In the paintings, drawings and prints in the exhibition You Are Here, drawn from the ASU Art Museum’s permanent collection, artists explore the ways that we map, mark or claim the land. Anchored by a historic Dutch engraving of a walled city, most of the works begin in the late 1970s and reflect the strength of the Museum’s collection.
Dennis Oppenheim’s four lithographs from the Earth Works series diagram projects sculpting the earth. William T. Wiley’s painting on raw canvas appears to be giant doodles from a distance, but on closer examination prove to be a map of Australia and records of the artist’s travels and memories of the land, people, animals and culture. Al Souza layers a weather map, an illustration from a 1950s text book of swimmers, and Japanese instructions on how to use a Western toilet in his painting Mainstreams from 1988. Mark Klett revisits iconic Western sites, like Artist’s Point in Yellowstone, and photographs or re-photographs these views that were originally captured by artists in the 19th century. In the case of Artist’s Point, Klett photographs the view while holding an art history text book showing Thomas Moran’s famous 1871 painting of the exact site.
Finally, the title of the exhibition comes from a series of lithographs by Mexican American artist Enrique Chagoya. Using a variety of images, from a recognizable yet manipulated map of the U.S. to a cluster of geometric shapes, Chagoya explores the social and political implications of our need to conquer the land through maps and images.