The CalArts Pool Fisheye Snapshot

Ismael de Anda III (Art MFA 00)

Ismael de Anda III (Art MFA 00) reports on two exhibitions: Alptraum (nightmare), Jan. 18 – March 14, 2020, is a wandering exhibition of 2D works by 200-plus artists, from 21-plus countries. Originally conceived and organized by Marcus Sendlinger (Germany) in 2010, the 17th iteration of Alptraum was co-curated by the Torrance Art Museum (TAM). TAM is free to the public. The title was inspired by the paintings of the Swiss artist Johann-Heinrich Füssli (1741–1825) who painted different versions of Incubus (Nachtmahr). Inspired by ghost stories, Füssli made the world of dreams and visions the subject of his paintings. This exhibition reflects on various artistic, social, and cultural circumstances individually concerning nightmares—and each artist’s interpretation or reflection in drawing, collage, photography, or works on paper. The 200-plus artists invited to contribute to this exhibition have been asked to only submit works they have had a direct hand in creating. So physical contact and mark-making on the surface of the material is implied in a manner akin to the scryer, an “automatic writer,” a pyromancer’s stirring of the hot embers, an ectoplasmic medium—the hand that recreates the subconscious wanderings of its owner.

Artists, Advocates, Dreamers, curated by Sofia Gutierrez, was on view Feb. 8 – March 5, 2020 at José Drudis-Biada Art Gallery. Since its conception as a state in 1850, California has been a mecca for freethinkers and pioneers. Prior to that, it was Mexican and indigenous; a land of mestizos (“mixed race” people) who negotiated identity between many worlds. California, at the edge of the United States, continues to maneuver this ever-changing world of migration and the elusiveness of the American Dream. In Artist, Advocates, Dreamers, artists as free-thinkers bring the complexity of migration and identity to our attention through their advocacy and art. Artists include: Alicia Sterling Beach, Khodr Cherri, Nicole Cohen (Critical Studies MFA 09), Ismael de Anda III (Art MFA 00), Eszter Delgado, Isaias Delgado, Gustavo Alberto García Vaca, Mario Gutierrez, Jose Luis Hernandez, Ann Higgins, John Ildefonzo, Kristy H.A. Kang, Beatriz Jaramillo, John C. Lewis, Stephen Linsley, Veronica Preciado, Ricardo Reyes, Bruce Richards, Victor Solis, Marianne Sadowski, Beatriz Valls, Arturo Vizcaino Cortes, Brenda Zozaya, Carolyn Castaño, Albert Valdez, and Amy Putman.