In 1962, Adeliza McHugh opened the Candy Store Gallery in a modest house in Folsom, just outside Sacramento, California. She was among the first to display and sell the avant-garde artistic style that came to be known as “Funk,” along with the lesser-known corollary, “Nut.” The two rooms of the gallery featured works by makers who would become nationally and internationally significant, among them Robert Arneson, Luis Cruz Azaceta, Clayton Bailey, Roy De Forest, Luis Jiménez, Gladys Nilsson, Jim Nutt, Maija Gegeris Zack, and Joseph Yoakum.
Over its 30-year history, the Candy Store Gallery became a beloved destination for art shopping, socializing, and interacting with artists. Held on what would be the 60th anniversary of the gallery’s founding, The Candy Store: Funk, Nut, and Other Art with a Kick highlights not only a gallery, a trailblazing gallerist, and an esteemed group of artists, but an entire community.
There were, of course, visitors offended by the unrefined and frequently ribald art the gallery featured, much of which was not intended to be easy to like. Some who came seeking candy left hastily. Other naysayers became clients, the legendary gallerist persuading them that good art should make them uncomfortable — at least at first.
“People seem to be drawn to clever artists,” McHugh sighed. “Work they can understand, the tried and the true. Left alone they buy art that has no sex, no violence, no politics, no nothing. Kool-Aid art. If I’m going to drink, I want wine; and if I’m going to look at art, it’s got to have a kick.”
The Candy Store is on view through May 1, 2022, at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, California.
To learn more, visit crockerart.org.
Special Edition: 🖌️Artists’ Signatures ✍️
In this special edition, we investigate what artists’ signatures actually mean, and the fascinating results reveal the multifaceted history of this curious phenomenon.
What Is a Signature in the Internet Age?
As a cryptographic unit for record-keeping, an NFT can be seen as analogous to a signature or an autograph.
The Public Theater Explores the Hurricane Katrina Diaspora in shadow/land
Written by Erika Dickerson-Despenza and directed by Candis C. Jones, this lyrical meditation on legacy, erotic fugitivity, and self-determination is on view in NYC.
The Meaning of Ancient Greek and Roman Artisan Signatures
What did a signature mean in the ancient world, and how much can we trust what they seem to tell us?
Michelangelo’s Signature and the Myth of Genius
Michelangelo served as a stellar example for future artists who sought status and economic independence.
The Rubin Museum Presents Death Is Not the End
Tibetan Buddhist and Christian works of art made across 12 centuries explore death, the afterlife, and the desire to continue to exist. On view in NYC.
Uncovering the Photographer Behind Arshile Gorky’s Most Famous Painting
As we pursue photographer Hovhannes Avedaghayan a fascinating picture begins to emerge of him and the world of which he was part.
100 Years of Artist Signatures in a Detroit Club
The beams in Detroit’s Scarab Club act as a guest book of sorts, carrying a wealth of stories and history, including signatures by Diego Rivera, Marcel Duchamp, Margaret Bourke-White, Isamu Noguchi, and others.
When I Am Empty Please Dispose of Me Properly
Ayanna Dozier, Ilana Harris-Babou, Meena Hasan, Lucia Hierro, Catherine Opie, Chuck Ramirez, and Pacifico Silano explore the myths of the American Dream at Brooklyn’s BRIC House.
The Myth of Agency Around Artists’ Signatures
In an art world built on shifting sands, artists’ signatures become symbols of agency for some, and relics of the past for others.
The Women Artists Commemorated on an NYC Sidewalk
The signatures of Rosa Bonheur, Mary Cassatt, and six other historical women artists are engraved on a small stretch of sidewalk on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
Pratt’s 2023 Fine Arts MFA Thesis Exhibition Is On View in Brooklyn
The two-part exhibition features the work of 41 graduating artists across disciplines, including painting, sculpture, printmaking, and integrated practices.
Met Museum Repatriates 15 Objects to India
The sculptures were all at one point sold by the disgraced art dealer Subhash Kapoor.
Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova Placed on Russian “Wanted” List
Tolokonnikova has long been a thorn in the side of Vladimir Putin’s regime.