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John Miller

CalArts, photographer unknown, ca. 1971-1972, California Institute of the Arts Archives Photographic Materials Collection.

where art might happen: the early years of calarts
30 august to 10 november 2019 


Artists in the exhibition: John Miller, Jack Goldstein, Michael Asher, David Askevold, John Baldessari, Ericka Beckman, Ross Bleckner, Barbara Bloom, Troy Brauntuch, Sheila Levrant de Bretteville, Klaus vom Bruch, Judy Chicago, Dorit Cypis, Eric Fischl, Simone Forti, Douglas Huebler, Stephan von Huene, Allan Kaprow, Mike Kelley, Alison Knowles, Suzanne Lacy, Matt Mullican, Daniel Joseph Martinez, Susan Mogul, Ann Noël, Sandra Orgel, Tony Oursler, Charlemagne Palestine, Stephen Prina, Anthony Ramos, Ulrike Rosenbach, David Salle, Miriam Schapiro, Mira Schor, Jim Shaw, Wolfgang Stoerchle, Mitchell Syrop, Carrie Mae Weems, James Welling, Faith Wilding, Christopher Williams and Emmett Williams.


The exhibition was curated by Dr. Philipp Kaiser (Curator, Los Angeles) and Christina Végh (Director of the Kestner Gesellschaft). From 13 March to 7 June 2020, the group show will be on view at the Kunsthaus Graz.


Where Art Might Happen: The Early Years of CalArts focuses on the legendary founding years (1970–1980) of the California Institute of the Arts, which has produced numerous well-known artists. This wide-ranging group exhibition presents a variety of perspectives on the school: parallel movements from the milieus of Conceptual Art, feminism, and Fluxus as well as the school’s radical pedagogical concepts will be brought together for the first time.


A Radical Model for a School


CalArts, which was founded by Walt Disney, opened near Los Angeles in 1970. In its early years, the school developed a radical, groundbreaking model whose interdisciplinary nature was based on previous European and American examples such as the Bauhaus and Black Mountain College. It put teachers and students on equal footing and dispensed with a grading system. With the institutional establishment of conceptual and feminist concepts in John Baldessari’s “Post-Studio” course and Miriam Schapiro and Judy Chicago’s “Feminist Art Program,” CalArts played a pioneering role. Even then, the focus of the artistic debate was on current social issues such as the questioning of authorship, making artistic working methods more flexible, and the critique of patriarchal power structures.