Hitting the Wall
Hitting the Wall (1986)
Gift in memory of UCI Professor Emeritus Michael D. Butler
Judy Baca (b. 1946, Los Angeles, CA) established her presence in Los Angeles through political activism and large-scale murals, participating in the Chicano Art Movement. Baca also nurtured generations of students as a professor teaching in the Department of Art at UC Irvine from 1986 – 1995 and in the César E. Chávez Department of Chicana/o and Central American Studies at UCLA starting in 1996. She founded the Los Angeles Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC) in 1974, an organization that supports and preserves public art. Through SPARC, Baca created her first mural in 1978, a monumental collectively painted artwork along the Tujunga Wash known as The Great Wall of Los Angeles; the mural now stretches over 2,750 feet long.
Hitting the Wall (1986) repeats an image from the artist’s 1984 mural of the same name under the Harbor Freeway in Los Angeles (Interstate 110). The city commissioned this mural to commemorate the 1984 Summer Olympics, the first Olympic Games to include a women’s marathon. Unfortunately, in 2019 the mural was whitewashed. Yet, Baca continues to advocate for its restoration. The Hitting the Wall print entering Langson IMCA’s collection now exists as an important historical record of the artist’s lost mural. It is the first work by Baca acquired by Langson IMCA, adding an important artist to our deep holdings of work associated with the Chicano Art Movement in Southern California from the 1960s to the present.
Year acquired: 2023