This summer marked the 50th anniversary of the Watts Rebellion in Los Angeles. Amid a current day backdrop of protests and uprisings resulting from police brutality and socio-political unrest, art has played a unique role in expressing pain and trauma in times when words are lost or insufficient. Art is also a galvanizing force that has the power to shape the cultural narrative while inspiring action. This summer, Los Angeles featured numerous exhibitions and pop up shows that provided historical and current day commentary on the dynamics behind inequality and social upheaval.
Manifest: Justice examined institutional bias that impacts our public schools and the judicial system in a 10 day pop-up exhibition that featured art from over 180 artists in addition to job clinics, symposiums, legal counseling and political action workshops. The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) featured Kahlil Joseph's m.A.A.d; a visually stunning video installation that explored Compton 20 years after the riots through flashes of imagery used as a backdrop to music by Kendrick Lamar's "Good Kid m.A.A.d City".
TONDI's first virtual exhibition Burn Baby Burn will take you into the work of Mark Bradford and Noah Purifoy who were each given large scale retrospectives at the Hammer and LACMA this summer. The virtual exhibition is anchored by two essays that probe into specific works found in each exhibit. In Scorched Earth we examine how Mark Bradford uses his artistic process to excavate meaning from the past and how trauma impacts the body (both in physical and political forms). Noah Purifoy's Junk Dada at LACMA shares how the Watts Riots became a pivotal moment which altered the career of the artist.
This digital exhibit will also highlight other artists that have used their work to express and convey emotion with a symbolic power that speaks volumes.
This post is an archive of content related to TONDI's first virtual exhibition. We will start with a review of Mark Bradford's Scorched Earth. Future posts related to Burn Baby Burn will be linked here in addition to being featured on the main site. Please subscribe to Tondi's mailing list for up to date additions to this exhibition and future posts. Please be sure to check out the Gallery of art featured on the site as well.
Thanks for stopping by and please let me know what you think of the virtual show. Welcome to the circle!