[FRIEZE] Witness History Being Made: Judy Baca at LACMA

Judy Baca at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2023. Photograph: Daniel Jack Lyons


Judy Baca has transformed the Los Angeles County Museum of Art into her studio. In the museum’s Resnick Pavilion, behind a railed platform, a mural is taking shape, accompanied by archival photographs, site plans and a model of the Tujunga Wash in Los Angeles County’s San Fernando Valley. The mural stretches along the wall on a giant scroll to allow it to be transported to its final site in the future. This addendum to The Great Wall of Los Angeles, which Baca began in 1975, reprises the mandate for the original work, depicting the histories of marginalized communities in LA and the Civil Rights movements of the 1960s and ’70s. And Baca does not shy away from telling the city some hard truths.

In the exhibition “Painting in the River of Angels: Judy Baca and The Great Wall,” the Chicana artist begins the blueprint for a new section of The Great Wall, tentatively titled Farmworkers’ Movement, East LA Student Walkouts, Watts Rebellion, Watts Renaissance, Black Panther Party, El Altar (2023–24). Despite still being at the draft stage, Baca’s “punto” perspective—a technique of musical-ratio space division that she learned at Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros’s La Tallera mural workshop—is already evident, capturing the dynamism and impact of these historical events.


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