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Guggenheim Gallery exhibit blasts to the past

November 29, 2011

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Art major Jennifer Seo ’14 totally gets that 30 sheets of black construction paper lined up in a row on an art gallery floor make for a bit of quirky minimalist art.

“It’s something that you can’t just look at it by itself. It can be simple. By itself it can be questionable,” Seo said as she stood by the construction paper strip that was her contribution to Everyman’s Infinite Art, on display at the Guggenheim Gallery. “But when you see it with all the other pieces you can make the connection about minimalism.”

At its heart, Everyman’s Infinite Art is all about connections — to Chapman University’s past, to the Southern California art scene and to the region’s major museums. The show, which opened in Guggenheim Gallery on campus with a Monday evening reception, is part of the expansive Pacific Standard Time initiative by the Getty Foundation with arts institutions across Southern California. Pacific Standard Time is a collaborative project in which participating museums and galleries from Santa Barbara to San Diego mount shows paying tribute to the region’s art scene from 1945 to 1980.

Under the direction of Alexandro Segade, coordinator of the Guggenheim Gallery, Chapman’s Department of Art chose to reprise the 1966 exhibit Everyman’s Infinite Art, an exhibit so minimal that the original artist chose to exhibit it behind locked doors during Chapman’s winter break. The concept was that since it was comprised of common objects, from tin cans and nails to Styrofoam cups and boxed envelopes, it didn’t need to be seen but could be described.

But this time around students assembled the minimalist sculptures based on those descriptions left behind by artist Harold Gregor, and turned out for an open-door reception that was very much about seeing the art.

“I think it’s really cool. It’s like a time warp to the past,” said studio art major Andy Macasil ’12. “It’s fun to put yourself in that naïve state of mind.”

Everyman’s Infinite Art continues through Jan. 14. The Guggenheim Gallery is open Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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