Themes

Post/Minimalism and Performance

During the late 1960s and 1970s several artists retreated from using blatant narratives in their work and embraced minimal and conceptual practices, which were in some cases performance- or multimedia-based. By experimenting with these visual realms, artists were able to transcend preconceived notions of a "black aesthetic." The work featured in this section is eclectic, reflecting the myriad styles, materials, and forms of the period. Fred Eversley, a Brooklyn-born engineer turned artist, was at the forefront of California minimalism with sculptures made from plastic resin that reflected the vibrant Venice Beach environment in which he was living. Eversley's use of slick, often transparent or vibrantly colored industrial materials allied him with the Southern California "finish fetish" movement. David Hammons arrived in Los Angeles in the 1960s, studied with Charles White at the Otis Art Institute, and had his first solo exhibition at Brockman Gallery in 1971. As Hammons's practice evolved, he began to explore issues of spatial aesthetics through both performance and multimedia. His critically acclaimed "body prints" were created by coating his body in oil or margarine, pressing it against a sheet of paper, and then covering the resulting mark with pigmented powder.

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"Post/Minimalism and Performance." Now Dig This! Art in Black Los Angeles, 1960–1980 Digital Archive. Los Angeles: Hammer Museum, 2016. https://hammer.ucla.edu/now-dig-this/art/themes/postminimalism-and-performance.