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Failed Ideals,1995


Project Description

Jim Isermann's Failed Ideals is composed of six stained-glass windows installed into the portholes of the station pylons. Each window design is based on architectural details, some lost and some surviving, found in the City of Long Beach: from Arts and Crafts bungalows to the Pike; from classic movie palaces to the lost signage of drive-in theaters; from fifties concrete block and linoleum patterns to 1960’s remodeled facades of much older buildings. The architectural references recall the lost optimism and failed ideals of their time.

Artist Statement

"I am interested in utopian solutions that blur the distinction between art and design through utilitarian application. For seven years I have hand-crafted a series of work: latch hook rugs, stained glass, hand-pieced fabric and hand-loomed weavings. These crafts, once a part of everyday life, have fallen into hobby shop dilution. The pathos of obsolete populist ideals are translated into handiwork. The handiwork returns these crafts to a fine art context and restores their lost ideals."

About the Artist

Jim Isermann (b. 1955, Kenosha, Wisconsin) earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee and a Master of Fine Arts from California Institute of the Arts. His work has been exhibited extensively in the United States and Europe and is held in the permanent collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and the Museum of Modern Art, among others. Isermann has been awarded grants from Art Matters, the California Community Foundation, the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. He has completed public commissions for the Dallas Cowboys stadium in Texas, Ohio State University and Princeton University, to name a few. 

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