UC Irvine's Institute and Museum of California Art (IMCA) will debut a new exhibit, “Radiant Impressions,” upon reopening in May after an over yearlong closure due to the pandemic.
Selections of California art, from the IMCA’s permanent collections and private collections, will be exhibited. Works demonstrate how California artists rendered light to convey the rich and varied meanings in everyday experience. Highlights include paintings by George K. Brandiff, E. Charlton Fortune, Elsie Palmer Payne, Arthur Grover Rider and two seminal works by Guy Rose, “The Green Parasol” and “Laguna Eucalyptus.”
After a delay, the exhibition will be on view from May 15 through Aug. 14, 2021. "Radiant Impressions" was originally scheduled to coincide with Jean Stern’s retirement as the senior curator of California Impressionism at IMCA in July 2020. Stern, a noted author and lecturer, is also Executive Director Emeritus of The Irvine Museum (now part of the IMCA collection) where he served for over 28 years.
The coming exhibition is one of just a few (including "El Camino del Oro" and "Poems Without Words") staged since the IMCA formed in recent years following substantial gifts. The bequest of Gerald E. Buck, an Orange County real estate developer, included an enormous and notable collection of California art. The Irvine Museum founder Joan Irvine Smith and her son James Irvine Swinden donated more than 1,200 works.
During its pandemic closure, the museum has continued documenting the 4,500 works in its collection. Although the museum is set to be constructed in the years to come aligning with the university’s master plan developed by architect William Pereira, the interim gallery near the John Wayne Airport houses the latest exhibits.
In August 2019, Kim Kanatani, formerly of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, took the reins to become the museum’s director.
“We see IMCA as an epicenter for California art,” Kanatani told the LA Times. “We envision our future building to be a very compelling destination that is both locally engaged as a cultural catalyst but also globally relevant as a seminal investigator and presenter of California’s influence with art.”