LACMA Stakes a Claim on Lowbrow Art

Robert Williams, The Fear of Green, 2001
"I want to do art shows in a museum that should never be there," said Greg Escalante (1955-2017), co-founder of Juxtapoz magazine and dealer-promoter of so-called Lowbrow art. This weekend, he's getting his wish. For two days only (June 29-30) LACMA will present a pop-up show of works acquired in Escalante's honor. They include a Robert Williams painting, The Fear of Green (donated by Ed and Danna Ruscha), plus works by Sandow Birk, F. Scott Hess, Shepard Fairey, Moira Hahn, Mark Ryden, Shag, and others. The display will be in the Study Center for Photography and Works on Paper, Art of the Americas Building.

Robert Williams was in MOCA's "Helter-Skelter" (1992), alongside Mike Kelley, Meg Cranston, and Paul McCarthy. Yet MOCA doesn't own anything by Williams, and his most recent L.A. museum appearance was at the Petersen Automotive Museum. By conventional thinking, Williams and other artists of the Juxtapoz school are too jokey for museums; their art has nothing to do with the concerns of the regular sort of contemporary art (yet is too accomplished and market-oriented to be "outsider").   Williams leaves no gag unpainted. For every art insider who appreciates Williams, ten find him irredeemably bad. But for Williams' higher-brow supporters, badness is the point. The Escalante gifts are a provocative, and as far as I know unique, expansion of the scope of what big, serious museums collect.


Thanks for sharing. Great post very Informative, also checkout Gayanes & Gift land 98