Bruce Conner: Somebody Else’s Prints
February 7 – May 16, 2015
Bruce Conner: Somebody Else’s Prints is the first in-depth examination of the artist’s achievements as a printmaker in over a decade and features rarely seen examples from the Conner Family Trust and private collections.
The San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art will open an exhibition of prints by Kansas native and Bay Area-based multimedia artist Bruce Conner (1933-2008) on February 7, 2015. Spanning nearly 60 years of work, Bruce Conner: Somebody Else’s Prints is the first in-depth examination of his achievements as a printmaker in over a decade and features rarely seen examples from the Conner Family Trust and private collections.
A fixture in the San Francisco Beat-era art scene in the 1950s and 1960s, Conner was renowned for his groundbreaking work in assemblage, painting, sculpture, printmaking, and experimental film. The Wichita, Kansas native never worked with one medium for long, and infamously shifted personas, often attributing his artwork to celebrities, such as actor and friend Dennis Hopper, and fake personas alike.
Printmaking is one medium that spans Conner’s entire career. Bruce Conner: Somebody Else’s Prints will feature around 100 works, from the first etchings and lithographs the artist made while still a young student in Kansas in 1944 to his last inkjet prints made with Photoshop at Magnolia Editions, Oakland, California, in 2003.
All of his important series of prints will be featured: the work with Tamarind Lithography Workshop in the mid-1960s; a selection from his disorienting series of maze-like lithographs; and all three volumes of “The Dennis Hopper One Man Show,” a series of etchings based on engraving collages.
In addition, the exhibition will feature rare ephemera from the archives of the Conner Family Trust. For example, photographic slides (strikingly similar to the black and white lithographs that he started making in the 1960s) that Conner used when he was part of a group that performed experimental light shows for bands like Big Brother and the Holding Company and the Grateful Dead.
Organized by the Ulrich Museum at Wichita State University, the exhibition draws on a wealth of Conner material in the museum’s collection. The exhibition is curated by former Ulrich Museum Curator, Jodi Throckmorton, who stated, “I felt it was important to do an exhibition that focused on his works on paper—a barely examined part of his work that reveals much about his artistic practice.”
The ICA will host two talking art events that will feature in-depth discussions of Bruce Conner’s work and the cultural landscape that influenced him. The public is invited on Thursday, February 26 and Thursday, April 16 at 7pm. Admission is $5 for ICA Members; $10 for Non-Members; Free for Students.
Bruce Conner: Somebody Else’s Prints is organized by the Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita State University.
The ICA presentation has been generously supported by Applied Materials Foundation, The Mercy and Roger Smullen Family Trust, John Green and Martin Fox, and members of the ICA Directors Circle.
The ICA gratefully acknowledges support from the Office of Cultural Affairs for the City of San Jose, Silicon Valley Creates, and from and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. The ICA is also supported in part by the Applied Materials Foundation, and members of the ICA.
Friday, February 13, 2015
Thursday, February 26, 2015, 7pm
Collaborating with Bruce Conner
Thursday, April 16, 2015, 7pm
And the beat goes on…