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Second Saturday Gallery Reception: July 9, 5pm–8pm

July 2-31, 2016

"Master Class"
The Mid-Century Art and Influence of
Jan Stussy & Maxine Kim Stussy

Jan Stussy, Morning Figure
Jan Stussy,
Morning Figure

Maxine Kim Stussy, Untitled
Maxine Kim Stussy,
Untitled



After World War II, the contemporary art world began to shed its Eurocentrism, and Abstract Expressionists of the "New York School" became the popular face of American Art. The first significant post-war West Coast art movement is commonly credited to the "Cool School" that formed around L.A.'s Ferus Gallery beginning in 1957. That view neglects crucial contributions from an earlier cadre of Southern California artists, including Jan Stussy and Maxine Kim Stussy, who took the label "school" literally and focused primarily on teaching and classical training rather than personal commercial success. Their emphasis on teaching disciplined craftsmanship, and their unapologetic dedication to figurative art, attracted war veterans as well as a younger generation more receptive to challenging antiquated traditions and oppressive authority. Largely neglected by art historians in deference to later, more celebrated artists, this group from local universities and private art schools soon populated their faculties, nurturing an artistic and educational milieu that eventually shifted the art establishment's epicenter from East Coast to West. (continued below...)

Jan Stussy, Acrobat
Jan Stussy, A Plan for a Monument to Commemorate the Death of Bob Greeenberg as One of God's Acrobats
Maxine Kim Stussy, Untitled
Maxine Kim Stussy, Untitled


Jan Stussy and Maxine Kim Stussy were central figures in this pivotal movement. Both trained and live in Los Angeles and were married from 1949 to 1982. Strong mutual influences are palpably apparent in their work. At UCLA, Jan was mentored by American Modernist, Stanton Macdonald-Wright, co-founder of the Synchromist movement. Stussy went on to establish the UCLA Art Extension Program which “attained unprecedented levels of achievement under his tutelage” (art historian Albert Boime). He continued to teach intensively for over 40 years before his untimely death in 1990. Maxine Kim Stussy (now Frankel) also taught at UCLA and elsewhere and continues actively to expand her extraordinary oeuvre in Los Angeles.

In addition to works by Jan Stussy and Maxine Kim Stussy, this exhibition includes artworks and commentary by past members of Stussy Master Classes reflecting his influence at various stages of their careers. Participating “Members of the Tribe” include Deborah Anderson, Joe Blaustein, Gerald Buckberg, Judith Greenleaf, Artis Lane, Don Paglia, Detra Prete and Elyse Wyman.

 

Deborah Anderson
Deborah Anderson
Joe Blaustein
Joe Blaustein
Gerald Buckberg
Gerald Buckberg
Judith Greenleaf
Judith Greenleaf
Artis Lane
Artis Lane
Don Paglia
Don Paglia
Detre Prete
Detra Prete
Elyse Wyman
Elyse Wyman