Radical 1970s Art Goes on Display in The Bronx

By Noelani Montero on June 21, 2013 8:04am 

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 Bronx Museum of Art hosts new exhibit. 
State of Mind: New California Art Circa 1970
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THE BRONX — A slice of California's countercultural art movement from the 1970s will go on display at the The Bronx Museum of the Arts this weekend.

"State of Mind: New California Art Circa 1970," opening June 23, explores the rise of conceptual art on the West Coast in the 1960s and '70s. As California became a haven for youth and social change, artists there began focusing more on the message of their work than on the finished product and also began creating performance and interactive art, the museum said.

"[The artists'] stories and the counterculture they developed in the '60s and '70s resonates with the cultural movement around the country and in The Bronx during this time,” Holly Block, the museum's director, said in a statement.

“It was a pivotal period in the genesis of contemporary art, and we’re excited to bring this incredible collection of work that emerged from California to the East Coast.”

The exhibit will feature 150 photographs, sculptures and films by 60 artists, including Chris Burden, Lynn Hershman, Linda Mary Montano, Martha Rosler, Allen Ruppersberg and Ed Ruscha.

Exhibition highlights include photos and artifacts from Ruppersberg's "Al's Grand Hotel," a 1971 interactive installation on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles that allowed visitors to rent outlandishly designed rooms.

And in "Representational Painting," a 1971 video by Eleanor Antin, the feminist artist treats the camera as a mirror as she transforms herself with paint and makeup. 

The exhibit is part of The Getty Foundation's series "Pacific Standard Time," which was designed to embody the era's radical ideas and art forms.

The Bronx Museum of the Arts will host a free open house at 2:30 p.m. Sunday to mark the exhibit's launch. "State of Mind" will run through Sept. 8.

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