Lancaster’s Museum of Art and History (MOAH) opens its new dedicated space with “Smooth Operations: Substance and Surface in Southern California Art,” an exhibition looking at the use of new and untraditional materials in the fabrication of art objects. “Smooth Operations” will concentrate on the postwar years in and around Los Angeles, when experimentation with such unorthodox, even radical materials and qualities led to the emergence of movements such as “finish/fetish” and light-and-space. Among the artists whose work will comprise “Smooth Operations” are Peter Alexander, Larry Bell, DeWain Valentine, Ronald Davis, Craig Kauffman, Judy Chicago, Roland Reiss, VASA, Norman Zammitt, Fred Eversley, Jerome Mahoney, Lloyd Hamrol, Doug Edge, and Terry O’Shea. The work of several younger artists who investigate the qualities of synthetic materials, including Eric Johnson, Lisa Bartleson, Andy Moses, Alex Couwenberg, Ann Marie Rousseau, Ruth Pastine, Phillip K. Smith, Gisela Colon and Eric Zammitt, will augment the main part of the exhibition.
In effect, “Smooth Operations” will be the first post-Pacific Standard Time exhibition in southern California, opening only days after the official end of the Getty’s vast historic initiative but continuing in the spirit of that initiative. Like PST, “Smooth Operations” examines aspects of modernism in southern California and their implications for contemporary artistic practice and scholarship.