"Behind the Eyes," opening Tuesday in USC's Fisher Gallery, "calls attention to contemporary German artists who are more interested in perception and psychology than in angst ," according to Van Deren Coke, director of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's department of photography. Coke, who organized the traveling show, selected more than 50 photographs in black-and-white and color, as well as other works in a variety of media by eight German artists.

"Recent art in Germany has often reflected the deep frustrations of a people divided into two Germanys. Evolved out of this circumstance has been a highly expressionistic style of painting that has refocused art on the figure as a prime symbolic device," says Coke, in a prepared statement.

Aesthetic approaches vary in the show, but the artists share a common interest in what lies "behind the eyes." Bernhard Johannes Blume, Claus Bohmler, Bogomir Ecker, Jochen Gerz, Jurgen Klauke, Edmund Kuppel and Jurgen Partenheimer present paintings, prints, sculpture, video and performance art in addition to their photographs. Only Pidder Auberger works exclusively with the camera.

Coke will give a slide lecture April 2, at 6 p.m. The exhibition runs through April 23.

"Robert Longo: 7 Sequences/Men in the Cities," an exhibition of monumental drawings by the New York artist, is at Cal State Long Beach's University Art Museum through April 20.

The two- and three-part sequences exhibited are from the series "Men in the Cities," which Longo has worked on since 1979.

The museum presents "An Evening With Robert Longo" on April 1 at 8 p.m. in the Studio Theater (on campus) where Longo will discuss his work and show videotapes of his performance pieces and other projects. Ticket information: (213) 498-5526.

"Explorations III," the third annual series of performances by contemporary artists intent on redefining traditional boundaries between dance, theater, music and video, is in full swing at the Japan America Theater, through May 9.

The series is co-sponsored by CalArts, the Japanese American Cultural and Comunity Center and the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Performances on April 2 and 3 present Steve Busa, Dorit Cypis, Leslie Mohn and Red Eye Collaboration. Liz Lerman and the Dance Exchange will perform on May 1 and 2. The series will conclude May 8 and 9, with Squat Theater's "Dreamland Burns," the first works this group has devised for a proscenium stage.

All performances start at 8 p.m. Ticket information: (213) 680-3700.

Artspace, a private, nonprofit studio and living space in downtown Salt Lake City, is searching for an artist to create art on one side of its building.

Interested artists are asked to submit up to eight 35-millimeter slides of their current work and a resume, statement of qualifications and a self-addressed, stamped envelope for the return of the slides. The deadline is April 11, 1986. For a brochure containing a schematic drawing of the wall and detailed competition conditions, write: Artspace Mural Competition, 325 W. Pierpoint, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84101. Telephone: (801) 531-9378.

The short roster of California folk art environments being preserved for posterity swelled encouragingly when a garden by John Medica was recently awarded State Landmark status, joining such other unique monuments to unschooled ingenuity as Grandma Prisbee's Bottle Village in the Simi Valley.

John Medica's garden in Santa Rosa is a hand-made architectural and planted environment on a four-acre site built up between 1955 and 1967 by Medica, a self-taught mason and rock worker. It includes 28 stone buildings, most standing about 3 1/2 feet tall, three 8-foot stone arches, six stone bridges, a swimming pool and a miniature railroad. Medica built the walkways, castles, arches, grottoes and bridges from discarded chip-rock from a nearby quarry.

The garden is not open to visitors but the preservation group SPACES (Saving and Preserving Art and Cultural Environments) is developing a fund to help the artist make the site available to the public and to protect his work. Further information is available by calling (213) 463-1629.

London's Victoria and Albert Museum has acquired a collection of 40 works by contemporary American ceramists, gifts from leading U.S. collectors in the genre.

The assembled works will be exhibited alongside other recent acquisitions of American ceramics in an exhibition titled "American Potters Today," slated to open in London on May 14 and run through the summer. Donations were coordinated by Los Angeles ceramic art dealer Garth Clark.

"Art/Culture/Future," a conference emphasizing the crafts, will take place June 4-7 in the Bay Area. The event is sponsored by the American Craft Council and hosted by the Oakland Museum with additional events at Laney College, California College of Arts and Crafts, and the Henry J. Kaiser Convention Center.

According to the management, the conference will address significant issues of concern to craftsmen and the whole range of the art world. About 1,000 art, craft and design professionals are expected to congregate to assess the status of the craft movement in the '80s and the coming decades.

The long list of conference participants includes artists Robert Arneson, Stephen De Staebler and Jack Lenor Larsen; critics Alan Temko and John Perrault; museum administrators Henry Hopkins, Lloyd Herman and Paul Smith; curators Graham Beal and Alice Frelinghuysen; educators Neil Hoffman, Eliot Eisner, David Gebhard and Peter Selz; and editors Barbara Goldstein (Arts and Architecture) and Rose Slivka (Craft International), in addition to dealers and collectors.

Among topics to be explored: "The Artist in Society," "Architectural Craft/Architectural Art," "Criticism and Contemporary Crafts," "New Directions; History (and Future) Through Exhibitions." Information: (415) 272-0600.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World