Circles of Influence, Impressionism to Modernism in Southern California Art 1910 / 1930
Orange County Museum of Art, Newport Beach, California
136 pages, 94 illustrations, softcover - $65
By Sarah Vure, with an Essay by Kevin Starr and a Chronology by Nancy Moure
Classic art history traces influence in a more or less linear fashion, mapping out the achievements of a significant artist and outlining the ways in which students and admirers were inspired to utilize these accomplishments and move beyond them to create something still newer. Works of that respond to the time and place in which they were made while enlarging the boundaries of known forms of expression have the ability to stimulate keen intellectual discourse, and in examining the transition from Impressionist-inspired landscape painting to Modernism in California, Sara Vure realized that a traditional linear model would not suffice. She observed patterns of overlapping circles in the groups of artists that formed and reformed around the dynamic parade of creative personalities who visited Los Angeles to paint, exhibit, jury exhibitions, and teach during of the most explosive periods of urban expansion in American history.
Circles also serve as an apt metaphor for the way new ideas can be absorbed into a single artist’s oeuvre or into the evolution of a larger cultural development – forms of expression are explored, developed, perceived as radical, and then circle back on themselves in response to public reaction, economic necessity, or simple insecurity. Bus soon enough the impact of these new themes becomes extended and explored in new directions, and in ever-widening ripples of influence. – Naomi Vine, Director.