Strange Weather

Strange Weather brings together works by influential artists from the 20th and 21st century that creatively illuminate and reframe the boundaries of bodies and the environment.

Artboard 1

April 14–August 14, 2022

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Solari Gallery, 2nd Floor, MAH
Mary Porter Sesnon Gallery, UCSC

Strange Weather features artworks from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation which illuminate and reframe the boundaries of bodies and the environment. The artworks included in the exhibition span five decades, from 1970-2020, and are drawn together for how they creatively call attention to the impact and history of forced migrations, industrialization, global capitalism, and trauma on humans and the contemporary landscape.


Weather can refer to both subtle and violent atmospheric conditions in a given place and time. The influential artists in the exhibition utilize a range of aesthetic strategies, including abstraction, portraiture, figurative painting, landscape, and installation, to explore the current atmospheric strangeness. Julie Mehretu’s three prints created as a response to the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 render abstract an intricate cartography of a rapidly changing climate. Kehinde Wiley’s large-scale painting, Marechal Floriano Peixoto II, 2012 monumentalizes issues of identity and nature. Nicola Lopez’s constructed collage monoprints show startlingly dystopian urban landscapes, with iron structures and vibrant colors. Wendy Red Star's photographic series, “Four Seasons,” links weather patterns to the consumption and commodification of Native American culture. Together, these and other works make the body and the land legible as paired sites of contestation, offering profound insights about the connections between aesthetics, history and our tempestuous climate.
Concurrent with Strange Weather, a capsule exhibition of the works of Glenn Ligon from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation will be on view at the Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery at UC Santa Cruz.


Artist List: Carlos Almarez, Carlos Amorales, Leonardo Drew, Joe Feddersen, Hock E Aye Vi Edgar Heap of Birds, James Lavadour, Glenn Ligon, Nicola Lopez, James Luna, Hung Liu, Julie Mehretu, Wendy Red Star, Faith Ringgold, Alison Saar, Lorna Simpson, Kiki Smith, Charles Wilbert White, Kehinde Wiley, Terry Winters.

Strange Weather is curated by Dr. Rachel Nelson, director, Institute of the Arts and Sciences, UC Santa Cruz in collaboration with Professor Jennifer González, History of Art and Visual Culture, UC Santa Cruz. The exhibition is organized by the Institute of the Arts and Sciences and the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History.

Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation in Portland, Oregon was established in 1997. Since the program’s inception, the Foundation has organized over 110 exhibitions and has art exhibited at over 160 museums.

Charles Wilbert White Love Letter III vertical

Charles Wilbert White, Love Letter III, 1977, lithograph, 76.2 cm x 56.5 cm.

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