Soaking up the rays and surfin’ USA, the Golden State of California can confidently boast a myriad of uplifting songs, catchphrases, and undeniably freewheeling imagery.
The exhibit, In the Land of Sunshine: Imaging the California Coast Culture, opening at the Pasadena Museum of California Art in September, takes hold of surf and sand imagery and places the viewer under the rays of the hot sun—minus the burns and tanlines. The show takes its influence from Cali’s long history in movie-making, bodybuilding, and laid-back West Coast attitude to form a transportative trip down the Pacific coast.
The show includes a combination of 90 different paintings, posters, magazine, photographs, among other mediums. As an official exhibit release describes, the group show highlights the daily activities many walks of life: the toils of cargo ship workers and fishermen, and the leisurely lifestyles of surfers and boaters, are all given the same light.
The glue of the show is, predictably and appealingly, the surf. Most, if not all of the paintings in In the Land of Sunshine, are willing adherents to beach culture, seemingly following an unspoken rule to include a backdrop of lapping waves consistently throughout the show.
“Like the coastal communities of Newport Beach, Balboa Island, Laguna Beach and San Francisco, Pasadena has attracted and inspired a significant number of artists, yet the creative outputs vary from sea to Seco,” elaborates Gordon McClelland, the show's curator and a California historian. “Pasadena is just far enough away from the shoreline that when artworks depicting and created on the Pacific Coast are viewed there, they take on a fresh, inland context and a distinct meaning.”
Ebullient, youthful, and replete of an East Coast mirth, In the Land of Sunshine is a display of pride in an awe-inspiring location.
In the Land of Sunshine: Imaging of California Coast Culture shows at Pasadena Museum of California Art from September 25, 2016 through February 19, 2017. See more details about the exhibit, here.