Helen Pashgian , Untitled, 1968-1969, cast polyester resin, overall dimensions: 8 in. diameter, Museum purchase, International Contemporary Collectors Fund. © Helen Pashgian. Photo by Philipp Scholz Rittermann.

From September 25, 2011 to January 22, 2012 – The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego

Phenomenal is the most ambitious exhibition in both size and scope yet undertaken by MCASD. It will occupy the majority of the Museum’s galleries in La Jolla and downtown.

While September 25 marks the official opening of Phenomenal: California Light, Space, Surface, the Museum will install and open downtown galleries throughout the summer months, allowing visitors to partially view the exhibition, see select installations in progress, and hear from the artists, curators, and preparators. This is one of the ways MCASD is aiming to bring the Museum and installation process closer to our members and visitors, providing a rich and engaging experience.

Phenomenal: California Light, Space, Surface takes an in-depth look at work by 13 artists whose perceptual investigations and innovative use of industrial materials helped define an era of art making in Southern California during the 1960s and 1970s.

Peter Alexander , Orange Wedge, 1970, cast resin, overall dimensions: 95 1/2 x 4 x 4 in., Collection Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Museum purchase. © Peter Alexander. Photo by Philipp Scholz Rittermann.

hether by directing the flow of natural light, embedding artificial light within objects or architecture, or playing with light through the use of reflective or translucent materials, these artists each created situations capable of stimulating heightened awareness in the viewer.

The artists featured in Phenomenal are Peter Alexander, Larry Bell, Ron Cooper, Mary Corse, Robert Irwin, Craig Kauffman, John McCracken, Bruce Nauman, Eric Orr, Helen Pashgian, James Turrell, De Wain Valentine, and Doug Wheeler.

The La Jolla installation of Phenomenal will include important early and transitional works by Larry Bell and Doug Wheeler, as well as immersive environments by Bruce Nauman and Eric Orr. The properties of resin as a material that can capture, reflect, and refract both light and color is demonstrated with exceptional pieces by Peter Alexander, Ron Cooper, John McCracken, Helen Pashgian, and De Wain Valentine.

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