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Southern California Painting: Painting per SE 1

JULY 1 -31, 2011 Curated by peter frank and David Eichholtz


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Cover detail,

Charles Arnoldi

from top to bottom:

Billy Al Bengston Karl Benjamin #7 1972, Oil on canvas 30" x 40" Photo: Michael Faye Courtesy Louis Stern Fine Arts

Judy Chicago Morning Fan - Fresno Fan Series 1971, Sprayed acrylic on acrylic, 60" x 120" Photo: Donald Woodman

Matsumi Kanemitsu Gemini 2 1971, Acrylic on canvas, 36" x 24" Peter Plagens Instead of Free Men 1976, Oil and acrylic on canvas, 68" x 90" Jerrold Burchman Spectrum 1970, Acrylics/Rhoplex on paper, 114 x 108 "

Karl Benjamin Jerrold Burchman Hans Burkhardt Karen Carson Judy Chicago Ron Davis Tony DeLap Doug Edge Merion Estes Charles Garabedian Scott Grieger Marvin Harden Maxwell Hendler

Published on the occasion of the exhibition, Southern California Painting, the 1970s: Painting Per Se, July 1 – 31, 2011, curated by Peter Frank and David Eichholtz.

Ynez Johnston Matsumi Kanemitsu Craig Kauffman

All rights reserved Š David Richard Contemporary, LLC

Helen Lundeberg Ed Moses Margaret Nielsen Peter Plagens Tom Wudl Norman Zammitt

GalleRy DirectoRs David Eichholtz & Richard Barger

130 Lincoln Avenue, Suite D, Santa Fe, NM 87501 | p (505) 983-9555 | f (505) 983-1284 www.DavidRichardContemporary.com | info@DavidRichardContemporary.com


Southern California Painting, the 1970s: Painting Per Se Curated by Peter Frank and David Eichholtz July 1- 31, 2011 Featuring: Charles Arnoldi, Billy Al Bengston, Karl Benjamin, Jerrold Burchman, Hans Burkhardt, Karen Carson, Judy Chicago, Ron Davis, Tony DeLap, Doug Edge, Merion Estes, Charles Garabedian, Scott Grieger, Marvin Harden, Maxwell Hendler, Ynez Johnston, Matsumi Kanemitsu, Craig Kauffman, Helen Lundeberg, Ed Moses, Margaret Nielsen, Peter Plagens, Tom Wudl and Norman Zammitt

Judy Chicago, Evening Fan - Fresno Fans Series, 1971, Sprayed acrylic on acrylic, 60" x 120" Photo: Donald Woodman

130 Lincoln Avenue, Suite D, Santa Fe, NM 87501 | p (505) 983-9555 | f (505) 983-1284 www.DavidRichardContemporary.com | info@DavidRichardContemporary.com


LOS ANGELES PAINTING IN THE 1970S

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The decade of the 1970s saw an explo-

bespoke the process of its making, that pro-

sion of art across America – everywhere,

cess was one of material fabrication rather

of every kind, by everyone. Nowhere did

than personal expression.

this explosion have more resonance than in Los Angeles; during the decade the city

Still, it’s hard to generalize about painting

flooded with artists, newly graduated from

in 1970s LA, if only because, once the stylis-

Southern California’s many art schools and

tic floodgates opened, everyone seemed to

departments or attracted by the city’s grow-

try everything – including personal expres-

ing cultural sophistication and complexity.

sion. Several trends in painting can be traced

And nowhere more than Los Angeles did the

through the so-called “amazing decade,” and

anomalies of 1970s artistic discourse make

some seem surprising in their traditionalism.

themselves powerfully felt.

Others, however, are equally surprising in the unprecedented, and unanticipated, concep-

In the wake of minimalism, conceptual art,

tion and production invested into them.

and the proliferation of “media arts,” many proclaimed the death of painting. But paint-

“Southern California Painting in the 70s” will

ing flourished – and, in response to the

trace several of the most prominent devel-

moment’s heady sense of experiment, the

opments during this era. The first show,

discipline mutated, fused with other prac-

“Painting per se,” looks at the adherence of

tices, and generally metamorphosed as if

major and younger artists alike to standard

emerging from a chrysalis. In LA, in fact,

painting formats and materials. “Painting per

painting seemed to emerge from a mad sci-

se” is a survey less of a movement than of an

entist’s laboratory, a de-domesticated crea-

attitude, an attitude toward a given practice

ture able to adopt many guises and absorb

that defied and undermined the presump-

many substances. Many pictures were all

tions of that practice. The second show,

but invisible. Many “paintings” lacked paint.

“Hard-edge and light and space,” presents

Things hung on the wall as if on a coat rack

one of Southern California’s principal avant

or shelf – or they didn’t hang at all. Paintings,

garde modes as manifested in its painting.

paint-things, non-paintings, and un-paint-

The transition from “abstract classicism” to

ings could be produced as readily in a tool

“finish/fetish” had completed by the 1970s,

shed or car repair shop as in a studio.

but in painting practices, at least, the range of geometric and minimalist possibilities was

Such willingness to stretch the definitions of

still available.

painting almost to the breaking point could be found all over America, but this disre-

“Figuration” comprises the third show, which

gard for painterly tradition was particularly

charts the range of approaches to repre-

acute in Los Angeles. Unlike New York, say,

sentational subject matter. Surprisingly, the

or San Francisco, LA had never been much

1970s saw the emergence of various kinds of

of a painting town. Its major creative indus-

naturalism even as an awkward, surrealism-

try favored image over object and tended to

inflected painterly representation persisted

regard the act of painting as a backlot-work-

and variations on Pop, including hyper-real-

place job rather than a sacred ritual. The end

ism, continued to multiply. The fourth show,

product was the goal, and if the end product

“Material Abstraction,” charts a phenomenon


particular to California, especially in the Los Angeles area, one that embodied a reaction to “finish/fetish” and light-and-space art. “Material abstraction” embodied a fascination with substance and process, holding to painterly formats even while ranging far afield from traditional painterly practice. Peter Frank Los Angeles, June, 2011

3


LA PAINTING IN THE 1970S: PAINTING PER SE Peter Frank

teach, and make good painting – and where one could tinker with painting, expanding

4

If the 1970s was the “Pluralist Decade,” what

its techniques and tweaking its definitions

was “plural” about it was not just style, but

without concern for the disapproval of an

gender, ethnicity, geography, social and eco-

entrenched establishment.

nomic circumstance, and attitude. Anything went. But the artist (and/or dealer, cura-

“Painting Per Se” looks at the range of paint-

tor, critic, and teacher) had to make it go.

erly practice among LA artists in the 1970s,

Nothing “went” by itself. If techniques and

jumping between often polar stylistic oppo-

traditions were to be updated or discarded,

sites to find a commonality of material and,

someone had to update them or put some-

to some extent, process. Some of Southern

thing in their place – or both.

California’s most important and most experimental artists in this period were painters

Having reigned supreme for hundreds of

– perhaps committed to painting, perhaps

years as the medium that embodied both

simply adept at it, but willing and able to

artistic tradition and artistic experiment,

drive home their ideas with painting and,

painting came under furious attack in the

thus, secure (or, if you would, re-secure)

1970s as an outmoded format, an ossified

for painting an enhanced regard as a viable

discipline the very weight of whose history

realm of experiment. Those who made pic-

was an impediment to aesthetic evolution

tures exploited painting with authority equal

(not to mention revolution). No proclama-

to those who made objects or visual fields.

tion or rallying cry reverberated more deaf-

Those who worked with oil gained no more

eningly throughout the decade than “Paint-

or less respect from their peers than those

ing is dead!”

who worked with newer pigmented media. Those who applied pigment to paper were

But enough artists were steeped in paint-

not regarded as lesser painters than those

erly practice, still enchanted with the mys-

who applied it to canvas. Those who ma-

teries and discoveries of paint, to answer

nipulated the shape and surface of their

back with a sometimes quavering but al-

supports were as welcome to do so as were

ways persistent, “Long live painting!” Some

those who worked within the rectangular

of the best – most intriguing, most surpris-

contours of the western tradition.

ing, most inventive, most moving – painting of the century was realized in the midst of

Individual artists – notably teachers – might

painting’s existential crisis. Some such paint-

challenge other painters to try it their way

ing was made with surprisingly conventional

or to study particular methods and models

methods (especially given what was avail-

in greater depth; but there was no blanket

able otherwise). And some of that paint-

condemnation of any particular practice

ing was made in Los Angeles, which – un-

on the basis of any aesthetic ideology. The

like art capitals such as New York, London,

mocking dismissal coming from “post-stu-

Berlin, and even San Francisco – was not a

dio” artists and theorists then in ascendancy

“painting town,” under the sway of paint-

was enough to unite figurative painter with

ing’s mystique. Given its growing surfeit of

finish/fetish, color-field with photo-realist, in

art schools and art departments, howev-

a “rear-guard” defensive action that, in the

er, LA was a place where one could learn,

end, was neither rear-guard nor defensive.


Painters held their own – and wound up

recondite or nutty but not with something

commanding respect from and dialogue

lame. Some were veterans, maintaining

with even the most extreme conceptual-

clear-cut modernist traditions and painting

ists. At a certain point, in fact, it occurred to

as a site of exemplary form and image. Many

some conceptualists that the most extreme

others, members of the emerging or recent-

their practice could get was…. painting.

ly emerged generations, were forging new

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paths, eager not so much to contradict their This should explain the apparently extreme

elders as to build outward in every direc-

eclecticism of this first show. It is hard to tie

tion from their postulates. If the older artists

the work of any two artists here to a congru-

had been challenged with “That’s no way to

ent aesthetic ideology, much less marketing

paint!”, then the younger ones heard “That’s

strategy. Many of these artists – along with

not painting!”, but responded to such reac-

their non-painting peers – were motivated

tion with precisely the same nervy defiance.

by a desire to transcend the constrictions of style and, certainly, to thwart the manipu-

Artists, painters in particular, are not hot-

lations of the art marketplace. That mar-

house plants. They may grow in hothouses,

ketplace, however, was in little evidence in

but they flourish in the wild. Southern Cali-

LA. Indeed, the relative paucity of galleries

fornia in the ‘70s was a wilderness in that

served as something of a goad to artists to

regard, poor in areas of exposure even while

“do something else,” even when that some-

rich in areas of spontaneous growth and

thing else could still clutter up the whole

cultivation. As a result, painting exploded in

studio rather than just the desk. More than

and around Los Angeles, its various manifes-

most places, Los Angeles fostered an artistic

tations madly mutating and cross-breeding.

community whose members produced for

Sometimes it didn’t look or act like painting

one another rather than for cadres of collec-

at all. Sometimes it did. Sometimes it did

tors, curators, critics, or dealers.

and didn’t, even when it stuck to the “rules” of painting. It was “painting per se,” but it

As a group the twenty-plus artists included

was still capable of being something no one

in “Painting Per Se” range across sociologi-

had ever seen before.

cal as well as aesthetic distinctions, personal

Los Angeles

backgrounds as well as artistic approaches.

Their diversity may not cover all the myriad bases of painterly practice in 1970s Los Angeles, but it still yields a dizzying array of visual experience, ranging from the narrative to the perceptual, sensual experience to conceptual experience. All these artists were working at the top of their game back then, and contributing to a discourse marked less by permissiveness than by tolerance; because their primary – often only – audience was other artists, these artists felt they had to perform at the top of their game, and they could get away with something

June 2011


Charles Arnoldi Untitled 1, 1976, Acrylic on canvas, 32" x 32" Courtesy Charlotte Jackson Fine Art

6


Billy Al Bengston Wiliwili Draculas, 1979, Acrylic on canvas, 76 x 76 "

7


Karl Benjamin #8, 1971, Oil on canvas, 68" x 68" Courtesy Louis Stern Fine Arts

8


Jerrold Burchman Spectrum, 1970, Acrylics/Rhoplex on paper 114" x 108"

9


Hans Burkhardt The Cathedral (Vietnam), 1970, Oil on canvas, 60" x 50" ŠHans G. & Thordis W. Burkhardt Foundation Courtesy Jack Rutberg Fine Arts, Inc.

10


Karen Carson Geometric Disc, 1979, Acrylic on canvas, 51"

11


Judy Chicago Sky Sun - Flesh Garden Series 1971, Sprayed acrylic on acrylic, 96" x 96" Photo: Donald Woodman

12


Ronald Davis Lamont, 1978, Cel-Vinyl Acrylic on canvas, 90" x 66" Courtesy Charlotte Jackson Fine Art

13


Tony DeLap Dedi of Desnefru, 1976, Acrylic on canvas and wood, 89" x 73 1/2" x 3 1/2" Photo: Gene Ogami,

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Courtesy Charlotte Jackson Fine Art


Doug Edge Ortega #3 1977, Acrylic on canvas, 60" x 60"

15


Merion Estes Lavender Twins, 1977 Acrylic lacquer on vinyl, 48" x 48" x 12"

16


Charles Garabedian Landscape, 1976 Acrylic and collage on paper, 44 1/2" x 80" Courtesy LA Louver

17


Scott Grieger Match Man, 1977 Oil on canvas, 27" x 31.5" Courtesy Samuel Freeman

18


Marvin Harden It Comes at the Beginning, simply Yet Gracefully Given, a Gift of Who We Are - a Star, 1977, Mixed media on paper, 39 3/8" x 27 9/19"

19


Maxwell Hendler So Much for Philosophy, 1976, Watercolor on paper, 10" x 9" Courtesy Manny Silverman Gallery

20


Ynez Johnston Palace of the Snow Leopard, 1971, canvas 30" x 20"

21


22

Matsumi Kanemitsu

Matsumi Kanemitsu

Gemini I, 1971,

Gemini II, 1971,

Acrylic on canvas

Acrylic on canvas

36" x 24"

36" x 24"


Craig Kauffman Caroline's Rickets, 1975, Acrylic on wood and muslin, 62" x 60" Š Craig Kauffman Courtesy Frank Lloyd Gallery

23


Helen Lundeberg Dark View, 1974, Acrylic on canvas, 60" x 60" Photo: Ed Glendinning Courtesy Louis Stern Fine Arts

24


Ed Moses Char-kol, 1978, Tape and charcoal, 39 1/2 x 32 1/4 " Courtesy Newspace

25


Margaret Nielsen Usual Suspects, 1974, Acrylic on paper, 18" x 24" Courtesy Samuel Freeman

26


Peter Plagens Instead of Free Men, 1976, Oil and acrylic on canvas, 68" x 90"

27


Tom Wudl Homage to Buckminster Fuller, 1973, Acrylic on paper, 28" x 37" Courtesy LA Louver

28


norman zammitt burning yellow 1, 1978, Acrylic on canvas board, 72 1/4" x 9" x 3/4" Courtesy Newspace

29


Charles Arnoldi Untitled 1, 1976, Acrylic on canvas, 32" x 32" 30

Courtesy Charlotte Jackson Fine Art

Charles Arnoldi Untitled 2, 1976, Acrylic on canvas, 32" x 32" Courtesy Charlotte Jackson Fine Art

Charles Arnoldi Untitled 3, 1976, Acrylic on canvas, 32" x 32" Courtesy Charlotte Jackson Fine Art


Charles Arnoldi Untitled 4, 1976, Acrylic on canvas, 32" x 32" Courtesy Charlotte Jackson Fine Art

Billy Al Bengston Wiliwili Draculas, 1979, Acrylic on canvas, 76 x 76 "

Karl Benjamin #8, 1971, Oil on canvas, 68" x 68" Courtesy Louis Stern Fine Arts

31


Karl Benjamin #25, 1977, Oil on canvas, 50" x 40 1/2" 32

Photo by: Michael Faye Courtesy Louis Stern Fine Arts

Karl Benjamin #7, 1972, Oil on canvas, 30" x 40" Photo by: Michael Faye Courtesy Louis Stern Fine Arts

Jerrold Burchman Spectrum, 1970, Acrylics/Rhoplex on paper 114" x 108"


Jerrold Burchman touch, 1976, Acrylics/Rhoplex on paper 96" x 96"

Jerrold Burchman untitled Grey, 1972, Acrylics/Rhoplex on paper 96" x 144"

Hans Burkhardt The Cathedral (Vietnam), 1970, Oil on canvas, 60" x 50" ŠHans G. & Thordis W. Burkhardt Foundation Courtesy Jack Rutberg Fine Arts, Inc .

33


Hans Burkhardt untitled, 1976, Oil on canvas, 60" x 50" 34

©Hans G. & Thordis W. Burkhardt Foundation Courtesy Jack Rutberg Fine Arts, Inc

Hans Burkhardt Texas, 1970, Oil on canvas, 20" x 24" ©Hans G. & Thordis W. Burkhardt Foundation Courtesy Jack Rutberg Fine Arts, Inc "

Hans Burkhardt Vietnam, 1970, Oil on canvas, 19 3/4" x 24" ©Hans G. & Thordis W. Burkhardt Foundation Courtesy Jack Rutberg Fine Arts, Inc


Karen Carson Geometric Disc, ????, Acrylic on canvas, 51" 35

Karen Carson black hole, ????, Acrylic on canvas, 51""

Karen Carson Desert Wheel, ????, Acrylic on canvas, 60".


Judy Chicago Sky Sun - Flesh Garden Series 1971, Sprayed acrylic on acrylic, 36

96" x 96" Photo: Donald Woodman

Judy Chicago Sun Garden- Flesh Garden Series 1971, Sprayed acrylic on acrylic, 96" x 96" Photo: Donald Woodman

Judy Chicago evening fan Sun - Fresno fans Series 1971, Sprayed acrylic on acrylic, 60" x 120" Photo: Donald Woodman


Judy Chicago Morning fan Sun - Fresno fans Series 1971, Sprayed acrylic on acrylic, 60" x 120" Photo: Donald Woodman

Ronald Davis Lamont, 1978, Cel-Vinyl Acrylic on canvas, 90" x 66" Courtesy Charlotte Jackson Fine Art

Ronald Davis STrONER - floater series, 1978, Cel-Vinyl Acrylic on canvas, 84" x 66" Courtesy Charlotte Jackson Fine Art

37


Ronald Davis yoder, 1979, Cel-Vinyl Acrylic on canvas, 38

66" x 66" Courtesy Charlotte Jackson Fine Art

Tony DeLap Dedi of Desnefru, 1976, Acrylic on canvas and wood, 89" x 73 1/2" x 3 1/2" Photo: Gene Ogami Courtesy Charlotte Jackson Fine Art

Tony DeLap the whim of tituba, 1979, Acrylic on canvas and wood, 19" x 19 5/8" Photo: Gene Ogami Courtesy Charlotte Jackson Fine Art


Doug Edge Ortega #3, 1977, Acrylic on canvas, 60" x 60"

Doug Edge Ortega #1, 1976, Acrylic on canvas, 60" x "

Merion Estes Lavender Twins, 1977 Acrylic lacquer on vinyl, 48" x 48" x 12".

39


Charles Garabedian Landscape, 1976 Acrylic and collage on paper, 40

44 1/2" x 80" Courtesy LA Louver

Charles Garabedian still life with gun, 1977 Acrylic on paper, 29 3/4" x 39 3/4" Courtesy LA Louver

Scott Grieger Match Man, 1977 Oil on canvas, 27" x 31.5" Courtesy Samuel Freeman


Scott Grieger Past history, 1975 Oil on canvas, 30" x 30" Courtesy Samuel Freeman

Marvin Harden It Comes at the Beginning, simply Yet Gracefully Given, a Gift of Who We Are - a Star, 1977 Mixed media on paper, 39 3/8" x 27 9/19"

Marvin Harden In a brightness, as in dreams, it sometimes seems that fine focus blurs, 1979 Mixed media on paper, 39 5/16" x 27 1/2".

41


Maxwell Hendler So Much for Philosophy, 1976, Watercolor on paper, 42

10" x 9" Courtesy Manny Silverman Gallery

Maxwell Hendler acquarium, 1979, Watercolor on paper, 6 5/8" x 13 1/2" Courtesy Manny Silverman Gallery

Maxwell Hendler oh randy, 1978, Watercolor on paper, 9 5/8" x 6 3/8" Courtesy Manny Silverman Gallery


Maxwell Hendler on your own day, 1978, Watercolor on paper, 12 1/2" x 7" Courtesy Manny Silverman Gallery

Ynez Johnston Palace of the Snow Leopard, 1971, canvas 30" x 20"

Ynez Johnston rounding the shoal, 1971, canvas 30" x 20".

43


Ynez Johnston by land and sea, 1973, Paper 44

19 3/4" x 14 1/2"

Matsumi Kanemitsu Gemini I, 1971, Acrylic on canvas 36" x 24" Matsumi Kanemitsu Gemini II, 1971, Acrylic on canvas 36" x 24"

Matsumi Kanemitsu WHALE, 1977, Acrylic on canvas 16" x 20"


Matsumi Kanemitsu untitled, 1969, Acrylic on canvas 36" x 30"

Helen Lundeberg Dark View, 1974, Acrylic on canvas, 60" x 60" Photo: Ed Glendinning Courtesy Louis Stern Fine Arts

Helen Lundeberg untitled, 1970, Acrylic on canvas, 54" x 30" Photo: Ed Glendinning Courtesy Louis Stern Fine Arts

45


Helen Lundeberg arcanum, 1970, Acrylic on canvas, 20" x 20" 46

Photo: Ed Glendinning Courtesy Louis Stern Fine Arts

Ed Moses Char-kol, 1978, Tape and charcoal, 39 1/2 x 32 1/4 " Courtesy Newspace

Margaret Nielsen Usual Suspects, 1974, Acrylic on paper, 18" x 24" Courtesy Samuel Freeman


Margaret Nielsen aspargus tips, 1974, Acrylic on paper, 18" x 24" Courtesy Samuel Freeman

Margaret Nielsen palm lined, 1977, Acrylic on paper, 16" x 20" Courtesy Samuel Freeman .

Margaret Nielsen niagara falls, 1976, Acrylic and gouache on paper, 16" x 20" Courtesy Samuel Freeman

47


Peter Plagens Instead of Free Men, 1976, Oil and acrylic on canvas, 48

68" x 90"

Peter Plagens kamenev, 1975, Oil and acrylic on canvas, 58" x 79"

Peter Plagens untitled, 1977, Oil and acrylic on canvas, 66" x 92"


Peter Plagens untitled, 1978, Acrylic on canvas, 66" x 92".

Tom Wudl Homage to Buckminster Fuller, 1973, Acrylic on paper, 28" x 37" Courtesy LA Louver

Tom Wudl untitled, 1979, Acrylic on perforated paper, 23 1/4" x 18" Courtesy LA Louver

49


norman zammitt burning yellow 1, 1978, Acrylic on canvas board, 50

72 1/4" x 9" X 3/4" Courtesy Newspace

norman zammitt yellow to violet II, 1978, Acrylic on canvas, 41" x 9 1/4" Courtesy Newspace

norman zammitt black to white, 1978, Acrylic on canvas board, 16" x 12" Courtesy Newspace


norman zammitt buffalo blue, 1977, Acrylic on canvas board, 9" x 12" Courtesy Newspace

norman zammitt elusive eureka 3, 1977, Acrylic on canvas board, 9" x 7" Courtesy Newspace

norman zammitt gemini i, 1978, Acrylic on canvas board, 9" x 12" Courtesy Newspace

51


norman zammitt gemini II, 1978, Acrylic on canvas board, 52

6" x 12" Courtesy Newspace

norman zammitt green one 2, 1975, Acrylic on canvas board, 16" x 12" Courtesy Newspace

norman zammitt hard white edge 2, 1976, Acrylic on canvas board, 10" x 8" Courtesy Newspace


norman zammitt north wall 1, 1975, Acrylic on canvas board, 12" x 9" Courtesy Newspace

norman zammitt south wall 1, 1975, Acrylic on canvas board, 12" x 9" Courtesy Newspace

norman zammitt spectrum return 3, 1975, Acrylic on canvas board, 12" x 9" Courtesy Newspace

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ISBN 978-0-9834078-5-0 Price $20.00

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130 Lincoln Avenue, Suite D, Santa Fe, NM 87501 | p (505) 983-9555 | f (505) 983-1284 www.DavidRichardContemporary.com | info@DavidRichardContemporary.com

Southern California Painting, 1970s Painting Per Se  

Southern California Painting, 1970s: Painting Per Se, the first of four exhibitions the gallery will present over the next two years that wi...

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