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July 5 - November 2, 2014

Spitting in the Wind: Art From the End of the Line by Richard Allen Morris, John Baldessari, Bob Matheny and Russell Baldwin

Curated by Dave Hampton


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Spitting in the Wind: Art From the End of the Line celebrates the long-standing friendships of Richard Allen Morris (b. 1933), John Baldessari (b. 1931), Bob Matheny (b. 1929) and Russell Baldwin (1933-2008), and the astonishing range of artworks they made while living and working in the San Diego area. "The exhibition fulfills an important obligation to recognize historic contributions by late-career artists and to engage them directly in the process," said OMA Curator Dave Hampton. 


The four friends produced some of the most vigorous, humorous and unconventional art in the region. Yet at the time -- primarily the late 1950s and 1960s -- their efforts were often stymied by San Diego's then rather limited capacity to appreciate them. "A lot of what we did was just spitting into the wind" is how Baldessari once characterized the sense of futility that accompanied their energetic activities at Southwestern College. 


Despite their situation at "the end of the line", in what was then a largely conservative Navy town, these mutually supportive artists were highly regarded in San Dego's small contemporary art community. Three of them held key teaching positions: Matheny at Southwestern, Baldwin at Southwestern and then Palomar, and Baldessari at Southwestern and then UCSD. Morris also taught UC Extension classes along with Baldessari at the La Jolla Museum of Art.


Spitting in the Wind: Art From the End of the Line features period works from each artist along with related artifacts, offering a new perspective on their work and friendships and documenting a vital yet relatively unexamined aspect of local art history.

*Pictured artwork left to right:

Richard Allen Morris, Self Portrait, 1966. Photo by Chip Morton.

Russell Baldwin, Drunk Door, 1959. Photo by Chip Morton.

Bob Matheny, Zayin, 1965. Photo by Chip Morton.

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