Summer Nocturne Shines at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art

Posted on Jun 11 by SEASONS Magazine

Curator of Photography and New Media, Charles Wylie, discusses an installation by artist Nam June Paik, photo by Josh T. Meadows.

Located in the heart of State Street lies the core of Santa Barbara’s carefully cultivated art collection, attracting audiences ranging from the well-versed art history major to the curious international tourist. Although the institution is still going through a period of remodeling, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art is debuting their brand new exhibit, “Summer Nocturne: Works on Paper from the 1970s.” Inspired by their lesser-seen works on paper from the museum’s permanent collection, the exhibit features works reminiscent of the social events that took place in the late 1960s. The exhibit opened this weekend and is on view through September 28.

“Summer Nocturne,” an art piece designed by Richard “Dick” Dunlop, lends its title to the name of the exhibit. Created with the use of tar paper with lacquer and silver leaf, the work is meant to represent a poignant reflection of light.

Richard “Dick” Dunlop discusses the varying materials and creative techniques that helped to create his piece Summer Nocturne, photo by Josh T. Meadows.

Local artist and museum professional Dane Goodman is also showing his work as part of the show. His piece Sunday Papers, created in 1975, is on display. Goodman’s work focuses on an arbitrary and austere underlay of colors, many of which often bleed out to create a unique overlapping effect. His pieces often focus on the interaction between shape and color. In one of his paintings, at first glance each square looks like one single color. However, a closer look reveals a collection of varying colors and textures. Goodman says that his works are reminiscent of the colored comic section in former newspapers. Ultimately, his use of color and shape serves to make 2D paintings occupy space beyond their canvas.

Artist Dane Goodman discusses his piece Sunday Papers, photo by Josh T. Meadows.

San Francisco based conceptual artist Tom Mariani also has his work on display as part of the exhibit. Mariani has experienced with a number of different creative platforms throughout his career including performance art. In the instance of his piece displayed in this show, entitled Results of a Theatrical Action to Define Non-Theatrical Principles, Mariani actually created the artwork as part of an interactive performance back in 1979. The piece depicts the idea of displaying yellow light on yellow paper and thus creating a shadow which is then captured on the canvas. In addition to his piece in the show, Mariani will be performing his own performance art piece in which he creates a sculpture in one second.

Tom Mariani stands next to his piece titled Results of a Theatrical Action to Define Non-Theatrical Principles, photo by Josh T. Meadows.

Other artists in Summer Nocturne include Marie Schoeff, Robert Beauchamp, Huguette Caland, Luchita Hurtado and Michelle Stuart. Many artists featured in the exhibit reside in Santa Barbara, with only a few non-locals. Among these artists are many “hidden” creators, who, despite their ripe age, are seeing their work featured for the first time. Featuring a variety of lesser known artists no less talented than other prominent artists, this exhibit boasts a fresh take on the typical 1970s art gallery.

Although not included in the “Summer Nocturne” collection, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art is also proud to display Korean-American artist Nam June Paik’s “TV Clock.” Better known for his work on display at the Smithsonian American Art Museum titled “Electronic Superhighway,” Paik has gained renown as an avant-garde of the video art genre. “TV Clock,” on view through October 14, is displayed on 24 televisions positioned vertically in a darkly-lit setting, capturing the ambience of the omnipresent passage of time. This prescient work resembles the hands of an analog clock, its lines colorfully splayed across a convex screen. Due to the transient nature of technology, this work of art may not be able for viewing in the future. Thus, audiences should come experience this breathtaking piece while it still remains available.

The Santa Barbara Museum of Art is open Tuesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tickets are currently half-priced until in the end of the year with the exception of Thursday evenings 5 – 8 p.m., at which time tickets are free. Members, Santa Barbara residents, and active U.S. military and families enjoy free entry as well. All questions can be directed to 805/963-4364. The museum is located at 1130 State St., Santa Barbara.

Samantha Lee and Josh T. Meadows

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