Reading time: 2 minutes
Carolyn Campagna Kleefeld Contemporary Art Museum, Long Beach, California, USA
September 9, 2019 – November 14, 2019
B.A.T. State III presented a diverse body of prints by women artists from the archives of El Nopal Press in Los Angeles. Co-curators Anita Bunn and Francesco X. Siqueiros engage themes of artistic representation and political activism while they examine how the evolution of printmaking is influenced by the cultural and geographic border between California and Mexico. Selected artworks are drawn from the span of production at the press and highlight the alchemy of printmaking, with pieces that range from the traditional to the experimental.
Curators Siqueiros and Bunn cultivate the idea of the border as a cultural crossing, a demarcation of space, and geographical location in this exhibition. The 37 artists selected for B.A.T. State III trace trajectories of influence, tension, and overlap that build an interconnected web of artistic production in Mexico and California from the early 1990s to the present. Through this mapping of relationships, the border becomes a metaphor for a state of mind, a differentiation process, and a site for hybridization in a conversation about transnational topography.
This selection of prints is also a temporal record chronicling three generations of iconic artistic practice. From Judith Baca’s reminders about the past and displacement (1993) to Analia Saban’s works wherein ink becomes the language (2019), El Nopal Press has become a space where emerging, experimental, political, and conceptual works from the past 29 years give shape to a living, historical archive. Siqueiros shares, “I am pleased to witness the work of women artists that have collaborated with El Nopal Press, with all their openness, to produce this great display of prints.” The 87 works in this exhibition are a testament to the power and possibility of the press.
El Nopal Press is an independent creative space where ideas around the border coexist, activate conversation, and build understanding. The press has published limited edition prints for nearly three decades, recording the complex flux of ideas between mostly Los Angeles and Mexico City artists. With its experimental, collaborative environment, it produces artwork that is dedicated to the artists’ individual ideas and expressions. El Nopal Press instills respect for master printmaking and seeks international recognition for artists who are a part of its creative enterprise.
Lisa Adams, Judith F. Baca, Judie Bamber, Marietta Bernstorff, Susan Bolles, Mariana Botey, Anita Bunn, Carolyn Castaño, Yreina D. Cervántez, Emily Cheng, Chelsea Dean, Sandra de la Loza, Pia Elizondo, Yanieb Fabre, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, Elsa Flores, Diane Gamboa, Silvia Gruner, Sherin Guirguis, Shirley Jaffe, Annie Lapin, Laurie Lipton, Dominique Liquois, Mara Lonner, Rocío Maldonado, Rebecca Morales, Ruby Osorio, Renée Petropoulos, Daniela Rossell, Analia Saban, Susan Silton, Linda Stark, Marika Echachis Swan, Laureana Toledo, Alison Walker, Marion Wesson, and Liat Yossifor.