LAXART, the Los Angeles nonprofit space, unveils The Rag Factory, a new site-specific installation by the legendary Los Angeles artist and community activist John Outterbridge (b. 1933), in his first Los Angeles solo in 15 years. New attention is showering upon Outterbridge and his colleagues in the California Assemblage movement of the 1960s and '70s -- including Mel Edwards, Senga Nengudi, Noah Purifoy, Bettye Saar and David Hammons -- thanks to new book-sized exhibition catalogues like L.A. Object & David Hammons Body Prints (Tilton Gallery) and Now Dig This! Art & Black Los Angeles 1960-1980 (Hammer Museum).
It's been a long time coming. A teacher and mentor to many younger artists, Outterbridge was director of the Watts Towers Art Center during 1975-1992. The accompanying people photographs were taken by Joe Lewis at the opening of the exhibition, "The Rag Factory," Sept. 10-Oct. 22, 2011, organized by guest curator Kris Kuramitsu for LAXART.
JOE LEWIS is an artist and dean at Clair Trevor School of the Arts, University of California Irvine.