This exhibition includes sculptures, paintings, and immersive and experiential installations by a loose-knit group of artists working in Southern California from the 1960s to the present. The renowned “Light and Space” and “Finish Fetish” artists are united by an interest in manipulating the medium of light, projected or reflected, to alter the perception of form, architectural space, and surface qualities.

Going beyond the tradition of representing light through paint or photography, artists like Robert Irwin, James Turrell, and Doug Wheeler create installations in which the actual light takes a form that seems to exist between presence and absence, providing a means of entering a mysterious immaterial world. In works by these and other artists—including Peter Alexander, Larry Bell, Billy Al Bengston, Judy Chicago, Gisela Colón, Ron Cooper, Mary Corse, Ronald Davis, Guy Dill, Laddie John Dill, Fred Eversley, Craig Kauffman, John McCracken, Bruce Nauman, Helen Pashgian, Roland Reiss, Roy Thurston, De Wain Valentine, and Norman Zammitt—industrial materials such as cast resins, fiberglass, neon fixtures, and sprayed paint minimize the touch of the artist’s hand. They link art and technology in a cool aesthetic that echoes the emotional detachment of pop art and minimalism of the 1960s and 1970s. Their glossy surfaces and intense light are often thought of as characteristic of Southern California’s identity, with its car and surfboard culture and bright oceanside environment, though the artists in fact drew on many different experiences in developing their practices.

Organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art


Presented in part by




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