Juan Downey: Radiant Nature
Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE) and Pitzer College Art Galleries, September – December 2017.
LACE and Pitzer College Art Galleries will mount a two-part exhibition on the early performance-based works of Juan Downey (1940-1993). Born in Chile, Downey moved to Paris in the 1960s and later settled in Washington, D.C., and then New York, where he developed a practice that included sculpture, performance, installation, and video. Although Downey has become known for his multi-channel video works such as Video Trans Americas (1973–1976) and The Thinking Eye (1976–1977), which critique Eurocentric perspectives regarding Latin American identity, Juan Downey: Radiant Nature will consider his earlier artistic practice. Comprising interactive electronic sculptures, happenings and performances, as well as installation, these earlier bodies of work will be explored for their progressive trans-disciplinary investigation of technology, energy, the environment, and politics. These experimental and ephemeral works have in many cases not been seen since their original presentations and will be reconstructed and restaged based on groundbreaking new research.
Through a series of thematically linked exhibitions, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA will present a wide variety of important works of art, much of them new to Southern California audiences. While the majority of exhibitions will have an emphasis on modern and contemporary art, there also will be crucial exhibitions about the ancient world and the pre-modern era. With topics such as luxury objects in the pre-Columbian Americas, 20th-century Afro-Brazilian art, alternative spaces in Mexico City, and boundary-crossing practices of Latino artists, exhibitions will range from monographic studies of individual artists to broad surveys that cut across numerous countries.
While the exhibitions will focus on the visual arts, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA programs will ultimately expand to touch on music, performance, literature, and even cuisine. Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA will be a multifaceted event that will transform Los Angeles and Southern California for five months, and our understanding of modern and contemporary art forever.
Embracing organizations of all sizes and types — from the largest museums to smaller museums, from university galleries to performing arts centers — Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA exhibitions and programs will take place across Southern California, from Santa Barbara to San Diego, from Santa Monica to Palm Springs.
With its historical roots in Latin America and its current demographics, Los Angeles might be described as tomorrow’s capital city. In a way that is possible only in Los Angeles, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA will implicitly raise complex and provocative issues about present-day relations throughout the Americas and the rapidly changing social and cultural fabric of Southern California.
Each iteration of Pacific Standard focuses on a critical aspect of Southern California’s pivotal role in the history of art and architecture.