Aztlán to Magulandia: The Journey of Chicano Artist Gilbert "Magu" Luján

Gilbert "Magu" Luján, El Fireboy y El Mingo, 1988, lithograph with Prismacolor hand markings, 30 × 44¼ inches © The Estate of Gilbert "Magu" Luján

UC Irvine’s University Art Galleries (UAG) will present the first survey of one of the most iconic figures of the Chicano art movement, Gilbert “Magu” Luján (1940–2011) and an accompanying publication. One of the founding members of the Chicano artists collective Los Four, Luján is known for his coloration and visual explorations of Chicano culture and community that drew upon and brought to life various historic and contemporary visual sources with startling results: Pyramid-mounted low riders driven by anthropomorphic dogs traversing a newly defined and mythologized L.A. He was part of a small group of dedicated artists and intellectuals who set about defining a Chicano identity and culture as part of the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. The UAG’s retrospective will focus on creativity and invention in Luján's work in a myriad of sketches and drawings, paintings, and sculptures. Luján combined two world-making concepts, Aztlán, the mythic northern ancestral home of the indigenous Mexican Aztecs that became a charged symbol of Chicano activism; and Magulandia, the term Luján coined for the space in which he lived and produced his work, and for his work as a whole. Together, Aztlán and Magulandia represented both physical spaces and the complex cultural, geographic, and conceptual relationships that exist between Los Angeles and Mexico and served as dual landscapes for Luján’s artistic philosophy and cultural creativity.

This exhibition has been made possible by the generous support of The Getty Foundation as part of the Getty Museum's Pacific Standard Time: Los Angeles/Latin America (LA/LA) exhibition launching in the fall of 2017.

About Pacific Standard Time
Led by the Getty, Pacific Standard Time: Art in LA 1945-1980 was an unprecedented collaboration of more than 60 cultural institutions across Southern California coming together to celebrate the birth of the LA art scene. Between October 2011 and March 2012, each institution made its own contribution to this grand-scale story of artistic innovation and social change, told through the multitude of simultaneous exhibitions and programs on post-World War II art in Los Angeles. In 2013, a smaller scale program, Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A., explored the built heritage of our region. The next iteration of the effort, Pacific Standard Time: Los Angeles/Latin America, or LA/LA, will take place in Fall 2017.





Getty Foundation:
Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA Grants Awarded

Los Angeles Times, Daily Pilot:
Exhibits will celebrate Latin American and Latino art in Orange County

La Bloga (Book Review):
New book on Magu's art

Broadway World (LACMA event with UCI):
LA/LA Announces Free Day and Public Programming

OC Register:
Arts Preview: In visual arts, Orange County steps out into the world

Orange Coast Magazine:
Four Orange County Institutions Take Part in The Getty’s Second Pacific Standard Time

Al Dia:
A New Exhibition in Los Angeles Celebrates the Power of Latino Art

ArtScene (Preview):
Gilbert “Magu” Lujan

Art and Cake (Review):
Aztlán to Magulandia: The Journey of Chicano Artist Gilbert “Magu” Luján

The Source:
Metro artist Gilbert “Magu” Luján featured in major Getty regional art initiative

LA Weekly:
Your Guide to SoCal's Biggest-Ever Latinx and Latin American Art Event (Part II)

La Bloga:
Magic at UCI Magulandia Opening

Los Angeles Times:
Datebook: Art of the Mexican underground, the world of Bellini, black radical women

New University (UCI):
Claire Trevor’s Aztlán to Magulandia: The Journey of Chicano Artist Gilbert “Magu” Luján


Gilbert "Magu" Luján
Hal Glicksman
Rhea Anastas
Contemporary Arts Center Gallery
University Art Gallery
Exhibition Dates: 
Oct 07, 2017 to Dec 16, 2017
Saturday, October 7, 2017 - 2:00pm
October 7, 2:00 – 5:00 p.m. Opening Reception (open to the public)
Location: CAC Plaza

October 8, 1:00 - 6:00 p.m. OC Film Fiesta Special Tribute
Visions of Magulandia: The California Journey of Chicano Artist Gilbert ‘Magu’ Lujan from Los Four to Mental Menudo

“Visions of Magulandia: The California Journey of Chicano Artist Gilbert ‘Magu’ Lujan from Los Four to Mental Menudo” will produce three public activities promoting the appreciation and understanding of renowned California artist Gilbert ‘Magu’ Lujan, including a panel discussion; recreation of Magu’s famed Mental Menudo community conversations; and free screening of never-before-seen archival and interview footage, that will take place during the 2017 OC Film Fiesta Festival in Santa Ana.  “Visions of Magulandia” will coincide with and broaden the impact of the Aztlan to Magulandia exhibit at UC Irvine, which is part of the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time L.A./L.A: Latin American & Latino Art in LA initiative.

This project was made possible with support from California Humanities, a non-profit partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Visit Additional support provided by Santa Ana College. For more information about the OC Film Fiesta, visit

Location: Santa Ana College Main Art Gallery
Fine Arts Building “C”
Santa Ana College
1530 W. 17th St.
Santa Ana, CA  92706

November 4, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Curator-Led Tour & Book Signing
Curator Hal Glicksman discusses the history and works of art in the collection. The Curator-Led Tour will be followed by a booksigning from 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Location: CAC Gallery & UAG

Admission Free.

November 27, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. Panel Discussion: Carlos Almaraz, Gilbert Luján, and Chicano Art

Two icons of 20th-century art, Carlos Almaraz and Gilbert "Magu" Luján, are featured in current Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA exhibitions. This panel discussion, featuring actor, director, writer, comedian, author, musician, and collector Cheech Marin, along with curators and other noted speakers, will focus on the work of the two featured artists, including their participation in the groundbreaking artist collective Los Four. Marin, a passionate champion of Chicano art, will also touch upon the challenges and opportunities of collecting.  

Along with Marin, featured speakers will be Howard Fox, LACMA curator emeritus of modern art and curator of Playing with Fire: Paintings by Carlos Almaraz, currently on view at LACMA through Decmeber 3; Hal Glicksman, curator of Aztlán to Magulandia: The Journey of Chicano Artist Gilbert "Magu" Luján, currently on view at the University Art Gallery, Claire Trevor School of the Arts, UC Irvine, through December 16; author, art critic and lecturer Peter Clothier; and Mardi Luján, widow of Gilbert "Magu" Luján.

Location: Bing Theater, Los Angeles County Museum of Art,
Los Angeles.

Admission Free.

December 2, 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Curator-Led Tour
Curator Hal Glicksman discusses the history and works of art in the collection.

Location: CAC Gallery

Admission Free

December 2 & 16, 2:00 – 6:00 p.m. Magu’s Mental Menudo Discussion Forum
Naiche Luján leads Magu’s Mental Menudo Discussion Forum. The forum meets two times during the exhibition.
Location: University Art Gallery

Admission Free

University Art Galleries
712 Arts Plaza, Claire Trevor School of the Arts
Contemporary Arts Center Gallery (Bldg 721)