The Pasadena Museum of California Art is proud to present June Wayne: Paintings, Prints, and Tapestries, an exhibition that surveys the artist’s seventy-five years of breathtaking accomplishment. Although June Wayne is best known for single-handedly revitalizing printmaking in the United States through the founding of the Tamarind Lithographic Institute, her artistic interests and contributions were extraordinarily varied. This exhibition charts the high points of the artist’s pioneering oeuvre, featuring works from each of her major periods starting with her early Works Progress Administration social realist paintings to her most popular—and groundbreaking—body of work, The Dorothy Series, through her last pieces, which incorporated photography and collage.
Often described as a prodigy, June Wayne was born in Chicago in 1918 and mounted her first exhibition at 17, which included a series of abstractions comprised of pointillist dots. Although she later described the paintings as “execrable,” these works marked the start of her career, attracting the attention of two representatives of the Mexican government who invited her to create and install an exhibition in the Ministry of Public Education in their country.
In addition to this time in Mexico, Wayne also worked in Paris, New York, and Los Angeles and counted poets, movie stars, and rocket scientists as friends, often mining their research and conversation to fuel her own work. She responded to the writings of Franz Kafka and John Donne with a series of lithographs and created prints and paintings based on the genetic code and space exploration. Wayne, a feminist, also led an innovative workshop for women artists, which was dubbed by the participants “Joan of Art.” Although she had wide-ranging interests and inspirations, Wayne was consistently fascinated by perception and ambiguity throughout her body of work. June Wayne: Paintings, Prints, and Tapestries features over 80 paintings, prints, drawings, and tapestries as well three videos, including a short compilation of the artist speaking about her life and art.
The exhibition is organized by the Pasadena Museum of California Art and co-curated by Betty Ann Brown and Jay Belloli. Brown is an art historian, critic, and curator who has published widely on contemporary art. Her most recent book, based on years of interviews with the artist, is Afternoons with June: Stories of June Wayne’s Art & Life (Midmarch Art Press, 2012). Belloli is a contemporary curator with over 40 years of experience, particularly in art from Southern California. Both curators were personal friends of June Wayne.
June Wayne: Paintings, Prints, and Tapestries is accompanied by a catalogue which includes two essays by the curators, one on Wayne’s body of work through Tamarind Lithographic Institute; the second on her work in tapestry, her deep exploration of science, and her unorthodox approach in her later paintings and an introduction by artist-educator Ruth Weisberg.
Saturday, May 3, 2014
Free for PMCA members