Teddy Sandoval and the Butch Gardens School of Art

Teddy Sandoval and the Butch Gardens School of Art

OCTOBER 21, 2023 – March 2, 2024

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. The exhibition proposes an alternative model for the solo survey that incorporates unanticipated affinities and parallel histories across the Americas.

Artists in the exhibition include 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, and Martin Wong.

Teddy Sandoval and the Butch Gardens School of Art is accompanied by a scholarly catalog co-published by Independent Curators International (ICI), Inventory Press, the Vincent Price Art Museum at East Los Angeles College, and the Williams College Museum of Art to be released in early 2024.

The exhibition is curated by C. Ondine Chavoya, John D. Murchison Regents Professor in Art in the Department of Art and Art History at the University of Texas at Austin, and independent curator David Evans Frantz.

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, Pasadena Art Alliance, 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.