In the Land of Sunshine: Imaging the California Coast Culture assembles approximately 90 paintings inspired by the stunning vistas, lifestyles, and industries existing along the 840 miles of California coastline. Spanning from 1900 to the present day, the oils, acrylics, and watercolors represent the diversity of California’s artistic style as well as the surfers, sailors, sport fisherman, and residents who have settled in the beaches, harbors, cities, and ranches that dot the coast.
Borrowing its name from The Land of Sunshine, a Los Angeles periodical published from 1894 through 1923 that portrayed a potent and alluring illustration of the Pacific Coast, the exhibition presents distinct epochs and cultures experienced by centuries of California artists as distilled through their artistic visions. With a broad focus on beach culture, the paintings trace the formal and historical developments occurring within the state. Moving from early representational views of an idealized West to Duncan Gleason’s traditional fundamentals of beauty and Alson S. Clark’s impressionistic scenes of the shoreline, the exhibition segues to Phil Dike’s playful abstractions and Roger Kuntz’s captivating oscillation from representational to abstract.
The exhibition closes with contemporary work, including the vibrantly-expressive watercolors of Keith Crown and the psychedelic surrealism of Rick Griffin. Curated by accomplished California historian, writer, and curator Gordon McClelland, the exhibition examines artists’ visual responses to the ever-changing look and mood of the Pacific Coast’s communities.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website