The figurative artists who dominated the Los Angeles art scene during the '40s and '50s have largely been written out of today's art history: L.A. RAW is an attempt to right that wrong. Bringing together works by 41 artists in a variety of media, L.A. RAW traces an alternative historical through-line that connects post-war figurative expressionism to the '60s and '70s investigations of politics, gender and ethnicity – concerns that are commonly credited as having played a key role in shaping the art of today. Featured artists include John Altoon, Wallace Berman, William Brice, Hans Burkhardt, Chris Burden, Cameron, Judy Chicago, Connor Everts, Llyn Foulkes, Charles Garabedian, David Hammonds, Robert Heinecken, John Paul Jones, Kim Jones, Ed and Nancy Kienholz, Rico Lebrun, Paul McCarthy, Arnold Mesches, Betye Saar, Ben Sakoguchi, Barbara Smith, James Strombotne, Jan Stussy, Edward Teske, Joyce Treiman, Howard Warshaw, June Wayne, Charles White, and Jack Zajac. L.A. Raw is published in conjunction with an exhibition of the same name that opens on January 21, 2012, at the Pasadena Museum of California Art.
Critic and independent curator Michael Duncan is a Corresponding Editor for Art in America. His writings have focused on maverick artists of the twentieth century, West Coast modernism, twentieth century figuration, and contemporary California art. His curatorial projects include surveys and recontextualizations of works by Pavel Tchelitchew, Sister Corita Kent, Kim MacConnel, Lorser Feitelson, Eugene Berman, Richard Pettibone, Alberto Burri, and Wallace Berman. He was the curator of the 2009 Texas Biennial and is curator of the forthcoming exhibition An Opening of the Field: Jess, Robert Duncan & Their Circle.