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Visual Politics in California Subject of Lecture at Pomona College

Dr. Peter Selz will discuss his recent book Art of Engagement: Visual Politics in California and Beyond (2006) at Pomona College on Wednesday, February 21, at 4:15 p.m.

In Art of Engagement, Selz addresses the long, overlooked history of visual art in American politics and examines California’s role in furthering political art on both the national and international levels. In an effort that Artweek has called “honorable, knowledgeable and extremely well researched,” he has secured political art a place in the pantheon of 20th-century American art.

Beginning with the Beat and Counterculture movements of the post-World War II era, California’s long history of political activism has been characterized by the inextricable link between its art and politics. From the Free Speech Movement of the 1960s to recent protests surrounding the war in Iraq, visual art especially has inspired and engaged generations of political activists, encapsulating the spirit of an era in striking visual form.

The book accompanies the exhibition “Visual Politics: The Art of Engagement”, currently on display at the San Jose Museum of Art. Selz, a professor emeritus of the history of art at the University of California, Berkeley, and a former professor of art history and art gallery director at Pomona College (1955-58), is also the author of Nathan Oliveira (2002), Barbara Chase-Riboud, Sculptor (1999), Art in Our Times (1981), and German Expressionist Painting (1957).

The lecture will be held in Lyman Auditorium, Thatcher Music Building (340 N. College Ave., Claremont). A reception in the Pomona College Museum of Art (330 N. College Ave., Claremont) will follow the talk. Contact: (909) 607-2253.

Pomona College is one of the nation’s premier liberal arts institutions, offering a comprehensive program in the arts, humanities, social sciences and natural sciences. Its hallmarks include small classes, close relationships between students and faculty, and a range of opportunities for student research.