Neal Baer Collection

Monica Majoli



Watercolor woodcut transfer on paper

66 1/4 x 41 inches (168.2 x 104.1 cm)

Monica Majoli (b. 1963, Los Angeles, California) lives and works in Los Angeles. Her practice since the 1990s has explored themes of identity, intimacy, and mortality. Carl is one from a series of Majoli’s large-scale Whiteline woodcut watercolor paintings based on images from one of the earliest gay magazines, Blueboy, circa 1976-79, a period she considers “the halcyon years of gay liberation, when homosexuality was understood to be politically charged and under threat, presaging the trauma of the AIDS epidemic.”

Majoli’s Blueboys series is a rumination on illness, loss, and history via images born of liberation, an attempt to locate and document a period when queer political and sexual identities became visible to a larger public. In these works Majoli scales up images culled from Blueboy through a white-line printmaking technique developed in Provincetown, Massachusetts, in the early twentieth century, primarily by women artists who were influenced by traditional Japanese woodcuts. The making of these works is described by the artist as deeply related to their content: they are produced through what is essentially a transfer process wherein the image itself is partially lost, or ghosted, while printed. The white carved line creates an impression of a negative, an image turned inside out. The outcome reveals the interplay between what the artist can control and the mechanics and materials of making, which override her hold on the image.

Monica Majoli at the Hammer Museum, “Made in LA 2020: a version”

Galerie Buchholz

“blueboys,” Galerie Buchholz, New York, 8 November 2019 – 18 January 2020

“Made in L.A. 2020: a version,” Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, and the Huntington, Pasadena, 17 April – 1 August 2021

See also
Catherine Opie, Monica, 1990

Monica Majoli archive in the Contemporary Art Library

Monica Majoli in the collection of SFMOMA

Monica Majoli in the collection of the MoMA

Monica Majoli in the collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art

Monica Majoli at Air de Paris

Monica Majoli at Galerie Buchholz

Moncia Majoli & Simone Krug, “Monica Majoli on Rethinking the ‘Lifetimes’ of Andy Warhol in Aspen,” Frieze, January 20, 2022

Leslie Wayne, “Shared Sense of Becoming: Monica Majoli Interviewed by Leslie Wayne,” Bomb Magazine, June 29, 2021

Bruce Hainley, “Painted Veil: The Art of Monica Majoli,” Arforum, May 2013