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UAM Exhibit Opens Sept. 10

Published: August 15, 2011

The Getty Foundation in Los Angeles has awarded grants to the University Art Museum (UAM) at CSULB, the Long Beach Museum of Art and the Museum of Latin American Art as part of its regional initiative, Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980, the largest collaborative art project ever undertaken in Southern California.

The UAM, in collaboration with the Center for the Study of Political Graphics (CSPG), will mount “Peace Press Graphics 1967–1987: Art in the Pursuit of Social Change,” a survey of the press’ work and their connections to artist collectives of the time. The exhibit opens Sept. 10 and runs through Dec. 11 at the UAM.

Founded in 1967 by a unique group of L.A. activist-artists who created an “alternate everything” printing and publishing business, the Peace Press (1967-87) emerged from the tangle of progressive political and alternative groups that flourished during the decades between 1960 and 1990. The poster archive, now housed at the CSPG in Los Angeles, exemplifies an important element of visual and cultural history: art that reflects the desire and intention to create social and political change, as well as artists who attempt to affect change through both their work and their actions.

“This is an unprecedented moment in Southern California art history. This series of PST exhibitions, collaborations and programs will provide curators and scholars alike an amazing opportunity to showcase and highlight the groundbreaking and innovative work that has been made here on the West coast for decades but doesn’t always get the critical attention it rightly deserves. As a small museum, we are honored to be a part of this initiative and have the chance to add to this rich and meaningful history,” said Chris Scoates, director of the University Art Museum at CSULB.

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The exhibition is co-curated by UAM Associate Director Ilee Kaplan and Executive Director of the CSPG Carol Wells, and will feature more than 100 posters from the press’ archive and private collections. The posters address issues such as feminism, workers’ rights, civil liberties, anti-nuclear protests, environmental concerns, and anti-war demonstrations by artists who worked with the press, including Robert Crumb, Rupert Garcia, Harry Fonseca, Sheila Levrant de Brettville and Skip Williamson.

In addition, a historical timeline, poetry and spoken word performances, film clips interspersed in the galleries, and a separate film screening series will accompany the artworks to offer audiences a unique opportunity to understand the art of political protest within its larger cultural milieu.

The Getty Foundation provides support to institutions and individuals committed to advancing the understanding and preservation of the visual arts locally and throughout the world. Through strategic grants and programs, the Los Angeles-based Foundation strengthens art history as a global discipline, increases access to collections, promotes the interdisciplinary practice of conservation, and develops current and future leaders in the visual arts. The foundation fulfills the philanthropic mission of the J. Paul Getty Trust, an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts.