No. 245: Bruce Conner

Episode No. 245 of The Modern Art Notes Podcast features curator Gary Garrels and historian Anastasia Aukeman.

Gary Garrels is one of the co-curators of “Bruce Conner: It’s All True,” a 250-object retrospective that examines one of the most important figures  in post-war art. Conner was a leader of the pioneering group of San Francisco-area artists that used new media, especially assemblage, drawing, performance, film, photograms and prints, to address issues such as violence and faith, and in so doing found one of the ways out of abstract expressionism that had dominated American art since the war years. The exhibition debuts at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, where it is on view through October 2. It was organized by SFMOMA, where it will arrive this fall. The show was co-curated by Garrels, Rudolph Frieling, Laura Hoptman and Stuart Comer with assistance from Rachel Federman. The exhibition’s excellent catalogue was published by SFMOMA in association with University of California Press. Amazon offers it for $52, a $23 discount off of the list price.

Conner’s 1959-67 film LOOKING FOR MUSHROOMS is streamed at MoMA’s exhibition site.

On the second segment, historian Anastasia Aukeman discusses her new book “Welcome to Painterland: Bruce Conner and the Rat Bastard Protective Association.” The book tells the story of Conner’s San Francisco and how artists such as Joan Brown, Jay DeFeo, and Manuel Neri created a community of artists that responded to influences as disparate as abstract expressionism and the Beats. It was also published by University of California Press.

Air date: July 14, 2016.

Bruce Conner, UNTITLED, 1954-61. Image on the left is the front of the piece; image on right is the rear. Zoom in on it at the Walker Art Center's website.

Bruce Conner, UNTITLED, 1954-61. Image on the left is the front of the piece; image on right is the rear.

Bruce Conner, DARK BROWN, 1959.

Bruce Conner, DARK BROWN, 1959.

Bruce Conner, SPIDER LADY NEXT, 1959.

Bruce Conner, SPIDER LADY NEXT, 1959.

Bruce Conner, SPIDER LADY, 1959.

Bruce Conner, SPIDER LADY, 1959.

Bruce Conner, Suitcase, 1961-63.

Bruce Conner, Suitcase, 1961-63.

Bruce Conner, I AM BRUCE CONNER and I AM NOT BRUCE CONNER, 1964/67.

Bruce Conner, I AM BRUCE CONNER and I AM NOT BRUCE CONNER, 1964/67.

Bruce Conner, TOUCH/DO NOT TOUCH, 1964 as installed at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, July 3 to October 2, 2016.

Bruce Conner, TOUCH/DO NOT TOUCH, 1964 as installed at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, July 3 to October 2, 2016.

Bruce Conner, LOOKING GLASS (front), 1964.

Bruce Conner, LOOKING GLASS (front), 1964.

Bruce Conner, LOOKING GLASS (back), 1964.

Bruce Conner, LOOKING GLASS (back), 1964.

Bruce Conner, THUMB PRINT, 1965.

Bruce Conner, THUMB PRINT, 1965.

Bruce Conner, BREAKAWAY [still], 1966.

Bruce Conner, BREAKAWAY [still], 1966.

Bruce Conner, SOUND OF ONE HAND ANGEL, 1974.

Bruce Conner, SOUND OF ONE HAND ANGEL, 1974.

Bruce Conner, CROSSROADS [promotional still], 1976.

Bruce Conner, CROSSROADS [promotional still], 1976.

Bruce Conner, DE DETROIT: UXA, 1978.

Bruce Conner, DE DETROIT: UXA, 1978.

Bruce Conner, BOMBHEAD, 1989.

Bruce Conner, BOMBHEAD, 1989.

Bruce Conner, BURNING BRIGHT, 1996.

Bruce Conner, BURNING BRIGHT, 1996.

Aukeman cover

Joan Brown, Fur Rat, 1962.

Joan Brown, Fur Rat, 1962.

Joan Brown, Man on Horseback, 1957.

Joan Brown, Man on Horseback, 1957.

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