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Places of Validation, Art & Progression

This CAAM curated exhibition utilizes a range of imagery to explore Los Angeles' parallel universe of places and people that served to validate and further the progression of African American art between 1940-1980. Photographs from personal albums and institutional collections represent historical documentation of places and events, personal relationships and interactions. Others joined in, but ultimately, the community and the artist themselves proved to be the best source for "self-validation" in places such as Golden State Mutual Life Insurance, Studio Watts Workshop, Watts Tower Art Center, Watts Summer Festival, Brockman Gallery, Gallery 32, Pearl C. Woods Gallery, St. Elmo's Village, The Museum of African American Art, and many others. There were hundreds of working Black artists during this time period in Los Angeles. a sampling of the surnames in our exhibition include: Barthe, Beasley, the Davis brothers, Dickson, Jackson, LaRue Johnson, Hammons, Hassinger, Lane, Lewis, Mills, Outterbridge, Purifoy, Pinkney, Riddle, Saar, Sims, Waddy, Washington, Westmoreland, White, Woodard, Wyatt and others. Places of Validation, Art & Progession has been made possible by a major grant from the Getty Foundation. Presenting sponsors The Getty and Bank of America.

Photo Gallery - Photography by Gene Ogami

The Door (Admissions Office)
David Hammons, b. 1943
African American active in California and New York, USA

1969, Wood, acrylic sheet and pigment construction
79" H x 48" W x 15" D
Body ink print of boy with face against the glass portion of door designated as "Admissions Office".

Gift of the California African American Foundation; Collection of Friends, the Foundation of the California African American Museum.

Animal
Suzanne Fitzallen Jackson, b. 1944
African American active in California, USA

1974, Oil on canvas
80" x 80"
Large scale work of white bird resembling a crane and shadow of fox-like animal behind it. Spots of bright primary colors, blue, yellow and red, in work.

Gift of Joan D. Payne to the collection of the California African American Museum.

Energy
Timothy Washington, b. 1946
African American active in California, USA

1970, Mixed media
96" x 30" x 12"
Tall figure with removable pelvic plate revealing face of a baby; arms represented by wheels, head absent with large organic headdress.

CAAM Foundation Purchase, with funds provided by the City of Los Angeles, Cultural Affairs Department; collection of Friends, the Foundation of the California African American Museum.

Ethnic Heritage Series: California Crosswalk
John Wilfred Outterbridge, b. 1933
African American active in California, USA

1979, Metal, wire, cloth and other mixed media
28" H x 36" W x 72" D
Mixed media and steel assemblage.

CAAM Foundation Purchase, with funds provided by the City of Los Angeles, Cultural Affairs Department; Collection of Friends, the Foundation of the California African American Museum.

Freedom Now
Charles Wilbert White, 1918-1979
African American active in California, USA

1966-67
Oil on canvas
40.5" H x 50.25" W

Gift of the Director Arts Circle; Collection of Friends, the Foundation of the California African American Museum.

Untitled (vase)
Doyle Lane, 1925 - 2002
African American active in California, USA

Early to mid 1960s
Ceramic and glaze
6" H x 5" diameter
Teardrop shaped pot with red/orange spotty glaze.

California Afro-American Museum Foundation purchase; Collection of Friends, the Foundation of the California African American Museum.

The Face of JuJu/Bay Study
Rozzell Sykes, 1931 - 1994
African American active in California, USA

1963
Impasto acrylics on railroad board
41" x 31"
Portrait painted on found railroad board with heavy crackling.

Gift of S. and W. White; Collection of Friends, the Foundation of the California African American Museum.

My Miss America
Ernie Barnes, b. 1938
African American active in California, USA

c. 1970
Oil on canvas
49" x 37"
Robust woman carrying two large brown bags.

Gift of Mr. & Mrs. Ron Meyer; Collection of Friends, the Foundation of the California African American Museum.

Sambo's Banjo
Betye Saar, b. 1926
African American active in California, USA

1971-1972, Wood, cloth, paint, mirror, plastic objects, transparency
41" x 14.5" x 4.5"
Image of Sambo figure on cover of banjo case, wooden toy Sambo figure inside along with plastic rifle, mirror, transparency of male banjo player and metal skeleton figure with colored photocopy of lynched man. Also included is a large slice of watermelon made of wood with seeds attached to it.

CAAM Foundation Purchase, with funds provided by the City of Los Angeles, Cultural Affairs Department; Collection of Friends, the Foundation of the California African American Museum.

Watts Riot
Noah Purifoy, 1917 - 2004
African American active in California, USA

1966, Mixed media assemblage
52" x 37"
Composed of actual burnt wood and other debris from the Watts Riots of 1965. Large abstract fields of color, primarily blues, greens, whites and ochre, with charred wood. Raised letters in center black field reads "SIGNS". Raised letters in round lower-left field reads "ALWAYS BE CAREFUL".

Bequest of Alfred C. Darby; Collection of Friends, the Foundation of the California African American Museum.

Untitled
Alonzo Joseph Davis, b. 1942
African American active in California and Tennessee, USA
Co-founder of the Brockman Gallery of Leimert Park Village with his brother Dale Davis.

ca 1975, Oil on canvas
49.5 x 41"
Altered version of United States flag with eight red & white vertical stripes, nine red & white horizontal stripes, with blue field depicting abstract white and black figures--on a black and white background split equally in half.

Gift of Frank and Ruth Drucker; Collection of Friends, the Foundation of the California African American Museum.

Doyle Lane making pottery at the Ankrum Gallery 1964. Photo by Watson Lee, Jr. [there are 56 additional pictures of Lane as taken by Mr. Lee]. All photographs were donated by Doyle Lane.

Exhibition Programs

Saturday, November 5, 2011, 2pm - Before the Rebellion: Before Brockman (Discussion)
Examining early artistic leaders like Beulah Woodard, Ruth Waddy, E.J. Montgomery and others who, before the riot, stirred and developed opportunities supporting the work of Black artists, laying the foundation for the development of Brockman and many other galleries.  RSVP (213) 744-2024.

Sunday, November 20, 2011, 2pm - Find Yourself Having Something to Say in Clay (Art Workshop)
You don't have to be a pro.  Come immerse your hands in clay and mold your veery own mini sculpture.  Gain inspiration from the sculpted art in Places of Validation, Art & Progression.  RSVP (213) 744-2024.

Saturday, December 3, 2011, 2pm - Being Validated by Gallery Owners (Art Panel Discussion)
A discussion with gallery owners about how the work of African American artists has been viewed and how the market place is progressing for African American artists going forward.  RSVP (213) 744-2024.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011, 7pm-9pm - Conversing with the Validators - Giving Birth to the California African American Museum (Discussion & Dessert)
Remembering the events that led up to the 1977 creation of the California African American Museum, and celebrating the many volunteers and founders who made our existence possible.  RSVP (213) 744-2024.