April Director’s Message
Thank you all for the warm welcome I’ve received this past month as I have taken on the interim director and CEO role here at the museum. It is a privilege to be working with the accomplished staff, talented volunteers, and remarkable donors who all care deeply about the Wadsworth. As we continue to teach and learn, listen and lead, our gaze is fixed not on where we stand, but on potential yet to be realized.
I’m happy to share a number of new projects with you. On the first floor in the MATRIX gallery, you’ll find photography by Todd Gray. Recently featured in the Los Angeles Times, Gray expands the boundaries of photography by layering and stacking individually framed photographs into dynamic assemblages that explore the history and enduring impact of European colonialism, slavery, and the African diaspora. The show is centered on two monumental works the artist created for this project—one is his largest work to date, composed of 14 photographs, measuring 34 feet long. Gray’s photographs are beautifully seductive, and intentionally so—their beauty draws you in and invites you to grapple with the ugly truths revealed by his juxtapositions. You can view the exhibition from anywhere by taking the virtual tour.
Today, a new collection-based exhibition is on view. Goya, Posada, Chagoya: Three Generations of Satirists features etchings by the three artists-activists, each working in different countries at different time periods, and draws connections between them, all having used prints to comment on politics, culture, and society. In the work pictured below, Chagoya even depicts the three artists together in an early tribute to the two legendary printmakers. Posada, on the left, shakes hands with Goya while Chagoya appears in the bottom right-hand corner, on roller-skates dressed in an alligator costume. The work is full of additional references and appropriations that are uncovered in the exhibition through comparisons of etchings by the three artists.