Translucence: Southern California Art from the 1960s & 1970s

The Norton Simon Museum presents a visually stunning exhibition investigating the extraordinary sculptural creations of ten artists working in Southern California in the 1960s and 1970s. Frequently referred to as being part of the Light and Space or L.A. Glass and Plastic movements, these artists pioneered the use of industrial materials such as cast acrylic, glass, Plexiglas and polyester resin in art, creating objects that were innovative and technically impressive. While their work is varied in concept and approach, they shared an underlying interest in capturing and manipulating light to present shifting realities and perceptions.

While the artworks included in the exhibition can be referred to as minimal or reductive in form, their slick and seductive surfaces and colors make them unquestionably Southern Californian. What’s more, the region had become a thriving center for the country’s rubber, paper, cement, ceramics, soap, steel, plastics, electronics and, most significantly, aerospace industries, which provided artists with incredible resources in terms of new manufacturing materials. Many artists worked in plastics factories, developing molds and experimenting with new techniques for creating their innovative objects.

In addition to works culled from the permanent collection of the Norton Simon Museum, many of which have not been on public view for more than thirty years, the exhibition features loans from the private collections of several of the artists in the exhibition.