November 1, 2006 - Orange County Museum of Art - 2006 California Biennial
November 1, 2006

2006 California Biennial

Pearl C. Hsiung, Tidal Wretch, 2005; enamel on canvas, 96 x 72 in.; courtesy of the artist and Max Wigram Gallery, London

2006 California Biennial
On view through December 31

Orange County Museum of Art
850 San Clemente Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92660
949.759.1122 x202

The Orange County Museum of Art presents the 2006 California Biennial, the latest in an important series of biennials organized by the museum that reflect the regions vital contributions to the art world. Showcasing more than 30 of Californias most exciting and innovative young artists and collectives, this years biennial includes more than 125 works in all media-from large-scale installations and wall drawings to film, video, and audio works, sculptures, paintings, and works on paper.

During the past two years, the biennial curators conducted numerous studio visits throughout California. In selecting participants for the 2006 California Biennial, the curators focused on artists whose new works reflect art trends from California, the diverse communities we live in, and the rich and varied cultures we experience. And, as in previous biennials, this years artists represent a wide range of geographical locales and artistic orientations. While all the artists live in California, the exhibition is, like the state, international in scope and flavor, featuring artists born in countries as diverse as Yugoslavia, Norway, the United Kingdom, Vietnam, Taiwan, Germany, and the Philippines. Many artists represented in the exhibition assume multiple roles as archivist, anthropologist, critic, curator, performer, and social activist, and as a result, the show includes works addressing a range of topical, art historical, formal, and philosophical issues.

Artists in this years Biennial include Andy Alexander, Christopher Ballantyne, Walead Beshty, Bull_Miletic, Jane Callister, Binh Danh, Sergio De La Torre, Shannon Ebner, Ala Ebtekar, Brian Fahlstrom, Kianga Ford, Pearl C. Hsiung, Marie Jager, Shana Lutker, Christian Maychack , Martin McMurray, Joel Morrison, My Barbarian, Kate Pocrass, Lordy Rodriguez, Arturo Ernesto Romo, Sterling Ruby, Leslie Shows, Speculative Archive, Tim Sullivan, Hank Willis Thomas, Nicolau Vergueiro, Goody-B. Wiseman, Mario Ybarra Jr., and Amir Zaki.

Initially the curators wanted to steer clear of an overarching curatorial premise, but after casting a wide net, they identified six prominent themes: extreme Object Makersexquisitely rendered works that mutate traditional forms and media to create new hybrids; Social Interactionworks that engage viewers to interact in particular social spaces, constructed or identified by the artists and calling attention to popular culture and everyday life; Urban ecologiesart that responds to the natural and built environment, including urban, suburban, and entropic landscapes; Historical and Archival Consciousnessarchiving and adapting images and text from the flow of history and contemporary political events; Fantasy Veritéthe resurgent interest in work that draws upon unconscious desire, dreamlike imagination, and absurd humor as a strategy; and Appropriated Identitiesartists who use themselves as both subject and object to construct personal, social, and/or multiple identities.

The Biennial is organized by Elizabeth Armstrong, the Orange County Museum of Arts deputy director for programs and chief curator; Karen Moss, curator of collections and director of education and public programs; and consulting curator Rita Gonzalez.

A full-color exhibition catalogue accompanies the Biennial with introductory essays by the exhibition curators, as well as short entries on each of the Biennial artists by the curators and guest writers: Kristin Chambers, Aimee Chang, Michael Ned Holte, Jan Tumlir, and Glen Helfand.

Orange County Museum of Art is located in Newport Beach, California. For information, visit

The California Biennial received leadership support from James B. Pick and Rosalyn M. Laudati. The exhibition is presented by Deutsche Bank. Significant funding is provided by Gilbert E. and Victoria LeVasseur, Charles and Twyla Martin, Louise Merage, the Nimoy Foundation, the Peter Norton Family Foundation, and Barbara and Victor Klein. Additional support was received from Arts Orange County and Orange County Community Foundation, Theory, Phyllis and John Kleinberg, and Elliot Leonard and Roger Litz. Media sponsorship is provided by 89.9 FM KCRW and OC Weekly.

Orange County Museum of Art
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