"I've always been fascinated by the culture of southern California, and a few years after my Peter Saul retrospective at OCMA, I was hired as the museum's Chief Curator, which meant both using the collection for research for a few years, but also experiencing life as Californians do."
 

ORANGE COUNTY MUSEUM OF ART
2012 - 2015 Chief Curator
2013 - 2014 Acting Director 

Newport Beach, CA

 

Orange County Museum of Art, formerly known as Newport Harbor Art Museum, was for most of its existence located in Newport Beach, CA. Founded in 1962, the museum has been an outpost of dynamic contemporary art programs since its earliest days, and its permanent collection extends from the earliest roots of modernism in southern California to working artists who live in the community.

PETER SAUL, 2008

In the early 1960s, American painter Peter Saul began to chart a unique stylistic course that incorporated a surrealist love of the absurd, a proto-Pop fixation on consumer culture, and a near-obsession with puncturing the art world's halo of self-professed moral high-mindedness.

More than fifty works, including several mural-scale paintings, were featured in this five-decade survey.

From the Vietnam War to the Civil Rights struggle to the O.J. Simpson trial and the torture of Iraqi prisoners by US military personnel at Abu Ghraib, Saul doesn't flinch at probing contemporary taboos, and his relentless jokester mode permits him to express ideas and situations that would be difficult to imagine any other painter tackling.

The exhibition was accompanied by a fully illustrated catalog, with texts by Dan Cameron and Michael Duncan, alongside a transcribed conversation between Peter Saul and Robert Storr.

Following OCA, Peter Saul traveled to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, and the Contemporary Arts Center of New Orleans, both in 2009.

 

SARKISIAN & SARKISIAN, 2014

This exhibition began with the idea of presenting a mid-career survey of the work of video sculptor Peter Sarkisian (b. Glendale, 1965). However, a planning visit to the artist's studio in Santa Fe, NM, adjacent to that of his father, Paul Sarkisian (1928-2019), an influential Southern California artist who received considerable acclaim in the early 1970s for his large monochromatic, photorealistic murals, generated the idea of making the exhibition a double father-son retrospective. Incorporating 23 video sculptures by Peter Sarkisian along with 22 paintings by Paul Sarkisian, a thematic bridge was constructed between the separate bodies of work that centered on their respective use of illusionistic techniques, albeit in very different media.

 
 

2013 CALIFORNIA - PACIFIC TRIENNIAL 

The 2013 California-Pacific Triennial was the first exhibition on the West Coast to explore contemporary art originating across the Pacific Rim. From nearby art centers like Seattle, Vancouver and Mexico City, to the art scenes in far-flung Australia, Chile and China, the California-Pacific Triennial is an upgraded version of the California Biennial, which OCMA began presenting in 1984 as a showcase for artists living within the state.

The work of thirty-two artists from fifteen countries helped to build the case that the Pacific Ocean is gradually replacing the Atlantic as the framework within which the growing cultures of the 21st century intersect, and that southern California is quickly becoming one of the places where this fusion of cultures has produced some its most dynamic manifestations. 

Artists included: John Bankston, Brice Bischoff, Masaya Chiba, Tiffany Chung, Hugo Crosthwaite, Gabriel de la Mora, Dario Escobar, Pedro Friedeberg, Shaun Gladwell, Farrah Karapetian, Kim Beom, Kimsooja, Robert Legoretta, Michael Lin, Lin Tian-miao, Liz Magor, Danial Nord, Eko Nugroho, Yoshua Okon, Raquel Ormella,  Sebastian Preece, Araya Rasjarmrearnsook, Adriana Salazar, Mitchell Syrop, Aki Takamoto, Koki Tanaka, Whiting Tennis. Camille Utterback, Adán Vallecillo, Mark Dean Veca and Wang Guangle.

 

CALIFORNIA LANDSCAPE INTO ABSTRACTION, 2013

In Southern California, the interwoven histories of modern approaches to landscape in the early 20th century, which encompass Impressionist, Fauvist, Cubist & Expressionist tendencies, and the proliferation of abstraction during the second half, have generated an artistic bounty that is reflected in the richness of the OCMA collection, which includes seminal works by Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, Agnes Pelton and Edward Weston, but concentrates on the 1950s and later.

Featured artists included Carlos Almaraz, John Altoon, Lewis Baltz, Paul Brach, Vija Celmins, Jay DeFeo, Lewis DeSoto, Brian Fahlstrom, Llyn Foulkes, Joe Goode, April Gornik, Anthony Hernandez, James Luna, Roger Kuntz, Helen Lundeberg, Lee Mullican, Kori Newkirk, Kenneth Price, Trevor Schoonhoven, Mungo Thomson, Mary Weatherford, Paul Wonner,  and Amir Zaki.

THE AVANT GARDE COLLECTION, 2015

With a collection comprising thousand of artworks dating from the early 1920s until the present, OCMA has generally tended to exhibit and acquire works for its collection that represent the most recent changes in contemporary art.

This installation of more than ninety works from the OCMA permanent collection showcased such pioneer modernists such as Stanton McDonald Wright, Helen Lundeberg, Josef Albers, Louise Nevelson and Gordon Onslow-Ford, but most of the exhibition featured works by living artists, including John Baldessari, Larry Bell, Billy Al Bengston, Jessica Bronson, Chris Burden, Vija Celmins, Ron Cooper, Mary Corse, Frederick Eversley, Llyn Foulkes, Michael Heizer, Robert Irwin, Glenn Kaino, Ed & Hancy Kienholz, Sol Lewitt, Glenn Ligon, John Mason, Catherine Opie, Tony Oursler, Laura Owens, Monique Prieto, Alan Rath, Charles Ray, Martha Rosler, Ed Ruscha, Allan Sekula, Joan Semmel, Alexis Smith, Jennifer Steinkamp, Jessica Stockholder, Robert Therrien, Doug Wheeler, William T. Wiley, and Bruce & Norman Yonemoto (partial list).