David Lamelas: A Life of Their Own

September 17 – December 10, 2017

The University Art Museum (UAM) at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) is pleased to present David Lamelas: A Life of Their Own, the first US monographic exhibition of the Argentine-born pioneer of conceptual art, on view September 17 – December 10, 2017. The exhibition reframes customary narratives about conceptual art-makers and their practices in the late 20th and early 21st century, taking cues from Lamelas’s creative adaptability to place and circumstance.

With works spanning the mid 1960s to the present, the exhibition includes early sculptures; situational and conceptual artworks realized in Europe in the late 1960s and early 70s; experimental narrative photo-sequences; and film and video work, including video works from his decades-long collaboration with Los Angeles-based artist, Hildegarde Duane.

The exhibition is organized by the UAM and Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires (MALBA) as part of the Getty’s initiative Pacific Standard Time LA/LA. It is co-curated by UAM curator Kristina Newhouse and Maria Jose Herrera, director of El Museo de Arte Tigre in Argentina.

David Lamelas: A Life of Their Own is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, co-published with Getty Publications, with contributions by Alexander Alberro, Valeria González, Maria José Herrera, Inés Katzenstein, Kristina Newhouse, Daniel Quiles, Catha Paquette, Joy Sleeman, and Ian White. Also included is a recently rediscovered interview, “Adolfo Bioy Casares, Germán Gullón, David Lamelas, and Bartomeu Mari in Conversation, Instituto Cervantes, Rotterdam, Netherlands, May 14, 1997.” To purchase, email: Debi.Scroggins@csulb.edu

A dynamic set of related programming will augment the exhibition, including film screenings, exhibition walk-throughs, artist talks, and live performances. Programs take place at the University Art Museum unless otherwise noted. All programming is free and open to the public.

See press release.


Born in Buenos Aires in 1946, Lamelas studied at the Academia Nacional de Bellas Artes (National Fine Arts Academy) in Buenos Aires. He became a leader of the emerging vanguard art movement that arose from the Instituto Torcuato di Tella, winning its Jury Special Award Prize in 1966. In 1967, Lamelas represented Argentina in the IX Bienal de São Paulo, taking home the Sculpture Prize for his installation Dos espacios modificados (Two Modified Spaces, 1967). Di Tella director Jorge Romero Brest recommended Lamelas for the prestigious art program at Saint Martin's School of Art, London in 1968, where the young artist studied with Anthony Caro.

Lamelas was included in the important 1968 group exhibition of Latin American art, Beyond Geometry: An Extension of Visual-Artistic Language in Our Time, curated by Brest and co-organized by the Center for Inter-American Relations in New York. In 1969, he participated in landmark exhibitions of conceptualism in Düsseldorf, Prospect 68 and 69, and Konception/Conception. In 1970, his film, Time as Activity (Düsseldorf) (1969) was included in Information, curated by Kynaston McShine at the Museum of Modern Art.

In the late 1970s/early 80s, Lamelas participated in the Long Beach Museum of Art’s influential video arts program, and his ongoing conceptual practice influenced an emerging circle of LA artists.  His quintessential California “road trip” film, The Desert People (1974) was secured in 2016 by the Hammer Museum as part of their Contemporary Collections series. Presently, Lamelas’s three-channel live digital video, Time as Activity: Live Athens–Berlin (2017) is on view at the Kassel-Wilhelmshöhe train station for documenta 14.


Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA is a far‐reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles taking place from September 2017 through January 2018. Led by the Getty, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA is a collaboration of arts institutions across Southern California. Through a series of thematically linked exhibitions and programs, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA highlights different aspects of Latin American and Latino art from the ancient world to the present day. With topics such as luxury arts in the pre‐Columbian Americas, 20th century Afro‐Brazilian art, alternative spaces in Mexico City, and boundary‐crossing practices of Latino artists, exhibitions range from monographic studies of individual artists to broad surveys that cut across numerous countries.

Initiated through $16 million in grants from the Getty Foundation, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA involves more than 70 cultural institutions from Los Angeles to Palm Springs, and from San Diego to Santa Barbara. Pacific Standard Time is an initiative of the Getty. The presenting sponsor is Bank of America.

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