Todd Gray: Immaculate

Black and gold graphic bar
  August 25, 2004

Julie Joyce
Luckman Gallery
(323) 343-6608



Cal State L.A. 
Office of Public Affairs 
(323) 343-3050 
Fax: (323) 343-6405

For immediate release:
Luckman Gallery at Cal State L.A. Announces
TODD GRAY: Immaculate, A survey
November 20, 2004 -– January 29, 2005

* First survey exhibition of works by the Los Angeles-based artist *

The Luckman Gallery at California State University, Los Angeles announces the first survey exhibition of photographs and mixed media works by Los Angeles-based artist, Todd Gray titled Immaculate.

Exhibition dates are November 20, 2004 – January 29, 2005.
Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday and Saturday, 12-5 p.m.
Admission is free of charge. Please call gallery for special holiday hours.

Todd Gray attended Cal Arts in the late 1970s and became the young Michael Jackson’s official photographer from 1979-1984. In the late 1980s, Gray returned to Cal Arts to receive his MFA and to transform his commercial experiences into a conceptually rigorous body of work. Perhaps best known for his widely exhibited Goofy series of the early 1990s, this is the Los Angeles-based artist’s first major solo exhibition in over eight years.

Fluent in cultural iconography, driven by introspection, and steeped in issues of corporate politics and racial identity, Todd Gray’s photo-based works are challenging in almost every sense of the word. This exhibition surveys work made by the artist in the past 20 years and presents several series of works from the past several years that have never been publicly exhibited.

Todd Gray: Immaculate brings together works made by the artist in the past 20 years. Featured in the exhibition are works from the early part of his career, including images of struggling and fighting figures from his Urban Myths and Support Systems series of the early 1980s. Also included are the scathingly iconic/ironic silhouettes of menacing cartoon characters in his Goofy series from the 1990s. Equal representation is given to works from several entirely new and never-before-exhibited series, including performance-inspired photographic self-portraits evocative of primitive masks from his Shaman series. Also featured are examples of his most recent and provocative photo-sculptures titled California Missions: taxidermied animals dissected by large photographic images of the terrain and remains of the conquered territories and colonies of the legendary Junipero Serra. Conceived from Gray’s ongoing research into the world’s history of colonization, these works evoke its ongoing socio-political implications in California and beyond.

Work by Todd Gray has been included in many notable museum exhibitions, including Committed to the Image: Contemporary Black Photographers at the Brooklyn Museum of Art (2001); Made in California 1900-2000 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2000); the nationally travelling Reflections in Black: African American Photography, A History Deconstructed, originated by the Smithsonian Anacostia Museum and Center for African American History (2000); Mouse: An American Icon at the Alternative Museum, New York (1998); Spheres of Influence (1997) and Man’s World (1996) at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Present (H)our at the Oakland Art Museum; Convergence: 8 Photographers at the Georgia Museum of Art; and Body Evidence at the University of Connecticut, Storrs, among many others.

Todd Gray: Immaculate will be accompanied by a 48-page, color-illustrated exhibition catalog. Texts included are an interview between the artist and internationally recognized artist, Carrie Mae Weems; an essay by independent writer and curator, Malik Gaines; and an essay by Julie Joyce, exhibition curator and Gallery Director of the Luckman Fine Arts Complex.

This project is made possible through a generous grant from the Pasadena Art Alliance.

Gallery Hours:
Monday through Thursday and Saturday, 12:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Please call the gallery for special holiday hours.

Public Information:
For further information, please call the Luckman Gallery, (323) 343-6604.

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