 by Ansel Adams. two Berlins). Berkeley. people will think that’s a good place for the wasteland to be.”23 The debate over aesthetics versus politics has resurfaced in the discourse about contemporary work.”24 Misrach. Photographers such as Walker Evans. I hope that gives reason for it to be saved. The changing light-color of the windows. the “muffled” columns. which Thompson covered with beeswax drawn from the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic. all contributed to the room’s mysterious appearance. participated in political actions for nuclear disarmament. Much like Sebastião Salgado’s poignant photographs of exploited miners and endangered refugees. natural processes form a living bridge between two cities. the view changed. and Ben Shahn documented the plight of American farmworkers in the face of a major drought and helped win public acceptance for the New Deal. with the beeswax taking on different tones. As sunlight passed through the windows. Richard Misrach.arched windows. Later. In speaking of Evans’s carefully composed photographs documenting the plight of tenant farmers in the South. the writer Glenway Westcott characterized this work as “better propaganda than it would be if it were not aesthetically enjoyable.” Responding to the charge by Susan Sontag. the aims of Group f/64 were primarily aesthetic. Nineteenth-century photographers such as Carleton Watkins and Timothy O’Sullivan made people aware of the breathtaking beauty of the Western landscape. especially in regard to Richard Misrach’s photographs showing devastation to the land.

trampled upon and ravaged for economic gain. The Fires. an artificial body of water created by the diversion of the Colorado River to bring water to the bone-dry Imperial Valley. which Misrach has referred to as a “metaphor of human folly. Misrach’s cantos The Terrain. however. its solitude. the desert—its heat. Turning to color and an eight-by-ten view camera. he produced twenty-three Cantos on the desert. Salton Sea (1983) we see mostly an almost infinite expanse of water and toward a sustainable earth 239 . in 1979. 48 × 60 in. Over a period of twenty years Misrach took hundreds of photographs to call attention to the beauty of the desert. This manmade lake was first a recreation area but then became contaminated and turned into a liquid wasteland. and where Carlos Castaneda’s spiritual guide. which for so long had been a barren wasteland. © Richard Misrach. could experience shamanistic visions.RICHARD MISRACH DEAD FISH. album of photographs. named after the epic works of poetry by Dante and Ezra Pound. promised gift of Peter and Beverly Lipman. where Mormons could discover a safe haven from persecution.25 a straightforward black-and-white photo story in the tradition of Walker Evans or Robert Frank. The desert. The Flood shows the Salton Sea.m. Heavenly Bodies. has also been the locus where a hermit or a holy man like Saint Jerome could find profound solitude. and The Flood evoke the four elements of the ancients. SALTON SEA. recording the sinister-seeming nightlife on this Berkeley street. 1983 Dye-coupler photograph. 1983.”26 In Dead Fish. Telegraph 3 a. Don Juan. and its amazing scale— became Misrach’s prime subject. Five years later. San Jose Museum of Art. which was once at the center of an idealistic counterculture..

”27 This contrast is clearly seen in Crater and Destroyed Convoy (1986). San Francisco. although the Atomic Energy Commission claimed that the death of more than four thousand of them could be accounted for toward a sustainable earth . called The War (Bravo 20). Only the smell of rusted metal. No buildings or roads. no movement. I was surrounded by the vast expanse of light. including 235 nuclear devices. with its pool of blood-red water and rusted remnants of a convoy. “The landscape.” Misrach has written. Misrach’s fifth canto. Navy’s illegal tests of high-explosive bombs. I found myself at the epicenter.RICHARD MISRACH CRATER AND DESTROYED CONVOY. 48 × 60 in. 1986 Dye-coupler photograph. . “was mag240 nificent. BRAVO 20 BOMBING RANGE. . 1986. No indication of life. In the resulting photographs we see rusted military equipment abandoned in the desert sand. sky. and he managed to get access to the former bombing range. Courtesy of the artist and Fraenkel Gallery.S. shows the animals that perished from atomic fallout. no sounds. and two T-shaped poles stick up from its surface. where few people were aware of what was transpiring. © Richard Misrach. Alone. and thousands of craters. Misrach knew that the American military did its work in the outback. A board floats in the water. the remains of a clothesline from when people still lived there. in the Nevada desert. the heart of the apocalypse. bombs lying on the ground. documents the ecological damage to millions of acres of public land caused by the U. . The Pit. Misrach’s next canto. Bombs and lifeless holes. It was also the most graphically ravaged environment I have ever seen. no promise of civilization. Side by side were great beauty and great horror.

Working with landscape architects. explored the “complete breakdown and fracture of both nature and culture. Maisel was born in New York in 1961. diverted water from the Owens River via an aqueduct to the arid city of Los Angeles. To “commemorate” the connection between environmental abuse and reckless military use. with campgrounds. and a budget.30 and such Northern Californian artists as William Garnett and Robert Hartman. Like Misrach. who. in all his work. instead. creating a dump site for millions of tons of nuclear waste. Emmet Gowin.” begun in 1913. but also the widespread damage to the environment caused by the logging industry. The a dry year and starvation. Courtesy of the artist. who photographed many of his sites from the air. presenting a surreal landscape for the photographer. While still a Princeton undergraduate. a huge “water reclamation project. capturing the patterns of nature and human activity as beautiful abstract designs. he flew with his photography professor. He calls these images Black Maps. consists of photographs of Owens Lake and the Owens River. Misrach’s dead horses and cows are gruesome.28 But. toward a sustainable earth 241 . 48 × 48 in. and cultural (Indian) significance of the area will be highlighted. As Roman Polanski’s film Chinatown (1974) vividly recounts. the geological. used for target practice by local rednecks. of course. 2001 C-print. religious. cafes. which would not only provide a permanent record of our treatment of the landscape but also help deter its destruction in the future. text. over Mount Saint Helens. Maisel saw not only the destruction caused by the volcano. and a museum all provided. “To put the consequences and implications of the Navy’s actions into perspective. sightseeing roads. showing bullet-ridden photographs of naked women from Playboy. who have also photographed land and sea from the air. and settled in California in 1993. a visitors’ center. confronts individual human actions.” he stated. thoughts. he outlined a plan for the future park in detailed drawings. David Maisel uses his camera to bring environmental issues to our attention.”29 Following in the footsteps of Smithson. evocative accusations against the indiscriminate slaughter caused by nuclear weapons. its efforts are focused on the Yucca Mountain Project. In Lake Project #9284–9 (2001). About this time he also became interested in the Earthworks. the federal government is unlikely to build such a park. shot on two occasions in 2001 and 2002. One group in this series. taken DAVID MAISEL LAKE PROJECT #9284-9. The Lake Project. drying up Owens Lake by 1926. environmental. The eleventh canto. The depletion of Owens Valley water caused the extermination of many species and exposed brightly colored minerals. Misrach ironically proposed transforming the bomb crater into Bravo 20 National Park. archaeological. studied at Princeton and Harvard. and writings of Robert Smithson. Maisel takes aerial photographs that make us aware of both the beauty of the land and its human-inflicted wounds. economic. which had recently erupted.

how it was faked “on location” in Hollywood’s back lots. Responding in part to Maisel’s images and the public pressure that resulted. But they turn terrifying once the viewer becomes aware of the photographs’ subjects. brought about by sucking the river dry to support population growth in Los Angeles. Remnants of the mining operations that likely produced the mineral deposits appear toward the foreground. Maisel’s large prints—measuring four by four feet— compel appreciation as dramatic works of sheer visual beauty. maps. and writer. to mourn California. where “success is wealth and poverty has always been a sin. the Environmental Protection Agency recognized the ecological disaster in the Owens Valley and began flooding the area to stabilize the carcinogenic dust. photographs. may be reversed. designer.” toward a sustainable earth . an interweaving of text. And these works have had a political impact. Maisel shows us what has happened to this area (he does not give titles to his C-prints. While some of Maisel’s photographs suggest the abstract Surrealist paintings of André Masson. the mythical land of gold whose name came to be applied to California—how its golden desert was watered to become green lawn. In Good Mourning California she tells us about the history of El Dorado.”32 The real land has become real estate: “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot. studied in Basel and at the University of California. Berkeley. Edmund Burke’s eighteenth-century notions of the beautiful and the sublime seem to be combined in these camera productions. so we tend to read the area above it as clouds. and collages that celebrates and laments the Golden West.31 Born in San Francisco. and its maroon coloring derives from the bacteria that thrive on the high concentration of minerals that once lay below water level. how the land became available for sale as nature was increasingly synthesized and commercialized. 8 × 5 in. she suggests. who has worked as an architect. how its pas242 toral vistas were turned into cash. It is hoped that this disaster. The photographic collage appears in Stauffacher Solomon’s 1992 book Good Mourning California. 1992 Photocollage. drawings. Courtesy of the artist. Barbara Stauffacher Solomon’s astounding Freeway to Paradise (1992) seems a contemporary version of René Magritte’s implausible paradoxes. The riverbed at the top of the picture appears to be a hill.” as Joni Mitchell sang in “Big Yellow Taxi. Stauffacher Solomon. Maybe Eden was never intended for the poor. it is actually the dried-out watercourse.BARBARA STAUFFACHER SOLOMON FREEWAY TO PARADISE. wanting viewers to find their own associations and interpretations). and how it was debased in theme parks such as Disneyland. while flying at a low altitude. It is time.

in turn. you’d have to invent him in order to recreate the freewheeling. which. . definition-bursting art that flourished here from the late ’50s into the ’80s. more the atmosphere of Kingdom-come than of California. As early as 1970 he made a watercolor titled. Irony and sarcasm are an important part of Wiley’s visual and verbal vocabulary.34 Wiley was born in 1937 in the small town of Bedford. Davis. who “found Bierstadt ‘altogether too gorgeous. Washington. He filled sheets of paper and canvases with a plethora of images and inscriptions. In an even more toward a sustainable earth 243 . In the years when Minimalism was the mainstream mode. From the beginning his art was idiosyncratic and eccentric. It consists of color squares. in typical Wiley fashion. Nathan Oliveira. The viewer is given speedy access to Paradise Lost. Wiley moved easily from medium to medium. he fused this highly sophisticated way of thinking with a folksy attitude. Like Jess or Bruce Conner or the late Robert Arneson. like his UC Davis colleagues Robert Arneson and Roy de Forest. his art must be described as maximal. becoming one of the masters of Funk. Photography.” wrote the art critic David Bonetti.” and she quotes Mark Twain. and grew up in another small town. one of the 150 squares in Wiley’s picture shows a small piece of earth with grass sprouting from it. referring to Wiley’s work at a 1971 exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art as “Dude Ranch Dada. A painter. Indiana. working in totally different modes. where he encountered the paintings of the Northwest Coast modernists Mark Tobey and Morris Graves. I Wish I Could Have Known Earlier That You Have All the Time You Need Right Up to the Day You Die. draftsman. . In 1956 he came to study at the San Francisco Art Institute. and funny phrases he likes to put in his paintings. help sum up the deep concern felt by artists about the environment at this critical stage. Stauffacher Solomon observes that Bierstadt was “a master of painting myths” who produced works that were “entrepreneurial. He was part of the San Francisco generation that was influenced by the Beat poets. and the light artist Peter Erskine confronts the viewer-participant with the destruction caused by violating the beauty of the sun. In 1981 his large assemblage Nomad Is an Island addressed the dumping of fifty thousand five-gallon drums of radioactive waste near the Farallon Islands just outside the Golden Gate. where Frank Lobdell. and musician. which at first glance it resembles. and writers on Zen Buddhism like Shunryu Suzuki and Alan Watts. Wiley compares the present dilemma to disasters of the past. if he didn’t exist. OMENS AND AUGURIES Two individuals. considerably more beautiful than the original . and after graduating in 1962 he started teaching at the University of California. sculptor. Marcel Duchamp and John Cage. as are the puns. and that he was receptive to Carleton Watkins’s earlier photographs. then. was based on a photograph. Joan Brown. This combination of abstract forms with figurative images is typical of the artist’s way of seeing and painting.In Freeway to Paradise the road hurtles into Albert Bierstadt’s romantic landscape painting Yosemite Valley (1863). But. “William T. boundary-blurring.’” 33 We know that the German American painter produced these canvases in his New York studio from sketches he made on-site. but unlike paintings by Gerhard Richter or Ellsworth Kelly. has come full circle with Stauffacher Solomon’s own photograph of the freeway superimposed upon a reproduction of Bierstadt’s vision. and Elmer Bischoff were among his teachers. printmaker. Wiley is one of the artists whose work makes Bay Area art distinctive. including one with a large bursting flame of red blood and geometric squares on top of a finely drawn map of Vietnam.”35 Apprehensions about the defilement of the natural environment appear insistently in Wiley’s work. The painter William T. In 1983 he made a series of paintings called Agent Orange. The New York critic Hilton Kramer took offense. that impious semimovement that showed no respect for any rules of art. Richland. entertaining and BIG. homonyms.

When this painting was included in an exhibition called Fallout at San Francisco’s Meridian Gallery in 2000. Or maybe on some Indian reservation toward a sustainable earth . WILEY THE CITY AFTER BOSCH. The landscape in the background of the panel. Flames shoot out from the dome of the other castle. Lucifer appears to St. Photo: Cesar Rubio. After Chernobyl (1994). a large guitar with a skeletal face and cross is being played by a little man who may be Mr. In the show’s catalogue he published the response to the contamination by the writer. however. with its two castle towers. Here are its final lines: Then tell me brothers and sisters Do you know what to do with plutonium yet? They were gonna hide it in the mountains And bury it in the sea. leaves little hope for salvation. in the memorable exhibition Afterburner at the Rena Branston Gallery in San Francisco. printer. One of them has ominously weighted scales on its spire. Wiley presented his “Yum Yum Song” in the announcement for the show.36 One of Wiley’s canvases in the exhibition. AFTER CHERNOBYL. In the right panel of Bosch’s triptych. Anthony (c. Anthony in a variety of forms. 1994 Acrylic on canvas. and social activist Holbrook Teter. is based on Bosch’s Temptation of St. Wiley has appropriated this setting. The City After Bosch. Unnatural. and a mysterious black door faces clouded waters. 72 × 85 in. tempting and mocking him. sardonic 1986 sculpture. but he cannot break An244 thony’s resolve. In 1994.WILLIAM T. called Agent Orange Again. Courtesy of the John and Maxine Belger Family Foundation. Wiley looked at specific works by Hieronymus Bosch and Pieter Brueghel as vehicles to express his despair over the tragedy of the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl. 1500). Wiley’s alter ego.

Erskine (b. Trajan’s Markets. and Larry Bell. BOTH FROM SECRETS OF THE SUN: MILLENNIAL MEDITATIONS. Courtesy of the artist. Yum Yum. Then tell my father and mother What they gonna do with you and me? And does it matter how smart you are? And does it matter how dumb? Cause nobody here on this little planet Knows what to do with plutonium. Concerned about the gaps in the earth’s protective ozone layer. an emphasis that may be traced back to the philosopher Alfred North Whitehead’s proposal of a nonabsolutist metaphysics in his Adventures of Ideas (1933). So tell me about advanced technology And virtual reality. heliostat solar tracking mirror. laser-cut prisms. who used light and space as their media. Erskine decided that he needed to move beyond creating pristine pieces of light art and to engage in the realm of the political. While Wiley’s work draws on visual narrative to make its point. and fixed mirrors. Photos: Peter Erskine. As he became more aware of the severity of the environmental crisis.PETER ERSKINE ROMAN ARCH IN BLUE SPECTRUM SUNLIGHT AND ROMAN ARCH IN RED SPECTRUM SUNLIGHT. After studying political science at Yale University and sculpture at the University of Pennsylvania. Maria Nordman. which are threatening the extinction of various species and causing ice caps and glaciers to melt so that rising sea levels will eventually flood major coastal cities. In 1992 he created Secrets of the Sun: Millennial Meditations (SOS). There he encountered artists like Robert Irwin. Doug Wheeler. 1992 Sunlight. James Turrell. Rome. Erskine wanted to demonstrate both the beauty and the danger of solar radiation. Peter Erskine’s work is more directly rooted in the phenomenological experience of the beholder. 1941) moved to Los Angeles in 1980. however. the first toward a sustainable earth 245 . That’s near you and me.

” a monotone incan- tation of the names of endangered mammals and birds. In the “Room of Reflected History. Kandinsky felt. Beams of light in pure colors appeared on the walls. SOS communicates the beauty of the rainbow and the horror of global warming. Wilson’s calculation). Colors. the symbol of life in many cultures. who knows how to combine beauty and horror in his photographs of bomb craters.” they encountered the spectrum colors on Roman torsos and colossal portrait heads.” each visitor had to sign a damage waiver and don a protective white jumpsuit. telling him: “The rainbow is a very deep memory for humans. . Through prisms. O.”37 In Secrets of the Sun Peter Erskine integrates this resonance of color with issues of global survival. One sobering mirror carried the message: “At the present rate of depletion the Earth’s protective ozone shield will be gone in less than 100 years and life as we know it could cease to exist. reminding them of the fallen empire. making the sun’s glory and power visible through science and technology. Years ago Wassily Kandinsky connected such color to our inner life. They found themselves in spaces containing prisms and reflecting mirrors up to eight feet in height. which washed over each visitor in a rainbow of color. making them aware of the danger from the sun. visitors proceeded through a series of corridors. while in the normal evolutionary process one species becomes extinct every thousand years.” where rainbow-hued vapor poured from illusory smokestacks. we can experience the sun as a rainbow of color. however. the dyad of Eros and Thanatos exist in a concealed unity. as an example. the white jumpsuit was also a fine reflecting surface for the light. Accompanied by site-generated sounds composed by the American Bruce Odland and the Austrian Sam Auinger. which the artist can reveal. antechambers.”38 Erskine is presently working with hospitals to explore applying his artistic endeavor to reduce pain and improve the spirits of patients. One space contained the “Spectrum of Vapor Chimneys. There one listened to Odland’s “Mass for Endangered Species. 246 toward a sustainable earth . As Freud knew so well. It has been coded into our genetic material over millions of years. have an “inner sound” that “has a profound effect. calling for a vibration in the soul. Erskine’s installation led the viewer along a specific itinerary. on the ceilings. Seeing a rainbow restores our connection to nature—it restores our physical and psychic functions. which is both sorrowful and exalting. but we cannot look at the sun directly—that would blind us. and on their own persons. while a digital counter enumerated the species that had become extinct since the exhibition opened. and rooms. Somewhat resembling a Roman toga. the viewer learned that. Speaking with the artist. Erskine plays on the paradox that people are more apt to receive a message of terror when it is presented in a dramatic manner. This was to reframe viewers’ work to be created in the two-thousandyear-old buildings of Trajan’s Markets in Rome. the rate of species extinction is now one species every fifteen minutes (as based on Pulitzer Prize–winner E. the scientist Jonas Salk confirmed Erskine’s meditations in Secrets of the Sun. Inundated by pure spectrum light. Much like Richard Misrach. which occasions a deep emotional response . He cites Mozart’s Requiem.” The sun and its light are the source of life. Before entering the “Solar Spectrum Zone. .

Similarly— with significant exceptions. to be sure—museums. the Women’s Liberation Movement. It is no surprise. last but far from least. The age of consumer capitalism has made Andy Warhol’s Brillo Box (1964) its icon.”3 As I have stressed in this book. during the past half-century artists from California and beyond have continually questioned our government’s activities at home and abroad.POSTSCRIPT as i hope this book demonstrates. that political art has not achieved a prominent place in the collections of many leading museums. Yet the art of social and political dissent has remained on the margin of the “art world. The astute culture critic Frederic Jameson has observed: “Postmodernism replicates. whose exhibitions increasingly depend on corporate support. the hierarchies between high and low art and the polarities between form and content gave way to a more polymorphic culture.” Commercial art galleries are generally reluctant to exhibit controversial art. which might offend rather than attract potential collectors.”1 Can we ever expect to see much art in major museums that addresses topics of current political concern. it reproduces—reinforces— the logic of consumer capitalism: The more significant question is whether there is also a way in which it resists that logic. whether it be the war in Iraq or another consequential issue such as censorship? During the period covered in this book. there have been and continue to be both artists and political activists who resist that logic and the trap of postmodern acquies247 . “one would hardly know that this was a period that encompassed Civil Rights marches. are not inclined to sponsor shows that challenge or even affront the power structure.2 Certainly. war in Vietnam and. many aspects of contemporary art have drifted increasingly toward entertainment. as the art critic Arthur Danto tells us. and new paths emerged. As the art historian Linda Nochlin has pointed out: visiting the postwar galleries in the magisterial new building of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. then.

A series of “Baring Witness” actions began in November 2002.” outside his house. placards.” he declared. Free and critical art. to remove the offending artwork from public view by relocating it to a private office. Pataki—horrified by reports that a show at the Drawing Center appeared “to have made light of President Bush’s description of Iraq. map going down a toilet with the caption “T’anks to Mr. Governor George E. performances. and Gleneagles in Scotland. But the public exhibition of a flag going down the toilet caused great anger among Republican Party officials. Just as artists have taken to the streets and created nontraditional venues to make their voices heard. Iran and North Korea as the Axis of Evil”— demanded that the center respect the “sacredness” of the site. activists have adopted visual tactics to get their message across and catch the media’s eye. launches mobile billboards and website campaigns pointing to the collaboration between the CIA and Hollywood as well as other misdemeanors. faced vehement opposition to its proposed new site at Ground Zero in New York.”5 The artists’ collaborative think again. has turned more of its activities to art of a political character such as energy politics. In the summer of 2005 Stephen Pearcy. receiving death threats. billboards. Graffiti artists/writers in East Los Angeles and Hollywood spray political messages on the surfaces of freeway entrances. they were outnumbered about ten to one by local residents and activists. Robbie Conal. Earlier. is produced outside the museum and gallery system. 71) can be seen in many places—at times to the surprise of the onlookers. Just north of San Francisco. it was ripped down. Bill Lockyear.cence. in an art show sponsored by California Lawyers for the Arts. like most current art of dissent. Artists are increasingly using nontraditional as well as traditional media to protest against such issues as America’s arms buildup and the concurrent militarization of politics. who protested the group’s racist intentions as well as the violence of Minutemen at the border. when nearly fifty women in Marin County. long a site for experimental art projects.4 In June 2005 Baldwin Park (an area of Los Angeles) city council members received death threats for supporting a Metro-station monument by Judy Baca 248 that had been part of the community for more than a dozen years.S. a Berkeley lawyer. took off their clothes to be photographed forming the word “peace” in a demonstration against postscript . known for his “art attacks. Bush’s ability to energize street artists: “That Bush can activate the street. It was a vivid image of criticism. signs. when Pearcy had displayed an effigy of an American soldier in Iraq with a sign reading. I died. And they did the same for massive protests against globalization in Seattle and Genoa. even skateboards. In the face of America’s imperial aggression. in Gstaad. the Headlands Center for the Arts. In Orange County a “Freedom Blogger” tagged highway overpasses with huge antiwar signs. north of San Francisco. cofounded by David Attyah in San Francisco and Shelly Bachman in Boston. as significant visual components of these events. Artists and activists produced banners. The Forkscrew Graphics’ iPod-like billboards protesting the Abu Ghraib atrocities (see p. who persuaded the state’s attorney general. Also in the summer of 2005 the Drawing Center. where drivers can read them during traffic jams. Cancun. continues to meet with censorship as it struggles to assert itself. When the anti-illegal immigration group Save Our State demonstrated against this public artwork. that he can get skateboard and graffiti kids pissed off enough to make art. Bush!” and exhibited it behind a pair of ceramic cowboy boots in the cafeteria of the California State Department of Justice. “Bush lied. Baca’s work. a highly respected showplace of historical and current art. “We will not tolerate anything on that site that denigrates America. created a painting that showed the American flag in the shape of a U. fifteen to twenty million people from around the world demonstrated in February and March 2003 in an unprecedented effort to stop the predecided war before it began. According to the New York Times. that’s amazing.” comments on President George W. however.

”6 Artists will continue to produce art of substance. with the devastation of the natural environment and the state of unprovoked war. tell the truth. . reveal the unseen. This. And in February 2005 a roadside vigil was organized that extended from Bodega Bay in Northern California to San Diego in Southern California with signs reading “Support our troops: Bring them home from an immoral war” and so on. like many other antiwar actions and types of political dissent. I despair. which has become a major instrument of visual politics. the Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC). and passion as they always have. At times. called for entries to a pre-election show titled “Bushit: A Creative Response to the State of Democracy. . when I reflect on the current situation. I go on. and the idea of making protest art seems almost senseless. meaning. But then I remember the last lines of Samuel Beckett’s novel The Unnameable. and celebrate freedom of expression. interrogate. provide creative commentary . was organized on the Internet.” And I believe this contribution will extend into the twenty-first century.” They asked for work that would “contemplate. the character called Unnameable tells us: “I can’t go on. investigate. This and similar actions throughout the world speak of our naked vulnerability in the face of naked aggression. In 2004 Judy Baca’s organization. When confronted with the absurdity of existence.”7 postscript 249 . As Susan Landauer points out in her essay “Countering Cultures: The California Context”: “It could be argued that political art is one of California’s most significant contributions to American art of the twentieth century.the government’s march toward war in Iraq.


drawing on the title of the original essay I contributed to Reading California: Art. Carole. about the title of the book. based on this study. who worked with me at an early stage of this venture. Having worked with Susan Landauer on the Nathan Oliveira exhibition. associate curator at the Des Moines Art Center. who has been my friend and colleague for more than fifty years. that she decided to curate the exhibition. 1900–2000. I am delighted. and in 1990 we attended the Havana Bienal. who were most help251 . During the 1970s we talked about producing a book on the relation of art and politics in the twentieth century. but Susan’s commitments as chief curator of the San Jose Museum of Art prevented her from adding this project to her busy schedule. we traveled to the German Democratic Republic in 1989 to curate an exhibition of painting from East Germany. Together with Stanley Kunitz and others. we formed the Night Letter Committtee in which artists and writers offered resistance to French colonialism in the dirty war in Algeria.ACKNOWLEDGMENTS i dedicate this book to dore ashton. published in conjunction with the comprehensive exhibition Made in California mounted at the Los Angeles County Museum in 2000. we planned to be joint authors and co-curators of this enterprise. the director Daniel Keegan and the staff of the San Jose Museum of Art. she suggested calling it Art of Engagement. this fourteenpage essay has grown into a rather massive book. however. Image. at the museum and to contribute an authoritative essay to this book. which helped fund the Freedom Summer project in 1963. and Identity. which featured art from the Third World. During many discussions with my wife. I also want to acknowledge Patricia Hickson. In the 1960s we worked together organizing Artists for CORE (Congress of Racial Equality). which proved too ambitious an enterprise. Over the past five years. As mentioned in the prologue. during which time we have had an ongoing discourse about politics and art.

Among the many individuals who have been of assistance in this project. and Thordis W. Paule Anglin. I also want to express special thanks to Lorna Price. Paul Karlstrom. I could not have completed this book without their assistance. special thanks are due to the Hans G. I want to single out a few for special thanks. I am thankful to Deborah Kirshman.C. My thanks to to her for suggesting many alterations that make this a better book. after all is said and done. Special thanks also to Gary Carson. I want to thank also the independent scholar Heather Farkas for her assistance in compiling the bibliography and doing additional research. Carol Wells of the Center for the Study of Political Graphics in Los Angeles provided images of many posters in this book. and Catharine Clark. Berkeley. Tim Drescher gave me access to his replete archive on California murals. project editor at UC Press. fine arts editor of the Univeristy of California Press. whose work makes this book—or any art historical text—possible. who worked with me from the beginning of this project to its conclusion with genial guidance. And I extend many thanks to the collectors. to Frayda and Ronald Feldman. I am obliged to the University for awarding me faculty research grants during the years in which I worked on this study. to my friend Harold Parker. As on previous occasions. Ariel Parkinson. for her resourceful assistance in helping me find primary sources for this study. both for his help while I was compiling this book and for organizing a complementary exhibition entitled Art of Engagement. 252 acknowledgments . gave a great deal of time and experience to the structuring and final editing of the book. And many individuals and foundations were of great help in bringing this enterprise to fruition. I am also obliged to Ed Gilbert of the Gallery Paule Anglim and Shannon Trimble of Braunstein/Quay in San Francisco. the person who so generously funded the Free Speech Movement Cafe and the FSM Archives on the Berkeley campus— commemorating the critical events of 1964—for his initial support. Robert Kostka. at his gallery. Rupert García was most helpful in my research on Chicano artists and Mark Johnson on the political work by Native Americans.ful throughout this project. In addition. who edited an early draft of this book as a generous gift after editing numerous manuscripts for me over many years. museums. Above all. November 11. Sue Heinemann. Burkhardt Foundation. Kristine Stiles provided me with ideas and materials on Punk and its political ramifications. Charlotte Robertson and especially Lynn Meinhardt were highly adept in carrying out the often difficult task of obtaining the images and permission to reproduce them. and Jack Rasmussen. and David and Jane Reed for their encouragement and valuable suggestions. Several gallerists were especially helpful. I want to thank the artists for their collaboration on this project and for granting permission to reproduce their work. It is the artists. Many discussions with them were truly indispensable for this undertaking. First and foremost I want to thank Stephen Silberstein. director and curator of the new Katzen Arts Center at American University in Washington. to January 31. fine arts librarian at the University of California. D. I want to express my deep gratitude to Kathryn Wayne. 2006. I particularly want to thank Jack Rutberg of Jack Rutberg Fine Arts in Los Angeles. and galleries who supplied information and permission to reproduce works in their collections. 2005.

Holland Cotter. 1. 3. see Stewart Burns. . Styles of Radical Will (New York: Farrar.. 2004. 2. David Richardson. Mention of West Coast political art is made in some of the large survey books on American art. William C.” represented especially by Beat assemblagists. There are also 253 . Bruce Conner. Politics and Dissent.NOTES FOREWORD 1. 5. Debbie McKeown. June 18. for example. 2004). Seitz. 1999). Max Kozloª. 293.” Nation. Susan Landauer. Barbara Kutis. as having “initiated the disenchanted. Susan Sontag. Straus and Giroux. 4.” New York Times. . and Lindsey Wylie for their help in researching and fact-checking this essay. A Collage of Indignation.C. Art. 81. For a concise discussion of these movements. See also Irving Sandler’s American Art of the 1960s (New York: Harper and Row. 7. Wallace Berman. 1988). “. Social Movements of the 1960s: Searching for Democracy (Boston: Twayne Publishers. 113. Politics and Dissent: Aspects of the Art Left in Sixties America (Manchester: Manchester University Press. and focuses on Edward Kienholz and Peter Saul (whose name is inexplicably misspelled as “Peter Dail”). Seitz identifies San Francisco’s “radical and revolutionary counterculture. anarchistic spirit that took hold in New York after 1967.: Smithsonian Institution Press. 6. xvi. Frascina. Art. “Aesthetics of Silence” is the title of Sontag’s first chapter. 171–73. D. Art in the Age of Aquarius. quoted in Francis Frascina. 248. an apology for New York’s formalism that echoes the support for the separation of art and politics in postwar writings of Old Left intellectuals such as Meyer Schapiro. February 20. Selections: The San Jose Museum of Art Permanent Collection (San Jose: San Jose Museum of Art. Ibid.” He discusses George Herms. See. OVERVIEW: COUNTERING CULTURES I would like to thank Heather Farkas. 1955– 1970 (Washington. 1967. “Politics That Makes Peace with the Beauty of Objects. Most of Sandler’s discussion in his chapter “The Artist as Political Activist” focuses not on art production but on artists’ involvement with political protest. 1990). ed. 1969). 1992).

nearly all of them politically hortatory in content. 1997). Peter Plagens’s Sunshine Muse: Contemporary Art on the West Coast (New York: Praeger Publishers. Chicago’s “most vital political art came from the mural movement. Fox. and Ilene Susan Fort. 1985) briefly discusses the political nature of Beat assemblage. See Peter Selz. 1996). The Rise of the Sixties: American and European Art in the Era of Dissent. Sunshine and Noir. Roger Brown. Noriega.several broad surveys of California visual culture that discuss political art. although they do not give as much space to the subject as one might expect. exh. notably Factories in the Field (1939). 1945–1995. See also Lars Nittve and Helle Crenzien. which protested the Vietnam War. and Mike Davis. presented at the museum in 2000. City of Quartz: Excavating the Future in Los Angeles (New York: Random House. eds. 1992).” in Stephanie Barron. a subcategory of the Imagists. who also moved to New York in 1964. His chapter covering Beat assemblage does not address the political context of the work and only minimally focuses on content. 1900–2000. New York. and Identity. then moved to Chappaqua. and form new 254 notes to pages 2–3 . whose paintings stand among the most savage critiques of the Vietnam War. The Monster Roster (Leon Golub. eds. He lived in Mill Valley during the critical years of the Vietnam War. 1945–1980: An Illustrated History (Berkeley: University of California Press. Chicago. “Many Californias. remaining figurative throughout the fifties and sixties. California’s “noir” aspect has been a subject of discussion as a foil for its utopianism.. 1974) shows a marked formalist bias. and later to Austin. This is not to say that California’s dark side has not been examined as well. exh. 26. C. Made in California: Art. contain essays discussing political art in the state. According to art historian Franz Schulze. Abrams. 9.” in Stephanie Barron. Karl Wirsum) and the Hairy Who. and Identity. is associated with Chicago because he showed at the Allen Frumkin Gallery. Crow. Image. 2000). (Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Thomas Albright’s Art in the San Francisco Bay Area. 2001): “California’s history is that of diverse people crossing land and ocean to settle at the extreme western edge of what Europeans called ‘The New World. as did some of the Chicago Imagists (including Jim Nutt. as well as the psychedelic posters and visionary art of the sixties. where he currently resides. Nancy Spero. 1960–1980. however. were inspired by his contact with the Bay Area’s sixties counterculture. Golub painted his Napalm series. 8. Crow identifies “Black Friday” of 1960 in San Francisco as the event that catalyzed radical activism in both Europe and America. Berkeley: University of California Press. which began with William Walker’s Wall of Respect on the South Side and led to a multitude of wall paintings throughout the city.” and Chon A. Gladys Nilsson. and Ellen Lanyon) produced some sociopolitical satire in the sixties. 2000). (Humlebaek. 1980–2000. Texas. 1955–69 (New York: Harry N. it is a history of people recreating themselves to live in new ways. Howard N. exh. 1996). (London: Thames and Hudson in association with the Museum of Contemporary Art. adapt to new environments. 1900–2000.” and Fox. See.’ Like the history of America. Reading California: Art. cat. however. cat. H. produced long horizontal paper scrolls depicting screaming heads and headless bodies. cat. Cosmo Campoli. All of these studies. focus on Southern California. cat. exh. Southern California: An Island on the Land (1946). (Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Robbin Henderson’s preface in The Whole World’s Watching: Peace and Social Justice Movements of the 1960s and 1970s. Beginning with Carey McWilliams’s muckraking books. Westermann. Ed Paschke. cat. Thomas E. Peter Saul.. and California: The Great Exception (1949). Seymour Rosofsky. Spero. from 1964 to 1974. and Ilene Susan Fort.” Franz Schulze. 32. Denmark: Louisiana Museum of Modern Art. in 1969.” in Art in Chicago. Sheri Bernstein. Saul’s most vehement political paintings. Sheri Bernstein. Image. “Art in Chicago: the Two Traditions. Chicago’s artists generally rejected the strict formalism of New York. The publications accompanying the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s mammoth exhibition of twentiethcentury California art. otherwise he ignores the politics of sixties counterculture and activist art entirely. After moving to New York in 1964. “From Beats to Borders: An Alternative History of Chicano Art in California. 10. “Tremors in Paradise. and the tendency to view Northern California’s radicalism as a sign of its tolerance for newness and eccentricity continues. Specifically. Berkeley: University of California Press. June Leaf. “The Art of Political Engagement. exh. (Berkeley: Berkeley Art Center. for example.

Introduction.” 64. J. References to California’s “embrace of the new” in conjunction with its paradigm shifts can also be found in the Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Made in California and Reading California. see Karin Higa.. “Carey McWilliams’s California: The Light and the Dark. 24. 28. 17. Bernstein. According to Goines. See Ronald W. 2002). Gerald Fitzgerald (Cambridge: Harvard University Press. The Free Speech Movement: Coming of Age in the 1960s (Berkeley: Ten Speed Press. 22–25. 15. Montoya. A. even when the authors are aware they are characterizing an image more than a reality.. Berkeley at War: The 1960s (Oxford: Oxford University Press. Social Movements of the 1960s. See William Mandel. 64. 12. 4.” Burns. Bernstein. 30. 147.. John Steven McGroarty. “What Is an Asian American notes to pages 3–6 255 . in conjunction with Heyday Books. The Cold War American West. Maria E. 3–4. 23. Class. See also Allison Martin.” in Kevin J. See. 1940–1950 (London: Oxford University Press. Art. “Tremors in Paradise. 19. 249. “Containment and Emancipation: Race. “Defying the Red-Baiters: The 1960 HUAC Hearings. The Cold War American West. Yvette Huginnie.11. Stewart Burns pointed out that the free speech movement “was about more than freedom of speech. Made in California. Until 1957 the city was also host to the decidedly left-leaning California Labor School. felt alienated in the academic assembly line of this huge.. “The Legacy of Operation Babylift.” in Barron. antiCommunism was only a secondary concern of university regents (the school had “no hard evidence of Communist Party membership on the part of a single UC faculty member”). “From the Beat Generation to the Sanctuary Movement. “Containment and Emancipation. Kevin Starr. What’s Going On? California and the Vietnam Era. 23. The Second Gold Rush: Oakland and the East Bay in World War II (Berkeley: University of California Press. and Fort. 26. Kevin J. 26. 1998). See Marilynn S. 1994). 18. Eymann. Ibid. 25.” in The Whole World’s Watching. 1989). the loyalty oath had more to do with xenophobic fears and a desire to regain control of an institution “that was no longer local and hence moving beyond their grasp” (315).. 1994).” in Fernlund. Huginnie. ed. and Fort. participate in the identity movements of the seventies and eighties. Frascina. Berkeley: University of California Press. (Oakland: Oakland Museum of California. and the silent majority who supported them.. 1983). and Fox. 20. At Work: The Art of California Labor (San Francisco: California Historical Society Press. exh. For more on the participation of Asian Americans in this later phase of the liberation movements. 1945–1989 (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press.” in Fernlund.” in Barron. San Francisco State University. which had the largest art department of its kind in the country. ed.” in his Embattled Dreams: California in War and Peace. eds. reprint. however. and Gender in the Cold War West. See Mark Dean Johnson. 17. 16. 27. 22. for example. Renato Poggioli. in Eymann and Charles Wollenberg. “Introduction. 1. by September 1961 more than seventy thousand people had participated in civil rights sit-ins. 16. Marcia A. Fernlund. The Cold War American West. In Starr’s 91. 14. 1998). eds. Stephen Schwartz.. The Electrical Workers: A History of Labor at General Electric and Westinghouse (Urbana: University of Illinois Press. 1946. 193.” in Fernlund. Johnson. 312–16. in which marginalized groups sought to connect with their cultural heritages. See Kevin Starr’s discussion of the loyalty oath in the chapter “Police Action. Reading California. most participants. 1993). 4–5. 1993). The Cold War American West. Rorabaugh. Southern California: An Island on the Land (Salt Lake City: Gibbs Smith. 1968). Politics and Dissent. ed. Racial Fault Lines: The Historical Origins of White Supremacy in California (Berkeley: University of California Press. Reportedly. Schatz. From West to East: California and the Making of the American Mind (New York: Free Press. The Theory of the Avant-Garde. 29. trans. eds. Fernlund. Asian Americans did. rather. communities” (1). David Lance Goines.” www. ed. W. 55. and the California Labor Federation. “Landscapes of the Cold War West. cat. Steve Fox. AFL-CIO. 21. impersonal institution that seemed increasingly harnessed to the needs of large corporations and the Pentagon...adoptvietnam. quoted in Carey McWilliams. ed. See Tomás Almaguer. 2003). 2004). 687. 13.

and Refugees. the 1952 McCarran-Walter Act. these improvements were in part motivated by international criticism that “challenged the notion of the U.” 52–54. 84–109. 35. “Modernist Painting” (1965). eds. 81–94. and Refugees: The Cold War and Population Growth in the American West.. Charles Wollenberg. as early as 1966. Art. eds. 42. This was because the draft policy during the Vietnam War gave exemptions to men in college. see Susan Stryker and Jim Van Buskirk. 8. Clement Greenberg. Transgender Historical Society in San Francisco on June 26. exh. 44. For more on the history of the gay liberation movement in California. beginning with the formation of the Mattachine Society in Los Angeles in 1950 and the Daughters of Bilitis in San Francisco in 1955.” in Eymann and Wollenberg. See Frascina. 36. 142–43. 1982). Huginnie points out that even while Japanese Americans tended to be better educated than whites. As early as 1970 Judy Chicago initiated the Feminist Art Program at Fresno State College (now California State University. In San Francisco. . Milk’s status was recently a‹rmed by the ongoing exhibition Saint Harvey: The Life and Afterlife of a Modern Gay Martyr. Reading California. erupted after a police raid on the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village. “Greenberg and the Group: A Retrospective View. But the Stonewall riots in New York. Kevin Allen Leonard.. 2003. Politics and Dissent. Karlstrom. 38.143.” 45. The repression of homosexuality in the West spurred resistance early on. 38. Immigrants. sparking the first mass demonstrations in gay history and the formation of the Gay Liberation Front in New York in 1969. Immigrants. Just a year later she and Miriam Schapiro launched another.” 46. a feminist installation that involved the collaboration of more than twenty artists. as the leader of the ‘free world’ given its treatment of non-Whites. “California and the Vietnam War: Microcosm and Magnification. and Sidney Tillim.” in Barron. 58. D. California artists took a leading role in fostering feminist art.172 to 1. cat. “The group” included Michael Fried. which opened at the Gay. Art/Women/California: Parallels and Intersections. whereas nationally it was African Americans” (52). 58. and Refugees. the first of its kind in the nation. and Fort. 40. 1950–2000. Asian Americans were in the spotlight of this transformation.S. “Migrants. Modern Art and Modernism: A Critical Anthology (New York: Harper and Row. and 175 (June 1968). “Migrants. who looked with disfavor upon Greenberg’s limited view of art’s 256 notes to pages 6–8 . See Paul J. ed. 17... which allowed Korean and Japanese immigrants to naturalize and an increase in the number of Chinese immigrants. “Art Sketches: Notes on the Central Role of Schools in California Art and Culture. Huginnie.. 1996). 34. reprinted in Francis Frascina and Charles Harrison. three days of fighting followed a police raid on Compton’s Cafeteria. According to Huginnie. Bernstein. In the West. “Migrants.C. Ibid. which 37. a gay hangout. Huginnie. 32. eds. See also Barbara Reise. were the watershed for gay activism in America. eds. 41. An exception to the formalist approach of Greenberg and others could be found in the criticism of Harold Rosenberg. 43. Lesbian. The Cold War American West. 39. 314–16 (Part II). when they opened chapters in New York and began picketing for equal rights in Philadelphia and Washington. their salaries tended to be lower. 33. Rosalind Krauss.. 254–57 (Part I). . Interestingly. “Containment and Emancipation. even more influential program at CalArts in Valencia—now legendary for producing Womanhouse (1972). Fresno). Woman Artist?” in Diana Burgess Fuller and Daniela Savioni.400. “Containment and Emancipation. Immigrants. What’s Going On?.” in Fernlund. Jane Harrison Cone. (Berkeley: University of California Press. Gay by the Bay: A History of Queer Culture in the San Francisco Bay Area (San Francisco: Chronicle Books. Leonard. A disproportionate number of working-class white men were also drafted. Asian Americans also enjoyed markedly improved civil rights after the Korean War—for example. .” Studio International 175 (May 1968). These groups were semiclandestine and merely sought personal adjustment and social acceptance until the mid-sixties. while the political leadership of the women’s movement was concentrated in the East. The African American population in California more than tripled between 1950 and 1970—from 462.31. Leonard. Some historians date the modern gay movement in California to the early fifties. 2002).” 63. Bisexual.

Cándida Smith recounts that McClure sent 576 copies of “Poisoned Wheat” to prominent journalists. 51. (New York: Harry N. 1956). Frascina. 17. the accumulated objects he had “harvested from beaches and vacant lots began to grow into art.J. Poetry. 58. see Lisa Phillips. omits the vital Southern California Beat scene centered in Venice. Temple of Man. Ginsberg’s line concerning Moloch reads: “sphinx of cement and aluminum . 147 (see also Frascina. on the other hand. 2 (New York: George Braziller. . Meyer Schapiro. Politics and Dissent. According to Francis Frascina. Scrapbooks of William Margolis. and by the time [Herms and his wife] left Hermosa notes to pages 8–10 257 . Social Movements of the 1960s. 140–41). 54. Yet while Rosenberg appreciated a wider spectrum of content than most of his colleagues. a funeral pyre of indigenous peoples instead of breadbasket of the world or arsenal of democracy. Modern Art: Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries: Selected Papers. and Other Poems (San Francisco: City Lights Pocket Bookshop. For a fascinating discussion of the suppression of painting with political and social themes by the postwar art economy. Art. 209–11. Beverly Hills. 1995). 2003). 58. 1920–1950.: Rutgers University Press. “Art Workers’ Coalition: Not a History. atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki instead of the ‘good war’”. 36–42. Paris. Burns. Art. critics upholding the modernist orthodoxy in New York found “the worlds of the Beats and of the ‘counter-culture’ were deeply unsettling”. he was by no means comfortable with mixing politics and art. Venice 52. quoted in Frascina. Beat Culture and the New America (New York: Whitney Museum of American Art. however. see Cándida Smith’s chapter “Gary Snyder on the Responsibilities of Utopia: Expanding the Boundaries of Domesticity” (372–99). For a comparative presentation of the diªerences between the Beat cultures on the East and West coasts. In 1970 Lucy Lippard attacked Judd for expressing his disgust with the war in private meetings with the Art Workers’ Coalition but keeping silent in public. at that time America’s leading literary journal. . Art. Politics and Dissent. In Richard Cándida Smith’s words. See Frascina.” Politics 1 (August 1944). positioning Judd as a member of “the art community’s silent majority”. the poem describes “Conquest instead of discovery. 1991). 360. on the whole. Howl. California. mid–late 1950s. in association with Flammarion. William Margolis papers. Politics and Dissent. and Politics in California (Berkeley: University of California Press. Art in the Age of Aquarius. Moloch whose mind is pure machinery!” Allen Ginsberg. and in the late sixties was openly disdainful of the New York political group Angry Arts. exh. attempt social change. noting that they “were the first to merge. Utopia and Dissent: Art. Duncan was banned from the Kenyon Review. cat. 1995). N. slavery instead of enterprise. a critique of American society that sounds very much like Beat ideology. see Cándida Smith. Abrams in association with the Columbus Museum of Art. 53. “The Liberating Quality of Avantgarde Art. “The Homosexual in Society. Both Cándida Smith and Frascina have described the Beats’ work as “apolitical” in that it did not. see Bram Dijkstra. singled out the California Beats as the most politically eªective artists working in 1950s America. Rebecca Solnit relates that while Herms was living in Hermosa Beach. 50. William Seitz. American Expressionism: Art and Social Change. On publication of this essay. Politics and Dissent. 46. Art. Gary Snyder also presaged many of the reformist ideas of the New Left. 48. Robert Duncan. modernism with social criticism”. Lippard. Leon Golub. Art. 56. reprinted in Meyer Schapiro. 132–33. 32. 58–59. vol. see John Arthur Maynard. Politics and Dissent. in which he argued that gay writers were obliged to be honest about their sexuality. Politics and Dissent.45. 16–17. 55. 110. Art. by new figurative modes. West: The Beat Generation in Southern California (New Brunswick.” Art News 56 (Summer 1956). paraphrasing Billy Al Bengston. 210. See Frascina. Stewart Burns argues that the New Left looked to the Beat counterculture for inspiration. 213–26. and Cándida Smith.” Studio International 180 (November 1970). 49. and when none responded “began to consider whether acts of violence might ultimately be necessary to sabotage the military machine” (360). 47. 57. 1978). expressive potential. This study. Frascina. Frascina. citing in particular the Port Huron Statement by Students for a Democratic Society (1962). see Seitz. 172.

Whitney Chadwick. 2001). 60. “Reflecting on History as Histories. eds. where the foundations formed a flat. “The utopian sentiments of these hippies were not 64. Art/Women/California. Berkeley. exh. Hippies have a clear vision of the ideal community—a psychedelic community. Very little of substance has been written on the hippie counterculture. . was going to do it for them. See Patricia Hickson. “Not Just Another Social Movement: Poster Art and the Movimiento Chicano. Art. The White Rabbit and Other Delights: East Totem West: A Hippie Company. Just Another Poster? Chicano Graphic Arts in California. Art in the San Francisco Bay Area. 33. because nobody. cat. ed. 1984). George Lipsitz. Herms had a good-sized array of assemblages. (Berkeley: University Art Museum. involving. For more on the “Digger Feeds” and Haight-Ashbury’s counterculture in general. or to disintegrate. 65. and he showed it to only two people. very seriously. the sanctity of the individual.” in Fuller and Savioni.” in Chon A.. the need for equality among men.58. 66.” which appeared in Ramparts before the Summer of Love. There are so many examples of collective art that only a fraction can be mentioned. “From the Beat Generation to the Sanctuary Movement. 63.” El Tecolote. 4. (Santa Barbara: University Art Museum.” reprinted in Dennis Hale and Jonathan Eisen. The Cold War American West. quoted in Frascina. 70.. 66. According to Francis Frascina. The Haight-Ashbury. 171. University of Santa Barbara. Among the projects that have included thousands of participants in recent decades are Ariel’s Banner of Hope (1986. Perry. to date. “A Social History of the Hippies. Hinckle reported that the tone was serious: “They talked about reducing government controls. They talked. an ongoing project conceived in 1985 in San Francisco by gay rights activist Cleve Jones. see Charles Perry. 62.. 69. 29. they were deeply political. 73. “National Aªairs: Recent Work by Robbie Conal. Albright. cat. (San Francisco: City Lights Books. to be sure—where everyone is turned on and beautiful and loving and happy and floating free. exh. An excellent essay that is itself a period piece is Warren Hinckle’s “A Social History of the Hippies. The HaightAshbury: A History (New York: Rolling Stone Press. ed.” Frameworks (San Jose Museum of Art) 6 (Summer 2000). 177.” in Fuller and Savioni. least of all the government. destroyed. 1990). cat. 1974. Rather than transport all this transformed junk. which was created by children. The California Dream (New York: Collier Books. more than 82. “A Mural Is a Painting on a Wall Done by Human Hands. 1968). 1967–69 (San Francisco: Pomegranate Artbooks. Funk. in March 1967. 78). Hinckle insisted that while hippies were dismissed as passive utopians. 67. This was the Secret Exhibition.. Peter Selz. 1996). rejection of violence. eds. Wallace Berman and the artist John Reed”. Secret Exhibition: Six California Artists of the Cold War Era. 68. Noriega. “A Collective History: Las Mujeres Muralistas. about the kind of society they wanted to live in.” in Fernlund. Alan Bisbort. 15. freedom before authority. He installed all his early constructions in a nearby area of several square blocks of razed houses. and the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. and left them there to be taken. Victoria Quintero. quoted in Terezita Romo. exh. creativity before consumption.. “Those participating artists named as ‘illustrious’ by the organisers in a fund-raising letter were: Elaine 258 notes to pages 10–15 . 330. Irving Petlin. Beach for Berkeley . The Peace Tower was organized by the Artists’ Protest Committee in Los Angeles. But it is a vision [that] necessarily embodies a radical political philosophy: communal life. he returned it to its source. Writing about a “Summit Meeting” to discuss the political future of the movement. deemphasis of government and traditional forms of leadership”. 59. and loved ones of AIDS victims. 6. p. See Fox. September 13. University of California. held in the foothills of the Sierras (participants included novelist Ken Kesey and Beat hero Neal Cassady). Politics and Dissent.000 family members. 1967). 61. and the fact that if they wanted an ideal world they would have to go out and make it for themselves. eds. Seattle: University of Washington Press. Hinckle. Art/Women/California. . to be put down lightly. friends. drastic restriction of private property. 3. blank space like a landing strip. Solnit.

73. 1989). 232. Frascina. and Fort. 1994). On the Edge of America: California Modernist Art. César. organized by Artists and Writers Protest and comprising around 150 canvases by individual artists. “Alternative Shelter: Counterculture Architecture in Northern California. A relatively recent example of intersectionality is Thelma Golden’s Freestyle exhibition at the Studio Museum in Harlem. Although artists such as Judith Baca. eds. paraphrased in Margaret Crawford. 82. 72. and Adrienne Rich have explored the intertwined issues of racism and sexism since the early days of the feminist movement.71. and personal mythology combine with flamboyant and eccentric personal styles to form a visual running commentary on the world. had also contributed to the Peace Tower. (New York: Studio Museum in Harlem. Rieko Goto. 111–32. eds..: Westview Press. Colo. published as Reagan Louie and Carlos Villa. Wilding. eds. Lee Mullican. and Fort. 1975–1986. noted that “The California branch [of feminism] focused on collaborative art making. 1990). Henry M.. and Suzanne Lacy. 78. Whitney Chadwick.” in Fuller and Savioni.. Philip Evergood. Lloyd Hamrol. Words That Wound: Critical Race Theory. The Power of Feminist Art: The American Movement of the 1970s. see Golden et al. 13. 34. 50–55.. “Introduction: Art in Context. and representational intersectionality. Jean Helion.” in Barron. satire. Art. eds. and education and was less career-based than the New York group”. Mark Rothko. 290. Robert Motherwell.” in Barron. Art/Women/California.” in Stephen Macedo. for example. eds. On the West Coast.” Art Journal 45 (Winter 1985). 81. 309. 17. 268. 80.” See Crenshaw’s “Beyond Racism and Misogyny: Black Feminism and 2 Live Crew” for a shrewd discussion of structural.. 7. 104. Garrard. Assaultive Speech and the First Amendment (Boulder. Sims. Claes Oldenburg. 2. Judy Gerowitz. The Object of Performance: The American Avant-Garde Since 1970 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press.” in Norma Broude and Mary D. 1970–75. George Sugarman. Jim Rosenquist. ed. Freestyle. “Constructing a New Paradigm: Women American Artists in California. W. cat. Helen and Newton Harrison.” in Rob- notes to pages 15–20 259 . 1996). “Social sculpture” is Daniela Salvioni’s term for “interventionist” artists such as Baca. de Kooning. Sam Francis. 291–92. exh. Ad Reinhardt. eds. Mastuda et al. puns... 1993). see Salvioni. composed of artists who refute the African American label and whom Golden calls “post-black”. eds. History and Impact (New York: Harry N. Faith Ringgold. Howard N. including Petlin and di Suvero. Fox. and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. Laura Meyer. 1900–1950 (Berkeley: University of California Press in association with the Archives of American Art. Worlds in Collision: Dialogues on Multicultural Art Issues (London: International Scholars Publications in association with the San Francisco Art Institute. Karel Appel. Ibid. George Segal.. in Mari J. Chadwick describes artists such as Colescott and Stanley as having “produced works in which social comment. n. some of whom. 1950–2000.. morality plays. Reassessing the Sixties: Debating the Political and Cultural Legacy (New York: W. 2001). Art/Women/California. for “cross-culturalism. “Painting under the Shadow: California Modernism and the Second World War. Politics and Dissent. Smithsonian Institution. See Susan Landauer. Jack Zajac. Made in California. 1994). “Narrative Imagism and the Figurative Tradition in Northern California Painting. 75. Bernstein. 74. Wilding. “Tremors in Paradise. The Peace Tower was the model for another bicoastal production. 79. 1997). ed. Collage of Indignation (1967). Leon Golub”. Frank Stella. Roy Lichtenstein. Sayre. Faith Wilding.” Lowery S. Reading California.” in Fuller and Salvioni. 77. political.” in Paul Karlstrom. “Afterword. Bernstein. Lucy Lippard became a major advocate 76.” 35. “The Feminist Art Programs at Fresno and CalArts. “Robert Colescott. Abrams. Larry Rivers. Norton. it was not until the early eighties that theorists such as Kimberlé Williams Crenshaw began to speak of such ideas as “intersectionality. Sherk..” particularly after the publication of her book Mixed Blessings: New Art in a Multicultural America (New York: Pantheon Books.. Herbert Ferber. Todd Gitlin. “The Feminist Art Programs at Fresno and CalArts. one of the best articulations of this inclusive approach to identity discourse can be found in the proceedings of an artists’ roundtable at the San Francisco Art Institute in 1994.

quoted in Tere Romo. See Peter Nisbet. 84. form. “The Art of Political Engagement.. ed. A Little Yes and a Big No (New York: Dial Press. Michael Baxandall. “Art and Politics: The Artist and the Social Order. Lippard. exh. speech at the opening of the Haus der deutschen Kunst. “Bay Area Figurative Art. Fifteen Polish Painters. F.” in Compassion and Protest: Recent Social and Political Art from the Eli Broad Family Foundation Collection. 1959). Anthony W. and Ilene Susan Fort. 1957). 7. and Yvonne Yarbro-Bejarano.” Art in America 52 (June 1964).: Harvard University Press. 87. 33. Danoª notes that as late as 1984 viewers were “shocked” by Content.: Oakland Art Museum. 7. German Realism of the Twenties: The Artist as Social Critic.” Art Journal 40 (Fall–Winter 1980). 124. 260 notes to pages 20–33 . Sheri Bernstein. 1972). 8. Bertolt Brecht.Y. Taylor. Twelve Artists from the German 1.” in ibid. 1975–1986. Leipzig. This dissertation was the basis for my first book: Peter Selz. 3. exh. Marinetti. Brecht: The Man and His Work (Garden City. quoted in Alfred H. 1946). Barr Jr. 76. 4. 456–500. January 10. exh. Berkeley: University of California Press.. cat. 163. Radical Politics. ert Colescott: A Retrospective. George Grosz. July 18. See Peter Selz. Painting on the Left: Diego Rivera. “Revival and Survival of Expressionist Trends in the Art of the GDR. 1961).C. Chipp with Peter Selz and Joshua C. “Dick Nixon. 86. 1946).” in Stephanie Barron.: Anchor Books. (Cambridge. 1992). and the author. Munich. “Statements about the Artist as Political Being” (1945). Chicano Art: Resistance and A‹rmation. Painting and Experience in FifteenthCentury Italy (New York: Oxford University Press. 9. (New York: Museum of Modern Art. 2. 21. 12. 23. Mass. 3. Michael Danoª. (Minneapolis: Minneapolis Institute of Arts. eds. quoted in Paul Mills. Image. cat. cat.. 1953. 3.. 43. cat. Adolf Hitler. exh.. 1989). Futurism. an exhibition at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington. (San Jose: San Jose Museum of Art in association with Cross River Press. Calif. in Joshua C. cat. 1999). 1900–2000 (Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art. quoted in Richard Griswold del Castillo. exh. “The Establishment of Social and Political Art. Art under a Dictatorship (New York: Oxford University Press. (New York: Museum of Modern Art. D. 36. Richard Nixon. (San Jose: San Jose Museum of Art. Contemporary Bay Area Figurative Painting. Lucy R. “Points of Convergence: Iconography of the Chicano Poster. 363. Teresa McKenna. 2. exh. 94. exh. 10. cited in Hellmut Lehmann-Haupt. 1937. 88. N. 1961). 1965). “Initial Manifesto of Futurism” (1909). 5.” Noriega. cat. (Los Angeles: Wight Art Gallery. see I. (New York: Museum of Modern Art. David Park. Theories of Modern Art: A Source Book by Artists and Critics (Berkeley: University of California Press. 5. José Montoya. conversation with Dore Ashton.” in Hershel B. 1988. Reading California: Art. University of California. 1969). (Oakland. which was a companion volume to the exhibition. 4. Peter Selz. and Identity. Taylor. quoted in Peter Selz. For a good overview of the politicization of New York’s avant-garde in the seventies and eighties. Rupert García. Democratic Republic. 1991). February 6. At the time. Lee. or method” (8). 1968). Peter Selz.” Nation. quoted in Martin Esslin. exh. Art Commissar. 143. 8–16. Bernhard Heisig. 7.. T. ed. 6. Just Another Poster?. 1957). xvii–xviii. 1965–1985. he explains. 2000). eds. Peter Nisbet. 85. INTRODUCTION: PATHS TO ENGAGEMENT PROLOGUE: A PERSONAL VIEW OF THE INTERACTION OF POLITICS AND ART 1. Sherman. 6. This was the title of a provocative and highly influential book on modernist art: Harold Rosenberg’s The Tradition of the New (New York: McGraw-Hill. 1980). cat. quoted in George F. Peter Selz. Picasso: Fifty Years of His Life (New York: Museum of Modern Art. “Sweeping Exchanges: The Contribution of Feminism to the Art of the 1970s. Pablo Picasso. 1954). Los Angeles.83. cat. it was still a very new idea for art to be driven by “subject rather than style. New Images of Man. and the San Francisco Public Murals (Berkeley: University of California Press. 248. 1987). exh. cat. See Peter Selz. German Expressionist Painting (Berkeley: University of California Press. Paul Mills.

5. exh.” in Hal Foster. The Anti-Aesthetic (Port Townsend. 1965. 1967). 5. cat. feeling that. memorial address (May 23. 9. vi. 13. notes to pages 33–47 261 . The Art of Rupert García: A Survey Exhibition. 3. letter to the author. Foreword. cat.” Christian Science Monitor. CHAPTER 1: AGAINST WAR AND VIOLENCE 14. Irving Petlin. 14. 1963). 13. 1970. Barbara Rose. Timothy Anglin Burgard. In his Fluxus publications Maciunas supplied much of the theory of the international Fluxus movement. Art.” in Rose. Walter Benjamin. Hirshhorn Foundation. 19. (Berkeley: University Art Museum. “Art Notes. 9. exh. 97. 24. I placed the sculptures behind a screen to make room for silkscreen presses and mimeograph machines. cat.: Bay Press. November 25. Nation. 859–83. Jean Baudrillard.” in Peter Selz. quoted in Milton Brown. Francis Frascina. February 7. exh. 44. Thomas Crow’s book is The Rise of the Sixties: American and European Art in the Era of Dissent. exh. Irving Petlin. Jerome Tarshis. 22. 1964). I was approached by students who wanted to turn the gallery into “campus central” for the printing of posters and the mimeographing (since this was before the time of the photocopier) of position papers. ed. Rico Lebrun. 19. 10. Albert Camus. 1995). (Valencia: IVAM Centre Julio González. Drawings (Berkeley: University of California Press. there was an outcry against the war among students. is not usually known for political art but for organizing the first 15. whose sculptures had been brought from Europe. 1959). 20. even though the gallery was just then the venue for two major sculpture exhibitions—the first museum shows in the United States of work by Pol Bury and Arnaldo Pomodoro. In response to the American invasion of Cambodia in 1970. Brace and World. 46. The one exception to this is Johns’s Moratorium prints. quoted in “The Museum and the Protest Poster” (press release). 1999). “The Ceramic Walls. Quoted in ibid. Reported in New York Times. 1963). 1940). Theodor Adorno. 2. Harold Paris. ed. Thomas Hart Benton. “Theses on the Philosophy of History. quoted in Ramón Favela. 17. January 30. Irving Petlin.8. Knopf. 2. 1983). “The Genesis of Genesis. politics is sometimes art. “Harold Paris: Emotions in Mixed Media. Leonard Baskin. The Rebel (New York: Alfred A. exh. 21. in Peter Selz. Rupert García.. (New York: Museum of Modern Art. 8. 4. 11. quoted in Peter Selz.” See her Secret Exhibition: Six California Artists in the Cold War Era (San Francisco: City Lights Books. New York. and staª at Berkeley. Many antiwar posters were produced in the University Art Museum on the Berkeley campus during this time. asserts that Hedrick was “the first American artist to protest the Vietnam War. letter. James Thrall Soby. October 2004. as at many universities in America. Grace Glueck. Cultural Criticism and Society (London: Neville Spearman. cat. May 1999. As director of the University Art Museum at the time. 1. 23. 1955–69 (New York: Harry N. 18. Allan Sekula. New Images of Man. born in 1931 in Lithuania. 1986). just as art is often political. 16. San Francisco. 3. 6. (San Francisco: Chronicle Books and Mexican Museum. Politics and Dissent: Aspects of the Art Left in Sixties America (Manchester: Manchester University Press. 1994). 44 (December 1978). Harold Paris: The California Years. December 14. “Modernism and Memory. Henry Seldis. 26. 1996). faculty. Rico Lebrun.. Abrams. I felt that this action was called for.” Massachusetts Review 19. 7. 1966. no. unpublished acquisitions statement. his contribution to the Moratorium Day in 1969. “Tower Against the War” (editorial). 1954). quoted in Dinnean. in Rico Lebrun. 1961). 143. 1972). Museum of Modern Art. “Dismantling Modernism: Reinventing Documentary (Notes on the Politics of Representation). 16. 1969. Mark di Suvero.” Archives of American Art Journal 16 (1977). “The Ecstasy of Communication. Rebecca Solnit. 13. 150. January 8. Wash. (Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Story of the Armory Show (New York: Joseph H. Fluxus performances and events in the early 1960s.” New York Times. in her fine study of California art in the cold war era. cat.. November 26. 12. 10. George Maciunas. 1966. letter to Thomas Craven.” in Illuminations (New York: Harcourt. 1992. Los Angeles Free Press. ed. Fine Arts Museums Foundation. 103. 132.

cat. 27. exh. 2. 2004).. 1975–2001 (Cambridge. in Close. Yvonne Gri‹n. Terry Allen. 7. quoted in Howard Zinn. cited in Irving Norman papers. 41. 47. Germany. (Allentown. 2003). 26. this painting had to be removed because to display the swastika. Mark Danner. Washington. Archives of American Art. 48. 44. Holland Cotter “Martha Rosler ‘Photomontages: 1965– 2004. Llyn Foulkes. 8. “The Election and America’s Future. 1986). Dinh Q. 49. note to the author. E10.” Artweek 26. 33. 10 (Summer 1969). exh. 28. July 15. 53. he left the gallery.C. 2004. Okun. 313. no. 43. 16. 2004. July 21. letter to Ariel. 35. “The Crucible and the Execution: A Memoir. which was originally started by Ed Kienholz and Walter Hopps as a space of innovation. Helène Aylon. unpaginated. Sometimes described as an “outsider. In Paris. the symbol most loaded with the memory of genocide. President William McKinley. Timothy Anglin Burgard. 54. The Rosenbergs (New York: Universe Books. 29. Calif. Vija Celmins. At Documenta IX in Kassel. exh. Peter Saul.” Toomey Tourell Gallery. D. where Ocampo had his own gallery. 2003). Called His Famous Smile.annoy. Artburn (New York: RDV Books. Clinton Fein. 1985). 34. see Martha Rosler. quoted in Walter Benjamin. 2004. Earth Ambulance was installed permanently at the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art in Peekskill. Lê. December 24. Forkscrew Graphics. “Art Makes a Diªerence. no. exh. interviewed by the author. 2002. (San Francisco: Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco in association with Hudson Hills Press. unpaginated. June 1. 32. no. cartoonist for Humanité. 1992). Petlin. Alfred Frankenstein. Dinh Q. letter to the author. Catastrophe According to Hans Burkhardt. 31. 46. 1998). 57. November 4. 40. quoted in Anthony Torres. in the summer of 2004.: MIT Press. 42. July 2003. 262 notes to pages 48–80 . Edward Kienholz. 255. “Vietnam and a Betrayal of Childhood. 1990). 5. 38. Arthur Miller.” San Francisco Chronicle. “Arresting Art in a State of Fluxus. “Beyond Words: The Hand of Humanity.: Muhlenberg College. “Artist’s Statement. posters by Louis Mittelberg. cat. 4. 51. Artforum 7. 36. November 8.” Nation.” in Conal.. Penn. May 15. New York. cat. “Letters to His Dealer. Donald Kuspit. “Making Torture Legal. Vija Celmins (New York: Art Press. 2004. microfilm roll 4911. 55. is illegal in Germany. (San Francisco: Fuller Goldeen Gallery. 1989). 1998. 30. 86. e-mail to Moira Roth. 1988). quoted in Dave Hickey. Jules Greenberg. Lê (Seattle: Marquand Books. “A Small History of Photography. Chris Burden. 1977.” in Rob A. On Art and Artists (San Francisco: Chronicle Books. “Helène Aylon at the University Art Museum. Kenneth Baker. Marcia Smith. 141. 37.” in Frank Lobdell: The Art of Making and Meaning. Scott MacLeod. in Chris Burden: A Twenty-Year Survey. San Francisco. Robbie Conal. “Another Fine Mess. See www. Anthony Lewis. cat. 45. Mass. ed. where I witnessed large demonstrations. were plastered over the city. quoted in Christopher Miles and Moira Roth. Smithsonian Institution.” Los Angeles Times. (Newport Harbor. letter to the author. Donald Kuspit. 58. 56. 28. One-Way Street (New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanavich.html?DocumentID =100167.24.” in Benjamin. 39. 82.’” New York Times. 2004. unpaginated. 2003). 66–67. For Rosler’s writings. 1993. letter. Arts 58. cat. with a mouthful of electric chairs in place of teeth. 52. May 1999. (New York: Allan Frumkin Gallery. 5 (January 1984). 51. 50. In 1951 Picasso used a toy automobile as the head of a monkey in the bronze Baboon and Young. because he perceived it as too commercially oriented. March 1987.” in Peter Saul. San Francisco Chronicle.” New York Review of Books. 25. Thomas Albright. Decoys and Disruptions: Selected Writings. Robert Arneson. it showed the grinning face of President Eisenhower.” New York Review of Books.: Newport Art Museum.” Foulkes has actively rejected commercialism in the art world. interviewed by Chuck Close. quoted in Alisa Solomon. When still in his twenties and soon after his first exhibition at the avant-garde Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles. A People’s History of the United States (New York: HarperCollins. July 4. 9 (September 1995). 1978). 2004. Artists Call Against Intervention in Central America statement. Bertolt Brecht. Berkeley. 24. 2003).

in connection with the work of African British painter Chris Ofili. 8. (Minneapolis: Walker Art Center. (Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Wallace Berman: Support the Revolution (Amsterdam: Institute of Contemporary Art. curated by Dorothy Miller.” in Stephanie Barron. Hung Liu. no. 1997). 53. Connor Everts. cat. letter to the author. 10. no. 1996). He was having drinks at a bar near campus when some police o‹cers entered. 7.59. CHAPTER 2: COUNTERCULTURAL TRENDS 11. 2 vols. the jury voted for conviction of the o‹cers involved. and Other Poems (San Francisco: City Lights Pocket Bookshop. Alan Watts.” Artforum 12. Sheri Bernstein. October 3. Bruce Conner. 65. introduced Jasper Johns. “Bohemia and Counterculture. Where I Was Born (New York: Vintage International. Reading California: Art. 4. 13.” in Hans Burkhardt: The War Paintings. Congressional Record. 9 (May 1973). This show. and Ilene Susan Fort.. (Northridge: California State University. interviewed by Peter Boswell. “Notes on Funk. cat. 1992). Dennis Hopper. 62. in McManus Zurko. Allen Ginsberg. exh. in which the artist. 39–41.: John Natsoulas Press. Los Angeles. “Interview with Colin Gardner. quoted in John Bowles. Irvine. 5. Eve Cockcroft. (Irvine: California Art Gallery. How New York Stole the Idea of Modern Art (Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 9. 1949. When his case against the police came to trial. Hans Burkhardt. Ohio: College of Wooster Art Museum. when New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani attempted to withdraw city funds from the Brooklyn Museum of Art unless it stopped showing Ofili’s painting The Holy Virgin Mary (1996).” in Funk. exh. John Coplans. “Los Angeles Art Community. “Staging Reality: An Interview with Hung Liu. Connor Everts. 9–20. The injury to his right hand and the resultant loss of feeling have since made it impossible for him to use his painter’s arm. 2000). Wallace Berman: Support the Revolution. (Wooster. 44. “Shocking ‘Beat’ Art Displayed: California Artists and the Beat Image. 98. exh. Berkeley: University of California Press. while Everts was teaching at California State University. following African tradition. Long Beach. Joan Didion. and Serge Guilbaut. Robert Rauschenberg.” interview by Kathleen McManus Zurko.” in Howl. 2003). “Sculpture by Ron Boise: The Kama Sutra Theme. the American cold war establishment encouraged the work of Abstract Expressionism. 3. ed. 14.” in Gardner. 1. During the 1950s. (Los Angeles: Los Angeles Oral History Program. 15. in Bruce Conner: Theatre of Light and Shadow. 1988). A similar scenario arose in 1999. quoted in The Beat Generation and Beyond (Davis. Louise Nevelson. 12.” in Gardner. Serge Guilbaut. “Abstract Expressionism: Weapon in the Cold War. Los Angeles.” Oral History Program. and spent much of his last twenty years in Berlin. eds. Wallace Hedrick. 221. no. pp. “The Influence of Wallace Berman on the Visual Arts. cat. 6. University of California. 1967). but the judge declared a mistrial. 60. Ellsworth Kelly. Interview by Lawrence Weschler. Calif. 1956). ed. 81st Congress. he had another brush with the police. He was then beaten so severely that he had to be hospitalized. Everts asked for their identification and was arrested. however. cat. cat. In 1972 Kienholz began collaborating with his wife. 1999). Peter Selz. Image and Identity. notes to pages 81–96 263 .. 44–49. 40. 10 (June 1974). Ibid. 1984).. 16. exh. 187. ed. 223–24. exh. 54. 1984. University of California. 61. Eva Cockcroft. 2001. “Abstract Painting during the Cold War. 3. Bruce Conner. quoted in Colin Gardner.. “Howl. See Max Kozloª. more sophisticated critics and institutions co-opted the work of the Abstract Expressionists by supporting it at home and sending it abroad to contrast the fruits of freedom with the suppression of abstract art behind the Iron Curtain. Christopher Knight. Hung Liu: A Ten-Year Survey 1988– 98. August 16. 36 (June 1965).” Artforum 12. 2. 17. had placed elephant dung on the Madonna’s breast. 1968). Edward Kienholz. 1983). 81.” Evergreen Review 9. University of California. 17. As documented by Max Kozloª. (Berkeley: University Art Museum. Two years later. Nancy Reddin Kienholz. and other artists to the American art public. Assemblage in California. Frank Stella. 1900–2000. cat. exh.

Ibid. The Dying Animal (New York: Vintage International.. Mass. 26. 2004). “Fresh Acconci. Flow and Dilemma of Protest Art. February 9. Ibid. 1996). 42. “The Times They Are A-Changin’. exh. 241. Kristine Stiles. 41. Mark Brest van Kempen. Paul McCarthy. Denmark: Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.: Harvard University Press. 23. Philip Roth.. 1993). eds. 31. Paul McCarthy (London: Phaidon Press.” in 36. in Hardcore California: A History of Punk and New Wave (Berkeley: Last Gasom. 39. Garrett.” New York Times. 2001. 30. 7. 1972. 1990. interviewed by the author. “Holding One Another: Mario Savio and the Freedom Struggle in Mississippi and Berkeley. 35.” in ibid. 220. eds. Jo Freeman. “Souls in Aspic. Preface. 45. 49. 66. Paul Schimmel. The man President Bush appointed to take charge of this operation was Admiral John Poindexter. 24. 34. May 22. (Richmond. 1998). 2.: Richmond Art Center. 264 notes to pages 96–116 . 219. no. Leon Litwak. 2002. 1990). Greil Marcus. exh. 25.” Graphis 24. 7. 28. 135 (1968).” in Robert Cohen and Reginald E. “Souls in Aspic. 18–19. “A Full-Scale Model for a Dysfunctional Institutional Hierarchy. eds.: Counterpoint.” Vallejo Times-Herald. quoted in “Art Contest Resurrects Memories of 1964.” in Kelley. Robert Hughes. 2002). 1984).: MIT Press. Minima Moralia: Reflections from a Damaged Life (New York: Schocken Books. 388.C.. 2004. 2004.” in Elisabeth Sussman et al. May 24. October 6. 79. The Whole World’s Watching: Peace and Justice Movements of the 1960s and 1970s (Berkeley: Berkeley Art Center. 1997).. Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art: A Sourcebook of Artists’ Writings (Berkeley: University of California Press. 48. Conversations. 21. Arnold Mesches. San Francisco Chronicle. Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art. Peter Coyote. 7. and Politics in California (Berkeley: University of California Press. 336. Michael Heyman. cat. Philosophical Enquiry into the Origins of the Sublime and Beautiful (Oxford: Oxford University Press. 47. “From Freedom Now! to Free Speech. 5. (New York: Whitney Museum of American Art. quoted in Mark Johnstone and Leslie Aboud Holzman. 2002).. 2004. March 26. The Free Speech Movement: Reflections on Berkeley in the 1960s (Berkeley: University of California Press. 33.” 66. Peter Belsito and Bob Davis. Mike Kelley: Catholic Tastes. Calif. 27. “Land of the Twee.lipmagazine. 20.. exh. Mass. collection of the author. John C. 1995). and Giacinto Di Pietrantonio. Proposals (Writing Art). See Peter Selz. Epicenter: San Francisco Bay Area Art Now (San Francisco: Chronicle Books. Poetry.” New York Review of Books. 2002). When Poindexter suggested that Internet futures trading could be used to predict terrorist attacks. D. Hughes. Jos Sances. 44. org. 40.” LiP Magazine. 22. who had been convicted of five felonies in 1986 for his involvement in the Iran-Contra aªair.” in Ralph Rugoª. Kristine Stiles. 1989). Theodor Adorno. 38. November 18. outraged members of Congress called for Poindexter’s resignation and an end to the program. ed. Spaces of Nature.” Guardian. 91. Preface. Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the 20th Century (Cambridge. Richard Cándida Smith. J. Ibid. 46. 37. Kristine Stiles. 5. 19. Utopia and Dissent: Art. 1990). 10. 55. 694. David Cole. 2001). Mike Kelley. Zelnik. 1951). Sunshine and Noir. 1996). 56. “Uncle Sam Is Watching You. Edmund Burke. “Art Crimes: The Ebb. Quoted in Kari Lydersen. 91–92. 70–77.” in Peter Selz. quoted in Matthias Gafni. Minor Histories: Statements.. www. 1996. Mike Trimble.18. 43. in “Kristine Stiles in Conversation with Paul McCarthy. B1. cat. in Nittve and Helle Crenzien. Waldo Martin. “Artist’s Statement. cat. 8. June 6. “Exhibit Sparks Outrage. Lars Nittve. quoted in Duncan Campbell. 213. “Art and Technology. 30–31. C.” Time. Sleeping Where I Fall (Washington. 29. Welchman (Cambridge.” unpublished manuscript (1993. The o‹ce was closed in September 2003. 32. Bruce Sterling.. (Humlebaek. “Memoir.” in Stiles and Peter Selz. July 8.” in Stiles and Selz. 2001). 75. 2002. “The Hippie Poster. 50. “Performance Art. I.

htm. Kim. in Mark Poster. Fall 1999. Conn. in Barry McGee. Isamu Noguchi: A Sculptor’s World (New York: Harper and Row. In 1993 the Whitney Museum of American Art.: New York Graphic Society. Robert Storr. organized a panel discussion titled “Theresa Hak Kyung Cha: Then and Now. “Inside the Leviathan. The Art of Assemblage. eds. “The Peter Principle. 1997). Jean Baudrillard. interviewed in the PBS television documentary Art:21. (New York: Hugo de Pagano Gallery. In 2005 she received the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Biennale. Ibid.” New York Review of Books. reprint. Lawrence Rinder. 25. 23. Kathryn Spence. Francia. Diversity California New York. Arthur Miller. Tanya Schevitz. AND IDENTITY POLITICS 1.” in Norma Alarcón and Elaine H. and Anne Trouch. “Vandalism or Art?” San Francisco Chronicle. CHAPTER 3: ON RACISM. unpaginated. which has shown Kruger’s work since 1973. 53. C2. Ibid. and Yong Soon Min. Thorstein Veblen. DISCRIMINATION. 68. New York.” Stephen Wirtz Gallery.” Panelists included Judith Barry. 1993).org/art 21. “The ‘Liberation Voice’ of Theresa Hak Kyung Cha’s Dictée. cat. 1988). San Francisco. 70. “Dealing. on November 5. 58... eds. “Kindred Distance. vol. Noguchi East and West (Berkeley: University of California Press. The Cultural Contradictions of Capitalism (New York: Basic Books. Barry McGee. Theresa Hak Kyung Cha. 1912). William C.pbs.” in Angel Velasco Shaw and Luis H. 2002). Yong Soon Min. 1982. ed. “Artist’s Statement. Seitz introduced the term “assemblage” into the art vocabulary with this exhibition and accompanying catalogue. 81. 59. 1961). 1990). 7.” San Francisco Cha was murdered in New York.” in Benoît Decron. 2005. 1941.epa. 1968). 1981). 1994). interviewed by Germano Celant. Barry McGee. 1982. cat.” in Art Guitar: Essays on Art and Democracy (Los Angeles: Art Issues Press. Ken Knabb. 2002). in Arthur Miller’s Collected Plays. 2 (New York: Viking Press. exh. March 7. This compares with less than three pounds per person per day in the United Kingdom and two pounds in Germany. 63. 67. 79. Writing Nation: A Collection of Essays on Dictée by Theresa Hak Kyung Cha (Berkeley: Third Woman Press. “How to Tell Japs from the Chinese. exh. see www.” Life. Shortly before the publication of Dictée. 54... cat. 34. 69. 82. 25. December 16. (Milan: Fondazione Prada. 1976). Alfred Frankenstein. Isamu Noguchi.. exh. exh. 56. 1899–1999 (New York: New York University Press. 57. The Price. 120. The Relevance of Rexroth (Berkeley. 64. 2. rather than referring—as one might think—to the imperial presidency. 61. notes to pages 117–139 265 . Writing Self. 10. Steven Winn. The retrospective later went to the Whitney Museum of American Art. 60. Ibid. cat. Peter Selz. 1999). (Greenwich. 1997). exh. See www. Ibid. 2004. Berkeley: University of California Press. Jean Baudrillard: Selected Writings (Cambridge: Polity Press. 62. 2001. 295. Reagan Louie and Carlos Villa. 3. 9. 80. 1994). 1970). Vestiges of War: The Philippine-American War and the Aftermath of an Imperial Dream. Asians. eds. NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. Peter Saul. 5. The Roman numeral “II” of the title denotes that this is the second version of the painting. 296. 107. 2001). 70. 61. “California Minorities Become Majority: Census Reflects Surge among Latinos. 102. Dave Hickey. Hyun Yi Kang. The Theory of the Leisure Class: An Economic Study in the Evolution of Institutions (New York: Macmillan.51. (New York: Museum of Modern Art. bell hooks. 4. October 19. 52. Daniel Bell. 323. Robert Storr. Calif. 6. 55. 66. She was thirty-one years old. (Les Sables d’Olonne: Musée de l’Abbaye Sainte-Croix. Worlds in Collision: Dialogues on Multicultural Art Issues (London: International Scholars Publications in association with the San Francisco Art Institute. Dore Ashton. 8. Dictée (New York: Tanam Press.: Bureau of Public Secrets. August 30. December 22. 2000. cat. Simon Head. The Reality of Appearance: The Trompe l’Oeil Tradition in American Painting. 11.. Seitz. 65.

Histories (London: Routledge. 1979). unpaginated. Robert Colescott.” in David Hammons—Rousing the Rubble. Selections: The San Jose Museum of Art Permanent Collection (San Jose. Artist’s statement in Hanh Thi Pham. Miriam Roberts. October 6. 45. “Paintings and Projections” (1964).com/issues/2001-10-24/news/feature_ 2. 2003). 15.. 1984). Oxendine.” News from Native California. Brown. “Primitivism” in Twentieth Century Art: A‹nity of the Tribal and the Modern. “School Days. in author’s archive.htm. eds. “Southern Discomfort. “The ‘Junk’ of Watts. 1991). in Drawings and Prints by Charles White.: Spellman College.” Arts Magazine 41 (February 1967). ed. including Seale. Alicia Gaspar de Alba. 19. exh..” in Lucy R. 27. 158. 29. Notes for a Catalogue for Raymond Saunders (San Francisco: Stephen Wirtz Gallery. Calif. City and County of San Francisco. (Washington. no. June 27. He was bound and gagged on the order of Julius Hoªman. Hulleah J. David in Indigena: Contemporary Native Perspectives (Hull. The Art of Romare Bearden. 23. “Hulleah J.” in W. Jackson Rushing III. exh. in Susan Landauer. Frank LaPena. Sebastião Salgado. cat. Charles White. ed. Robert Colescott Paintings. 118. quoted in Peter Wollen. 35.” SF Weekly. 1992). 44. 1. Vice President Hubert Humphrey was nominated for the presidency. In the interest of full disclosure. 16. Faith Ringgold. 15. Dictée. quoted in Ernest Larsen. 15. Carrie Mae Weems.: San Jose Museum of Art. 1997). 59.. Harry Belafonte. April 22. 1992). cat. 31.: McPherson. 124. 201–2. “What Does Blood Have to Do with Indian Art?” unpublished manuscript. We Flew over the Bridge (Boston: Little. Orientalism (New York: Vintage Books. (Fukuoka City. D. “Twenty-three Contemporary Artists. N. Kellie Jones. 24. Arthur Secunda. (New York: Museum of Modern Art. 1965. exh. 33. 56. cat. the presiding judge. 32.: National Gallery of Art. Statement. Edward Said. 14. 2003).” in Miriam Roberts. 4 (July–August 1972). Humphrey had supported the escalation of the war in Vietnam. 2003.” News from Native California. 1999). George Longfish. Quebec: Canadian Museum of Civilization. Mildred Howard. 13. Thomas McElivey.sfweekly. 1998). 30. Cambridge. October 24. “Between Worlds. ed. no. cat. “School Days. “Sanctioned Scribes. Meanings. 20. exh. 46. Ga. 150.. From an artist’s statement quoted in Mark Athitakis. 17.Y.” Nation. Margaret Dubin.12. 42. 38. Eight people accused of leading this rebellion were put on trial. “A Refracted Image: Selected Exhibitions and Reviews of Bearden’s Work. Ralph Ellison. Native American Art in the Twentieth Century: Makers. 43. I should note that I was responsible for this commission. The Power of Feminist Art: The American 266 notes to pages 139–164 . cat. (Atlanta. and his selection led to bloody riots.tfaoi. 1997). “The Structure of Myth and the Potency of Magic.” Art in America 60. Irving Petlin. 1985).” in ibid. Hanh Thi Pham. Cha. Frank La Pena. 26. 1975).. 2004). Art and Otherness: Crisis in Contemporary Art (Kingston. in My Imagination.. quoted in “New Art of the West. 21.purdue . At the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968. 30. Summer 1999. Lippard.” www. “A Time of Emptiness. 41. quoted in Abdul Goler. Path Breakers (Indianapolis and Seattle: Eiteljorg Museum and University of Washington Press. Jean LaMarr. George Longfish. 17.” Art in America 78. 16. Garrard. (New York: Institute for Contemporary Art. Chicano Art Inside / Outside the Master’s House: Cultural Politics and the CARA Exhibition (Austin: University of Texas Press. 22. 18.htm. 14. Tsinhnahjinnie. “Personal Statement. ed. 30. exh. Mass. 36. (Santa Fe: SITE Santa Fe. “Shooting Wars. statement. cat. 1995). 39. Japan: Fukuoka Art Museum. See William Rubin.C. 260.: MIT Press.cla.” in Ruth Fine.” www. Proclamation to Declare Robert Hilary King Day. 2002. 34. Tsinhnahjinnie. 40. in Images of Dignity: Drawings of Charles White (Los Angeles: Heritage Gallery. 25. Veronica Passalacqua. 1967). quoted in New York Times. 5 (May 1999). 37. 28. exh.. Frank LaPena. 50–51. quoted in Norma Broude and Mary D. interviewed in Chicago Daily News. 2001 ( quoted in ibid. Lloyd E. “Sometimes. 16.html). Fall 1999. March 1976. Charles White. ed.

Malaquias Montoya. Contemporary Chicana and Chicano Art. 1982.” in Villa. See Moira Roth. 68. no. Statement. Susan M. cat. Foreword. had no women on its tenured faculty in the late 1960s. Rock Your World. 1983). Chicano Art. and Phantoms: Asco. a Case Study of Chicano Art in Urban Tones (or Asco Was a Four-Member Word). although the NEH had previously turned it down more than once. 1. McKenna. Anderson. Chicano Art. It received support from many organizations. 131. Judith Baca. Richard Griswold del Castillo. Chicano Art.. 48. “Hispanic. 151. Statement. “In the City of Angels. Berkeley. 44. 61. (Los Angeles: Wight Art Gallery. 64. in Gary D. History and Impact (New York: Harry N.” www. 75. for example. Ibid. 27. 23. 2. Chicano Art. 2002). David Avalos. xiii. in “Prologue: La Cultura Chicana: Voices in Dialogue. “The Education of Women Artists: Project Womanhouse. Los Angeles. See Victor A. unpaginated. and Diane Tani.. Miriam Schapiro. “Selected Works. The Amazing Decade: Women and Performance Art in America 1970–1980 (Los Angeles: Astro Artz.47. 219. Moira Roth. 73.” in The Art of Ricardo Duªy. Chameleons. 1994). Conversation at Café Mestizo: The Public Art of David Avalos. The flag was designed by César Chávez’s cousin. McKenna. Carlos Villa. David Avalos. Ester Hernández. 143. 62. Simone de Beauvoir. 1989). Throughout this section I have used the terms “Chicano” and “Chicanos” to refer to both men and women rather than using the slashed versions “Chicano/a” and “Chicanos/as. Keller et al. 17. quoted in Frank del Olmo. Contemporary Chicana and Chicano Art: Artists. quoted in Lucy R. Latino or Chicano?: A Historical Review.” in del Castillo. exh. I was the curator of paint- notes to pages 164–190 267 . the proportion in 1999 was six women to one man. Ibid. 63. Knopf. The Practice of Art Department at the University of California.. 67. Henry Fonseca exhibited some of these works in an exhibition devoted to his paintings at the Oakland Museum of California in 1998. 65.: Bilingual Press. 7 (1971).” The same applies to “Filipino” and “Filipinos. 49. 1989). and Yvonne Yarbro-Bejarano. 1994). 55. “El Mundo Feminism: Chicana Artists in the Movement—A Commentary on Development and Production. Lippard. Sculptor: The First Thirty-Eight Years. “Artist’s Statement / 2002. 60. vol. and Yarbro-Bejarano. quoted in Gaspar de Alba. 54. viii. no. 1990). This figure is di‹cult to identify. April 19. 52.” in del Castillo. eds. 198. “Tico Nuevo: The Plunder of Paradise.” Rupert García. Abrams. cat. McKenna. 7.” in Chicano Art: Resistance and A‹rmation 1965–1985. Enrique Chagoya. 70. Linda Nochlin.. 1997). 51. 154. quoted in Philip Brookman.. Carlos Villa (Berkeley: Visibility Press. and Education. Mixed Blessings. 74. 122. Mixed Blessings: New Art in a Multicultural America (New York: Pantheon Books. “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” Art News 69. and Yarbro-Bejarano. Harry Gamboa Jr. 157. 4 (Summer 1973). Works.. 3. 1992). exh. quoted in Lippard. Teresa McKenna. 74. 50. 71. in Keller et al.nahj . The Second Sex (New York: Alfred A. Ariz. University of California. and YarbroBejarano. (New York: Intar Gallery.” unpublished manuscript. Culture. 53. vol. James Luna. 142. Mary Boone. Amalia Mesa-Bains. 56. Costa Rica: Centro Cultural Costarricense-Norteamericano. 2 (Tempe. including the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. 57. in author’s archive. eds. quoted in Gaspar de Alba. 170. Gaspar de Alba. n. Chicano Art.” New York. in Kathy O’Dell. 66. Linda Nochlin. Ruben Salazar. 72. cat.html.” Art Journal 32. Md. exh. Movement of the 1970s.” in del Castillo. (Catonsville. In 2005 Luna performed and had an exhibition at the Venice Biennale. eds. who simplified the shapes so that nonartist union members could easily replicate the logo. exh. Consuela Jiménez Underwood. Chicano Art. ed. (San José. 28. 1998). “Articulate Signs of Resistance and A‹rmation in Chicano Public Art. 59. Kate Millett.. 125. quoted in “Mary Boone.: University of Maryland. 69. cat. Manuel. Sorell. New Queen of the Art Scene. sponsored by the National Museum of the American Indian. 58.

htm. 1998). eds. 1977). ing and sculpture exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art at the time and commissioned Tinguely to create this ephemeral work. Faith Wilding. 78. Paul Tillich on Art and Architecture (New York: Crossroads Publishing. cat.] Times. September 20. but the reaction of the press and the audience was positive.” in Tsujimoto and Bass. Sexual Politics: Judy Chicago’s “Dinner Party” in Feminist Art History. John Dillenberger and Jane Dillenberger.” Sacramento Bee. eds.” Frontiers 6.” Art Journal 57. “The Feminist Art Programs at Fresno and CalArts. 90. “To Know This Place for the First Time: Interpreting Joan Brown. “Noyes of Transformation.” Flash Art. “From a Paeon to Heroic Woman: A Place at History’s Table. nos. 1998). 86. 6 (October 1958). Unit on an Amazon Safari. 1989).” in Judy Chicago. N. 84. Miriam Schapiro: A Retrospective. 81. Miriam Schapiro.” Art in America 62. 3 (1982).” New York Times. 214. Chicago. ed. 47. Amalia Mesa-Bains. eds. xiv. 87. History and Impact (New York: Harry N. (Wooster. 98. Abrams. Lippard.” ArtNews 57. Joan Brown. 79. exh. 102. Through the Flower. 213. (Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art. 115. “Rachel Rosenthal Guides E. 44. 101. 94. 1953–1980. “Handcuª: Linda Montana and Tom Marioni. 1990. 131.” in Montana. March 16. 178. 128. Allan Kaprow. 1996). in Moira Roth. 67. and Scholars Talk about Their Lives and Work (New York: Pantheon Books. 89. no. “The World Seen through a Sculptor’s Eyes. 91. October 8. 44–45 (April 1974). 83. Lynn Hershman. 88. Lolette Kuby. 1999). “ ‘Strange Fruit’ from Far Away. 1994). 1970–75. cat. Rachel Rosenthal in Una Chaudhuri. in Sara Ruddick and Pamela Daniels. Faith Wilding and Critical Art Ensemble. May 18. and the defunct sculpture has become a benchmark in contemporary art history... (San Francisco: Mexican Museum. 1977). Roberta Smith. Domestic Ruin and Regeneration. Art in Everyday Life (Los Angeles: Astro Artz. F18..: Anchor Books. Calif.Y.. 1988).” Los Angeles Times.: Eucalyptus Press. (Los Angeles and Berkeley: Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Cultural Center with University of California Press. 69. Henry M. cat. 97. 2 (March–April 1974). ed. Eleanor Antin. (Berkeley: University of California Press. interviewed by Elizabeth Derector. Faith Wilding. Schapiro. The Art of Joan Brown. 1980). Scientists. 100. Several art world personalities complained that the function of a museum was to preserve art. Connecting Conversations (Oakland. John Battenberg. 95. in Thalia Gouma-Peterson. quoted in Jacquelynn Baas. 44. 219. Sayre. 119.” Palo Alto [Calif. The Object of Performance: The American Avant-Garde since 1970 (Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Ibid. Mills College. Joan Brown. 96. 1976. “Painting as a Visual Diary: The Art of Joan Brown. Ohio: College of Wooster. Fox. no.. see www. 1 (Summer 1998). Eleanor Antin. not to destroy it. eds. ed. Rachel’s Brain and Other Storms (London: Continuum. quoted in Howard N. “The Legacy of Jackson Pollock. 35.. “Notes on the Political Condition of Cyberfeminism. 80. Miriam Schapiro. 1987). 25. 296. “The Hoodwinking of the Women’s Movement: Rethinking Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party. 103. 1981). eds. ed. “Waiting. Suzanne Lacy and Lucy R. exh..battenberg. 45. Peter Selz. exh. 2002. Through the Flower: My Struggles as a Woman Artist (Garden City. 82. 23.” in Tsujimoto and Jacquelynn Bass. quoted in Victoria Dalkey.. 77.A. 93.R. See Amelia Jones. exh. 92. Martin Bernheimer. 2003 (available online). This excellent history of 268 notes to pages 191–208 . 2001). interviewed by Bradley.. The Other Side of Silence—Men’s Lives and Gay Identities: A Twentieth-Century History (New York: Henry Holt. no. quoted in Gay Weaver. John Loughery. “Political Performance Art.” in Norma Broude and Mary D. Working It Out: Twenty-three Women Writers.” in Patssi Valdez: A Precarious Comfort / Una comodidad precaria. quoted in Karen Tsujimoto. “Patssi Valdez: Glamour. artist/bibliography. Linda Montano. 99. cat. 13.76.” Heresies 17 (1984). Hung Liu. no. interviewed by Paula Bradley.. Eleanor Antin. cat. “Lynn Hershman at the Dante Hotel. 212. ed. 85. 89. exh. 1999). Artists. unpaginated. The Power of Feminist Art: The American Movement of the 1970s. The Art of Joan Brown..

lenses. 243–45). In a Diªerent Light: Visual Culture. 1996). Arlene Raven. Hockney is eager to point out. 115. “Generations of Lesbian Art. 127. the gay movement has provided me with much of the information used in these pages. William T. Sackler Gallery. these composite images appear as modern versions of mosaics. “Masami Teraoka. quoted in Jan Baum Gallery. cameras lucidas— to project three-dimensional space onto the flat surfaces of their drawings and Judith Baca. 120. [Lindsey Wylie]. Schimmel. 118. Chicana Lesbians: The Girls Our Mothers Warned Us About (Berkeley: Third Woman Press. 122. 121.: University Press of New England. 124. cat. (Washington. 113. Abrams. 69. Thomas Avena and Adam Klein.berkeley. 1986– 2005 (self-published booklet by Lemcke. 1996). Lew Ellingham and Kevin Killian.104. 1976). 103. Terry Wolverton. Green Architecture (Cologne: Taschen. Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie. quoted in Hammond. who transcend the naturalistic look by means of emotional power. 112. Selections. Lawrence Rinder.: Arthur M. 10. Hockney’s contributions have. 111.. 2005). In many of them he got the viewer to enter the picture by means of placing his own two feet in the immediate foreground. Douglas Kahn and Diane Neumaier (Seattle: Real Comet Press.janbaum . 2000). Ibid. Paintings by Masami Teraoka. David Hockney. 113. quoted in ibid. Los Angeles. 125. 109. available online at www. 1996). Hammond.. 218. The use of available tools. Wiley (see pp. Carla Trujillo. press release for Rodriguez’s solo exhibition La Voz Impossible (2002). 51. (Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art.html. Although Jess’s work diªers from the mainstream art of his time. “From December 1 notes to pages 208–224 269 . 11. 106. in Avena and Adam Klein.” in Landauer. David Hockney.W. See Masami Teraoka’s website: www.” in James T.. Often built on a grid. Masami Teraoka and Lynda Hess. David Hockney by David Hockney (New York: Harry N.. Lari Pittman. Thomas Avena. Sexual Identity. Jill Johnston.html.html.C. Smithsonian main. 2000).. In the early 1980s he began working seriously with photography and produced Polaroid composites. “Los Angeles Lesbian Arts.bampfa.” in Cultures in Contention. Fox. 117. Lesbian Art in America: A Contemporary History (New York: Rizzoli. Tino Rodriguez. Ibid. Lari Pittman. does not diminish the work of the finest artists. www. N. Lesbian Nation: The Feminist Solution (New York: Simon and Schuster.” in Howard N. L. 2002. cat. 1973). D. 99. 119. 116. press release. Lawrence Rinder. 84. According to the Kyoto Report. who puts laconic narratives and parables in his idl/lressay. ed. David Hockney (London: Thames and Hudson. Lesbian Art in America. 1962). 126. “Curating in a Diªerent Light. cameras obscuras. 123. 115. 1995).” High Performance (Spring 1991). quoted in Harmony Hammond. iv. 64. 107. Rudy Lemcke. “Monitoring Our Time. 73–74. 108. 110. 2. “An Interview with Lari Pittman by Paul 114. eds. 241.lava. Queer Practice (San Francisco: City Lights. 149. Lesbian Art in America. Ulak et al. It is worth noting that Justice Anthony Kennedy. 105. 77. exh. ed. May 4. 1981). Jerome: After the Pageant (San Francisco: Bastard Books. quoted in Marco Livingstone. in Art about AIDS. 1991).” www. ed. Silent Spring (Boston: Houghton Mifflin. CHAPTER 4: TOWARD A SUSTAINABLE EARTH The epigraph is from James Wines. his apposition of word and image can be compared to that of another Bay Area artist. in his majority opinion.H. 68. cited Michel Foucault’s The History of Sexuality. in their continuous search for greater illusion. and Amy Scholder. have made use of special devices— mirrors. 1. Poet Be Like God (Hanover. 1980). “Queer Arts Interview by Barry Harrison. Rachel Carson.” in Nayland Blake. extended well beyond this..queer-arts. Perhaps it was his work in photography that prompted Hockney to conduct art historical research and suggest rather persuasively that painters since the fifteenth century. of course. 1985). show2/forum/forum297..

” www. 1995). 30. 1990). “The Machine in the Garden. 6 (February 1976). 23. Ibid. Joyce Cutler-Shaw. 9. photographing the early stages of construction on this work. Konrad Oberhuber. 28. no. Robert Smithson. “Adjuntas.” press release. 95. 6.” in Kristine Stiles and Peter Selz. Earthworks: Art and the Landscape of the Sixties (Berkeley: University of California Press. 13. 2003). Preface. 1983). 24. November 2004. At the same time in which Mark Thompson created his A House Divided. 5. which was also dedicated to the free flow between East and West. 10 (October 2001).” in Misrach and Misrach. Ibid. unpaginated. 8. relative to the levels emitted in 1990. The developed nations agreed to limit their greenhouse gas emissions. 8.” Arts 25. 27. Mark Thompson. 233. newsletter.” Art Papers 24. Barbara Stauªacher Solomon. html/thegates/ html/qanda. Lippard. King. Sculpting the Environment: A Natural Dialogue (New York: Van Nostrand /kyoto/kyotorpt. 1997. Library Quartet: Joyce CutlerShaw (San Diego: Atheneum Music and Arts Library. 29. 1974). curated the exhibition Twelve Artists from the German Democratic Republic.” Sculpture 9 (November 2002).. Bravo 20: The Bombing of the American West. Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art: A Sourcebook of Artists’ Writings (Berkeley: University of California Press. 122. Fritjof Capra. 129. 11. 7. Glenway Westcott. Mark Thompson.S. at the age of thirtyfive. 44. 34.eia.” Environmental Ethics 5. 20. “A Conversation with James Turrell. working with Dore Ashton and Peter Nesbit. 130–31. quoted in John Perrault. October–November 1976. 12. Peninsula Europe (Berlin: Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison. See Peter Selz. Martin Heidegger. (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. Overlay: Contemporary Art and the Art of Prehistory (New York: Pantheon Books. 26. 1969. . 99.” New York. The United States agreed to reduce emissions from 1990 levels by 7 percent during the period 2008 to 2012”. “Bravo National Park. Good Mourning California (New York: Rizzoli.” Artweek. February 1997. 25. in Richard Misrach and Myriam Weisang Misrach. eds. 19. “The New Vision of Reality. 14. Nominated for Computerworld Smithsonian Award. Bonnie Ora Sherk. Daniel McCormack. no.” Landscape and Art 29 (Summer 2003). (Berkeley: Cornucopia Press. 21. Overlay compares the contemporary dialectic between nature and culture to prehistoric art.doe. to negotiate binding limitations on greenhouse gases for the developed nations. Puerto Rico. more than 160 nations met in Kyoto. Ibid. 1993. 31. “Joyce Cutler-Shaw or the Gift of Grace. no. 22. Richard Misrach. “Toward a Heideggerian Ethos for Radical Environmentalism. in a plane crash while he was flying over Amarillo Ramp in Texas. in author’s archive.” in Baile Oakes. February 24. 1996). exh. quoted in Ruth Dusseault. no. “Landscapes of Meaning. 1992). Bravo 20. 16.m.. “Nonsites in the New. “Fixing the Earth. Japan.” in Dunn. Richard Misrach. Helen Mayer Harrison and Newton Harrison. September 23. James Turrell. Richard Misrach. Robert Smithson was killed in 1973. Francisco Perez. through 11. 15. She also wrote Green Architecture and the Agrarian Garden (New York: Rizzoli. 67.3. 270 notes to pages 224–242 . 4. 7. . Lucy R. Suzaan Boettger. “A House Divided. “Helen and Newton Harrison: Art as Survival Instruction. Camera (1938). cat. 30. Richard Misrach. 632. 2002). 15. 1988). in Elaine A. I. www.” National Geographic 199. ed. ed. 2 (Summer 1983). xiv. . 2000. 30.html.. Joyce Cutler-Shaw.” in Julie Dunn. 6 (November– December 2000). “Messenger: An Odyssey. Arctic Climate Impact Assessment Report. unpublished manuscript. Both enterprises occurred just as the Wall came down. Telegraph 3 a. Library Quartet. U. “Life Frames.. quoted in Michael Zimmerman. 17. unpaginated. Inc. “Christo and Jeanne-Claude in Their Own Words. 10.html. 2001)..

7. Beyond the Brillo Box (New York: Farrar Straus Giroux. A5. 1971. 33. January 26. 6. 2005.” in Hal Foster.32. C1. Wiley. Wassily Kandinsky. June 25. 414. The Unnameable (New York: Evergreen. POSTSCRIPT 1. 3. cat. “Originals with a Past. Healy. notes to pages 242–249 271 . Afterburner. “On the Spiritual in Art.. David Bonetti. 1994). 1965). “Postmodernism and Consumer Society. 1983).” San Francisco Examiner. (San Francisco: Rena Branston Gallery. 52. transcript in author’s archive. Wash. Patrick D. California. “Wiley and the West: ‘Dude Ranch Dada. Samuel Beckett. 38. Kandinsky: Complete Writings on Art (New York: Da Capo Press. eds. March 11. 2. 34. exh. 157. “The New Modern: Itineraries.” New York Times. 125. Hilton Kramer. 1994). Ibid.” in Kenneth C. 37. 35. Danto.freewayblogger. 31. Linda Nochlin. William T. “Pataki Warns Ground Zero Cultural Groups Not to Give Oªense. 1992).. Lindsay and Peter Vergo. Arthur C. Stauªacher Solomon. 36. ed.jpg. Jonas Salk.’” New York Times.” Art in America (March 2005). Good Mourning California.sparcmurals. The Anti-Aesthetic (Port Townsend. www. 1996. 112.: Bay Press. January 1995.. Frederic Jameson.htm. conversation with Peter Erskine. www. La Jolla.


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218. 219 AIDS crisis. 53. Laurie. 209 American Friends Service Committee. 172 Alien Land Law. 71. 263n10 Abu Ghraib. Kim. civil rights movement. 210. Vito. 226. Juana. see also specific artists. 216–17. 87. 209. 80. 209 African Americans. 11. Thomas. Abeles. 218. Laura. politics and. 114 ACT UP (AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power). Eddie. 72. Other (In Memory of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg). 168 Al Qaeda. 58. Marian. 158 American Indians. movements. 106 Altamont Speedway. specific artists Agnew. 160 Alexander. Terry. 142. 80 abortion. imprisonment of. 225 281 . 33. 33. Salvador. 94. 58. artists’ responses to. 33. 189. and schools. 248 Acconci. 144. 141–55. 259n75. 107 Altdorfer. Youth in Asia. 84. 210 Adams. 115 Actionism. 112 Advocate (newspaper). Theodor. Watts riots. 115 Anderson. Josef. 8. 126 American Civil Liberties Union. 146 Anderson. defense industry and. 84. 254n7 Alcatraz Island occupation. 119 Almaraz. Three Eagles Flying. Richard. 7. Vietnam War and. 115. 71 Andre. Latina Lesbian Series. Spiro. Seedbed. Lawrence. Carl. Carlos. 145 Allen. For all art media. 207 Abstract Expressionism. 74. 166 Alitash Kebede Gallery (Los Angeles). 218. 6. 238 Adams. 135 Alinsky. 35–36. 220–22 Albers. 218–19. Jane. 209 American Indian Center (San Francisco). Clothed/ Unclothed. 33 Anderson. 70 Alpert. 158–59. Plush Pony Series. Treatment (Angel Leaving Dirty Tracks). Saul. Albrecht. 166 Aguilar. 60 Adorno. Ansel. 6. 209–10. 97 Alicia. 88. 256nn31. See Native Americans American Scene painters. 218–19. 58 Allende. 57 Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee.INDEX Page numbers in italics refer to illustrations. Robert Mailer. 106 Albright. see also Black Panthers. 80. 7. 93–94 Alloway.

35 Armey. Roland. 253–54n7. 196 Art Brut. 212 Baez. Ruth. 126–27. 47. 77. 127. 189 anti-Communism. 178 Atomic Energy Commission. 63 Aztlán. 216. 12 Artists Respond to Censorship (San Francisco Art Commission Gallery). 253–54n7. 257n49. 18. Leonard. Angel of Mercy. See San Francisco Bay Area Bay Area Figuratives. Filipinos. George. punk and. Cosmic Car. 14. Sand Carrying. 46. 18. 249. 26. Memoria de Nuestra Tierra. 191 Belafonte. 111 Aylon. 195 Ariel. 248 Balla. 68. 56. 93.Angry Arts. Judith. 108. Rudolf. 208 Baudelaire. 1. 222 Be-In. 201–2. 161. Great Wall of Los Angeles. 157 282 index .. Donkey Cart Altar. 88 Artists Call Against Intervention in Central America. 8–11. 57–58. 248 Bacon. 2–3. Hannah. 4–5. 88 Baskin. Jacques. 78. 218. Minuteman. 191 Appel. Vietnamese Americans. 116 Artists and Writers Against the War in Vietnam. 122–23. Susan B. Black and White Mural. David. 152. 187. 107. Instant Mural. 204. Portraits of Eight New York Women. 168. 69. 187 Ashcroft. 127 Artaud. 146. 133. 96–97. 96. Dick. Sam. 156 Artists’ and Writers’ Union. 101–2. Karel. 74. 193. Accumulation. SmorgiBob. 98 Art Nouveau. 187. 258n69. 257nn55–56. . 257n51. 115 Ashton. 181 Baca. Jean-Michel. David. 207–8. 46 Barrault. 62. 80. 173. 192. Charles. 15. 190. 208. 148 Ariadne. 139. 8. 246 Aunt Jemima. 116 Ballis. Samuel. All the San Francisco Bay Area Rock Bands . “Spiritual Plan for Aztlán. 190. Harry. 111 Beauvoir. 187. Joan. White-out. Chester. . 46. John. 122 Arnheim. 224 Arendt. 202. Jean-Louis. 207. the Cook. 62. Cándida Smith on. 21. 62. 90. 203 Baxandall. Judith. 63: Liberation of G-d. 123 Arctic Climate Impact Assessment Report. Oily Bush. 25. 248 Avalos. Japanese Americans. Bettina. 249 Beckmann. see also McCarthy era Antin. Francis. 88–91. on immigrant experience. King of Solana Beach. Romare. 148–49. Korean Americans. 16. 142. Victor. . Jean. Art Rebate. 126. 63. 192. 73 Asher. Paintings That Change in Time. 167. 175. Café Mestizo. 146. 178. 133 Asco. 32 Arneson. Stone Carrying. 41 Arbus. 32. 142–43. 108. 64 Artists Liberation Front. Michael. Michael. 62–63. 265n10 Barthes. 15. 46. 178. 108. 125. 116 Battenberg. 149 Avena. 248. 189 Beckett. 43. 48. 63. 196 Arnold. 96–97. 6. John. Banner of Hope. 125. David. 127. 149. Shelly. 17–18. 257n48 Asawa. Thomas. 69. Berkeley—The City and Its People. 14. 91. 265n69 Attyah. 16. 255–56nn30–32. 100 Boots. Stations of the Cross. 111. Portrait of George (Moscone). 137–41. 148. 35. 200. defense industry growth and. 123. 14. Max. 173. 177–78. see also Chinese Americans. 208. 176–78. 74 Baldessari. 180. 259n70 Aptheker. 178. 62. 257n44 Anthony. 259nn72. 26. 130–41. Nixon Behemoth. Battle of Waterloo. 57 Aristophanes. 191– 92. 191. 166. 75. 106–7. 80. 149 Beats. Kenneth. 97 Arnautoff. 107. 243. 119 Baranik. 126. 97. 63. Antonin. John. 152. 121.” 176. 226 Bay Area. 123 Barzun. 172–73. Robert. 166 Banham. 218. Rudolf. 104 Artists’ Protest Committee. 217 Avengers (band). 36 Basquiat. 196 Barry. 105–6 Art Workers’ Coalition. Gene. Reyner. 9–10. Carving: A Traditional Sculpture. California Mission Daze. 191. Dore. After the BeIn. Ascension Day. Diane. censorship of. 240 Auinger. specific artists assemblage. 149–50. 115 Baldwin Park (Los Angeles). 57– 58. Helène. 173. 63. 108 Anthony. 16. 56. Terrestri: Rescued Earth. 192 Antin. World Wall: A Vision of the Future without Fear. Bridge of Knots. 165. 173 Bachman. 101 Baker. 172–73. 26–27 Bearden. 187. Simone de. 191. Hitting the Wall: Women in the Marathon. 90 Baudrillard. 191. Ghosts. Giacomo: Bankrupt. 19. 118. United Farm Workers Union: Grape Strike. California Lives. Eleanor. 270n23 Asian Americans. Now Day. Black Panther Office Shot Up by Oakland Police.

95 Bonetti. 46 Brooks. 92. 261 index 283 . 35. 226 Biddle. . William. 212. 90. 7. Mario Savio on Sproul Hall Steps. 5. 36. 38. Cross. 167. David. 85. 203. 238 Boutros-Ghali. Joseph. 10. Romaine. Jeffrey. 103 Breton. Antonio: Teatro Campesino Cultural Center mural. 102. California State Prison in Centinela. 237–38. André. 190. 143. Counterfeit series. LaMarr’s mural for. 211. Charles: Arthur Richer. 90. 38. 59. 141–44. Willie. 197. War. Wallace. 61–62. 41. 224 Brown. Column of Earth and Air (Free Speech Monument). San Francisco High School Students. Stewart. Bobby Seale Speaks to Free Huey Newton. Sandow. Claude. 85. Wall. 243. Georges. 92–93. Anita. 255n18. 171 Bernheimer. 107. 91. 203. 93 Braque. University of California. 145 Brody. . 8. Hieronymus. 116 Brautigan. 87 Brandt. Pieter. 169 Brockman Gallery (Los Angeles). 143. 197 Bethune. 84. Suzaan. 244. Reagan—Blood Money. 243 Black Arts Council. 84. 203–4. Ray. 232–33. 166. 96 bin Laden. Ross. 217 Brower. 108 Brecht. Elmer. 74. 244 Bourke-White. Mortally Wounded James Rector. 111 Black Friday. 56. 10. Rex. 145 Brooks. 104 Brando. Richard. 46 Brakhage. 33 Bergman. 78 Bowers. 102. Stewart. 146 Brown. 84. Cheryl. Boutros. Daniel. 54. 133 Brand. Jay: Amerika Is Devouring Its Children. 189 Blake. 61 Bureau of Indian Affairs. 243. 243 Boone. 149. 91. One Way Road. . 96. 200 Brassaï. 118 Bell. Marlon. 190 Border Arts Workshop/Taller de Arte Fronterizo. La Raza March. 270n23 Berman. 84. See Bergman. 36 Burns. 210 Blankfort. 1. La. Berkeley. Billy Al. Mary McLeod. 50. 42. Chris. 119 Benjamin. 43. Bertolt. . 242 Burkhardt. 121 Bell. Paul. Antiwar March. 90. 38. 51. 81. Berkeley Berkeley Art Project. 100. 41 Burke. 85. California Institute for Men in Chino. 38. 225 Boise. . Aerial Teargassing of UC Campus during People’s Park Incident. 105 Billy the Kid. 121. Thomas Hart. 233 Bergson. John. 96. Hans. Luis. Lenny. 222. 121. 211 Brancusi. 43. 137. 174 Brittin. Agony in Death. 67. Fur Rat. Semina. Passing Storm over the Sierra. 90–91. Sherry: Dollhouse. Wallace Berman. Woman Wearing Mask (Cat Lady). . Jordan. War of Californians. 68 Brest van Kempen. John Reed. 144. 177 Bosch. 232–33. 171. 84 Bischoff. Bound of the Tiger (Kama Sutra). 42 Blaser. Great Battle of San Francisco. “Cross. Walter. Robin. Joan. 102–3. Nacio Jan. Constantin. 89. 114. Alfred. Edmund. 110. James. Gates of Hell: Los Angeles Landscapes of 1992. see also free speech movement. 137. 46. 21. 199 Brooker. Yosemite Valley. Vice Squad Officer. 203. 174. Trans-Fixed. Anthony. 109. People’s Park. 8. 61–62. George. 49 Burden. 121. 62. 243 Big Brother and the Holding Company. 121. Stan. 157 Burgard. 26. Mary. 93 Bernal. 114. 199. 32 Bierstadt. Sea of Clouds What Can I Do. 143. 91. 119 Benton. 66.” by Wallace Berman.Beldner. 8. 254n7 Black Panthers. 88 Bury. 42 Brown. 100. San Quentin State Prison. Stop the Draft Week. David. Stop the Draft Week. 104 Brueghel. Henri. 163. 90 Brocha del Valle. 257n49 Burroughs. 90. All You Need . 30. 146 Beuys. Reason for the Neutron Bomb. 144. 245 Belloli. Margaret. 74 Brice. Mark. 254n9 Brown. Roger. Ciel. 9. 107. University Art Museum. 204 Brown. 50. 209 Buñuel. Ron. 43. 215 Boettger. 216. 148. 210 Bleckner. Pol. 126. 10. 102 Berlin. Timothy. Osama. Concentration Camp. Tar Pit. 144 Bruce. 92. 253n7. 41. My Lai. Larry. Nayland. 50. 145 Black Flag (band). Martin. 258n57. William. 102. 44 Belson. 72 Birk. 84–85. 244 Bryant. 90 Bengston. Temptation of St. 99. 110. Ciel Brach. 10. 147 Black Women Organized for Action. 30 Berkeley: Bearden’s mural for city of. 10.

90. 198. Tausend Jáhrige Reich. Dictée. 64. see also free speech movement Central America. 190. 141. Rachel. 180 Chamberlain. Dinner Party. 72–73. 168. artists in. 194. 55 censorship. 7. Eduardo. 141. 199. 181. 69. Richard.. 135 Chinese Americans. 36. 76–77. 200 Carrillo. 98–100. Graciela. Cynthia. 141. Aveugle Voix. 77 Chamberlain. 9. 111 Celan. 54. and border issues. 7. 15. 200 Catholic Discipline (band). artwork for. Jules. Helen. Whitney. vs. 168. 96 Calexico (California). and death penalty. 19. 143 Casa Pueblo. 68. Leonora. 129. When Paradise Arrived. Menstruation Bath. TV. 30 Chagoya. 19. see also United Farm Workers Cheney. 183–86. 189. on rituals and death. 74. 20. 46. 1. 98 Cade (Bambara). 210. and Rincon Annex murals. 40. 264n24. 92. Vija. Chagoya on. 170. Marc. 197– 99. 139. 10 Campoli. 93. gay marriage. César. 19. 165–88. Dick. see also Asian Americans. 179–80. women in. Paul. 57. 175–83. and One magazine. 89 Cage. 32. 168. 91–100. 258n63 Cassatt. 76–77. 169. 12. El (Baja California). 62. 19. 174–75. Caryl. Wight Art Gallery). Neal. 197. and Coit Tower murals. 186. El Grito. Mary. 7. 257n55–56 Cantinflas. 174 Centro de Artistas Chicanos (Sacramento). 178. 129 California Labor School (San Francisco). 212 Carson. Governor’s Nightmare. 40 Chicago. 39. 254n9 Camus. 259n70 Cézanne. 173– 74. 13–14. 261n14 Cameron. 187 Capitalist Realism. 208. 224 CARA (Chicano Art: Resistance and Affirmation. 76. 12. . 238. and war on terror. 165–68. 187 Carlson. 182. 265n10. 180. 72. 60. 174 Chicanos. 165–71. 184. 254n9 Chicago. 166. . mural movement of. 248. Albert. 7. U. 7. and war on Iraq and on terrrorism. 171. 168–69. John. 79–85 Capra. 64. 178 Centro de Arte Regional. 168–69. Ann. 171–72. 248. 215 Carroll. 190. 189 Caen. 145 California Constitution. 168–75 (see also Chicano art movement). 72. and environment. 16. 199. 6. 180. 170. 74. 198. 64. 171–75. 135. George H. 9–10. 205. 255n13 California Watercolor School. 66. 223–24 Cartier-Bresson. Wight Art Gallery). 119 capital punishment. George W. 187 César. 36 Cándida Smith. 69 Bush. definition of. 65. 199 Chicago Eight. 131. 91. Toni. 64–66 Centro Cultural de la Raza (San Diego). 82. 182. W. Jacques. 177–78. posters in. 125. 175 Carrillo. Herb. The Recovery of Their Economy. 266n22 Chicano art movement. 135 Chinese Revolutionary Artists’ Club. xiv. Enrique. John. 155 Celmins. Henri. 190. 70. 168. 97. 139 Chadwick. and Avalos’s Donkey Cart Altar. 62–63 Caldwell. Jerome. Birth Project. 64. 135 284 index . 96–97. 231 Cha. 113. 184 Chicano Art: Resistance and Affirmation (CARA. and Communications Decency Act. 104. intervention in.. and Chicago’s The Dinner Party. 167. 224. see also specific artists Chinese American Art Association. 2–3. specific artists Chinese Exclusion Act. 169–71 Chicano Moratorium. Fritjof. 96. 259n70. Evil Empire. 187 Chicano labor movement. 244 Chessman. liberation movement of.S. 73 Chéret. and United Farm Workers movement. 167. 33. murals in. 243 Caja. 46. and women’s issues. 94 Chiang Kai-shek. 169. 13–14. and Beats. 171–75. 81. and Womanhouse. 125 Chávez. 182. Lewis. 175. 170. and National Endowment for the Arts. 182 California African American Museum. 139. Paul. 131 Callot. See Jerome Caldicott. Judy. Catherine. 96. 236 Cassady. 105 Chernobyl. 35 Cambodia. 33. 15. 6. 147. 267n50. Their Freedom of Expression . 259n81 Chagall.Bush. 92. 54. 172 Carrington. 156. 218. and Arneson’s Moscone bust. Theresa Hak Kyung. art movement of. 166. Holocaust Project: From Darkness to Light. 187 Chicano Park (San Diego). 198–99. Cosmo. 139. 166–68 (see also Chicano labor movement).

92 Cubo-Futurists. Dondero on. In God We Trust. 104 Dillon. John. 26. James. 66. 190. 154 defense industry. Willem. Bill. Hillary Clinton. 73 Courbet. 8 Comisión Femenil Mexicana. Bye. 46 di Suvero. 110. 233–35. 12. 33 Cutler-Shaw. 232. 48. John Stuart. Eldridge. 191.. 7. Kenneth. 8. Joseph. 47 Dix. shopping. Giorgio de. . 73 Denes. Rice/Tree/Burial. and Abstract Expressionism. New York Earth Room. 103. 99 Davis. 19–20. 81. 150. Contra Diction. 96 index 285 . weapons testing DeFeo. 210 DDT. . 32. 259n81. 141 Coit Tower (San Francisco) murals. 89. xi Coyote. 31. 73. United Farm Workers and. 84. 217 Danoff. 111. 149 Correa. 116 Cone. Alphabet of Bones. Robert. 7.Chipp. James Budd. 6. 111 Dean. Michael. food. Frederic. 64. 67. 174 Christo. 76 Cockcroft. 6. 200 del Rio. See Congress of Racial Equality Cornell. 72 Conal. 105. 54. 99 Delano Grape Strike. 119–21. Ronnie. CHILD. Mark. Hillary. Gates . 15. 248. 225. 8. 137. 222 Clinton. 115. 84. 36. Jacques-Louis. 6. 40 Diggers. Thomas. 64. 189 Communications Decency Act. 235 Dadaism. 20. Roy. 26 Chirico. 211. 80–81 Constructivists. 90. 4. 166–67 Clark Kent (Superman). 73. Edison Effect. 184 De Maria. 92. 256n44 Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). 141. Inc. 137. 30. Kurt. 169. 256n36 Daumier. 225 DeMarinis. 234. 160 Día de los Muertos. Umbrellas. George A.. 111. 80–81. 11. 231. 96 Dondero. 79–85 de Bretteville. . 67–68 Cleaver. 87 death penalty. Arthur.. 94. Iron Curtain. Joyce. 110 Diebenkorn. 224. and free speech movement. . 15 DeCarava. 189 civil rights movement. School Days. 125. 220. 200 consumerism. 54 Club Foot (San Francisco). 12. 87. 104 Day Without Art. catalogue cover for Womanhouse. 145 Davis. 238 Curry. Jay. 253n7. Roy. 225. 12. Tongues of Fire. see also McCarthy era Colescott. 124–27. waste. 263n10. 141. 30. 231. 12. Walter. Buffalo Bill. Eugène. 66. 65. Paul. 81. 80 Donahue. 150–51. 51 Doctorow. 141. 73–74. Sycamore Leaf Canopy. 106 Crenshaw. Joan. 78. 121–23. 180 Cotter. Namewell. René. Gabriele. Otto. Robbie. . Juan: Allegory of the Sacrament. Bye. . 211 de Forest. 65. 263n10 Cocteau. 259n70. and Peace Tower. Agnes. 121. 220. 255n24. 35. 35. 47–48. 47. 53–54.. 229–32. Bill Clinton. 12. Imogen. Jean. 5. 89. 234. Dolores. Firebirds. 247 Daughters of Bilitis 208. 93 Dorn. 48. Honoré. 92 Danner. 234. Holland. 29. 166. Herschel B. 254n8 Crumb. 12 conceptual art. Tree Mountain project. 31. 222 Close. 99 David. Bruce. 151 color field painting. Mother Peace. 115 Cubism. Robert. 58 Dixon. 85. 232–33 Coplans. 230.. 101 Conner. 230–31. 258–59n70 de Kooning. 208 Delacroix. 26. 99. George Washington Carver Crossing the Delaware: Page from an American History Textbook. Sonia. Monica Lewinsky. money. 73–74. 203 Diêm. E. Running Fence . 111. 123–24. 114 d’Harnoncourt. Peter. Gustave. 229–30. 111. Kimberlé Williams. 71 D’Annunzio. 181 Delaunay.” 25. 4. and Asian American culture. Miss American Pie. 150. 74. 112 Cobain. 223–24 Dead Kennedys (band). 14. 141 Clinton. Sheila. L. 30 Cunningham. Jane Harrison. 111. 225 Destruction in Art Symposium (London). 84 Civil Rights Act. 242. Elaine. Movie. 183 Didion. 243. 66. 243 “degenerate art. 166. Mark. Warren. Valley Curtain. Contra Cocaine. see also nuclear weapons. 230 Church. 91. 20. 100. 92 de Kooning. 50. Chuck. 66. Dondero on. 156 Danto. 90 Cody. 114. 47. Eve. 104. 100. 54. 2. 259n75 Crow. 118–27. 89. 12. 190. Kenneth H. 46. Richard. Japan–USA. 111. Alonzo. 92 cold war. Ngô Dinh. 260n85 Dante Alighieri: Inferno. 90 CORE. 225.

116. 90. 257n53 DuPont corporation. 182 Eames. Secrets of the Sun: Millennial Meditations. 259n70 Everts. Jean. Robert. 199. Herbert. 123 Frascina. W. 123. 245–46. 46. 256n37 Feminist Art Workers. . 198. Ray. 93. women’s image in. Robert. 21. 120 Fluxus. T. 8. Ralph. 202–7 Feminist Art Program. Duke. 190–207. Terry. 148 Dubuffet. consumerism and. Etant donnés. Peter. 223–24. 194. 139 Francis. Aaron. 190 Feminist Studio Workshop. 223–24 Dwan. Better Be the Last. Leonore. 103. 197–202. 30 Eyck. 137. 119 Drawing Center (New York). 94. 12 DuBois. Llyn. Cry from the Womb. 238. Karen. 2. Ralph. Thomas. 218 femmage. 32. El Centro de Artistas Chicanos. 139 Duncan. 72–73. organizing of. 166. 261n13 Fonseca. 145. 96. 72. 72 Feinstein. 33. 168. Like Apple Fucking Pie. 225. and cyberspace. Alfred. 193. 190. Earl. as Rrose Sélavy. 71–72. Erratum Musical. 178. 178–79. 146 Dowd. 200. 224 Eagleboy. Jan van. Blood-Spangled Banner. 164. 30 Favela. 182 Fox. . art in response to. 212 Ducasse. New Order. Charles. 242 Ernst. 179. 223. 187. Dianne.Dougherty. 26. 192 Fox. 47 Duncan. 257n56. 4 Ferus Gallery (Los Angeles). 179. 58 Eisenhower. 164 food. Clinton. 93. see also Asian Americans Fini. 121. 141 286 index . Gary.. Semaine de Beauté. 93–94. Max. 190–97.. John. 121–23 Forkscrew Graphics. 4. 87. 170–71. 210–11. 267n47. 74. 197. 262n43 Filipinos. 89. 201 Duffy. Muldoon. Virginia. 112. Lindy. 164. 186. The Coporate Kiss. Cecil. 225 Dylan. 124. 16. performance in. Scott. 148 Ellison. Lorser. see also women’s issues feminist art. Wayne. 216. 256n37. 148 Douglas. “iRaq” posters. Kevin. 233 Fitzgerald. Francis. 215 Finley. 9. 124. 182 Earth Art. Los. 32. history of. 39 Elder. 256n37 (see also Feminist Art Program. Billy.. Michel. Marguerite. Curtain Raiser. Eric. 73 environmental movement. 194. 187 Fear (band). Walker. Creation Story. 66–68. Donald. 198. 148 ecological art. 73 Ehrlichman. 269n107 Foulkes. 200 Ferber. 211 Erskine. 46. 190. 141 Douglass. by lesbians. 248 Duardo. Discovery of Gold in California. Emory. 97 Feitelson. 94 Executive Order 9066. 68 Four. Sam. 123. 20–21. Robert. 191. Philip. 259n70 Franco. 224–46 Environmental Protection Agency. see United Farm Workers Fascist party. 190. 259n70 Fergerson. racism and. Bob. 259n75. 88 Ellington. 263n14. 73. Pattern and Decoration movement and. 130 Exter. 259–60n70 Freedom Ride. 212. Marcel. 160 Eames. Studies in Desperation. F. 243. 208. 186. 256n37. 114. 245 Evans. 201. 71. 267n50. 248 Foucault. Earth Art and. see feminist art. 245– 46. Ricardo. 46. 259n74. 113 Fischl. Richard. 72. 179 Dumas. 21. 215 Fishback. 226–29. 131 Eckstine. 218–20. 262n43. Frazier: Q: And Babies? . Who Would Jesus Torture?. 72– 73. B. 238. Ricardo. 164. 99 feminism: artists’ response to. 46 Douglas. 96 Eliot. Francisco. 50 Frank. 197. 238 farmworkers: during Great Depression. E. Howard. Harry. 225. 47. . 188–90. Frederick. 149 English. Connor. Feminist Studio Workshop). S. education and. installations in. 239 Evergood. 137 Duchamp. 17. 72. 191. 150 Farm Security Administration photographers. 111 Fein. 114. Dwight D. 239 Frankenstein. 160 Elder. 89. 67–68. 147. Alexandra. 224–25 East-West Art Society. 145 Fernlund. 232–38 Edison. 119–20 Frankfurt School. Where Did I Go Wrong?.

10. 159. Ernesto (Che). 209. 29. Splinter in Your Eye Is the Best Magnifying Glass. 89 García. 122. 74. John. 30. 168. 210 Guevara. 88. 119 Gorbachev. 190 Guston. 255n18. 36. 218 Greco. 139 Fried. 237 Gillray. C. ¡Cesen Deportación!. 17 Gaspar de Alba. 188. 248–49 Grünewald. 118. Mahatma. 105 Griffin. 225. Artemisia. 32 Gutusso. 125 Futurism. Jules. 182. 50. 235 Funk Art. 1. 254n9. 80 Haacke. Saturn Devouring One of His Children. 45 Garrett. 99. 26. William. 70 Grien. 113 Garnett. Rick. 16. 259n70. 174 Greenberg. Isenheim Altarpiece. 99 Gitlin. 16. 187–88. Rhine Water Purification Plant. 80 Golden. 256n36. 139 Godé-Durrel. 5. 31. Judy. 26. 10. 10. 222 Griffin. 7. 187 Gandhi. 74. La. Getting the Fuck Out of the Way. 190. 248 Graham. 70. 105 Graves. 59. C. 106. 168. 44. 49–50. Alexis Massol. 208–10. See Chicago. 84. 238 Group Material: AIDS Timeline. 64. 168 Guilbaut. 157 Germ (band). 118 Geneva Convention. Matthias. Newt. 162 Goto. 127 Friends of the Los Angeles River. Hans Baldung. 35. Clement. 100 free speech movement. Josephine Boneapart Protecting the Rear Guard. 16. 107. Greg. 201 Géricault. Jean-Luc. 6. 9. David Lance. Howard. Susan. Davis. 44. Betty. 241 Garza. 162 Gorman. 145 Gorky. James. 256n36 gay rights movement. Leon. 1. 91. Frank. see also homosexuals. 5. 8. 99. Ron. 11. 166 Garcia. 11. 148 Group f /643. 257n52 Giorgione. 187–88. 188 Grossman. at Be-In. 116–17. Alain. 188. 259n72 Gowin. 33 Grateful Dead. George. N. 256n44 Greenberg.Valentine. Francisco de. 46. 36. 26. Serge. 141 Freeman. 241 Goya. Buckminster. Rieko. Rudolph. 80. 105 Graphic Arts Workshop (San Francisco). 78. 160. Mike. Hot Damn Vietnam. 219 Gamboa Jr. Conspirators. 64. Russel. 64. 232 Haberle. 36. 190 Gronk (Glugio Gronk Nicandro). 99. 177. 15. 236. 16.. 79 Gordon. 50 Godard. Black Paintings. 263n10 Gulf Wars. University of California. xi. art in.Freedom Summer/Mississippi Summer Project. 13–14. Raft of the Medusa. Rupert. 117 Goode. 218. 80. Thelma. 35. Howl. Alicia. Arshile. Judy Giacometti. 234 Goines. 226 Frontera. Emmet. Museum. 209. 205 Gingrich. Renato. Napalm series. 8. lesbians Gehry. 66–74. 259n75 Goldman. 26 Gerowitz. 44. 254n9 Gonzales. Harry. 175–83 Fuller. 126. 6. Emma. 71 Gentileschi. 88. 216 graffiti art. 102–3 Fried. on Chicano art movement. John. 141. 198 Gerbault. 150. Bill. 97 Ginn. Alberto. 126. 25 German Realism of the Twenties: The Artist as Social Critic (Minneapolis Institute of Arts). 236 Gonzalez. Joe. Mikhail. Dondero on. Raelyn. 168. 111. 96. Wreck of the Hope. Allen. 168. Evelyn. Matt. 219 Grosz. Jerry. 105. 169 Gay Liberation Front. 223. 150. 50. 16 Giuliani. Morris. Caspar David. Michael. 120 Haeberle. 100–103. 216 Guerrilla Girls. 263n15 Glaubman. 44–46. 189 Golub. 112. ¡Fuera de Indochina!. El. 38. 270n23 German Expressionism. 243 Great American Lesbian Art Show (GALAS)... 20. and La Tormenta. Nancy. 33 Gutman. J. 112. Jo. Todd. Hans. 176. 111 Ginsberg. 45. 119. 256n44 Friedan. 84. 92 Galería de la Raza (San Francisco). Théodore. Carmen Lomas. 70. 168 Gallina. 115 General Motors. 189 Friedrich. Skateboarder and Gandhi Against the War. 199 Giotto. 111 German Democratic Republic. 187. 46. 8. 15. 33. 59. commemoration of. 100. 46 index 287 . 77. 255n24 Gold. Philip.

Jon: Q: And Babies? . Janet Gray. 190. 40 Hefferton. Libertad. see also gay rights movement. 211. 228. 56. 232. H. Martin. J.. 77–79. Line of Fire. . 32 Heisenberg. Walter. 180 Höch. Mel. Raoul. 94. 61. 96 Harnett. Robert. 16. 78–79. 153–54. David. 89–90. 232. 96 House Un-American Activities Committee. 234 Hoffman. 228. 121 Hidalgo y Costillo. 99. 10. 46. 201. 89. 259n72. Matsusaburo (George). 226. 259n72. 119 Harrison. 269n112. artists on. 90 Heyman. . 39. “fish” events. 81. 40. 15. 47. Ten Little Children Standing in Line . poster in. art in reaction to. 40. Helen Mayer. 27. 154. 46. 207 Holland. 224 Heil. 119–20. Meditations on the Condition of the Sacramento River . 58 Hamilton. Dante Hotel. 227. Nancy. Werner. 4. 218. 27. Hermann. 262n43 Horn. . . Dave. 124 Hell’s Angels. I. Bruce. 12. 35–39. . 226–28. 201. 32 Howard. 228. Injustice Case. Mildred. 147 Hamrol. 67 Hayes. 226. 63 Hitler. 119. Eva. 192. 8. 11. 228. Teknolust. 11. 31.N. 196 Haring. Simon. 41. 43. 227. 228 Harrison. 211. 200. 265n10 Hoover. Lewis. 226. 76 Hamilton. Willie. 168. Peninsula Europe. Memory Garden. Ester. 227. Keith. 61 Hiroshima. 89. 145 Herms. 225 Helion.Haight-Ashbury (San Francisco). Michael. 152–54. Jean. 112 Heartfield. Winkin’ Lincoln. John Langley. Harmony. . We Two Boys Together Clinging. 154. Richard. Phillip. 63 Hesse. 208–10. 261n9. 98. 190. 153. 224 homosexuals: discrimination against. 79. Hisako. Bernhard. 7. William Michael. 199 Holt. 139. 257–58n57. Sinking George. 33. 212–14. Rita. 120. Louis. 178 Hockney. . 229. 228 Henderson. 227. Madame Nhu’s Bar-B-Q. Adolf. 147–48. 33. Reagan before. 229. Lloyd. 17. 26 Heizer. 212 Herrón. 94 Hopper. Portable Orchard. 104. 212. bell. 17. 105–6 Hiramoto. Peninsula Europe. Warren. 184 Head. Fetch Coal for the Pot-Belly Stove. David. 142. Edgar. 16. Walter. 226. 118–19 Headlands Center for the Arts (Marin County). 226. 56. 107. 212 Hodler. 200–201. Anger. 46 Heritage Gallery (Los Angeles). Portable Orchard. 35. 78 Hausmann. 62. 219 hippie counterculture. 15. . Jean. 258n63. 220 Holbein. 131 Hickey. 119 Hammond. 64. 78. Patty. 61. 97. 120 Heidegger. 191. 145. 131. Unique: Code 33. Ann. 211–17. Henry. 93 Howard. Billie. Lynn. Lagoon Cycle. Hans. 226–28. Millennia bell. 218 Hammons. 148 Hock.. 241 Hasson. 213. . 259n70 Hello Again (Oakland Museum of California). 102 Hibi. Black Room. Concerto in Black and Blue. 200. 192. 131 Hibi. 57. 141–42 Hopkins. 58. Judy: Oppenheimer’s Sink. Red. Jack. 131. Julius. 190–91. 93 Holocaust. 100. 153. John. 259n70 Hanson. Phantom Limb series. . 254n9 Haldeman. Bell. Wally. as Roberta Breitmore. 224. 201. 104– 11. 105 Helms. Michael. Secret Exhibition. Katsushika. identity as. Peter Getting out of Nick’s Pool. 145 Hayworth. 201. R. 258n63 Hine. 180 Hedrick. Topaz—Coyotes Come Out of the Desert. Miguel. 226. Vision for the Green Heart of Holland. see also hippie counterculture Hairy Who. Jo. George. Meditations on the Condition of the Sacramento River . Lagoon Cycle. Lorna. Black Friday and. 46. George. 266n22 Hokusai. 8. 13. 232 Happenings. . 147– 48. 147. 106. 148. 1. Dennis. xii Haywood. Roberta’s Construction Chart #2. 228 Hartman. specific artists hooks. 213–14. 5. 226. 219 Henderson. Vision for the Green Heart of Holland. 248 Hearst. 172. Ferdinand. 90 Hopps. 98. 175 Hinckle. 131. “fish” events. 169 Herriman. 253n7. 154 288 index . Robbin. 169. 73. 258n58 Hernández. U. Ofrenda II. 120. 215. Walter. 148. 226. 27 Heisig. 170. 130. 201 Hesse. 219 Holiday. Hannah. 90. 25. 187 Hershman (Leeson). 11. 196 Hollywood Ten. 40–41. 254–55n10 Hendricks. 92. Newton. Big G. Children’s Bell Tower. 67. 116 Harlow. Sun Mad. . Jesse.

246. 48. 118 King. 190 Jones. 258n63 Khmer Rouge. 117–18. Waiting Room. 231. Eleventh Hour Final. Running Fence . 89. 217. 190. 33 Kahlo. 149. 115. 8. 217–18 Jonas. 146. Chris. 269n109. 5. Anthony. 3 Inquisition. specific artists Jaudon. and Operation Desert Storm. Robert.. Bob. 181 Kerouac. 66. Lyndon B. 96. 73 Ikemoto. . 75 Inside Out: Voices from Home (San Francisco Art Institute).. Donald. 232. 74. 121. Yellow Sound. 82 Kandinsky. 263n16 Kiesler. 94. 104. Pope. Fresh Acconci. Out of the Holocaust. 49. Alton. in Central America. 264n24 Iraq. 49. 64. 88. 165 Johns.. 10. 115 Kelly. 173. Robert. Robert. 101. 191. 230. Hubert. 230–31. 73 Kant. Wassily. 269n107 Kennedy. Berkeley). 15. Howard. 217 Kauffman. see also Asian Americans. 120. 89 Kertbeny. Roxy’s. 263n16. 130–35. 81–82. 113–14. 196–97 internment camps. 261n12 Johnson. 200 Jaycox. Nancy Reddin. Frederick. 133 intersectionality. 70. Larry. 248. xi–xii Kelley. 262n43. 193. 183. 210 Kinkade. 229–30. 81. Jerome Relocation Center. 60 Khrushchev. 19. 47. 194 Karlstrom. 6. 101 Keegan. Topaz Relocation Center. 105. 208 Kertess. Poston Relocation Center. Robert. Janis. 15. . Tehching. Thomas. Sloe. 25. 81– 82. 100–101. 79 Kearny Street Workshop (San Francisco).. 210 Instant Theatre. 94 Kienholz. Martin Luther. 8. 133. 137 Kechely. 69–74. 130–35. Thomas Carr. 124 Kennedy. 230 Jefferson Airplane. 210 Indiana. 216–17. 148 Hughes. 184. Irving R. Valley Curtain. 191 Humphrey. 64–66 In a Different Light (University Art Museum. Robert Hilary. 123. Dong. 171 Kingman. 256n32. Saddam. Grateful Dead. Table of Voices. Art/Life One Year Performance. 54. . Paul. 39 Johnson. 66–69. . 197. 245 Jameson. 106 Kelley. 200. 217 Kesey. 6. A. Stephen. 94. Ellsworth. 114–15. 195 Johnson. 110 Jordan. 253n7. 115–16.. Langston. 94. 83. 215 Kalo. Pirkle. 207.. 99 Kienholz. 208 index 289 . 256nn31–32 Human Be-In. Immanuel. 133–34. Ken. Tule Lake Relocation Center. 243. 143 Joplin. . 43. 229–32. Yvette. Frederic. Umbrellas. Iron Curtain. intern- ment of. 211 Judd. Moratorium prints. Allan. 6. 15. Margaret. 48–49. 160 Industrial Workers of the World (Wobblies). 249 Irwin. 31. Conceptual Tableaux. Jill. 9 Kaufman. 53 Johnston. 130. 166. 121 Indian Art in the United States and Alaska (Golden Gate International Exposition). 105. 134 imperialist intervention. 46 Kaufman. 217 Jess (Burgess Collins). 48–49. Back Seat Dodge ’38. 259n75 Iran-Contra affair. Venus in Cleveland. 133. James. 32 Hsieh. . 117 John Paul II. 201. 141. 95. Alfred. Illegal Operation. Japan–USA. 243. Valerie. 82. Daniel T. 144 King Jr. 131. Robert F. Philip. 100. 10. 66. 47. 263n4 Kennedy. 89. Sargent. 215. 160 Indian Art of the United States (Museum of Modern Art). 7. Cleve. 211 Joyce. 162 Hughes. Klaus. . Joan. 74–77. 193 Hudson. 27. Jasper. Psycho-Vendetta Case. 257n48 junk sculpture. Don: Thousands of Students March to UC Regents Meeting. 266n22 Hussein. 7. Edward. 124–26 Kadish. 106–7. 105 Jerome (Caja). 210. 263n4. 207. 6. Mike. 117–18. 135 King Ubu Gallery (San Francisco). Nikita. 258n63 Jones. Frida. and Operation Iraqi Freedom. 81 Kilgallen. 166. Proposal for a Decoration of an Island of Conference Rooms . 29 Kaprow. Family Number. 15. Mouse’s Tale. . 81. 115. Reuben. 174 Kamler. 211. 98 Kinsey. Portable War Memorial. 137. 110 Huginnie. Tanforan Assembly Center. 131. 231. 247 Japanese Americans. 212. Jack. Gates . 46. 212 Johanson. Richard. 215. Carmen: Laura Rodriguez. 20 Jeanne-Claude. Craig.Howe. . John F. 94. 211–12.

195. John. 248 Longfish. 214. 60. 36. 206–7. 269–70n2 Labowitz. 186. 51. 62 Kuwait. 38. 142. invasion of. 144–45. Jacques. 194–96. Ellen. 198. 249 Lange. Rudy. Anthony. 139. 1. Henry. 31. 228 Levine. 137. 82. Sol. 60. D. Adam. 99. environmental activism in. 43 Kuby. 195. 2. Who’s the Illegal Alien Pilgrim?. End of Innocences. 259n72. 210 Lê. Untitled (I Shop Therefore I Am). 197 Kokoschka. In Mourning and in Rage. House of Sound: Mount Shasta. 150 Levertov. Timonthy. Max.. Holocaust series. 102 Lippard. 138. 52. 37. 212 Klee. 32. 211. 64 Kitaj. 120 Lewinsky. 82. 7. Daniel. 53. 8. 218 Lucretius. 174–75. 89 Knight. 211 LaMarr.. 3–5 Léger. 37 Lee. Family. See Earth Art Landauer. 160. in California politics. 243. 90–91 Koestler. Barbara. 60. 196. Lucy. 217 Klein. Texas. Last Supper. 229. Mapping the Terrain. James. 12 Lewis. 217–20. Susan. Käthe. Arthur. 256n44 Kristofferson. Roy. 195. 137. Yoke. 198 Ku Klux Klan. specific artists Leutze. Russian Roulette. Owens River and. Code 33. 58. 123–24. political art in. 263n10 Kramer. 71 LeWitt. 12 Lissitzky. 97. Leon. 256n31 Kozloff. Jack. 31–32. 100. the Waves. June. 46. 220 Kushner. 165. 215 Kline. 224. Dinh Q. 26 Kissinger. 72.. 184. Emanuel. 33. 254n9 Lear. 3. 61 Leaf. Asco action at. 123 Kublai Khan. 163–64. 2. Anthony W. Suzanne. 35. Monica. 53 Lockyear. 59–61. 206. 31. Hockney on. 187 Loughery. 66. 163. Fernand. 259n70 Lin. in Rivera’s mural. Whisper. 32 Leonardo da Vinci. Study for Dachau Chamber. 198. the Wind. Utagawa. 195. 162 Lopez. 110–11 Liu. see also Watts riots Los Angeles County Museum of Art. 241. Hilton. 194. 186. 195 Laing. 224 Lesbian Art Project. Cambodian Splendor and Darkness. 184. Crystal Quilt. Artifact Piece. Franz. Howard. 57 Lamantia. 113. Christopher. 156. 25 Klein. 162–63. 64. 137–39. 148 Klimt. murals in. 157 Kunisada. George. 99 Korean Americans. 32 left vs. 270n10 Lipsitz. Oskar. Destruction: Hostage. AutoWomen in Prison. Rico. 20–21. 161–62. 11 Laird. Summer 1967: In Memory of James Budd Dixon. 248. Lolette. 111–12. Les. 36. 190. African American arts groups in. Ablutions. 238 Lanyon. Frank. Nanny. 195. El. 161. B. 59. 225 Libeskind. 1. 126–27 Kollwitz. Gilbert. Three Weeks in May. 131. Leslie..Kirchner. 35 Lujan. 208. 165. 110 Kruger. 30 Litwak. 290 index . 106 Lebrun. 1–21. Edward. 161. 243 Krauss. Jean. Comfort Women. 161. 46.S. specific artists Korean War. 57 LaPena. 212 Leary. 69 Kyoto Protocol. Joyce. 172–73. 196. 123–24. gay rights movement in. Immemorial. Virgin of Guadalupe triptych. 155 Levine. 141. 236 Lichtenstein. Mot Coi di Ve. 195. Paul. Rosalind. Aldo. 146 Lawrence v. 137. 83 Living in Balance (Richmond Art Center). U. 80 Lemcke. 209. 36. 163. 195 Lacan. In Mourning and in Rage. 207. Diaspora: California Indians. George. 259n75. see also Asian Americans. Bia. 6. Genesis. 186 Los Angeles. Bill. punk scene in. 36. She Who Would Fly. 123. right. Primo. 123 Leopold. 200 Kozloff. 164 Land Art. 124 Lobdell. see also gay rights movement. 218 lesbians. 210 Lenin. Kris. 162 Lawrence. 212 Levi. 46 Levine. 200 Kuspit. 54. Yves. Robert. 123 Lacy. 254n9 Laos. Ernst Ludwig. 162–63. Commemoration of the Ohlone Way of Life. Donald. 51. 257n48. 104. Philip. Three Graces. Dorothea. Gustav. R. Frank. Hung. Jacob. 226. 87. 196. Some Kind of Buckaroo. 50. 206. 207. 242. 168 Luna. 190. 186. Melvin. Denise. 210. 194. and Sunshine Noir exhibition. 208 Lowe. R. Maya. Yolanda.

m. Dominique. 33. Kate. 68 Marinetti. 74 McLuhan. 209. 254n7. 121 Moreau. 160 McGee. 237 Meltzer. Anomie. 178. Harvey. 184. Joe. 262n57 money. 94 Macdonald. 98. 33. Pat. Barry. 165 Mabuhay Gardens (San Francisco). 179. Julio: Code 33. 239–41. 54. 241 Malcolm X. 93 Merrill. 240. 35 Mason. 90 Mendez. and Identity. 43. 3 McHugh. Greil. 215 index 291 . 197 Masson. 26. 205 Masereel. 108. 184. 21 Montoya. 88 Morales. 76 Made in California: Art. 96. censorship during. 232 Merry Pranksters. 31. Daniel. 139 Mamet. 33 Mickey Mouse. Telegraph 3 a. Surpasses All the Genocide Records (genocide flag). Consuelo.S. 137. 255n10 Magritte. Stéphane. Aztlán and. 90. Playboys. 238. Thomas. 220 Marcus. Handcuff. 8. Crater and Destroyed Convoy. Amalia. 176. 47. Yong Soon. 138 Mineta. 113–15. Linda. 193 Montoya. 190 Mills. 256n41 Miller. 232 McBride. Gustav. David. 115. 241–42. Kazimir. 79–80. 235–36. 224–25 Misrach. 171 Millett. 133 McCarthy. 192. 175. 8. Bravo 20 National Park. Knud. 192–93. Herbert. 10. Jean-François: Sower. Lake Project series. Image. 7. 138. 180 Milk. 242 Matisse. Salton Sea. X portfolio. 240. Thomas. Take a Picture with a Real Indian. 104 Mesa-Bains. Defining Moments. Chicken Show. 190. 53 Mattachine Society. 241. 5 Maisel. 256n36 Mazeaud. 191. 240–41. 119–21 Monroe. Cantos. Scott. 96 McCormick. George. 261n13. 150 Matta. 56. Richard. David. Watershed: An Ecological Installation. Dorothy. 239. Filippo Tommaso. 246. 192. Douglas. Paul. 47. 240 Mission Cultural Center (San Francisco). 80. 99 McCarthy. Ofrenda for Dolores del Rio. 193. 235. 77 Montano. Mitchell’s Death. José. 178. 114 McCarthy era. 118 Miller. 139. 176. 157 Malevich. Joni. 117 Mississipi Summer Project/Freedom Summer. and border with United States. 142 McWilliams. Robert. Malaquias. 1900–2000 (Los Angeles County Museum of Art). 193. 7. 166 McGroarty. 254n10 Mechicano Art Center (Los Angeles). 116 McGovern. 265n10. 193 Marsh. Reginald. Beard. 240. FBI Files. 56. Henry. 138–39. 117. 47. 192–93. 8. Rosenbergs’ trial during. Dead Fish.. and Hsieh’s Art/Life: One Year Performance. Shit Face Painting. Undocumented. 84 Morandi. 98. Frans. 185 Mesches. 165. specific artists. 40 Mapplethorpe. 209 Mexico: artists from. 263n4 Millet. 239. Tom. 241. 99 Metropolitan Community Church (Los Angeles). Louis. War (Bravo 20). 208. Giorgio. 92–93. Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. 241–42. immigrants from. Carey. 96. 242 Mittelberg. 200. 176. 76. 208. 100. 74. 175–83. 30 Mallarmé. Henri. 176. Nancy.California Mission Daze. Siobhan. 201 McKinley. Jim. 210 Maciunas. William. 102. 215 Mailer. Gustav. 98–100. Marilyn. Seven Years of Intoxication. 257n55. George. 75–76. 111 Marcuse. xii Minimalism. 239–40. 99–100. Pit. 67. 165. Arnold. 111 MacArthur. Joseph. 114. gay persecution in. 172 Merrid. 196 Moran. Untitled #20. Michael. American Pop!. 44 MacLeod. 238–41. 123 Monster Roser. 204. Norman. U. 189. 177 Moore. 254n9 Montadon. 30. Dwight. 242 Mahler. 129. 17. 239–40. Price. Arthur. André. Bridge of No Returns. 64. see Tres Grandes. 193. John. 173. 176. 99 Mao Tse-tung. 152 Manet. 97. Paul. Marianne. 79–80 McClure. René. 21 Min. 99. 167. 11 McKenna. 211. John Steven. Norman. 236 McElivey. 114. 4. political art in. 50. Marshall. Bossy Burger. 30 Marioni. Fresh Acconci. Flood. Edouard. 107. 168 Mission School. 4–5. David. 46. 141 Mitchell. 168 Melchert. 139. 137–39.

31–32. 111 Nutt. Los Angeles) 182 Museum of Modern Art (New York). 137 Nesbit. Lars.. 88 Nightingale. Linda. Alfred E. 61. Chris. and Conner’s CHILD. 97. 182. 74–75. 225 Oppenheimer. 17. 32 Morris. 121. 19. 262n54 Occupied Atzlán (San Francisco Art Institute). 135. Madame. 99. War and Peace. 43. 41. 25–26. 51 Naess. 64 Nietzsche. 63 Olsen. 46 Neo-Primitives. 220. 111 Nuns (band). 132–33. di Suvero’s Mother Peace in. Panamerica. 133 Nordman. 25. 26 Nittve. 59. 259n70 Mouse. 77. 241 Nazis. 224 Nagasaki. Robert. 171–75. 219. Self-Portrait/ Pervert. 6 Opie. 39. Sad Plight. 196 Obata. Manuel.Morgan. 194 Orozco. 63 NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. 240. 137. 179 nuclear weapons. Berthe. Long. 12–14. and censorhip. 36 292 index . 42. 31. 99 Nochlin. 39–40. 165. Nathan. 87. 120. Ariel’s Banner of Hope in. 74–75. 59 Nhu. 105. Peter. 130. 43 Muybridge. and antiwar poster. 220 Oppenheim. 263n4 New Figuration /New Image of Man. 160. 40 Nicaragua. 158 Oakland: antiwar protests. 209–10. 7. 225 Mujeres Muralistas. 57. 248 Orgel. 246 Ofili. Florence. 201 Motherwell. 114 Narrative Imagists. 74. 131 Ocampo. Maria. 212 One (magazine). Charles. Domestic series. 105. 189 National Park Service. 172. 31. 134. 46. as political art form. 96–97 Moscoso. 224. 209. 54. Christian. Catherine. 225 Moscone. 62. Dennis. Sandra. 81 Mussolini. 106 Moses. 106. 75. 30 Neri. 200 Morley. 170. 220. Stations of the Cross. 11. 254n9 Murals at Aztlán (Craft and Folk Art Museum. 17. 31 Neuman. see also Holocaust Neel. Gavin.. Peter. 21. 162. 46. Refugee Christ. 50–51. Tales of Yellow Skin. 192 Nilsson. 181–82 Ochs. 210 Newton. 105. Arne. 220. Prometheus. Lacy et al. 135. 224. Being and Having. Earthwork. 58–59. 66–69 Operation Ranch Hand. 6. Burkhardt on. 6 Operation Rolling Thunder. Manuel.. 48. 6. 66 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). 191 My Lai massacre. 259n70 murals. 89. 189. Georgia. 258n69 Namuth. 17. 46. 52. 12–13. 39. 172. 189 Morgenstern. Oliver. see also specific artists Navy. Grace McCann. 246 Muir. Wolfgang Amadeus. 6 Operation Desert Storm. 263n15 O’Keeffe. 172 Mullican. Chiura. U. 31. 50. army base. threat of. 130–31.S. Huey P. 219–20. 61 Orange County. 141–43 New York. 5–6 Operation Wetback. 113 Nixon. 208 Ong Wen-hao. Richard. Las. 4. Hans. Pauline. 141–43. 13.’s Code 33 in. stereotypes of. 113 National Organization for Women (NOW). Gladys. Lee. Louise. Rebellions and Revolutions. Untitled (Burntout Europe). 254n9 Nisbet. 270n23 Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity). Flower Pot. 61–63. O portfolio. 114 Nevelson. Phil. Robin. 41. political art in. 158–59. Claes. 225. see also specific artists Nguyen. 59. Stanley. 160. 212 Morisot. 50–51. My Arizona. 36 New Images of Man. and Alcatraz Island occupation. 4. 159. 74–75. Isamu. Robert. 235 Native Americans. 133. 254n9 Oakes. 245 Norman. Benito. punk movement and. 240–41. 19 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). 7–8. 25–26 Newsom. 64. Black Panthers in. 219–20. 96. Grateful Dead. 106 Mozart. 121. 247 Noguchi. Friedrich. and weapons testing. 198 Oldenburg. Jim. 157–65. Victor. George. 247. Irving. Eadweard. 30. 46. Robert. José Clemente. 5 October Revolution.. Richard M. 30. 33. 30 Odland. 259n70 Oliveira. 135 Operation Babylift. 105. Alice. 59. John. 243 Oliveros. Arneson’s bust of. 6. 50 North. 1. Bruce.

144. 71–72. 200. 91 Popova. Burning of Los Angeles. 48. 160 prisons. Yvonne. 196. and Peace Tower. 26 Polanski. 114. 111–12. Gottardo. 113. 53. Emmy Lou. 14–15. 110. 207. 45. 160–61 Packard. 218. 12. 47. as political art form. 8. 8 Petlin. 53. 130–35. 119 Paris. 159 Pataki. 110. 46 Palmer. 111–12. 236 Perez. David. 119 index 293 . Casa Pueblo Project. 145 Owens Valley. 236–37 punk scene. 145. Jackson. Irving. Lyubov. 43. 180 peace. Expatriate Consciousness. Sigmar. 186 posters: for farmworkers. José Guadalupe. 215 Pauline. at Alcatraz. Mel. Hattie. 36.. Lari. Beloved and Despised. 46 People’s Park (Berkeley). 116–17 Philippines. 46. 155–56. white artists on. 141 Parson-Keyes. Anthony. Asco and. 110. 140. Ezra. Raumond. 159 Piazzoni. 116. 238–43. Hosanna Suite. Aviva. 257n49 Posada. 1. 43. 159. 113 Purifoy. 170. William S. 145–55. 226. by environmental artists. . 96. 156.. 56. 191 Perez. 96. 68 Queer Cultural Center (San Francisco). 156. 155–56. 142. Philip. Native American artists on. Octavio. Vince. 89. 193 Paley. 112 Pham. 14. 13. 254n9 Passalacqua. 117 Paz. 150. Dan. 145. Stephen. El Bosque de Pueblo. and Peace Tower. 238 Oswald. 161 Pomodoro. feminist. see also Peace Tower Peace Tower (di Suvero et al. 259–60n70 Peale. George E. 11–12. 168 Poggioli.. Raphaelle: Deception. 51. Hanh Thi. 38–39. 46 Pettibone. 41 Quaye. Native Americans and. Thich. Veronica.. 39. John. 30 Port Huron Statement. 164 Outterbridge. Japanese American internment and. Erwin.. 87. 158. 33. 46–47. Francisco. Baboon and Young. 236–37. 11. 35. Along the Street of Knives. 147. Mark. 119. 45. 44. 228. 32 Puerto Rico. 169. 168. 248 Patriot Act. Dilema de mi País. 47. Timothy. Peter. environment and. 236–37. 183. 236. see also Filipinos photography: documentary. 214. 112. Lee Harvey. 141 Philadelphia. see also Abu Ghraib Proby. hippies and. 172 performance art. 150. 202. 107. 119 Pearcy. 259n70. Continues Regardless. 131 Picasso. 64. Elvis. 196 Perkoff. 109. 48. 145 Quang Duc. Noah. 17. 60 Poland. 259n75. art in. 261n13. Renato. Pablo. 94 Outsider Art. Watts Riot. Guernica. 178 Public Works of Art Program (PWAP). 99. 81–85. 141. Soul on Telegraph Avenue. Irene. Ed. 210 racism. graffiti in. 262n33. 15. 261n14 Pop Art. 203 Pasadena Art Museum. Michael. John. 139–41. 43–46. 39. 68. 46–47. 237. 194 Rainer. 200. Q: And Babies? . 74. 110 Park. women in. 67. 211 Paolozzi. Harold.O’Sullivan. Stuart. Lloyd E. 264n24 Pol Pot. Walls for Mem. 238. 141. Funk vs. 254n7 Plaza de la Raza (Los Angeles). artists influenced by. 236. 51 Piscator. 80. 64. calls for. 214–15. Rubble Sculpture Garden. Los Angeles). 38–39. 21. Roman. 241 Polke. Eduardo. 105–6 Pound. 196 Pittman. 190–91. . 46. 178. 104–11. 8. 40. 31. 145 Proposition 187. 32 Paine. Rosa. 47 Paschke. 155–57 Rahmani. 190 Ramos. 241–42 Oxendine. 87. 99 Pattern and Decoration movement. This Wholesomeness. 161–65. 29–30. 5 Poindexter. 178 Proposition 209. 88 Presley. environmental art in. 190–97 Perkins. Arnaldo. 156. 119 Pollock. 248 Pearlstein. 187. Revolutionary Sex!. 64. 87 “Primitivism” in Twentieth Century Art: Affinity of the Tribal and the Modern (Museum of Modern Art). Mitchell. Entry of Christ into Washington (after Ensor). 67. African American artists on. 215 Plagens. Lesbian Percepts. 36. 121 Parks. . consumerism and. psychedelic. 66. 77–79.

259n70 Rosenthal. 199. 254n9 Roszak. 88. Arthur. 182–83. 190. 54 Rivers. 182 Rat Bastard Protective Society. 33 Rehbock. Betye. 55 Rosofsky. 8. 38 Rowlandson. 30 Rubens. Julius. Frank. God. 181. Liberation of Aunt Jemima. See internment camps Rembrandt. 203 Sacco-Vanzetti case. Third Reich ‘n’ Roll. Rachel’s Brain. punk. 202–3. 265n10 Ringgold. Chas’ Stainless Steel. 72. Moira. 110. 117. 154 Rocha. 192 Rothko. Patricia. Mark. 4. Jerry. 152. 218 Rayonists. Francesco. 202– 3. Odilon. Luis. 56. 182. Record for Hattie. Eleanor. Death of Ruben Salazar. 92 Rinder. 131 Roosevelt. Diego. 44. Faith. 243 Riddle. Peter Paul. 138 Rich. Ed. 160 Sakoguchi. Oneiric Song (The Darkening Garden). 84. 190. 202. 84. 170 Salazar. 119 Russian Revolution. Donald. Ethel. 117. 74. 145. 110 Redon. 216 Roe v. 210. 126 Ruby. Erika. 82 Rothenberg. 149. 210 Rascón. 207 Rauschenberg. 183. 133 Rincon Annex (San Francisco) murals. 216. 139 Rexroth. 61. 149. 144 Rikyù. Rachel. 73. Back Seat Dodge. Adrienne. Gerhard. 216. How to Tell the Difference. 155 Reed. 144. James. 153. 168. 32. 168. 224 Roth. 150 Saar. 120 Rector. John. 192. Roberto de la. 91 Rattner. 68. Abraham. John. 216. 151–52. Alain. 259n70 “relocation” camps. Nancy. 73. 54. 73. 190. Franklin Delano. 152. art and. 189 Romero. 54. Truth. 145 right-wing politics. 152. Olga.Ransom. Wade. Jack. Philip. 65. Janet.000 Pounds of Stainless Steel Wire. 149–50. 150. 83. 79 Saar. Jerome. 148. 182. 203. 56–57. Bernard: American Family. Lawrence. 81 Said. Compton Nocturne. 111–12 Rockefeller. 32. 182. 64. James. 149 Rodriguez. 190. Sooo Sweet. 168 rock concerts. 172 Rodríguez. 248. about 1. 38. Naco Nocturno. Anton. 11 Rodia. Man at the Crossroads. 263n4 Raven. 93 Rosenthal. 64. 187 294 index . 46 Rockwell. Bitter Nest. 137. 196 Rosler. 205 Rubin. 107. Arlene. Photo-Op (Bringing the War Home: House Beautiful). 146. Syngman. 46. 151. 117. 183. 135. 57. 259n70. Robert. Miriam. 56. 100 Rothenberg. 89. 79–80. THomas. Seymour. Georges. 44 Reinhardt. Armando. 260n1 (Introduction) Rosenberg. 2. Alison. Ben. 180–82: Artifact with Three Declarations of Independence. 12. 5. 173. 73 Ruscha. Tino. 167–68. 191. 125. 205 Royal Chicano Air Force. Amazonia. Have You Attacked America Today?. 259n75 Richer. Mark Thompson’s Airplane Parts. 67 Reno. 4–5. Llorana. 190 Rutelli. 66. 98 Rosenquist. Pan-American Unity. 215. Border Metamorphosis: The Binational Mural Project. 259n75. 92–93. 17. Edward. 149–50 Rivera. Paul. Homage to Kienholz. 98 Rosenberg. Replays. Sen no. 152. Who’s Afraid of Aunt Jemima?. Harold. 256–57n44. 196. 79–80. 4. 196. Part 2: Harlem Renaissance. We Flew over the Bridge. 30–31. French Money. vs. 258n57 Refregier. 32–33 Regionalists. 10 Richter. 196–97. 99. 120 Roberts. 123 Rhee. 182–83 Roosevelt. 259n70 Rouault. Ronald. American People Series. 190 Roth. 94 Rumsfeld. 104–5. 153. Larry. 8. 119. Napalm Brand. Flag Is Bleeding. Nelson. Rubén. 111 Resnais. Blend. 151 Robeson. Martha. Ad. 64. Death Penalty/Amusement. 125. 80. 31. see also McCarthy era Rigo (Ricardo Gouveia). Theodore. 82. 62. 92 Russolo. gays. 124–26. Kenneth. 30 Reagan. 152. 215–16. 18. Loren: Peace. Elamante (The Lover). 209. 111. 46. and Gagosian’s Beverly Hills Space. 68. 134–35. Simon. 78 Residents (band). Norman. 32. 56. 54. 32–33. 10. 130 Rosenberg. Vacation Getaway (Bringing the War Home: House Beautiful). John Crowe. 169. 182. 80. 186 Rozsanova. 32. 106 Rubins. 32.

120. French. 68–69. 197. 158. 112 Smith. 47 Sätty. 199–200. 124. 111. 68. 270n30. 210 Screamers (band). Mary. and Womanhouse. 3–4. 208. 100–101. 256n36. 199. hippie counterculture San Francisco General Strike (1934). 266n22 Secunda. Shrines. 254n9 Schwartz. women’s movement in. murals in. 32. environmental activism and art in. 238 Shames. Stephen. 93 San Joaquin Valley. 150 Smith. 123–24 Sierra Club. 145. 102. 8. George. 170. 253n7 Sandoval. 31. 249 Socialist Realism: American. 222 Serra. Tropical America. 98. 147. Jonas. 228 Sherwood. 239–40 Salvioni. Bruno. Beats in. 32 Smith. 98: Piss Helms. 15. Peter. 111 Smithson. 142. 33. 104 San Francisco Public Library. Charles. 89 Six More (Los Angeles County Museum of Art). Raymond. William. 42. 238. Peter. 32. 8. 118. Lowery. Elizabeth. 48 Smith. 116 Schlesinger. 103 Sims. 119 Society for Individual Rights (SIR). 32 Siqueiros. Public Lunch. Mario. 124. 124 Snyder. Spiral Jetty. 111.” 229. 158 Sheets. 141. Buy. anti– Vietnam War protests in. Roll On. 98. radicalism in. 11. 68. Soviet. 98 Sanchez. 31. Stephen. 246 Salle. 3 Schwarzenegger. Roberta. 15. Titanic’s Wake. Bobby. 253n7. Winston. 124. 33–34. see also Chicano labor movement San Jose. 228–29. 43. David. 125. 190. 201 Sances. 68. 18–19. 172. 228–29. Stephen. 124. Refrigerator Chase. 147. 76 Sanger. Junípero. David. Angels’ Flight. 259n70 Seitz. War without Bodies. Fish Story. 172. Dismal Science. 36. 76. 205. 120. 103. Aaron. 153 Savage. 199. Saigon. 1. 226 Snowden. 53. 238 Salk. 225–26 Silberstein. Peter. 76 September 11. 177 Sandler. 33. 53. Arnold. 165. 190. Sebastião. 33 Sherk. 253n7. 13. Beauty in Darkness. 228–29. 228. 121. 8 Smith. 1. punk scene in. 115. 210. 35. 198–99 Shahn. 259n72 Samis. 213 Scholder. 33 San Francisco Mime Troupe. 88. Egon. 32. Window Shopping. 112 6 Gallery (San Francisco). Ira. Kate. Ice Box series. 229. 31–32. 209 Save Our State. xii. 12. 155 Schulze. Millard. 143. “living libraries. David Alfaro. Bonnie. 209 index 295 . 15. 189. 257n55 Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC). 33. Henry. Gary. 226. 8. 7. 78 Schimmel. 32–33. 111 Seale. 178 Siskind. 11 Saul. Roger. Against the Grain. Jos. 199 Schiele. Margaret. 98. 217 Sexual Politics: Judy Chicago’s “Dinner Party” in Feminist Art History (Armand Hammer Museum of Art). 175 Sisco. 254n9. 2–3. 215 Salton Sea. 198 Smith. 111 Slash magazine. Sitting Still. 68. 213–14. Ben. 248 Savio. 196. Fritz. 16–17 shopping. 191 Schapiro. 154. 53 Saunders. 69 Seldis. 265n69 Sekula. 94 Seles. 106. Crossroads Community (The Farm). 198 Sartre. 88–91. Allan. 15. 99. Stone Garden. 111. Miriam. Francisco. Monica. 209. 112. 196. 112. 124. 143. 20 Sinclair. 15. 100. 101 San Francisco Bay Area. Indian Occupation of Alcatraz. gay rights movement in. 145 Segal. 152. 16 Sandperl. Daniela. Arthur. 14. Man in Electric Chair. 116 Situationists. 236. 6 Sappho. 228. Paul. Irving. Haight-Asbury. 33. 172. Amarillo Ramp. 256n37. 97 Sex Pistols (band). 230–31. 189 Sanity in Art. 216 Schiller. Jean-Paul. 76. Richard. Humberto. 102 Sayre. Dollhouse. Upton. 152. 68. 111 Sexton. 93. Andres: Piss Christ. Meyer. 41. Hassel. Henry. John. 259n72. 119 Skulls (band). 41. see also Alcatraz Island occupation. Franz. free speech movement. 270n30. 143. 3. Tenement Flats. Robert. 60 Save Our Children. 94 Shimomura. 199. 81. Ronald Reagan II. 178 Serrano. 190. 253n1 Schapiro. 16. Friedrich von. 224. Bessie. 161 Schulz.Salgado. 241. Levittown.

31. 237 Thoreau. 175–76 Tres Grandes. Paul. Travis. 12–13. Belly Dancer. 184 Spence. 33 Survival Research Laboratories (SRL). Raft of the Grand Wizard. 220. 221–22. New Wave series. 117 Suzuki. 157. Judgement of Paris. Freeway to Paradise. 5. 41. McDonald’s Hamburgers Invading Japan. 256n44 Tinguely.” 107. House Divided. 157. Phil. 41. 18 Stella. 257–58n57. 1. 205. Masami. 161 think again. 222. Joseph. 107. Mark. 218 Truman. 242– 43. Chang-Lin. Gertrude. Hanauma Bay series. 243 Tojo. 210. 30 Southern Christian Leadership Conference. 46. Mark. 31. Only Begotten Son. 189 Staprans. Venice Beach series. 220–21. 156–57. 261n9 Somerville. Elizabeth Cady.. Henry. Jan. 42. 107 Sunshine and Noir (Louisiana Museum of Modern Art).. Dondero on. Jean: Homage to New York. 215 Stevens. AIDS Series. Siqueiros. Lionel. 237. 113 Sterne. Money Pile. Harry S. 54. When Can We Go Home?. “Love-In. Viva La Raza. 221. 218 296 index . Ben. Jerome. Mike. 105 Traini. Louise. 259n70 Sugimoto. 99 Toulouse-Lautrec. 82. 47. Clay: Fantastic War Machines. 146 Tsinhnahjinnie. 125. Barbara. Media Bacchanalia. 253n1 Sorel. Santa Monica Pier. Moses. . Diego. Bring Our Men Home. The Ace. Sojourner. 259n70. 114 Still. 267–68n75 Titian. 131–32. 105 Torero. 190. Jack. 109. at Abu Ghraib. Hideki. 259n81. Wallace. Boy in the Hood. 243. 196 Stone. 92. Kathryn. 67–68 Suprematists. 30–31 Taylor. Joshua C. 169 Tarshis. 132 Summer of Love. Good Morning California. Hulleah T. 110. 9 Taller de Arte Fronterizo. 165–66 Steinmetz. political art in. 61. 220–22. José Clemente. George. see also Orozco. 104 Trujillo. 225 Sontag. 174 Torres. 59 Tobey. 270n23. Oliver: Heaven and Earth. 221–22. 211. 7. 157. 212 Spohn. Pygmaliana. 113 Superman. Vladimir. Salvador Roberto. 202 Tillim. Adam and Eve series. Raimonds. Henri de. 72–73. Los. 69–74. 98–100 Tet Offensive. 157. Florine. 169–70. Bruce. Kristine. censorship and. M. 169–70. Susan. 73. US Inquisition series. 46. in New York. 255n20 Stauffacher Solomon. 92 Stanley. 121 Starr. 19 Stanton. Alan: Time Landscape. 256n36 Stop the Draft Week. . 98 Trips Festival (San Francisco). 50. 36 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. 64. 18. Nancy. Geisha and Ghost Cat (AIDS Series). 242 Stein. David Alfaro Trilling. 46 Stettheimer. 110 Stuck. 237–38. Hedrick and. 8. Immersion. 59 Stonewall riots. 111. Painters. 169 torture. 238. Georges. . Henry David. Rivera. Virtual Reality. war on. Dennis. 159. 41. 113. 18 Stalin. 18. and Sculptors (Mexico). 205–6. 121–22. 121 Spero. 171 Tenney. 8. 132. Wayne. 88. Roselyne. Carla. Francesco: Triumph of Death. 220. 106–7. 237–38. 222 terrorism. 135. 208. 120. 222. Franz von: Sin. 100 Tien. 31 Talbert. 112–13. 112 Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). 103 Tillich. 46 Soyer. Clyfford. 220. 177 Taller de Gráfica Popular. 257n49 Sugarman. 201 Toorop. 43 Storr. 106. 201 Syndicate of Technical Workers. 100 Soviet Union. 221. 209. 30 Surrealists. 4 Teraoka. 254n9 Spicer. Sidney. 71–72 Total Information Awareness. 39 Theatre of the Absurd Thiebaud. 30–31 Soyer. 88 Trimble. 210 Stiles. 120 Streshinsky. Robert. 39 Tatlin. 242.. 4. 53. Rebecca. 248 Thompson. 222. 205. Hedda. 200. 26 Teatro Campesino. 18. 33. 45. Dina. Everybody Needs a Mamma. 222. 41. 36. Shunryu.Solnit. 157 Sonfist. 46 Spanish Civil War. 43. 19. 89 Stockwell. Long Live Humanity. 101 Truth. 243 Swig. Kevin. 212 Steinbeck. Frank. Raphael. John. 135 Tooley. 120–21. Jack. Ted. 146. People’s Park Riots . 263n4 Sterling. Mario: Laura Rodriguez.

Sea Islands. 141. 33. 190 Walker. 124–27. 88 van Gogh. 71 Waitresses. 5. . Mike. 25. 207. . 167. Alcatraz: The Son of Indian Indian Leader Richard Oakes. Agent Orange series. Petlin on. 16. 255n20. 182. 63.. Mark. 144. in Lopez’s triptych. Oscar. Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 247 Washington. Mary McLeod Bethune. Brett. vs. Felix de. 67 Vienna Actionists. 137.. 31. Cy. Andy. 41. Agnès. Dan. 205. 120. 40. Nomad Is an Island. 269n109. 5–6. 243 Watts. 256n34. H. 244. 150 Turner. William Carlos. 129 University Art Museum. Mourning Mothers. 243 Watts riots. 114 Vietnamese Americans. 136. 267n73 (see also free speech movement. 156. 164. 74. 143 Villa. 107. C. 4–5. Vincent. 144–45 Watts Towers. 261n14. Richard. 232 Underwood. 96–97. 125. O. 137. Contribution of the Negro to Democracy in America. The Glass (Self-Portrait). 181 United Nations. 243–44 (see also Peace Tower). Chicanos vs. Revolutionary Banners. 245 Whitman. 205 Valéry. 115. 48 Welles. Birmingham Totem. 154 Van Doren. Charles. 243 Twelve Artists from the German Democratic Republic (BuschReisinger Museum). 140 Turrell. 240. Mark. Pancho. 238 Wheeler. 237 Wade. 152. In Front of Alameda Courthouse. 88 Wilson. 241. 85 University of Michigan. Carleton. 118. Thorstein. 146. The. 175. 106. 183– 84. 6. Purifoy on. 43. 111 Weldon. Jan. 158. 174 Velde. 96. Who What When. 4. Africa. 193– 94. 137. Faith. 44. 140 Vigée-Lebrun. 168. 154 Weimar Republic. 238 Weston. Harriet. 7. 146 Tucker. protests against. 243–44. 1. 5 Ut. Kat. 41. Edward. 146. Flow City. 96. Carlos. 12. 154. 245 White. 46 Waller. 183. James. 204. Alfred North. 143. Brillo Box. Patssi. 270n23 Twombly. 64 Weinberg. 42. 26. 165–68. Family Pictures and Stories. 58 Watkins. 241. refugees from. 140. Diego. William T. 45. 70. 16. 261n14. 238 Westermann. 183. 155–56. 168. 125. Consuelo Jiménez. 41. 145 Wayne. 78. 155. 149 Watts Towers Art Center. 159. 58–61. Waiting. 5. 148. see also nuclear weapons. draft policy during. 246 index 297 . 46 Weems.Tubman. 215 Ukeles. 118 Walt Disney Company. City After Bosch. 154. Henry van de. 243. I Wish I Could Have Known Earlier . 67. 184 United Farm Workers (UFW). 208 Wilding. 94 weapons testing. 40–61.” 244–45 Williams. Asparagus. 191. 145 Watts Summer Festivals. Berkeley. 168. 101. 243–45. 204 Veblen. Hyunh Cong. 58–61. . Virgen de los Caminos. nuclear. 88. 186. 207. 170–71. Peter. 254n9 Weston. 35 Virgin of Guadalupe. Mierle Laderman. 101 Weirdos (band). 143. prison system. 243. 148 Wal-Mart. William: Wall of Respect. 200 Vignes. art for. Berkeley. E. 254n9 Wallace. 118 Velázquez. 39–40. Jack. 204. 144. 154. 57 Valdez. J’Accuse. 261n14 University of California. Élisabeth. 154. 154–55. After Chernobyl. 194 Wiley. threat of Weber. Fats. 169. 209 Whitehead. 259n74. 7. 105 Vermeer. 137. 141. 170. 137 Villa. James. 87 Warhol. “Yum Yum Song. 84. Allen Ginsberg at Be-In. 54. First Coat. 54. 171 Virgil. Marcia. Glenway. 179 waste. 137. 6–7. 238. 232. Untitled (Woman Standing Alone). specific artists Vietnam War. 145. women in. 116. 38. 169–71. George. 154. 226. Carrie Mae. John. 146–47 White. 193–94. 145–46. 243 Watergate. Doug. Walt. Paul. 70. 141. 7. 226. 183–84. 12. 235 Twain. 59 Varda. Michelle. 110 Whitney Museum Annual (1971). 16. 17. 6. California artists’ response to. 162. 181–82 Westcott. 2. loyalty oath at. 190 Wilde. 26. see also Asian Americans. 146. 244. Picture Revolution. People’s Park). Valdez as. Alan. Orson: Touch of Evil. 19. 204. June. 204 Voulkos. 57. 90 Van Der Zee.. 232–33. 146. 5. 57.

181 Yucca Mountain Project. 190 Womanspace (Los Angeles). C. 199 Woodstock. 105. Evil Empire. 107 Woolf. Byrds. 197. 11. 112. Andrew. male artists on. 73 Wolverton. 207–8. 105. 145 World Trade Center. 223 Wirsum. Tom. 76–77. Adja. 218 Womanhouse (Chicago. Pete. 199. 204. 241 Yunkers. 163 Wright. 256n37 Woman’s Building (Los Angeles). 32. 222 “X” (band). feminist art. 70. Emilio. 12. James. Wes. 11 Wylie. Los Angeles). Grant. see also feminism. 106 Wines. 15.Wilson. 174 Wyeth. 100. Paul. N. 7. 197. 104. Richard. 194. Donald. 169 298 index . 15. 121 Wood. Victor Mario. 189 women’s issues. 218 Women’s Caucus for Art. Lindsey. Jack. 111 Xicano Ricorso (Museum of Modern Art). 169. lesbians Women Students and Artists for Black Art Liberation (WSABAL). Chicanas and. Karl. 180 Wilson.. Bernard. 184. 146 Wright. 171 Zermeño. Terry. 77 Zajac. 43. 33 Woodman. 188–208. 47 Zaballa. Paul. 193. 160. Are We Next?. 110 Wolfowitz. 199. 190. 113 Wounded Knee. 259n70 Zakheim. 190. Schapiro. Lon: Students in Sproul Plaza Surrounding Police Car. 198 Works Progress Administration (WPA). et al. 32 Zapata. 152 Wonner. Virginia. 101 Wilson. Huelga!. Stanton MacDonald. 169. 194– 95. rape and violence. 254n9 Wolfe. 15. 43.. 171–72.

III. Its activities are supported by the UC Press Foundation and by philanthropic contributions from individuals and institutions. McManis Faulkner & Morgan LLP. Social movements in art. Volume II. Landauer. The exhibition of works of art from the San Jose Museum of Art’s permanent collection is supported in part by Alan and Doris Burgess. 4. and LEF Foundation. Title. California University of California Press. from Collected Poems 1939–62. Politics in art.C. p. paper) 1. California. California © 2006 by Peter Selz The author and publisher have made considerable effort to contact copyright holders and to secure permission prior to publication. 2006 Katzen Arts Center American University. II. University of California Press Berkeley and Los Angeles. Any copyright holder who remains unacknowledged may contact the publisher. Ltd. .edu. Published in connection with an exhibition at the San Jose Museum of Art. Peter Howard.” By William Carlos Williams. copyright © 1954. D. an exhibition organized by the San Jose Museum of Art. 2006 The exhibition Visual Politics: The Art of Engagement at the San Jose Museum of Art is made possible in part through the generous support of Mike and Yvonne Nevens. 2005–March 5. ISBN 0-520-24052-9 (cloth : alk.This book is published in conjunction with Visual Politics: The Art of Engagement. San Jose Museum of Art November 20.C2S45 2006 2005023950 Manufactured in Canada 15 14 13 12 11 10 09 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 08 07 2 1 06 The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of ANSI/NISO Z39. That Greeny Flower. visit www. The book’s epigraph is from “Asphodel. who will correct the oversight at the earliest opportunity. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Selz. San Jose. : alk. April 9–July 29. The Myra Reinhard Family Foundation. Susan.481992 (R 1997) (Permanence of Paper). London. For more information. 1919– Art of engagement : visual politics in California and beyond / Peter Selz . Includes bibliographical references and index. 3. social sciences. one of the most distinguished university presses in the United States. cm. Washington. paper)—ISBN 0-520-24053-7 (pbk. San Jose Museum of Art. 2. I. enriches lives around the world by advancing scholarship in the humanities.ucpress. N6530. and natural sciences. American—California—20th century. University of California Press. England San Jose Museum of Art San Jose. Art. with an essay by Susan Landauer. Used with permission of New Directions Publishing Corp. Art and society—California—History— 20th century.

SPONSORING EDITOR Deborah Kirshman | ASSISTANT ACQUISITIONS EDITOR Sigi Nacson PROJECT & DEVELOPMENTAL EDITOR Sue Heinemann | PERMISSIONS & IMAGE RESEARCH Lynn Meinhardt. Charlotte Robinson BIBLIOGRAPHY RESEARCH Heather Farkas | COPYEDITOR Jennifer Knox White | PRODUCTION COORDINATOR John Cronin DESIGNER Nicole Hayward | COMPOSITOR Integrated Composition Systems | PRINTER & BINDER Friesens TEXT 10/14 Minion | DISPLAY Interstate .

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