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"Art in California" Book Presentation and Signing with Author Jenni Sorkin

December 11, 2021, 1:00 pm2:30 pm

Stewart Harvey (b. 1943), The Man, Baker Beach, 1989. This image depicts the third gathering of the Burning Man festival, which was initiated by Larry Harvey in 1986 on San Francisco’s Baker Beach. Inspired by the ancient rites of summer solstice, community building, and artistic and spiritual cultures, the burning of a male effigy in a bonfire became a central icon of the annual event, which moved to Black Rock City, Nevada in 1998. Courtesy Stewart Harvey 

Koret Auditorium

Join Jenni Sorkin, associate professor at UC Santa Barbara and Judy Chicago: In the Making  catalogue contributor, as she presents her recently published book Art in California, an illustrated history of modern and contemporary art from the early twentieth century to the present day.
This talk will be followed by a book signing. Purchase your book in advance online or at our museum store.

About "Art in California"

Art in California is a fully illustrated history of modern and contemporary art in California from the early twentieth century to the present day. This introduction to the art of California focuses on the distinctive role the state played in the history of American art, from early twentieth-century photography and Chicanx mural painting to the fiber art movement and beyond. Shaped by a compelling network of geopolitical influences―including waves of migration and exchange from the Pacific Rim and Mexico, the influx of African Americans immediately after World War II, and global immigration after quotas were lifted in the 1960s―California is a center of artistic activity whose influence extends far beyond its physical boundaries. Including work by artists Yun Gee, Helen Lundeberg, Henry Taylor, Richard Diebenkorn, Albert Bierstadt, Chiura Obata, and Judith Baca, among many others, art historian Jenni Sorkin tells California’s story as a place at the forefront of radical developments in artistic culture. Paperback, 256 pages.

About the Author

Jenni Sorkin writes on the intersections between gender, material culture, and contemporary art. Her recent book is Art in California (2021), written for Thames & Hudson’s acclaimed World of Art series. As a state, California is the site of tremendous diversity in the visual arts and has been at the forefront of cultural production throughout the twentieth century. Her first book, Live Form: Women, Ceramics and Community (University of Chicago Press, 2016) examined the confluence of gender, artistic labor, and the history of post-war ceramics. Recent projects include the essay “Affinities in Abstraction: Textiles and Otherness in 1970s Painting,” in Outliers and American Vanguard Art. Lynne Cooke, ed. (Washington DC: National Gallery of Art, 2018) and “Alterity Rocks: 1973-1993,” Art in Chicago: A History from the Fire to Now. Maggie Taft and Robert Cozzolino, eds. (Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2018). She has published widely as an art critic, and her writing has appeared in ArtforumArt JournalArt MonthlyEast of BorneoNU: The Nordic Art ReviewFriezeThe Journal of Modern CraftModern Painters and Third Text. In 2004, she received the Art Journal Award. She currently serves on the editorial board of Journal of Modern Craft, and has served as a member of the editorial boards of Art Journal and Textile: The Journal of Cloth and Culture. She is the recipient of fellowships from the American Council of Learned Societies (2014–15), the Center for Craft, Creativity, and Design (2012), the Getty Research Institute (2010–11), and the ACLS/Luce Fellowship in American Art (2008).

Sorkin has been an invited lecturer at numerous museums including the ASU Art Museum, Tempe, Dia Beacon; ICA, Philadelphia, Contemporary Art Museum, Menil Collection, and MFA, Houston; MAD and Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon; Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas; Newcomb Museum, Tulane University; University of Chicago, and the Yale Center for British Art. She has been a visiting critic at Cranbrook Academy of Art, Colorado State University, Michigan State University, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, University of Oregon, University of Washington, University of Wisconsin, Southern Methodist University, and the Yale School of Art.

COVID-19 Guidance  

Regardless of vaccination status, face coverings are required for staff and visitors at all times on museum premises. Masks may be temporarily removed for eating and drinking while seated in the museum or outdoors. Cleaning routines have been increased and sanitizing stations are available throughout the de Young. Learn more about our rigorous health and safety measures.

Ticket Information

All programs are free and open to the public. No general admission ticket is necessary.

For programs inside Koret Auditorium, seating is limited and unassigned. FREE tickets are distributed on a first-come, first-served basis an hour before the program begins in front of the Koret Auditorium. This ticket does not include admission to the museum galleries. 

Contact Information

Public Programs
(415) 750-7624