Hunter Drohojowska-Philp
Henry Holt and Company, New York, 2012, 2010, English
Nonfiction, Art and Cultural History
9.5 x 6.4 inches, hardcover 288 pages
ISBN: 9780805088366
Suggested Retail Price: $32,50

From the Publisher. Los Angeles, 1960: There was no modern art museum and there were few galleries, which is exactly what a number of daring young artists liked about it, among them Ed Ruscha, David Hockney, Robert Irwin, Bruce Nauman, Judy Chicago and John Baldessari. Freedom from an established way of seeing, making, and marketing art fueled their creativity, which in turn inspired the city. Today Los Angeles has four museums dedicated to contemporary art, around one hundred galleries, and thousands of artists. Here, at last, is the book that tells the saga of how the scene came into being, why a prevailing Los Angeles permissiveness, 1960s-style, spawned countless innovations, including Andy Warhol's first exhibition, Marcel Duchamp's first retrospective, Frank Gehry's mind-bending architecture, Rudi Gernreich's topless bathing suit, Dennis Hopper's Easy Rider, even the Beach Boys, the Byrds, the Doors, and other purveyors of a California style. In the 1960s, Los Angeles was the epicenter of cool.

On 1 book list
Alissa Walker

Finish Fetish, Assemblage, Feminist Art, Light and Space: all these movements originated in a nascent Los Angeles art world, as a tiny band of artists began to twist the rules on materials, form, and (perhaps most importantly) self-promotion. But this book is also about how these Southern California artists figured into the larger world of pop culture: how they intertwined with the Sunset Strip music scene, affected young Hollywood filmmakers like Dennis Hopper, and figured into the Civil Rights movement. We watch as Ed Ruscha creates a new visual narrative by playing with words in his paintings, see how a young Frank Gehry built cheap houses with unfinished edges inspired by the art of his friends Ed Moses and Larry Bell, and look on in horror as John Baldessari burns his paintings in favor of a more conceptual approach. It’s messy, scandalous, and racy, but so was L.A. in the ‘60s. And visual culture was never the same.

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