August 25, 2021
ArtCenter’s Graduate Art and Exhibitions departments present MMXXI, the annual group exhibition for graduating artists.
MMXXI was organized by Catherine Taft, the deputy director and curator at LAXART. The exhibition title, the year 2021 in Roman numerals, references the ancient time period as a parallel to the uncertainty of our current moment. Taft explains this analogy in her exhibition statement, writing:
In her tome SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome, scholar and classicist Mary Beard mused, “In some ways, to explore ancient Rome from the twenty-first century is rather like walking on a tightrope, a very careful balancing act. If you look down one side, everything seems reassuringly familiar…. On the other side, it seems completely alien territory.” The same might be said of these strange days of 2021, a period that simultaneously strives towards a “normal” we understand while remaining perpetually alien, obfuscated by a mutating pandemic, a global climate crisis, and political, economic, and philosophical upheaval of every stripe. And like ancient Rome, this epic moment has global reach and cultural significance. It is already history, even as we live through it.
MMXXI is a marking of time, with all its gravity and consequence. The year 2021 marks a new understanding of reality as a push-and-pull between the ordinary and the uncertain. The works in this exhibition reflect this mood: they are meditative and manic, familiar and uncanny, minimal and maximal. Some model the colliding of human and animal systems, or strange, open-ended subjectivities. Others reveal bold formal moves in color, motion, composition, or the properties of paint, light, and perception. These works picture the cautious optimism of looking forward and the weight of where we’ve been, the here and now balanced with what lies on the other side.
Due to pandemic restrictions, the exhibition is currently closed to the public. Portions of the exhibition are available for street-viewing. A video walkthrough of the exhibition and additional images are available on the Grad Art website.
114 W. 4th Street
Los Angeles, Calif. 90013
Please note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, exhibitions in ArtCenter's galleries may not be available for visits by the public. Please check with the gallery before visiting. Email Exhibitions@artcenter.edu.
About ArtCenter DTLA
As a satellite of the College, ArtCenter DTLA provides a platform for dialogue and engagement, intersecting the campus with the Los Angeles community. As an extension of the Exhibition department’s mission, ArtCenter DTLA’s programming will focus on events and exhibitions that are critically engaging from a transdisciplinary perspective. Drawing on the resources of the College and the Los Angeles art community to collaboratively build and contribute to a culture that is diverse, innovative and relevant.
About ArtCenter Exhibitions
ArtCenter Exhibitions includes the Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery at its north campus in Pasadena, the Peter and Merle Mullin Gallery, the Hoffmitz Milken Center for Typography Gallery and the Hutto-Patterson Exhibition Hall at its south campus in Pasadena, and ArtCenter DTLA Gallery in downtown Los Angeles. These curated spaces embody ArtCenter's institutional will to understand artistic thinking and design strategies as levers in promoting social advancement, the pursuit of humanitarian innovation and use of critical inquiry to clarify objectives and truths. Using the lens of contemporary art and design, the mission of ArtCenter Exhibitions is to ignite emotional resonance, provoke intellectual dissonance and conjure unexpected pathways of thinking.
Founded in 1930 and located in Pasadena, California, ArtCenter College of Design is a global leader in art and design education. ArtCenter offers 11 undergraduate and seven graduate degrees in a wide variety of industrial design disciplines as well as visual and applied arts. In addition to its top-ranked academic programs, the College also serves members of the Greater Los Angeles region through a highly regarded series of year-round educational programs for all ages and levels of experience. Renowned for both its ties to industry and its social impact initiatives, ArtCenter is the first design school to receive the United Nations’ Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) status. Throughout the College’s long and storied history, ArtCenter alumni have had a profound impact on popular culture, the way we live and important issues in our society.
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