Thirty years of conceptual art will be on display beginning Wednesday at UC Santa Barbara's University Art Museum with the opening of an exhibit titled "Knowledge: Aspects of Conceptual Art." The show will run through Feb. 23.
Work from original conceptualists, including John Baldessari, Robert Barry and Lawrence Weiner, will be shown, as well as more recent works by Stephen Prina, David Bunn, Christopher Williams, Richard Prince and others.
"Prince was famous for questioning originality," said museum curator Phyllis Plous. "He's saying there is no original or unique thing in our culture; everything is a copy."
The exhibit includes a Prince piece called "Untitled (Jewelry)," in which the artist slightly alters a well-known Tiffany jewelry advertisement.
"It's different from the original Tiffany ad you would have seen in the New Yorker or Vogue magazine," Plous said. "He's pointing out something that has changed in our society. We used to think of the artist hero who made original genius work. It's not that way anymore."
Artist Glen Ligon has a piece called "I Feel Most Colored When I Am Thrown Against a Sharp White Background." It features the statement in the title repeated over and over again against a white background, as a comment on race and identity.
And the issue of gender is hit upon in a piece by Louise Lawler titled "Bird Calls." The audiovisual work combines the names of male artists of 20 years ago with squawking, abrasive sounds (the birdcalls). "What Lawler was doing was pointing out that all well-known artists were men when she started this in 1972," Plous said.
The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday 1 to 5 p.m. Admission is free.
There must be something in the air. The Julian A. McPhee University Union Gallerie at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is also introducing a new exhibit Wednesday. The show, featuring recent paintings by artist Karl-Josef Berger, is the second in a series of Gallerie exhibits featuring Berger's work.
The first show was in 1987, three years after Berger's arrival in California from what was then West Germany. This exhibit will highlight newer pieces and is intended to illustrate the changes in Berger's art since then. The show will run through Feb. 8. The Gallerie is open Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. For more information call 756-1182.
Poet Laura Mullen will offer a reading Sunday at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.
Mullen is a granddaughter of Donald Bear, founding director of the museum 50 years ago. Some of her previous work has been included in the 1991 National Poetry Series and the "Best American Poetry 1990" anthology. The presentation is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. General admission is $3. Tickets can be purchased at the Museum Store in advance or at 2 p.m. the day of the reading, providing there are any left. For more information call 963-4364.
As of tomorrow, the Santa Barbara version of the improvisational comedy group "ComedySportz" will relocate to Fess Parker's Red Lion Resort Hotel. The company had performed at Tony Roma's restaurant in Santa Barbara for the past eight months. Group member Gary Kramer said the move allows for a comfortable audience capacity of about 150 people--40 more than at Tony Roma's.
ComedySportz shows pit four "actletes" against four other "actletes," in a battle for laughs. A comic referee is on hand to ensure fair play. The Red Lion is located at 633 E. Cabrillo St. Show times are Fridays and Saturdays at 9 p.m. Admission is $5, plus a $2 food or drink minimum. For more information call 967-4679.
The Victoria Street Theater will kick off its "Sunday-at-One" foreign film series this week--Sunday about 1 p.m., actually--with the 1991 British movie "Antonia and Jane." It is a story of two longtime friends who are vastly different from one another. This showing serves as a sort of sneak preview, since the movie will run at the theater Jan. 10-16. The theater is located at 33 W. Victoria St. For more information call 965-1886.
Ever wonder what Peter of "Peter and the Wolf" sounds like? He'll sound at least a little bit like the cartoon character Boo Boo Bear when narrator Don Messick, conductor Christopher Story VI, the West Coast Symphony and The Montecito School of Ballet unite for two presentations of that musical fairy tale Sunday at the Lobero Theatre.
Messick, whose vocal cords are behind the voices of many popular cartoon characters, will also lend his Scooby Doo voice to the wolf and his Papa Smurf voice to Peter's grandfather.
In addition to narrating the ballet, Messick will give a reading of the Ogden Nash poem "Carnival of the Animals." He will be accompanied by cellist James Arkitov, founder of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. A cartoon slide show will round out each show. Show times are 2 and 4 p.m. Admission is $10.75 (general), $8.25 (students/seniors) and $5.75 (children). The theater is located at 33 E. Canon Perdido St. Call 963-0761.