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Santa Barbara Museum of Art exhibits modern and contemporary prints from the permanent collection
Red Grooms, Bicentennial Bandwagon, 1970s, From the portfolio, “Spirit of Independence, Kent Bicentennial.” Serigraph. SBMA, Gift of Lorillard.

SANTA BARBARA, CA.- You Are Going On A Trip brings together a selection of highlights from the Santa Barbara Museum of Art’s wide-ranging collection of Modern and Contemporary prints. Focusing on works produced between the 1940s and 1970s, the exhibition presents an eclectic array of works on paper created by artists from the United States and other countries around the world. Coinciding with the summer—a season typically designated for travel—the presentation offers the viewer a metaphoric venture to various new destinations. Titled after an etching by Charles Garabedian that depicts the gentle hand of the artist touching the viewer's consciousness, the exhibition, like the image, plants the seed of a journey.

Organized by writer and independent curator, Michael Duncan, the exhibition is loosely divided into themes, including dreams, icons, notions of home and travel, history, and images of humans and wildlife. Duncan states, “Prints take us places. They lead us to exotic and familiar locales, offering mind-expanding fantasies as well as fresh takes on everyday objects. They present new considerations of well-known people and stories and revisit historical events. They confront desires and goals and sometimes lead to an expansion of our definitions of art.”

The exhibition touches on various distinctly American themes, including works from a bicentennial portfolio by Alex Katz, Marisol, Fritz Scholder, and Red Grooms; politically charged works by Andy Warhol and Larry Rivers; and film noir-like narratives by Ken Price and Terry Allen. Although international in scope, the exhibition includes examples from the three premier print-shops of Southern California: Tamarind Lithography Workshop (June Wayne), Gemini Ltd. (John Altoon), and Cirrus Editions Limited (Vija Celmins).

The wide range of nationalities and time periods demonstrates the universal appeal of portraiture, landscape, and still life. Through these genres, artists have described their experiences of the world, whether executing their visions in realist, expressionist, surrealist, or pop styles. The exhibition hopes to demonstrate the common ground of art, emphasizing content over style or nationality. The various sections loosely encompass all aspects of everyday life, finding room for images related to politics, dreams, sexuality, art, nature, and religion.

The sometimes jarring juxtapositions of works reveal unexpected affinities and latent subtexts. Andy Warhol’s stark pop portrait of Elizabeth Taylor faces off with a steely-eyed portrait by Picasso of his mistress Dora Maar. The psychedelic crazy-quilt imagery of Italo-Scottish artist, Eduardo Paolozzi finds a sympathetic counterpart in the space-age fantasies of Fullerton artist, John Randolph Carter. By crossing borders and time-traveling, the exhibition expands the usual confines of the gallery, offering a cosmopolitan journey that is genuinely open-jawed.

Artists represented include Terry Allen, Lee Bontecou, John Randolph Carter, Vija Celmins, Bruce Conner, José Luis Cuevas, Salvador Dalí, Max Ernst, Red Grooms, Nancy Grossman, Hagiwara Hideo, Paul Jacoulet, Allen Jones, Oskar Kokoschka, Jacob Lawrence, Rico Lebrun, Marisol, Kerry James Marshall, Malcolm Morley, Alice Neel, Sidney Nolan, Eduardo Paolozzi, Pablo Picasso, Ken Price, Larry Rivers, James Rosenquist, Munakata Shiko, David Alfaro Siqueiros, Raphael Soyer, Rufino Tamayo, Azechi Utemaro, Andy Warhol, June Wayne, Grant Wood, and many others.

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