A painting of a white figure facing to the right. The figure wears a blue hair wrap. The background is black.

For Dear Life: Art, Medicine and Disability

Sep
19
2024
Feb
2
2025

For Dear Life: Art, Medicine, and Disability is the first exhibition to survey themes of illness and impairment in American art from the 1960s up to the COVID-19 era.

In recent years, the art world has seen an explosion of activity confronting issues of illness and disability. Contemporary artists with disabilities and chronic illnesses have produced influential bodies of art, often working collaboratively with peers and institutions to highlight relations of mutual dependence and negotiate practices of care. Such artists have dramatically expanded discourse about access, while reframing disability as a refusal to conform to the pace, architecture, and economic conditions of contemporary life.

This turn was preceded by the work of artists and activists beginning in the 1960s and 1970s. Informed by intersecting movements that included civil rights, antiwar, women’s and gay liberation, and disability rights, artists of that era approached the body as a field of inquiry.

"X-ray Woman in Bathing Cap (X-Ray Woman 2)," 1961, Lynn Hershman Leeson. Acrylic, graphite, and spray paint on plywood. Courtesy of Lynn Hershman Leeson and Altman Siegel Gallery.

Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego

700 Prospect Street, La Jolla

THU-SUN:10am-4pm
MON-WED:CLOSED

Café

  • WED–FRI:11AM–4PM
  • SAT–SUN:9AM–4PM

The Kitchen at MCASD

  • WED–FRI
    Lunch:11AM–2:30PM
    Dinner:4–8PM
  • SAT
    Brunch:9AM–2:30PM
    Dinner:4–8PM
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