Forthcoming Exhibitions - Santa Monica Museum of Art

Saturday, April 28, 2007
INCOGNITO: Exhibition and Art Sale

Saturday, April 28, 2007 marks the date of the third annual INCOGNITO exhibition and art sale to benefit Santa Monica Museum of Art, a local contemporary art museum with global reach. INCOGNITO features works created by contemporary artists in an identical 8 x 10 inch format, signed on the back. All works are for sale for $250. Only after purchase are artist identities revealed. To view the names of the artists participating in INCOGNITO 2005, please go to the Exhibition Archives section at

May 19 - August 11, 2007
Identity Theft:
Eleanor Antin, Lynn Hershman, and Suzy Lake, 1972-78
Guest curator Jori Finkel

Opening Reception: Friday, May 18, 7 - 9 p.m.

Sometimes it seems like Cindy Sherman invented role-playing in contemporary art. But before she started her landmark Untitled Film Stills in 1977, other artists were already dressing up and acting out for performance, video, and, yes, photography. This exhibition is the first to focus on three of these artists - Lynn Hershman, Eleanor Antin, and Suzy Lake - who pursued some of the most dramatic self-transformations imaginable. In San Francisco, Hershman donned a wig to create an alter ego named Roberta Breitmore, a fictional character who grew so real over the years that she acquired her own driver’s license, apartment, and romantic encounters. In Southern California, Antin gave birth to three \"selves,\" including a king who reigned over the streets of Solana Beach and a flirtatious nurse who fell in with some hijackers. In Montreal, Lake posed as a sultry model for one series of photographs and, in a clear case of identity theft, assumed her friends’ facial features for another. In different ways, all three artists challenged fixed notions of identity and femininity. They also used the truth-telling power of photography to realize their fictions - both anticipating the digital manipulation of images and paving the way for conceptual artists to come, from Cindy Sherman to Nikki Lee.

September 8 - December 15, 2007
William Pope.L:
Art After White People: Time, Trees, & Celluloid...

Opening reception: Friday, September 7, 7 - 9 p.m.

From September 15 through December 15, 2007, the Santa Monica Museum of Art will present William Pope.L: Art After White People: Time, Trees, & Celluloid..., a new conceptual video and large-scale installation created by the artist especially for the museum. The video portion of the work, entitled A Personal History of Videography, is a formally constructed cinematic performance about performance in a video about video. The large-scale installation, Garden of Earthly Delight, investigates the social, psychological and environmental consequences of the artistic act. Pope.L will construct an interior garden of potted palm trees, which he will then hand-paint and power spray completely black. With its investigation of themes of time, theater, creation and destruction Art After White People broadens Pope.L\'s artistic inquiries and expands the formal language of his oeuvre. This is the first West Coast museum show by the ironically self-dubbed \"friendliest black artist in America\" whose work has continually challenged and confronted constructions of race with dark humor and biting critique throughout his 20-year career. Pope.L has consistently worked on the edge of the art world, often literally integrating his vision into the physical fabric of our urban environments with his rich range of media including performances, installations, web casts, and writing. His work can be uncomfortable, confrontational and abject, but it is also human, humorous, and witty—often addressing Afrocentrism as much as the white American power structure. Pope.L teaches Theatre and Rhetoric at Bates College in Maine.

September 8 - December 15, 2007
Project Room II
Loren E. Holland: Black Magic Woman

Opening reception: Friday, September 7, 7 - 9 p.m.

Los Angeles-based artist Lauren E. Holland will create the site-specific installation Black Magic Woman for the Santa Monica Museum of Art. The artist uses highly allegorical, yet hauntingly beautiful, intriguing and disturbing imagery to explore key themes of creativity and resourcefulness of African-American women, and issues of cultural misconception. For Project Room II, Holland will construct a painting-based work that suggests the structure of a shallow-relief stage set consisting of the backdrop of a large oil on paper mural in front of which there will be numerous smaller freestanding sections. An elegantly presented marriage of opposites, the work is replete with an abundance of seductive and also repulsive images, and possesses the eerie, uncanny quality of nineteenth century gothic ghost stories. With its title inspired by the Santana song of the same name, Black Magic Woman references the formal constructs of the theatre, as well as themes of class, racial stereotyping, consumerism, death, and decay—all of which complement the William Pope.L installation that will be on view concurrently in the Main Gallery. Holland has participated in numerous group exhibitions and her work is in many private collections. A frequent recipient of awards for artistic distinction, she is a recent graduate of the Yale University School of Fine Art. Black Magic Woman is Holland’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles.

January 12 - April 12, 2008
Michael Asher

Opening Reception: Friday, January 11, 7 - 9 p.m.

Michael Asher’s monumental, site-specific installation for the Santa Monica Museum of Art references the complete exhibition history of the museum since its move to Bergamot Station in 1998. One of the most important conceptual artists of our time, Asher explores how the institutional practices of museums and galleries affect the perceptions and understanding of art. In this exhibition, Asher continues his investigation of the ways that the environment of cultural institutions influences the art experience. Asher’s work has been shown throughout the world in such distinguished venues as the Kunstverein Hamburg, Centre Georges Pompidou, Musée National d’Art Moderne, and ARC, Paris, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and The Art Institute of Chicago. He is a member of the School of Art Faculty at CalArts, in California.

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