JUDITHE HERNÁNDEZ AND PATSSI VALDEZ: ONE PATH TWO JOURNEYS
September 1, 2017 - January 28, 2018
The Millard Sheets Art Center is proud to announce that it has been selected to participate in Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA, a far-reaching and ambitious exploration of Latin American and Latino art in dialogue with Los Angeles. Initiated through grants from the Getty Foundation, Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA takes place from September 2017 through January 2018 at more than 70 cultural institutions across Southern California, from Los Angeles to Palm Springs, and from San Diego to Santa Barbara. Pacific Standard Time is an initiative of the Getty.
Los Four and Asco were two ground-breaking Los Angeles artist collectives speaking out for Mexican-American civil rights in the 1970s and early ‘80s. Their work validated ethnic and cultural practices and campaigned against discrimination, racism, and exploitation. Their unique public art and bi-cultural style brought Chicano art to the attention of the mainstream art world. LACMA mounted a major Los Four exhibition in 1974, recognizing the importance of Chicano Art as a unique school of American art.
When Judithe Hernández (b 1948) joined Los Four and Patssi Valdez (b 1951) co-founded Asco, they were the only women included in artist groups of that time. Hernández is well-known for her work as a muralist in LA between 1969 and 1982, and is credited with creating some of the earliest feminist work about women’s labor and migrants. Valdez became known for her avant-garde performance art, installations and photography. Though politically aligned with their male counterparts during this time of civil disobedience, their work also questioned issues of inequality specific to Chicana women, such as their assigned role in the home.
Valdez reinvented herself as a painter and both artists went on to enjoy successful solo careers, exhibiting in the United States, Latin America and Europe and appearing in both private and public collections. Their mature bodies of work place Hernández and Valdez firmly among the finest Latina artists of their generation. “They have repeatedly pushed beyond proscribed limits of society and culture to create art of enormous power in voices that are uniquely their own,” said curator Lugene Whitley. “It’s wonderful to bring these two artists together for the first time in an exhibition. They both grew up in East Los Angeles, received degrees at Otis Art Institute, and shared similar political agendas around race and gender during the civil rights movement, but their paths seldom crossed.”
One Path Two Journeys will present a visual dialogue of their recent and new works, including a collaborative installation. Whether through the brilliant colors and patterns of movement in the work of Valdez or the richly representative pastels of Hernández, visitors will experience the powerful, personal, defiant and intimate in the aesthetic evolution of these two artists.