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Judith F. Baca

2018
Author:

Anna Indych-López

Judith F. Baca

2018 International Latino Book Awards: 1st Place, Best Latino Focused Book Design; 2nd Place, Best Arts Book; 2nd Place, Best Latina Themed Book

2018 Independent Publisher Book Awards: Silver Medal, Multicultural Non-Fiction Adult


Behind the fascinating public artist’s practice of collaboration

Anna Indych-López explores Judith F. Baca’s oeuvre, from early murals painted with local gang members in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles to the Great Wall of Los Angeles (1976–83) to more recently commissioned works. Throughout, Indych-López assesses what she calls Baca’s “public art of contestation” and discusses how ideas of collaboration and authorship and issues of race, class, and gender have influenced and sustained Baca’s art practice. 

Judith F. Baca is best known for the Great Wall of Los Angeles (1976–83), a vibrant 7,740-foot mural in Los Angeles that presents an alternative history of California—one that focuses on the contributions of marginalized and underrepresented communities. The mural is emblematic of Baca’s pioneering approach to creating public art, a process in which members of the community are essential contributors to the conception and realization of the work.

Anna Indych-López explores Baca’s oeuvre, from early murals painted with local gang members in the Boyle Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles to more recently commissioned works. She looks in depth at the Great Wall and considers the artist’s ongoing work with the Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC) in Venice, California, a nonprofit group founded by Baca in 1976. Throughout, Indych-López assesses what she calls Baca’s “public art of contestation” and discusses how ideas of collaboration and authorship and issues of race, class, and gender have influenced and sustained Baca’s art practice.

Awards

Independent Publisher Book Awards Silver Medal for Adult Multicultural Non-Fiction

Judith F. Baca

Anna Indych-López is associate professor of art history at The City College of New York and The Graduate Center, CUNY, specializing in Latin American modernisms and Latin American and Latinx contemporary art. She is author of Muralism without Walls: Rivera, Orozco and Siqueiros in the United States, 1927–1940 and co-author of Diego Rivera: Murals for The Museum of Modern Art.

Judith F. Baca

This publication fills a gap in the critical literature by considering Baca's prominent place in the history of Latinx, feminist, and public art as well as the broader narrative of art history.

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