Winer revisits ’70s conceptual, post-minimal art

Grace Casale
Staff Writer

“Helene Winer at Pomona,” the second installation of the year-long “It Happened at Pomona” exhibit focuses on Winer’s cutting edge curatorial programs that she presented as gallery director and curator at the Pomona College Museum of Art from the fall of 1970 through the spring of 1972.

“The exhibition helps [students] recognize the amazing vision Winer had. In two years she’s worked with and exhibited some of today’s most famous artists,” senior curator at the college’s Museum of Art Rebecca McGrew said.

Winer studied art history at the University of Southern California and has worked at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and at the Whitechapel Gallery in London. In the fall of 1970 she returned to Los Angeles and started work at Pomona College. Winer is currently the director of Artists Space and Metro Pictures in New York.

Winer curated landmark exhibitions by young local artists who bridged the gap between post-minimalism, a style emerging in the 1970s demonstrating the simplifications of minimal art but with a broader range of meaning behind the work. Winer’s exhibition also hosts conceptual art, in which the idea presented by the artist is more important than the final product.

Michael Asher, Lewis Baltz, Jack Goldstein, and Allen Ruppersberg, among other featured artists, formed the educational backdrop for a generation of artists who spent their formative years at Pomona College.

“Winer demonstrates how concerns with perception and phenomenology intersect with and develop differently in the post-conceptual work of a group of Southern California artists working in the early 1970s,” Winer’s spokeswoman Carolyn Campbell said.

A prominent piece was the never-before screened clip from a controversial performance by Wolfgang Stoerchle.

“Stoerchle’s performance was rumored to be the reason Winer left Pomona College’s Museum of Art.” Campbell Communications spokeswoman Susan Martin said.

This segment of the exhibition will be on display until Feb. 19, with an artists’ conversation featuring John Baldessari, William Leavitt and Allen Ruppersberg discussing Winer’s contributions at Pomona College’s Rose Hills Theater.

Grace Casale can be reached at

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