Lita Albuquerque at Project Miami 2012

Since I am an alumnus of Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, Calif., I regularly receive mailings about artists, designers, faculty and various community projects they are involved with. When I read their article on artist Lita Albuquerque, I was intrigued by her art practice. I was not versed with her art practice. Thanks to her gallery, Blythe Projects, she was in Miami during Art Week, with her art in the Project Miami fair.

With this post I would like to share more about her art practice and its significance, although she has not worked in Florida to date. Maybe that can change.

Beekeeper from Chandler McWilliams on Vimeo.

Lita Albuquerque was raised in Tunisia and Paris, returning to the United States at the age of eleven. With an art history degree from UCLA, she studied painting and sculpture at the Otis Art Institute in the mid-seventies, emerging in the California art scene as part of the light and space movement. Ms. Albuquerque has exhibited widely in renowned national and international museums and institutions including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Santa Monica Museum of Art; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and many more. In her art practice she has developed a visual language that brings the realities of vast time and space to a human scale. She has been commissioned to create art installations both nationally and internationally.

Lita Albuquerque emerged on the California art scene in the mid seventies as part of the light and space movement. She has since won numerous grants and awards including three N.E.A. Art in Public Places awards, an N.E.A. individual fellowship, the Cairo Biennale prize, and an Arts International award. Her work ranges from intimate objects to large-scale installations, which in many instances deal with astronomical phenomena and land formations.

IMAGE: Lita Albuquerque, Spine of the Earth, 1980.
The original ephemeral installation at El Mirage Dry Lake Bed in the Mojave Desert.
Photo: Lita Albuquerque © Lita Albuquerque Studio, 1980

IMAGE: Lita Albuuquerque, The Spine of the Earth, 2012. Photograph by Michael Light.

Once again the work could only be perceived in totality from above, which is where photographer Michael Light and I were circling in a helicopter anywhere from 1000-1500 feet above the performance. The red human spiral was last used by Albuquerque in the Antarctic for her Stellar Axis project, the records from which reside in the CA+E Archive Collections. Both projects will be included in the book that we’re publishing about Albuquerque’s work that we’ll be publishing with Skira Rizzoli in 2014.