FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
A solo exhibition by Lita Albuquerque
January 21 March 26, 2006
Reception to Meet the Artist: Saturday, January 21, from 6 to 8 p.m.
Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art
24255 Pacific Coast Highway, Malibu, CA 90263
(310) 506-4851 General information
(310) 506-7257 Museum staff
Contact, Brad White
Web site, http://www.pepperdine.edu/arts/museum
Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 11 A.M. - 5 P.M.; Closed Mondays
No admission fee
(l.) Lita Albuquerque, “Blue pigment sculpture, UNTITLED”, 2005, blue powdered pigment. Photo by Brian Forrest.
(c.) Lita Albuquerque, “Star Map, Rock Field”, 2005.
(r.) Lita Albuquerque, Jon Beasley, Chandler McWilliams, “Beekeeper,” 2005, digital video animation derived from unique software, dimensions variable.
Malibu, CA The Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art at Pepperdine University is pleased to present AOR, a solo exhibition of new works by Los Angeles artist Lita Albuquerque, on view from January 21 through March 26, 2006. This engaging exhibition consists of a multi-part, site-specific installation encompassing the entire space of the museum. This charged, visual environment features works in diverse media, ranging from the artist’s characteristic use of rocks and raw pigment to new explorations with digital imagery and premiere works in video. Highlights include an installation of projected videos and a massive wall drawing covering more than 1,300 square feet.
Albuquerque has made art that investigates connections between the earth and the cosmos since the 1970s when she participated in the California Light and Space Movement. She developed an international following by creating grand ephemeral works in the open landscape. The word “aor” comes from an Egyptian hieroglyphic meaning “magical light” or “electricity.” The idea explores the Hermetic axiom “As Above, So Below,” which traces the elemental and philosophical relationships between the terrestrial and the celestial.
There are three key components to AOR, each filling a separate gallery of the Weisman Museum. The largest piece, a monumental drawing with chalk and gold leaf measuring 24 feet high by 55 feet wide, fills the largest wall of the museum. This epic work maps the stars above the geographical South Pole. Rocks covered with powdered pigment (the artist’s signature image) align with the positions of the stars onto the surface below. The viewer is invited to contemplate whether the earth has been brought to the stars, or the stars to the earth.
The exhibition has its roots in Lita Albuquerque's earlier, lesser-known performative and collaborative works that employed large scale projections and imagery to produce a singular story. AOR is a visual narrative that references her past multimedia work including collaborations with Robert Kramer, Harold Budd, Joan La Barbara and Lesli Linka Glatter.
The videos Starkeeper and Beekeeper, created in collaboration with artists Jon Beasley and Chandler McWilliams, provide the key metaphor of the exhibition. These poetic images of guardians explore the interchangeability of light and matter and their relationship to life.
In another gallery, a group of portal-like red paintings bear images resembling solar flares or erupting magma. A companion series of vertical blue paintings titled Bowshock refers to an astronomical term describing the leading edge of density waves at the birth of stars. Together, these paintings underscore the powerful forces at work within the universe.
The various components of AOR explore themes of becoming and emerging. The exhibition reminds us that we are in a state of flux between the material and the immaterial.
Lita Albuquerque has been making and exhibiting art since the 1970s. Although born in Santa Monica, California, she was raised largely in Tunisia, North Africa, and Paris, France. She returned to Los Angeles in the early 1960s and received a B.A. in Art History from UCLA in 1968. In the 1970s and 1980s, she was a seminal part of the California Light and Space movement and a pioneer in Process Art, Environmental Art, and Earth Art, working with powdered pigments in large-scale, ephemeral works, often spreading raw color in formations in the natural environment, making interventions on national landmarks such as Red Pyramid in Washington, D.C., in 1980, or applying elemental, pure color and gold to the surface of paintings. In recent years, she completed Sol Star in Egypt, linking the Pyramids to the constellations directly above them. She is currently preparing for a global project at the North and South Poles. She is also a noted educator, having taught since 1975 at various institutions, including Otis Art Institute, the University of California at Santa Barbara and at Irvine, and, since 1987, as a professor on the core faculty at Art Center College of Design Fine Art Graduate Program. In addition, Albuquerque has undertaken major sculpture commissions, including projects for the California State Capitol East End Complex in Sacramento; the University of Tokyo Library; the Evo De Concini Courthouse in Tucson, Arizona; the Palos Verdes Central Library; the All Faiths Chapel at Chapman University; and the New Central Library in Minneapolis. In 2002, she completed Celestial Disk Fountain, the Gateway Pool at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles.
Family Art Day: Saturday, February 11, from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Works are on view at the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art in the Gregg G. Juarez Gallery, West Gallery, and Ron Wilson-Designer Gallery. Funding is provided by the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation.
IMAGES AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST
Senior Student Exhibition, April 13 April 29, 2006
Bible Lectures Exhibition, May 3 May 5, 2006
On Location in Malibu 2006: Paintings by the California Art Club, May 20 July 16