Claire Falkenstein (1908–1997) was one of America’s most experimental and productive 20th century artists. Relentlessly exploring media, techniques, and processes with uncommon daring and intellectual rigor, she moved from one art center to another, working first in the San Francisco Bay Area, then Paris and New York, and finally, Los Angeles. Her reputation today rests primarily on her sculpture, which was often radical and ahead of its time, yet she was also an inventive painter and maker of prints, jewelry, glass, films, stage sets for dance, public murals, fountains, and monumental architectural commissions. Although Falkenstein’s extensive oeuvre can appear bewilderingly diverse, her pieces are based on several distinctive structural systems, which became her personal, formal vocabulary. This retrospective exhibition traces the development of Falkenstein’s work both chronologically and geographically through the inclusion of approximately 65 key works—encompassing nearly every media she explored—from the early 1930s through the 1990s.
Curated by Jay Belloli, Claire Falkenstein: Beyond Sculpture is organized by the Pasadena Museum of California Art. The exhibition is supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission; the Pasadena Arts & Culture Commission and the City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division; the Southern California Committee of the National Museum of Women in the Arts; Pasadena Art Alliance; Kim and Al Eiber; Michael Rosenfeld Gallery, LLC, New York; the California Art Company, LLC; and the Pasadena Museum of California Art’s Board of Directors and Ambassador Circle. A catalogue accompanies the exhibition.