Published: January 23, 2017
PASADENA, CALIF. – “In the Land of Sunshine: Imaging the California Coast Culture,” on view at the Pasadena Museum of California Art through February 19, assembles approximately 90 paintings inspired by the stunning vistas, lifestyles and industries existing along the 840 miles of California coastline. Spanning the mid-1800s to the present day, the oils, acrylics and watercolors here represent the diversity of California’s artistic style as well as the surfers, sailors, sport fisherman and residents who have settled in the beaches, harbors, cities and ranches that dot the coast.
Borrowing its name from Land of Sunshine, a Los Angeles periodical published from 1894 through 1923 that portrayed a potent and alluring illustration of the Pacific Coast, the exhibition presents distinct epochs and cultures experienced by centuries of California artists as distilled through their artistic visions. With a broad focus on beach culture, the paintings trace the formal and historical developments occurring within the state.
Moving from early representational views of an idealized West to Duncan Gleason’s traditional fundamentals of beauty and Alson S. Clark’s Impressionistic scenes of the shoreline, the exhibition segues to Phil Dike’s playful abstractions and Roger Kuntz’s captivating oscillation from representational to abstract. The exhibition closes with contemporary work, including the vibrantly expressive watercolors of Keith Crown and the psychedelic surrealism of Rick Griffin. Curated by accomplished California historian, writer, and curator Gordon McClelland, the exhibition examines artists’ visual responses to the ever-changing look and mood of the Pacific Coast’s communities.
The Pasadena Museum of California Art is at 490 East Union Street. For more information, www.pmcaonline.org or 626-568-3665.
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