B.A.T. State III: Women Artists in Conversation with El Nopal Press
September 9 - November 14, 2019
Guest curated by Anita Bunn and Francesco X. Siqueiros
B.A.T. State III was a group exhibition co-curated by Anita Bunn and Francesco X. Siqueiros. In printmaking, the French phrase Bon à Tirer (good to go) refers to the final trial proof that an artist approves before the master printer begins production. The artist gives this approval by initialing the proof with “B.A.T.” and signing it. In B.A.T. State III, prints by 37 women artists are featured, produced over a span of 30 years at Siqueiros’s El Nopal Press in downtown Los Angeles.
Drawn to El Nopal Press by Siqueiros’s technical expertise and collaborative spirit, artists are encouraged to experiment. The results can be seen the vibrant mix of lithographs, relief prints, and monoprints on view at Kleefeld Contemporary.
This presentation is a third, expanded iteration of B.A.T. Bunn, who had collaborated with Siqueiros to produce an edition of lithographs for a 2011 exhibition, was intrigued by the number of women artists with whom he had worked. In 2013, she proposed the first B.A.T., which she curated at Offramp Gallery in 2013. This show received much acclaim and was heralded as a “feminist tour de force” by Artillery magazine.
Lisa Adams, Judith F. Baca, Judie Bamber, Marietta Bernstorff, Susan Bolles, Mariana Botey, Anita Bunn, Carolyn Castaño, Yreina D. Cervántez, Emily Cheng, Chelsea Dean, Sandra de la Loza, Pia Elizondo, Yanieb Fabre, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, Elsa Flores, Diane Gamboa, Silvia Gruner, Sherin Guirguis, Shirley Jaffe, Annie Lapin, Laurie Lipton, Dominique Liquois, Mara Lonner, Rocío Maldonado, Rebecca Morales, Ruby Osorio, Renée Petropoulos, Daniela Rossell, Analia Saban, Susan Silton, Linda Stark, Marika Echachis Swan, Laureana Toledo, Alison Walker, Marion Wesson, and Liat Yossifor
About the Curators:
Francesco X. Siqueiros has been an artist active in the Los Angeles art scene since the mid-1980s, establishing himself as a master printer at Cirrus Editions. During a trip to visit colleagues in Mexico City, he was struck by the level of artistic collaboration and genuine communication between artists. It prompted him to propose an artistic exchange between artists in Los Angeles and Mexico, that resulted directly in the 1990 exhibition, Aquí y Allá (Here and Over There) at Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, which he co-curated with Gabriela Cortines. Siqueiros received a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation in 1993, which allowed him to dedicate more time to El Nopal Press to facilitate conversation between the two nations. Since that time, the conceptual focus of El Nopal has remained to underline the heterogeneity of cultural production and question the hegemony the current dominant cultural perspectives. Siqueiros’s own work as a painter and printmaker has been exhibited in galleries and museums in the United States, Mexico, and Paris, among other locations.
Anita Bunn has made Los Angeles her home for more than 30 years. She received her BFA from Art Center College of Design in 1990 and her MFA from Claremont Graduate University in 2007. Bunn is an artist and adjunct instructor of photography at several colleges and universities. She has exhibited in solo shows and group exhibitions both nationally and internationally, and has developed several local curatorial projects. Her artwork is in many public and private collections, including the Wallace Annenberg Department of Photography at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Capital Group, Los Angeles.
Installation view of B.A.T. State III: Women Artists in Conversation with El Nopal Press, on view from September 8 - November 14, 2019. Photo by Matt Fukushima, Courtesy the Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld Contemporary Art Museum.
Carolyn Castaño series, (left to right) Untitled (Drug Lord and Patron), 2010, ed 14/37; Untitled (of Nation and Fútbol), 2011, ed. 14/42, Untitled (Drug Lord and Patron), 2010, ed. 32/37, Untitled (of Nation and Fútbol), 2011, ed. 23/42. Monoprints. All courtesy of the artist, El Nopal Press, and Walter Maciel Gallery.