mary mattigly pullMary Mattingly
Pull, 2013
C−print, 40 x 40 inches
Courtesy Robert Mann Gallery
© Mary Mattingly


mona lisaBidou Yamaguchi
Mona Lisa, 2003
Japanese cypress, seashell, natural pigment, lacquer
8.27 x 5.31 x 2.76 inches Collection of Kelly Sutherlin McLeod and Steve McLeod
© Bidou Yamaguchi


In the CSULB School of Art’s graduate program in Museum and Curatorial Studies, students learn the history of museums and exhibitions, methods of cultural analysis and interpretation, as well as the planning, design and production of art exhibitions. With an emphasis on contemporary art, the program combines a dynamic course of study in art history and theory with hands−on practice of gallery and museum work. The partnership between the University Art Museum and the Museum Studies program allows students to acquire first−hand experience in museum work through specialized courses, directed internships and hands−on exhibition preparation and implementation, including an annual exhibition presented in the museum and curated by each cohort.

This coming spring, Museum and Curatorial Studies presents Frenemies, an exhibition curated by students Kimberly Bakovic and Crystal Ferrer, in which the blurred distinction between art object and luxury good in the contemporary art market is explored. Using the artistic precedent of Andy Warhol as a departure point, Frenemies looks to the works of artists that examine the influence of the realms of commerce and fashion on the circulation and value of art. Whether subversive or complicit, the featured artists' work is a commentary on the changing systems of circulation, production, and overall role of art in contemporary society.

Louise Lawler’s strategically framed photographs force the viewer to reevaluate the life and circulation of the art object within various art-world structures. Sylvie Fleury takes symbols of the gendered practice of shopping and places them within the gallery setting, pointing to the collusion of the art world, fashion industry, and consumer society. Takashi Murakami’s diverse oeuvre of prints, paintings and sculptures explores the intersection of Japanese and American popular cultures, marrying the worlds of fashion and art, ultimately questioning the breakdown of these two categories. Merlin Carpenter’s paintings aesthetically conjure the brightly colored Campbell’s soup cans and Marilyn Monroe portraits of Andy Warhol’s mis-registered silkscreens from the 1960s. The installation-based works of Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset point to the idea of hyper exclusivity, and methods of representation and display in the art and fashion worlds. The sculptures of contemporary artist Andrew Lewicki combine familiar imagery derived from fashion, advertisement, and the urban landscape with unorthodox materials, challenging our traditional notions of materiality in both tangible and art-historical terms.

For more information on the Museum Studies program visit the School of Art website.

The 2014 cohort of Museum & Curatorial Studies, B. Karenina Karyadi, Lauren Nochella, Kristy Odett, and Ariana Rizo, under the guidance of Dr. Kendall H. Brown, presented Traditions Transfigured: The Noh Masks of Bidou Yamaguchi, January 25−April 13, 2014. The exhibition is currently traveling to institutions around the country.

The human face and its expressive potential have inspired artists around the world for millennia. Arguably, Japan's Noh theater provides an unparalleled domain for exploring emotion and representing the human countenance. Today, Noh continues to inspire a dynamic dialogue between artists from Asia and the west. Expanding on this rich vein, Traditions Transfigured selects contemporary works by Noh mask maker Bidou Yamaguchi. These masks apply the forms, techniques, transformative spirit, and mysterious elegance of Noh masks to iconic female portraits from the European art historical canon, and to Kabuki actor prints by Sharaku, Japan's enigmatic 18th century portrait master.

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