material matters
TO save the day!

September 21 - November 16, 2019


Contact: Jason Jenn, Outreach Specialist


VENUE: Torrance Art Museum
LOCATION: 3320 Civic Center Dr, Torrance, CA
DATES: September 21 – November 16, 2019
Opening Saturday, September 21 from 6-9pm

TORRANCE, CA – Torrance Art Museum (TAM) presents a dynamic duo of group shows and a super solo in their Fall Exhibitions. The Main Gallery hosts Material Matters as one of seven venues in the Los Angeles region taking part in the 5th SUR:biennial (2019). Gallery Two examines superheroes in contemporary art with To Save The Day! The Dark Room features artist Kayla Tange’s interactive illuminated sandbox, Intentions.

Main Gallery – Material Matters (part of The 5th SUR:biennial)

Material Matters features works by Cruz Castillo, Elisa Ortega Montilla, Ruben Ochoa, and Tessie Salcido Whitmore. These four artists gather together the materials of urban life, here in Southern California – plastics, steel, concrete, fabrics, detritus –  and manipulate them in order to address themes of identity, memory, political positions, and the poetics of the urban environment. The artists make discoveries with these gathered materials and reassemble them in new ways to bring a fresh insight into what it might mean to be urban within our massive contemporary metropolis.

SUR: biennial features independently-curated exhibitions that showcase recent and newly-commissioned works by local and international artists who have been influenced by the cultures and artistic traditions of Mexico, Central & South America, and the Caribbean. Joining Torrance Art Museum as participants in the 5th SUR:biennial (2019) are: Cerritos College Art Gallery, Cypress College Art Gallery, Eastside International (ESXLA), Long Beach City College Art Gallery, Rio Hondo College Art Gallery, and SPARC: The Social & Public Art Resource Center.

Gallery Two – To Save the Day!

Since their inception, the presence of super powered human beings in comic books has served as mighty metaphors for societal conditions, both the dreams and the ills. Fictional heroes have progressively led the way in addressing culture’s contemporary problems, from Otherness to citizen’s rights. Even today, with the explosion of Marvel and DC characters onto the silver screen, we see how this dynamic explores human frailties and strengths, our moral and ethical positions, as well as the trials and tribulations of our world. Contemporary artists have shown the same engagement with our times, often utilizing these comic book denizens as a way to critique the same issues.

To Save the Day! features work by Enrique Chagoya, Chaz Guest, Craig Knight, Aaron Noble, Fernando Rascon, U.S. Department of Illegal Superheroes (ICE DISH).

Dark Room - Intentions

Inspired by concepts of childhood innocence, the meditative energy of Japanese Zen gardens, and the impermanence of Tibetan sand mandalas, visitors of all ages are invited to play, draw, and write intentions in an illuminated sand box. Activations with performances by artist Kayla Tange will happen at various dates and times throughout the exhibition run, TBA.

Fall Exhibitions will be on view from September 21 – November 16, 2019 at the Torrance Art Museum.

The opening reception will be held on Saturday, September 21  from 6pm-9pm

For more information, please visit:


About Torrance Art Museum:
Founded in 2005, the Torrance Art Museum is the premier visual art space to view contemporary art in the South Bay. The museum encourages all people to develop and increase their understanding and appreciation for modern programs, artist talks, lectures, and symposia. Through its emphasis on contemporary artistic expression in Southern California and globally, the Torrance Art Museum brings together visual artists and community members; fosters experiences in the arts to strengthen creative and critical thinking skills; and builds bridges between the visual arts and other disciplines in the humanities and sciences. Torrance Art Museum is a program of the City of Torrance Cultural Services Division of the Community Services Department.

For more information visit or call 310-618-6388.

Museum Hours:
Tuesday - Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Admission to the Torrance Art Museum is Free.

Torrance Art Museum
3320 Civic Center Drive
Torrance, CA 90503
Instagram: @torranceartmuseum
Twitter: @TorranceArt 

For press info on our recent GENERATION W(ar) & Run Straight Through, please visit: