Given the increasingly international nature of the art world, not to mention culture in general, is it realistic to generalize about the artistic production of a particular geographical region? Route 2: Undisclosed Destination considers this question in the context of the West Coast.
The exhibition is composed exclusively of works by artists originally from, or working on, the West Coast, from Vancouver to Los Angeles. Aiming to establish commonalities among them beyond their geography, the show arranges them into two different paths that run in parallel, and in tension. The first path focuses on landscape, a long-established subject in art. West Coast cities carry the load of having served as imagined Arcadias for utopian thinkers and idealists, and San Francisco seems especially trapped between its amazing natural and urban scenery and a history that seems to haunt it. This section of the show includes straightforward depictions as well as works that deal in a more oblique way with aspects related to the American territory, for instance questioning the way it is understood and represented in the popular imagination, or by presenting it as a beautiful and privileged spectacle ripe for plundering (by the movie industry and others).
A second path through the exhibition is arranged chronologically, encouraging viewers to perceive distinct genealogies of influences and correspondences—or perhaps making the case for a lack thereof. One constant along this path is a mode of production that involves reuse and repetition (of both materials and topics).
Route 2: Undisclosed Destination featured artists:
John Baldessari, Wallace Berman, Elisheva Biernoff, Jedediah Caesar, Geoffrey Farmer, Rachel E. Foster, Rodney Graham, John Gutmann, Todd Hido, William E. Jones, Jordan Kantor, Edward Kienholz & Nancy Reddin, Alicia McCarthy, Gareth Moore, J. John Priola, Stephen G. Rhodes, Will Rogan, Mungo Thomson
The works in the exhibition are drawn from the 101 Collection. Based in San Francisco and assembled under the direction of Wattis Director Jens Hoffmann, the collection includes photography, painting, sculpture, drawing, film, installation, and more by contemporary artists who live and work along the West Coast’s iconic Highway 101. Route 2: Undisclosed Destination is curated by Sharon Lerner, a 2010 graduate of CCA’s Graduate Program in Curatorial Practice. She also holds a BA in visual arts from the Catholic University in Lima. Lerner is the second 101 Curatorial Fellow.