California brings together John Baldessari, Sam Durant, Richard Jackson, Paul McCarthy, Mike Kelley, Raymond Pettibon, Sterling Ruby, Jason Rhoades, Ed Ruscha, and Jim Shaw.
California seeks to draw a red line through a collection of works that take the city of Los Angeles and its often entropic character as their point of departure. The city itself carries multiple connotations that delineate the practices of the artists in California. As a ‘last frontier’ of the American Dream, California’s relationship to both film and popular culture has always been conspicuously undermined by its urban sprawl; its myth of prosperity juxtaposed by its barren post-industrial landscape and loss of individualism underscore much of the sentiments found in works by the likes of Ed Ruscha and Jason Rhoades. Indeed, it is the Southern Californian relationship to consumerism and the subsequent derision which accompanies this, that seems to be most abundantly present in the general scope of the paintings, sculptures, photographs and drawings in the exhibition.