8/23/24 - 12/8/24

C. Ondine Chavoya
David Evans Frantz

Teddy Sandoval and the Butch Gardens School of Art is the first museum retrospective dedicated to the inventive though overlooked artist Teddy Sandoval (1949–1995). A central figure in Los Angeles’s queer and Chicanx artistic circles, Sandoval was an active participant in both U.S. and international avant-garde movements. For twenty-five years, he produced subversive, yet playful artworks that explored the codes of gender and sexuality and continuously mined archetypes of masculinity in his work through his signature icon of a faceless man, often sporting a mustache.

This expansive survey assembles works by the artist across many media, with particular attention on his printmaking, drawings, mail art, and xerography. The exhibition’s title highlights the faux institution and artistic persona that Sandoval named after Butch Gardens, a gay bar in Los Angeles during the early 1970s that was frequented by the artist and other Chicanx clientele. He utilized this imprint to distribute his artworks and organize exhibitions with friends and collaborators. While the “school” designation invokes a group, the Butch Gardens School of Art only had one member: Sandoval.

In the spirit of collectivity suggested by the “school of art,” this exhibition includes works by other queer, Latinx, and Latin American artists who share similar graphic sensibilities, approaches to media, or thematic interests. WCMA will not only display its work by Sandoval but also by other artists, like Marisol, for example. The exhibition proposes an alternative model for the solo survey that incorporates unanticipated affinities and parallel histories across the Americas.

Teddy Sandoval and the Butch Gardens School of Art is accompanied by a scholarly catalogue co-published by Independent Curators International (ICI), Inventory Press, the Williams College Museum of Art, and the Vincent Price Art Museum at East Los Angeles College.

Artists: Teddy Sandoval, Yolanda Andrade, Félix Ángel, Ever Astudillo, Myrna Báez, Felipe Baeza, Álvaro Barrios, Sérgio Valle Duarte, Gronk, Ester Hernández, Hudinilson, Jr., Antonio Lopez and Juan Ramos, Marcos López and RES (with Liliana Maresca and Adriana Miranda), Marisol, María Martínez-Cañas, Agustín Martínez Castro, Marta Minujín, Troy Montes Michie, Adolfo Patiño, Claudio Perna, Moises Salazar Tlatenchi, Ana Segovia, Ginger Brooks Takahashi, Joey Terrill, Alex Vallauri, Martin Wong

About the Curators

C. Ondine Chavoya holds the John D. Murchison Regents Professorship in Art in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Texas at Austin. Previously, he was Professor of Art History and Latina/o Studies at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, and a 2023-2024 MoMA Scholar in Residence. He is the author of numerous texts on Chicanx art, media, and performance, and is a leading figure in the field of Latinx art history and visual culture. His curatorial projects have addressed issues of collaboration, experimentation, social justice, and archival practices in contemporary art. Chavoya co-organized Asco: Elite of the Obscure, A Retrospective, 1972–1987 with Rita Gonzalez in 2011 and Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A. with David Evans Frantz in 2017.

David Evans Frantz is an independent curator based in Los Angeles. He has previously held curatorial positions at ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives at the USC Libraries, the Palm Springs Art Museum, and the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art. His curatorial projects examine alternative art movements, queer politics and culture, historical erasure, and archival practices in contemporary art. In 2017, he co-curated with C. Ondine Chavoya the exhibition Axis Mundo: Queer Networks in Chicano L.A., a collaboration between ONE Archives and The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, that traveled through 2022 in an exhibition tour organized by Independent Curators International (ICI). He is co-editor with Christina Linden and Chris E. Vargas of the book Trans Hirstory in 99 Objects, a publication of the Museum of Trans Hirstory & Art (MOTHA).

Teddy Sandoval and the Butch Gardens School of Art is a traveling exhibition curated by C. Ondine Chavoya and David Evans Frantz. It is produced by Independent Curators International (ICI), New York, in collaboration with the Vincent Price Art Museum at East Los Angeles College and the Williams College Museum of Art. The exhibition is made possible with support from the Getty Foundation through The Paper Project initiative and the Terra Foundation for American Art. Additional support has been provided in part by the Mellon Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Curatorial Research Fellowship program, the AltaMed Art Collection, the National Endowment for the Arts, and Estrellita B. Brodsky. It is made possible with the generous support of ICI’s Board of Trustees and International Forum. Crozier Fine Arts is the Preferred Art Logistics Partner.