From 08 May 1998 to 23 August 1998
Curated by Lars Nittve, Helle Crenzien
“Sunshine & Noir” analyzes the evolution of art in Los Angeles from the ‘Sixties to the late ‘Nineties. The title alludes to the dual nature of Los Angeles: on the one hand a paradise bathed by the ocean and warm sunshine, and on the other hand the violent megalopolis of film noir.
The exhibition exposes the contradictions of the metropolis, presenting the work of artists such as Sam Francis, Richard Diebenkorn and the Englishman David Hockney, who are inspired by the open spaces of the Pacific coast and positively sublimate its solar nature. At the same time the exhibition includes artists who have drawn upon cinema or popular culture, television, comics and advertising, such as Ed Ruscha, John Baldessari and Al Ruppersberg. The controlled formal strategies of these artists contrast with the performances of Chris Burden, Paul McCarthy and Mike Kelley.
The exhibition also chronicles the city’s role as a university and academic center where new generations of artists grow every year and which has nurtured personalities such as Bill Viola and Bruce Nauman. The disturbing quality of the megalopolis, a temple to consumerism, emerges in the works of Lari Pittman, Nancy Rubins and Jason Rhoades, while issues related to cultural and racial identity are addressed by Alexis Smith, Kim Dingle and Catherine Opie.