Noah Purifoy: Junk Dada

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    Date(s) - Jun 07
    10:00 am - 7:00 pm


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    LACMA presents Noah Purifoy: Junk Dada , the first monographic exhibition dedicated to California-based artist Noah Purifoy since his passing in 2004. Co-curated by Franklin Sirmans, Terri and Michael Smooke Department Head and Curator of Contemporary Art at LACMA, and Independent Curator Yael Lipschutz, Noah Purifoy: Junk Dada examines the work of a seminal American artist who is still little known. Purifoy, a founding director of the Watts Towers Arts Center in Los Angeles, created an early body of sculpture constructed out of charred debris from the 1965 Watts rebellion. The resulting gesamtkunstwerk focusing on the riots, 66 Signs of Neon (1966), traveled to nine venues between 1966 and 1969. In line with his fascination with the street and its objects, Purifoy’s 66 Signs of Neon evoked a Duchampian approach to the fire-ravaged alleys of post-riot Watts with a peculiarly American spirit of making use of the material at hand. This strategy profoundly impacted artists such as John Outterbridge, Maren Hassinger, David Hammons, and Senga Nengudi, then emerging in Los Angeles and beyond. Purifoy dedicated himself to the found object and to using art as a tool for social change in the 20 years that followed the rebellion, after which he relocated to California’s Mojave Desert, where he spent his final 15 years creating large-scale installations. Opens Sunday, June 7.