Spitting in the Wind: Art from the End of the Line celebrates long-standing friendships of artists Richard Allen Morris (b. 1933), John Baldessari (b. 1931), Bob Matheny (b. 1929) and Russell Baldwin (1933-2008), and highlights the astonishing range of work they created while living and working in San Diego. Curated by Dave Hampton.
Left to right on opening night: Richard Allen Morris, John Baldessari, Bob Matheny and Dave Hampton. Check out Hampton's canvas tie by Richard Allen Morris.
John Baldessari quote from Welton Jone's article "Tiny Southwestern had huge impact on 60's San Diego," San Diego Union Tribune, 1994 via Spitting in the Wind by Dave Hampton (More on Southwestern College- here)
"There is still no real room for art here. The attitude is anti-art. The art potential of this area is tremendous, but nothing is done about it, and the top people tend to leave." - Richard Allen Morris, 1965 via Spitting in the Wind by Dave Hampton
"San Diego hasn't come of age artistically. It's rough when you want communication, but for painting it's alright. Because there's no structured art community here, there is no pressure to paint what's in fashion. I can listen to myself and move and grow in any direction." John Baldessari, 1966 via Spitting in the Wind by Dave Hampton
Bob Matheny, Typograph (from Emerson), 1965
Richard Allen Morris, Still Life, May 4, 1960; Russell Baldwin, Keyess, 1959; Russell Baldwin, Drunk Door, 1958
Richard Allen Morris, Sad Indeed..Way Off, 1964
John Baldessari, [...] 1959; Richard Allen Morris, Smokey Stover, 1959-1960; John Baldessari, Pete Seeger is Coming Wednesday. Why Not Ask Him Over? Max., 1960
Hampton organized the exhibition into groupings that show how the artists were exploring similar trajectories.
Bob Matheny, Pail, 1963; Richard Allen Morris, Little Miss Paint Tube of 1962; John Baldessari, Painter's Heart, 1961
Bob Matheny, Pail, 1963
Richard Allen Morris, Little Miss Paint Tube of 1962
Bob Matheny, Circle #3, 1963; John Baldessari, White Painting (Two Planes) with Red Rectangle,1962; Bob Matheny, 2, 1965; Russell Baldwin, William, 1964
John Baldessari, "B" Sign,1962; Richard Allen Morris, Untitled, 1961
Bob Matheny, Upside Down Exclamation Point, 1969
Russell Baldwin, EGO CAST IN CONCRETE, 1977
John Baldessari, Painting and Drawing, 1966-68 (left)
John Baldessari, Cremation Project, 1970
On July 24, 1970 Baldessari gathered up all the paintings he made between 1953 (college graduation) and 1966 (when he gave up "relational painting" in favor of conceptual text and photo painting). He loaded them in his van and took them to a crematorium in San Diego and had them all burned. The ashes were placed in urns or made into cookies. With this, John Baldessari says good bye to San Diego and heads north for a job at Cal Arts in Los Angeles. This act is documented in the rarely seen film being shown in the exhibit.
Bob Matheny, Art Disposal Service, 1969
See the update - here
Poster for a John Baldessair and Bob Matheny two-person show, Wholes and Sums of Parts at Chapman College, 1968Collection of Bob Matheny, Photo by Chip Morton
Richard Allen Morris, Ties; Bob Matheny, Zayin, 1965; Russell Baldwin,Untitled Multiple, 1966 (top right); Richard Allen Morris, Lighter, 1971
It wouldn't be a Hampton production without a great display of ephemera.
Richard Allen Morris, excerpt from Duck, Duck
Top notch catalog by Dave Hampton
Those who go to opening nights get their catalogs signed. Matheny claimed this was the 11th time anybody has asked for his autograph. I don't believe it.
Baldessari signing my catalog. It was nice of the big guy to come down to the show from Los Angles. It's interesting to wonder what would have happened if he never left.
"The title is accurate," Morris says. "It expresses the frustration of the times, which were pathetic, as they are now. It hasn't changed. This is not a vigorous art community at all." - Richard Allen Morris, about the exhibition title Spitting in the Wind and San Diego. 2014 via City Beat
The fact that after all these years Richard Allen Morris and Bob Matheny are still making art in San Diego has me questioning Richard's comment. This and the ability for Dave Hampton's to keep willing exhibitions like this into reality show that there is a vigorous art community in San Diego. I'm not sure that would be the case is Morris, Matheny and Hampton were eliminated.
Photo: Darren Bradley
Russell Baldwin, Untitled
Photo: Chip Morton
You really shouldn't miss this one.
More information at the Oceanside Museum of Art (OMA)