cutaway view William Leavitt
Cutaway View, 2008
Mixed media installation
Dimensions variable
Courtesy of Margo Leavin Gallery, Los Angeles
Installation view at MOCA, Los Angeles
Photo credit: Brian Forrest
© William Leavitt

juliet's balcony Jeffrey Vallance
Juliet’s Balcony, Verona, 2006
Mixed media
24 x 8.5 x 8.25 inches
Courtesy Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York
© Jeffrey Vallance

Significant Ordinaries

January 26−April 14, 2013

Curated by David De Boer, Eamonn Fox, and Mary Grace Sanchez and organized as a part of the Museum and Curatorial Studies CSULB Graduate Program, Significant Ordinaries explores the practices of artists that use curatorial techniques in their artwork. Significant Ordinaries brings together contemporary conceptual artists that seem to prioritize complex displays over technical mastery. David Horvitz, Louise Lawler, William Leavitt, Mark Wyse, and Jeffrey Vallance showcase their penchant for treating presentation as a means of narration in this exhibition. In their carefully considered constructions and installations, these artists invite viewers to investigate how the arrangement of an artwork can stretch interpretative boundaries.

The adventurous approaches to display upheld by artists in Significant Ordinaries appear more as artful interplays of personal artifacts and situational artifice than isolated works of art. Jeffrey Vallance frames everyday objects like religious icons in his work, and in doing so, draws attention to how we assign value to our possessions. Photographer Louise Lawler appropriates other artists’ work in purposely positioned shots that expose larger environmental compositions. William Leavitt places the viewer within spaces costumed as suburban rooms in the creation of his “theater of the ordinary.” Mark Wyse arranges printed painting details with his own photographs to evoke disjointed associations and open−ended interpretations. David Horvitz allows viewers to re−organize and re−display his folio containing small artworks from 27 different artists; in re−ordering the images, patrons reconstruct the narrative of the work. The unconventional execution of artwork from these artists allows visitors to meditate on how personal relics activate everyday spaces in their own life.

Significant Ordinaries beckons its audience to impart their own experiences into the artworks and encourages viewers to complete the exhibition as an artist−curator themselves.


Under the guidance of Interim Director Dr. Kendall Brown, former Director Nizan Shaked, and subsequent Directors of the CSULB Graduate Program in Museum and Curatorial Studies, Significant Ordinaries was curated and organized by David De Boer, Eamonn Fox, and Mary Grace Sanchez in partial requirement for the CSULB Graduate Program in Museum and Curatorial Studies. Significant Ordinaries is made possible by generous funding provided by Instructional Related Activities, California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) and Associated Students, Inc., CSULB. The staff of the University Art Museum deserves special thanks for their support and advice throughout the process.

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