Lee Lozano’s Wave Series (1967–70) of eleven paintings (and related drawings)—a contemplative experiential installation often likened to the Rothko Chapel (1971) in Houston, Texas, is currently on view in the suites off of Avery Court on the first floor of the museum; part of a trio of new contemporary art installations drawn from the collection. Pop and Its Legacy includes iconic works by Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein alongside artists also influenced by popular culture, mass media, and everyday life. The Minimalist Aesthetic features art engaged with the pared down, simplified forms Minimalism but with a sensual side, including Tara Donovan’s massive, solid toothpick cube and Robert Morris’s monumental wall sculpture made of industrial felt.
Lee Lozano is widely considered the major female figure of Conceptual art in New York in the 1960s. The movement encompasses a broad range of unconventional practices—principal among them the use of serial processes and the incorporation of language—emphasizing the artistic value of actions and ideas over the traditional material aspects of an art object. Unlike the majority of her conceptually driven colleagues, Lozano continued to paint throughout the decade. Her painting career concluded with the Wave Series, an ambitious group of eleven abstract canvases that investigate the notion of the wave phenomena.
The individual paintings of the Wave Series are distinguished by the varying number of wave-like forms that occupy the central vertical axis of each panel. Like much Minimal and Conceptual art of the period, the series was created using a logical, pre-set system. Among the different rules, Lozano stipulated that each wave canvas would be completed in a single session, which ranged from eight hours to three days. The artist’s preliminary drawings disclose additional insight to her process, and include blunt and humorous commentary. This installation comes at a time when there is renewed interest in Lozano’s work.
Further information on Lee Lozano’s practice and the Wave Series can be found in her 1998 MATRIX artist sheet.