Roland Reiss’s exhibit on personal politics opens at PMCA

PASADENA MUSEUM OF CALIFORNIA ART (PMCA) Roland Reiss Personal Politics: Sculpture from the 1970s abstract paintings into figurative tableaus. Wanting to avoid the visual clichés that he felt accompanied most Realist painting, Reiss decided to cast his figures at an intimate scale, creating layered narratives that defy a singular interpretation.

Organized by the PMCA and guest curated by Kate Johnson, the exhibition features close to forty of these miniature scenes from following series: Morality Plays which deals with how middle class families go about finding meaning in life; Adult Fairy Tales I and II which reflect on office and corporate culture; F/X, a mediation on popular culture and myths; Murder Mysteries; Philosophical Homilies and Dancing Lessons.  Each series contains psychological references and the works occasionally reflect influences from Hollywood and the film industry. The tiny worlds suggest and evoke stress, panic, ambition, fear, insecurity, delight, and in each scene, Reiss examines our society’s semiotics, or codified signifiers of hidden meaning.

In addition to the tableaus, the exhibition will also include one of the artist’s most monumental works: a rarely seen life-size representation of a living room entitled, The Castle of Perseverance.

This work is entirely made of MDF particleboard, and includes several large and small recreations of objects from a typical 1970’s living room. By distilling everyday objects to their essential forms, Reiss asks the viewer to reconsider their familiarity with these objects’ meanings, which in contrast to the tableaus, are presented at the scale of the viewer.



Saturday, September 17, 2011

7:00 – 9:00 pm

$5 admission

Free for PMCA Members and individuals holding current PCC staff or student ID cards

About the PMCA:

The Pasadena Museum of California Art (PMCA) is dedicated to the exhibition of California art, architecture,and design from 1850 to the present. Informed by the state’s rich mixture of cultures and inspired by its impressive geography, California art has long been defined by a spirit of freedom and experimentation. PMCA exhibitions and educational programs explore the cultural dynamics and influences unique to California that have shaped and defined art in all media.


  • Wednesday – Sunday, 12:00 – 5:00 pm.
  • The Museum is closed July 4th, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas and New Year’s Day.


$7 for Adults, $5 for Seniors (65+) and Students with valid ID; free to PMCA Members and children under 12.

Access for people with disabilities is provided.


The Museum is located at 490 East Union Street. From the 210 Freeway, take the Lake Avenue exit. Go south and take a right on Union Street. From the 110 Freeway/Downtown Los Angeles, follow the freeway until its end, then take Arroyo Parkway and turn right at Colorado, then left at Oakland to get to Union Street. Parking is available at the Museum.

PMCA Tours:

At this time, the museum does not offer regularly scheduled docent tours of our special exhibitions. However, docent tours are available to private groups for a fee of $75. A non-refundable deposit of $40 is due two weeks prior to the scheduled date in order to guarantee a tour. We regret that we are unable to accommodate tours for groups smaller than 10 or larger than 50 people. Before requesting a tour, please check the exhibition calendar to see which exhibitions will be available during your visit.

A discounted group rate of $4 per person is available for groups of 20 or more, and free admission is offered to school groups of K-12 public school students. Please call to notify us at least one week in advance for these special admission rates.

For any questions or to make reservations for a tour or group rate, please call Shirlae Cheng at 626-568-3665 x17.

PMCA Information:

For information, the please call 626-568-3665 or visit the website:

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