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Upcoming Exhibitions

Ray Stanford Strong, Requiem for Maynard Dixon, 1946. Oil on canvas. SBMA, Museum purchase with funds provided by Robert and Marlene Veloz.
  Ray Strong: Beyond Santa Barbara
May 23 – June 21, 2015

This intimate presentation of paintings and drawings by esteemed artist Ray Strong (1905–2006) highlights distinct moments within the artist’s practice over the course of 45 years. Featuring landscapes and cityscapes produced outside of the Santa Barbara area, the selected works from the Museum’s holdings offer a view of Strong’s travels and his lifelong interest in depicting the environment around him.

Highlights include the commanding landscape Requiem for Maynard Dixon (1946), which was painted near Quartzite, Arizona, in the year that Strong’s mentor Maynard Dixon died. The painting Twilight, Mt. Hood (Near Cherryville, Oregon) (1927), reveals Strong’s interest in the techniques of George Inness, while Lower East Side, New York City, Rainy Day Under the El (1926–27) reflects the influence of Strong’s studies at the Art Students League in New York. Staged within the context of Santa Barbara, this presentation allows visitors to consider the geographical breadth of the artist’s work, offering a captivating window into Strong’s artistic legacy.

Ray Strong: Beyond Santa Barbara is organized in conjunction with The Ray Strong Project, an initiative of Sullivan Goss – An American Gallery. This effort includes a series of events and exhibitions coalescing in June of 2015 at museums and galleries in the Santa Barbara area. This initiative will also produce the first monograph on Ray Strong and an online catalogue raisonné. For additional information, visit

László (or Ladislaus) Moholy-Nagy, Composition, n.d. (ca. 1922-23). Paper collage on paper. SBMA, Gift of Mrs. Charlotte Mack.
  The Paintings of Moholy-Nagy: The Shape of Things to Come
July 5 – September 27, 2015

This represents the first exhibition that explores how the practice of painting served as the means for László Moholy-Nagy to imagine generative relationships between art and technology. Featuring a suite of paintings executed on traditional supports, as well as on new industrial materials like plastics and aluminum, this presentation highlights how Moholy’s deployment of painting served to synthesize the inter-medial practice for which the artist has become so renowned. Organized chronologically and thematically, this exhibition shows the evolution of Moholy’s thought and practice over his career but attends especially to the profound political and technological impact World War II had on him.

It is undeniable that Moholy made numerous declarations about the end of painting especially at the end of the 1920s. He demanded that artistic production reach beyond the confines of the walls of a bourgeois salon, museum or gallery. He advised artists to exchange brush, pigment, and canvas with camera, television, and searchlight. However, even as he made these radical claims, Moholy returned time and again to painting. In the early ‘20s, he painted a number of works against black grounds, some on highly-polished black wood panels, others on canvas, thickly varnished to mimic the qualities of industrial plastics he began working with at the Bauhaus in the metal workshop. He also experimented with materials developed specifically for aeronautics, with aluminum and later with clear, lightweight, increasingly shatterproof thermoplastics in the thirties and forties. These works in plastic stand at the interstices of his many artistic practices, mobilizing techniques and organizing principles drawn from printmaking, film, photography, sculpture, and crucially painting.

The exhibition was made possible through the generous support of the Tom and Charlene Marsh Family Foundation, Cecille Pulitzer, SBMA Women’s Board, an anonymous donor, Marcia and John Mike Cohen, Dead Artists Society, The Dwight G. Vedder Family, Susan Bowey, Gregg Wilson and John Maienza, The David Bermant Foundation, and The Moholy-Nagy Foundation.

View the full press release here.


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