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Lita Albuquerque

Lita Albuquerque

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Lita Albuquerque is an American installation, environmental art
Environmental art
The term environmental art is used in two different contexts: it can be used generally to refer to art dealing with ecological issues and/or the natural, such as the formal, the political, the historical, or the social context....

ist, painter and sculptor.
She is on the core faculty of the Fine Art Graduate Program at Art Center College of Design
Art Center College of Design
Art Center College of Design is a private college located in Pasadena, California, and was cited by BusinessWeek as one of the 60 best design schools in the world. The college’s industrial design program is consistently ranked number one by both DesignIntelligence and U.S...



She was born in Santa Monica
Santa Monica, California
Santa Monica is a beachfront city in western Los Angeles County, California, US. Situated on Santa Monica Bay, it is surrounded on three sides by the city of Los Angeles — Pacific Palisades on the northwest, Brentwood on the north, West Los Angeles on the northeast, Mar Vista on the east, and...

, California and raised in Tunisia, North Africa
Tunisia , officially the Tunisian RepublicThe long name of Tunisia in other languages used in the country is: , is the northernmost country in Africa. It is a Maghreb country and is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Its area...

 and Paris, France.
At the age of eleven she settled with her family in the U.S.
She graduated with a BFA from University of California, Los Angeles
University of California, Los Angeles
The University of California, Los Angeles is a public research university located in the Westwood neighborhood of Los Angeles, California, USA. It was founded in 1919 as the "Southern Branch" of the University of California and is the second oldest of the ten campuses...

, and studied at the Otis College of Art and Design
Otis College of Art and Design
Otis College of Art and Design is an art and design college in Los Angeles, California.The school's programs, accredited by WASC and National Association of Schools of Art and Design, include four-year BFA degrees in illustration, fine arts, graphic design, architecture, landscape design, interior...

, from 1971 to 1972.

In the 1970s, Albuquerque emerged on the California art scene as part of the Light and Space
Light and Space
Light and Space denotes an art movement related to op art, minimalism and geometric abstraction originating in Southern California in the 1960s and influenced by John McLaughlin...

 movement and won acclaim for her epic and poetic ephemeral pigment pieces created for desert sites. She gained national attention in the late 1970s with her ephemeral pigment installations pertaining to mapping, identity and the cosmos, executed in the natural landscape.

In 1980, Albuquerque garnered international acclaim for her pivotal installation, The Washington Monument Project, as featured in the International Sculptural Conference. The recognition this work gained, led to awards and commissions at major sites around the world, including the Great Pyramids, where she represented the United States at the International Cairo Biennale with her installation and exhibition Sol Star which won the prestigious Cairo Biennale Prize. In 2006 Albuquerque was awarded a National Science Foundation
National Science Foundation
The National Science Foundation is a United States government agency that supports fundamental research and education in all the non-medical fields of science and engineering. Its medical counterpart is the National Institutes of Health...

 Grant and lead a team of artists and scientists on a journey to Antarctica where she created a large scale ephemeral artwork on the continent entitled Stellar Axis: Antarctica.

Albuquerque has created numerous site specific installations in the past two decades including works in the South Dakota Badlands, Death Valley
Death Valley
Death Valley is a desert valley located in Eastern California. Situated within the Mojave Desert, it features the lowest, driest, and hottest locations in North America. Badwater, a basin located in Death Valley, is the specific location of the lowest elevation in North America at 282 feet below...

 and the Mojave desert
Mojave Desert
The Mojave Desert occupies a significant portion of southeastern California and smaller parts of central California, southern Nevada, southwestern Utah and northwestern Arizona, in the United States...

. Her paintings are a materialization of the ideas about color, light and perception first created in her ephemeral works. Through her use of pure pigments, gold leaf and copper, she engages perceptual and alchemical shifts

Completing an ambitious array of public projects over the past decade, Albuquerque has been commissioned to work in locations including: Gannett Publishers, McLean, Virginia; The Evo De Concini Federal Courthouse, Tucson, AZ; Palos Verdes Central Library, CA; Koll/Obayashi Corporation, Los Angeles, CA; Cerritos Public Library, Cerritos, CA; Tochigi Prefecture Health Center, Japan; Saitama Guest Center, Saitama, Tokyo, and the Library at the Tokyo University of Foreign Studies amongst numerous other sites.

Albuquerque, with architect Mitchell De Jarnett, installed Golden State, the largest public art commission in California State government history, a plaza design spanning two city blocks at the center of the Capitol Area East End Complex in Sacramento
Sacramento is the capital of the state of California, in the United States of America.Sacramento may also refer to:- United States :*Sacramento County, California*Sacramento, Kentucky*Sacramento – San Joaquin River Delta...

. Albuquerque completed Celestial Disk, a star map, sculpture and waterfall in collaboration with architect Robert Kramer, which provides the main entrance to the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels
Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels
The Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, also called "COLA" and the Los Angeles Cathedral, is a cathedral of the Roman Catholic Church in Los Angeles, California, United States...

, Los Angeles. She worked with architect Cesar Pelli
César Pelli
César Pelli is an Argentine architect known for designing some of the world's tallest buildings and other major urban landmarks. In 1991, the American Institute of Architects listed Pelli among the ten most influential living American architects...

 on a sculptural floor installation for the New Minneapolis Central Library, and with architect David Martin
David Martin
-Politicians:*David Martin , Republican party U.S. Representative from Nebraska *David Martin , Australian admiral and Governor of New South Wales...

, has completed a glass pathway, star map and water wall disk for the Wallace Chapel at Chapman University in Orange, CA.

She is the recipient of numerous grants and awards including: A National Science Foundation Grant in the Artists and Writers Program; the Cairo Biennale Prize at the Sixth International Cairo Biennale; Arts International award for U.S. Artist Representative for the Cairo Biennale; National Endowment for the Arts
National Endowment for the Arts
The National Endowment for the Arts is an independent agency of the United States federal government that offers support and funding for projects exhibiting artistic excellence. It was created by an act of the U.S. Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. Its current...

 Art in Public Places Award (1983, 1984, 1990), a National Endowment for the Arts Individual Fellowship Grant and the esteemed Civitella Ranieri Foundation Fellowship in the Visual Arts, Perugia, Italy (2002). In June 2004 she was honored by the MOCA
-Museums:* Museum of Chinese in America, a museum in New York City which exhibits Chinese American history* Museum of Contemporary Art , any of several museums with this title...

 Los Angeles for their 25th anniversary celebration for her contributions to the museum. Her work is featured in their anniversary catalogue and permanent collection.


Lita Albuquerque's work is also included in The Archives of American Art
Archives of American Art
The Archives of American Art is the largest collection of primary resources documenting the history of the visual arts in the United States. More than 16 million items of original material are housed in the Archives' research centers in Washington, D.C...

 at the Smithsonian Institution
Smithsonian Institution
The Smithsonian Institution is an educational and research institute and associated museum complex, administered and funded by the government of the United States and by funds from its endowment, contributions, and profits from its retail operations, concessions, licensing activities, and magazines...

 and is collected by prominent Museums and Foundations, such as: The Whitney
The Whitney
The Whitney may refer to:* Whitney Museum of American Art* Whitney Biennial* Restaurant in the David Whitney House in Detroit, Michigan...

, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles is a contemporary art museum with three locations in greater Los Angeles, California. The main branch is located on Grand Avenue in Downtown Los Angeles, near Walt Disney Concert Hall...

, J. Paul Getty Museum
J. Paul Getty Museum
The J. Paul Getty Museum, a program of the J. Paul Getty Trust, is an art museum. It has two locations, one at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, California, and one at the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades, Los Angeles, California...

, The Frederick Weisman Foundation, LACMA, The Orange County Museum of Art
Orange County Museum of Art
The Orange County Museum of Art is a museum located in Newport Beach, California.The museum's collection comprises more than 3,000 objects, with a concentration on the art of California from the early 20th century to present...

, The Laguna Art Museum
Laguna Art Museum
The Laguna Art Museum is a museum located in Laguna Beach, California on Pacific Coast Highway.An exhibition titled ...

, The Palm Springs Desert Museum, as well as numerous embassies and corporations.


Numerous solo exhibitions include: a career survey at Santa Monica Museum of Art; Mary Ryan Gallery, N.Y.; Dorothy Goldeen Gallery, Santa Monica; Marianne Deson Gallery, Chicago; Diane Brown Gallery, Washington D.C.; Lerner Heller Gallery, N.Y.; Robin Cronin Gallery, Houston; and Akhnaten Galleries, Cairo. Her museum exhibition history includes Hirshhorn Museum, Washington D.C.; San Francisco Museum of Art; Musee d'Art Moderne, Paris; Asahi Shimbun, Tokyo; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi; L.A. County Museum of Art; and Museum of Contemporary Art, L.A.

External links