The University Art Galleries at UC Irvine are committed to promoting an intergenerational dialogue between 20th century theories of modern/postmodern art and 21st century theories of visual culture, within the broader global Anthropocene. Accordingly, our curatorial mission is to keep an eye on our modernist past while promoting the most innovative aesthetic and political debates in the present, ones that both commune with and challenge that past. From this vantage, the projects we commission provoke intelligent debate on the subject of art in its most expansive poetic and political definition. What distinguishes our program is the unwavering commitment to publishing scholarly texts in catalogue/book form in order to disseminate research-based information into the community, thus providing a venue for the promotion of innovative discourse surrounding cutting-edge, interdisciplinary art practices today.
The UAG provides several exhibition platforms for intergenerational and interdisciplinary dialogue. The Critical Aesthetics Program features solo works of art – original commissions by the UAG – produced alternately by canonical, mid-career and emerging artists. Intended as a public “performative” between a given writer and artist, each commission produces a stand-alone installation/publication as a means of cultural commentary. Historically, the UAG is also known for its legacy of producing larger thematic group exhibitions – modernist, postmodernist and contemporary alike – spanning back to the gallery’s founding in 1964 by John Coplans. The UAG proudly continues this legacy by commissioning and producing thematic exhibitions that reflect the diverse interests of the faculty and student body. The UAG further promotes an active dialogue between UCI residents and the local/international art communities through colloquia, conferences, visiting artist lectures and theme-based film series, all of which are open and free to the public. As the galleries continue to mature, we stand committed to being an experimental exhibition space different from the current – largely traditional – art biennial and film festival platforms.
Professor of Art and Department Chair of Art
The University Art Gallery does not accept unsolicited submissions.