TODD GRAY: Immaculate

Luckman Gallery at California State University

November 15, 2004

Todd Gray

20 November 2004 – 29 January 2005

Harriet and Charles Luckman
Fine Arts Complex
California State University,
Los Angeles

5151 State University Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90032-8116
Tel. (323) 343-6604
Fax (323) 343-6670
gallery [​at​]

Todd Gray, Monk, 2001, type c print, 39 x 42 in.    TODD GRAY Immaculate

Fluent in cultural iconography, driven by introspection, and steeped in issues of corporate politics and racial identity, Todd Gray’s photo-based works are challenging in every sense of the word. Todd Gray: Immaculate surveys work made by the artist in the past 20 years and presents works from the recent past that have never been publicly exhibited. Included are images of struggling and fighting figures from his Urban Myths and Support Systems series of the 1980s, and the scathingly iconic/ironic silhouettes of menacing cartoon characters in his Goofy series of the 1990s. Equal representation is given to works from three new and previously unexhibited bodies of work, including performance-inspired photographic self-portraits evocative of primitive rituals from the Shaman series; compelling architectural views and landscapes from the Europe series; and examples of his most recent and provocative photo-sculptures titled California Missions: taxidermied animals dissected by large photographic images of the terrain and remains of the conquered territories and colonies of the legendary Junipero Serra. Conceived from Gray’s ongoing research into the history of colonization, these works evoke its ongoing socio-political implications both locally and globally.
Todd Gray attended the California Institute of the Arts in the late 1970s and became the young Michael Jackson’s official photographer from 1979-1984. In the late 1980s, Gray returned to Cal Arts to receive his MFA and to transform his commercial experiences into a conceptually rigorous body of work. Works by the artist have been included in many notable museum exhibitions, including Committed to the Image: Contemporary Black Photographers at the Brooklyn Museum of Art (2001); Made in California 1900-2000 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2000); and the nationally traveling Reflections in Black: African American Photography, A History Deconstructed, originated by the Smithsonian Anacostia Museum and Center for African American History (2000); among many others. Perhaps best known for his widely exhibited Goofy series of the early 1990s, this is the Los Angeles-based artist’s first major solo exhibition in over eight years.

CATALOGUE: Todd Gray: Immaculate will be accompanied by a 56-page, color-illustrated exhibition catalog. Texts include an interview between the artist and internationally recognized artist, Carrie Mae Weems; an essay by independent writer and curator, Malik Gaines; and an essay by Julie Joyce, exhibition curator and Gallery Director of the Luckman Fine Arts Complex.

OPENING RECEPTION: Saturday, November 20, 6-8:00 p.m.

ARTIST’S TALK: Thursday, January 20, 6:00 p.m.

SPONSORS: This project is made possible through a generous grant from the Pasadena Art Alliance, and through an Artists’ Resource for Completion grant from The Durfee Foundation.

UPCOMING EXHIBITIONS at the Luckman Gallery: General Idea Editions: 1967-1995 (Mar- Apr 2005) Very Early Pictures (Jun- Jul 2005) Marnie Weber: The Dollhouse, The Graveyard, and Who’s the Most Forgotten of Them All (Sep- Oct 2005)

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Luckman Gallery at California State University
November 15, 2004

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