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Analysis of form and style, the material aspects of art and emphasis on compositional elements like color, line, and shape all contribute to aesthetic formalism. Many artists active in California’s Bay Area and in Los Angeles from the 1960s to the 1980s rebelled against formalism, emphasizing more dynamic and expressive aspects of creativity in work that became known as Funk Art. Cartoon Formalism, an exhibit of works on paper, draws on the Funk Art examples in the museum’s collection and includes work by John Altoon, Joan Brown, Richard Diebenkorn, Fritz Scholder, and Andy Warhol — artists who broke the rules of formalism to create works that are sensual, personal, and vibrant. The show is on view through the summer.

-Michael Abatemarco

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