LA VANGUARDIA, WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 20, 2010
Review by María Dolores Jiménez-Blanco
DREAMING ON PILLOW MOUNTAIN
Catalogue for 2010 solo exhibition.
Galeria Ester Montoriol, Barcelona, Spain
FIFTY YEARS OF BAY AREA ART: THE SECA AWARDS 1960—2010
EENY MEENY MINEY MO, CATCH AN ARTIST BY HIS TOE. Emblazoned on a musical chairs-style arrangement at the center of the 1971 SECA Grant Award exhibition (p. 42), this count-out rhyme wryly acknowledged that a system of elimination was at play. Sculptor Wayne E. Campbell used his award exhibition to conjure his own double, inviting another man with the same name—whom he had never met but had heard of through a mutual friend—to produce work for the show. Using a shared set of instructions that featured deskilling efforts such as working blindfolded and with dull pencils, Wayne E. Campbell and Wayne R. Campbell created paintings and drawings that were pinned to the walls side-be-side like butterfly wings. Although the concept was in keeping with Campbell's practice and engaged the concerns of process art and fabricated sculpture in that era, it dramatically questioned authorship in an award context that privileges individual achievement. Forty years later, this SECA anniversary project has reintroduced Campbell's piece and others to the museum's staff and prompted a larger examination of the kinds of work, ideas, and discourses in contemporary art that have been reflected in the SECA award program.
By opening his award exhibition to another artist, Campbell underscored the fact that however informed and carefully considered the choice of winners may be, the outcome can appear to be random luck of the draw given the slim odd of winning. Inevitable, many deserving artists have slipped though the cracks. The SECA Art Award remains singular within SFMOMA's exhibitions program because it offers individual emerging artists a high-profile, focused presentation of their work. Yet the award's reach is broader than the small circle of winners each year. Several former finalists have returned to win later on, and numerous other artists, whether they have been involved with the art program or not, have been support in meaningful ways by the museum and SECA members. Perhaps the shift over time from complete confidentiality to the publication of the finalist list speaks to a desire to maximize the exposure of local artists to the larger community eyeing the program.
Excerpt from the essay “Resonances: The Art of the Award Exhibition" by Tanya Zimbardo published in Fifty Years of Bay Area Art The SECA Awards.
SECA AWARD EXHIBITION (FINAL FORMAT)
The final format of the 1971–72 SECA Award Exhibition became an artist’s book. All the Wayne E. and Wayne R. paintings (3 pair), drawings (9 pair) and autobiographical walls (1 pair) were compiled into a book format and donated to the museum.
The book was displayed in FIFTY YEARS OF BAY AREA ART: THE SECA AWARDS at the SFMOMA in 2012.
FREE (CATALOGUE FROM THE EXHIBITION “THE EIGHTIES”)
This catalogue, Free, developed out of an exhibition originally entitled The Eighties, presented at the University Art Museum, Berkeley, from 17 March through 12 April, 1970. Published by University Art Museum, Berkeley, 1970.