Los Angeles

Robert Irwin, Untitled, 1968, acrylic lacquer on shaped aluminum and metal tube, 60 x 60 x 20".

Robert Irwin, Untitled, 1968, acrylic lacquer on shaped aluminum and metal tube, 60 x 60 x 20".

Los Angeles

“Translucence: Southern California Art from the 1960s and 1970s”

Norton Simon Museum
411 West Colorado Boulevard
May 12–August 28, 2006

Curated by Michelle Deziel

“I would like to have some magical saw,” artist DeWain Valentine once remarked, “that would allow me to cut up large sections of the sky or sea.” Such fantasy reveals much of the spirit behind this show of twenty-three works by ten artists (including Valentine) who worked in Southern California in the ’60s and ’70s and—inspired by everything from hot-rod finishes and surfboard resin to Malibu sunsets—experimented with glass, Plexiglas, fiberglass, and cast plastics to make objects that mimick, capture, reflect, and toy with light and atmosphere. The show pinpoints a group that was simultaneously a subset of the finish-fetish crowd and the object-oriented kin of the Light and Space bunch, fusing a spit-polish literalism with airy illusionism and bastardizing stark Minimalist forms with a Pop Californian Romanticism.