LOS ANGELES — For Helen Pashgian, art exists at the intersection of the material and immaterial. Her use of industrial materials, such as acrylic, epoxy, resin, and metal, combined with complex fabrication processes serve to make the presence of light a substance unto itself.
LOS ANGELES — As a primary member of the Light and Space movement of the 1960’s, Helen Pashgian played a pivotal role in establishing the legitimacy of California art in the second half of the 20th century. However, being one of the only women in LA’s macho art scene of the era, her work was often overshadowed. An exhibition of new sculptures at Ace Gallery Beverly Hills, as well as her inclusion in a recent encyclopaedic Pacific Standard Time show, aims to set the record straight.
Earlier this week I posted a review of MCASD’s current show Phenomenal: California Light, Space, Surface. Reading this, you might have thought, “Cool! Perceptual deprivation! Now I’ll know what it was like doing LSD in the 1960s and 1970s without worrying about passing a drug test at work!” Which is all well and good. But you also might have wondered, beyond the entertainment factor, why should you care. What exactly is the Light and Space movement and why is it important?
Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is now two-for-two this spring in Southern California museum collector’s committee acquisitions, with the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego announcing Thursday the addition of his “Marble Chair” (2010) to their permanent collection through their annual acquisitions drive. This comes on the heels of the high profile event held less than a month ago at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, where big donors moved to add Ai’s “Untitled (Divine Proportion)” (2006) for a reported $400,000. Along with Ai Weiwei’s “Marble Chair” (2010), MCASD also scooped up a piece from Sam Gilliam’s colorfully suspended Dance Me, Dance You 2 series (2009) as well as a sleek, translucent sphere by artist Helen Pashgian, a pioneer of Southern California’s Light and Space movement.