Return to the Garden of Eden

High-fired stoneware, porcelain, glazes; aluminum baseOverall: 80 x 30 x 38 in. / Base: 30 x 40 in.Courtesy of the artist and Catharine Clark Gallery, San FranciscoPhoto: Isaiah Plaza Return to the Garden of Eden is deeply inspired by Zhang’s upbringing in Maoist China, his subsequent disillusionment, and his ultimate relocation to California as a young artist in the 1990s. The sculpture reflects both a geographical journey and an ideological search. The monumental clay figure features the artist’s signature style – a blend that reflects Bay Area Figurative and California Funk traditions with nods to Chinese history. Inspired by his…

Color Face

High fired clay with glaze30 x 31 x 37 in.Courtesy of the artist and Catharine Clark Gallery, San FranciscoPhoto: Isaiah Plaza Wanxin Zhang began his Color Face series in 2007 as an homage to his homeland. These works specifically reference Chinese opera performances where actors’ faces are painted in a stylized fashion or masked to represent a character’s personality or cultural status. The use of certain colors can distinguish goodness from evil, and strength from serenity. Although the designs can be complex, there are usually only two or three colors used for each character. Dripping with multi-colored glaze, this sculpture…

Strike

Polished stainless steel122 x 120 x 30 in.Courtesy of the artistPhoto: Airyka Rockefeller In Strike, based on a 1935 lithograph by Louis Lozowick depicting an encounter between a protester and a policeman, a disembodied arm raised up and wielding a nightstick is grasped at the wrist by another hand, the forearms forming a triangular geometry. This piece, made of gleaming stainless steel with a mirrored finish, resembles a trophy. In these works too, the intentional ambiguity, the incompleteness of the disembodied figures, leaves viewers the opportunity to find meaning in their own questions about what it is they are seeing.…

Marble Sculpture No. 1

Marble56 x 23 x 27 in.Courtesy of the artist and Rena Bransten Gallery, San FranciscoPhoto: Isaiah Plaza Jackson spent extended periods in 1983 and 1985 in Carrara, Italy, working on marble sculptures, which he has continued in his studio in Oakland, California. In an art historical sense one might perceive the figures in his otherwise abstract paintings as an attempt to resolve or at least investigate the space between abstraction and figuration. That would be wrong. His figures are not trying to become something else, they exist in between states — being and becoming, living and dead, dreaming and awake.…

Resilience of the 20%

Cast bronze61 x 45 x 48 in.Courtesy of the artistPhoto: Cassils with Megan Paetzhold. Courtesy of the artist Resilience of the 20% is a sculpture cast from the bashed clay remnant of Cassils’ Becoming An Image performance, and acts as a monument to the resilience of queer communities. The title underscores a sickening statistic: in 2012, murders of trans people increased by 20 percent worldwide. Cast in bronze and weighing nearly two tons, this massive sculpture forms the centerpiece of Monument Push. Monument Push is a four-hour performance of collectively pushing the 1,900 pound bronze Resilience of the 20% sculpture…

Winter

Cast bronze22 x 31 x 23 in.Courtesy of the artist and L.A. Louver Gallery, Venice, CAPhoto: Margaret Kemp Winter is a work out of a larger series of four that Saar conceived around each season. In her own words, the work is "about, of course, the cycles of nature, but they're also about the cycles of women—our bodies and their maturations. Additionally, the whole project also came to embody, to me, the cycle of creativity." "Summer is pregnant with fireflies…I wanted her pregnancy to signify a very fertile stage in a woman's life, but also the idea of summer, and…

Underworlding

The Underworlding residency, convened by UCSB Art Professor Kim Yasuda, assembles a diverse group of California-based practitioners and community knowledge holders for the first time as an exploratory cohort in residence at our Lucas Artists Program (LAP) from May 16 – June 24, 2022.  Underworlding, as a practice, counters the extractivist logics embedded in our institutions that have surfaced in the current pandemic to reveal essential realities over whose body, whose labor, and whose land has been exploited in the uneven settlements of our social order between precarity and privilege.  This residency draws individuals who share a grounded ethos and anchor their practices across and beneath surfaces, generations, genders, and…

Creando Espacio

Creando Espacio is a participatory art installation by Bay Area based artist, Hector Dionicio Mendoza in collaboration with Amalia Mesa-Bains, Viviana Paredes, and Steve White. As a child, Mendoza grew up with a great appreciation for the importance of faith, ritual, and alternative healing traditions as practiced by his grandfather, a fifth-generation curandero (shaman). In Mexico as well as Central and South America, the curandera/o plays an important role to many people embarking on the long and challenging journey to El Norte/The North (the United States), providing blessings and protection before they depart in search of a better way of life. Creando Espacio draws on Mendoza’s childhood memories creating an outdoor…

Scratch Space Archive

In this series of virtual conversations, we bring together visual artists, scholars, composers, activists, writers, and others to explore what kinds of radical imaginaries can unfold in this moment of pandemic, racial reckoning, economic uncertainty, civil unrest, and environmental crisis. How do we think about what is possible? How can we use our imaginations to build a better present/future? How can we attend to the past in service of the future? ​​And how can we retool and build better more equitable models for living and working together? In March 2020, Indian author Arundhati Roy described our current moment as “a portal, a gateway…

Studio Visit with James Gouldthorpe

An intimate virtual visit with visual artist and painter James Gouldthorpe. View and discuss the brand new body of work created by Gouldthorpe during these past eight months of shelter in place, and the new Coronavirus reality we share. The Covid Artifacts 2020 series of paintings has been a daily practice for Gouldthorpe, beginning after he arrived home from his first visit to the grocery store, and the ensuing efforts of tirelessly wiping down each purchased item, to rid it of any potential contamination. In the words of the artist, “…I began to consider our new world. What previous innocuous…