Synopses & Reviews
Cultural Writing. Art. California History. A SEED OF MODERNISM chronicles the vibrant artwork that came out of the Art Students League of Los Angeles, one of the city's earliest art schools. Explorative, bold, and visionary, the league was influential in the formation of Los Angeles's distinct contemporary aesthetic. For years, pre-WWII Los Angeles was thought of as a cultural desert, but in fact the artistic community was both vibrant and ambitious. Initially a series of informal sketch classes, the league gradually grew into a center of creative exploration that fostered a fearless approach to art and launched friendships, scandals, rivalries, and even marriages. Many members found inspiration in Los Angeles's burgeoning immigrant cultures, some incorporating Japanese themes and techniques to create a unique aesthetic, and the league itself had a strong contingent of immigrant artists. Japanese American league members who were interned during WWII at Heart Mountain, Wyoming, formed a branch of the Art Students League there. Published in collaboration with the Pasadena Museum of California Art.
The definitive survey of an influential early LA modern art school. Catalog of show