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L i t a   A l b u q u e r q u e:  A u r i c   F i e l d   a n d   P l a n e t a r y   O c t a v e

About the Artist

Born 1946, Santa Monica, California, Lita Albuquerque received her Bachelor of Fine Arts cum laude from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1968. She is also the recipient of four grants from the National Endowment of the Arts, Art in Public Places program, in the years 1997, 1983, 1984, and 1990. In 1996 she was the United States representative to the Sixth International Cairo Biennale. Her work is featured in collections nationwide, from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to Whitney Museum in New York.

Photo: Lita Albuquerque

Auric Field

A commissioned companion piece to Albuquerque’s Planetary Octave, can be viewed as an entry or closure to the installation. Auric Field derives from an ongoing series that Lita Albuquerque has employed to investigate her ideas about the origin of the universe and the relationship of man to the cosmos. A white gold circle emerges from dense black, natural pigment and is surrounded by an aura of lapis lazuli. The intensity of pigments and the contrasting colors visually radiate, causing an observer to experience a sense of energy, light and movement. Albuquerque speaks of elements in her work as metaphors. The undiluted pigments are symbols of the earth since they are substances mined deep within the ground. The circle is an emblem of the cosmos. The quality of light Albuquerque creates is a reference to the spiritual origins of man and the universe as expressed in many religious philosophies.

Location: 21st Century Area

Plaster, pigment and gold leaf on maple panel 48” x 48”

Corridor View

Planetary Octave

Planetary Octave

An installation by Lita Albuquerque, utilizes the creative problem solving skills for which the artist is acknowledged. The eight vertical gold leaf panels and discs that make up the installation are located in a space that will not be seen as a whole because book stacks and design structures obscure sight lines. Therefore, determining how to develop her imagery and make the individual parts relate to one another presented a challenge that Albuquerque, experienced in public art projects,
enthusiastically accepted.

Using a personal aesthetic vocabulary containing iconic shapes, forms, materials, text, and spiritual concepts that the artist has explored throughout her career, Albuquerque decided to treat the aisles between library shelving as pathways ending with glowing panels. Four of the panels look as if they were from an ancient culture, four others have a more polished, contemporary patina that is futuristic in nature. The panels are inscribed with numbers representing mathematics, the basic science of learning. Mathematics intrigues the artist, particularly its methodology for the study of time. She is also attached to words, numbers and script that serve as triggers of remembrance and information. The wall above the panels is the site for the eight discs displaying “Light,” “Energy” and “Information” scripted in Chinese, English, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Tagalog and in Braille. The languages are symbolic of the traditions and heritage of Cerritos community members and also relate to the library’s role as purveyor and custodian of information.

Location: 21st Century Area

Top View:

Looking face on at an individual panel and disc positioned between two bookstacks.

Bottom View:

Looking at the entire installation from the Print Center side of the book stack corridor.