Item description for The Ferus Gallery by Kristine McKenna...
In 1950s California, and especially in Los Angeles, there existed few venues for contemporary art. To a whole generation of Californian artists, this presented a freedom, since the absence of a context for their work meant that they could coin their own, and in uncommonly interesting ways. The careers of Ed Ruscha, Wallace Berman and Ed Kienholz all begin with this absence: Ruscha turned to books as a means of dissemination, Berman pioneered mail art through his magazine Semina, and in March 1957, Ed Kienholz, in collaboration with curator Walter Hopps, co-founded one of California's greatest historical galleries, Ferus. Within months of opening, Ferus, which is Latin for "Wild," gained notoriety when the Hollywood vice squad raided Berman's first--and, in his lifetime, last--solo exhibition, following a complaint about "lewd material." Shows by Kienholz and Jay DeFeo followed, but 1962 was Ferus' annus mirabilis, with solo shows by Bruce Conner and Joseph Cornell, and the first solo shows of Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol on the West Coast. The following year, Ferus also hosted Ed Ruscha's first solo show. After Kienholz and Hopps parted ways--Hopps went on to mount the first American Duchamp retrospective at the Pasadena Art Musuem--the reins were handed to Irving Blum, who got Ferus out of the red and ran the gallery until its closure in 1966. A Place to Begin is an illustrated oral history of this exemplary enterprise. With 62 new interviews with Ferus artists and over 300 photographs (most previously unpublished) plus a DVD documentary, it retrieves a lost chapter of twentieth-century American art. Edited by Kristine McKenna, noted expert and co-editor of 2005's critically acclaimed Semina Culture.
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Release Date May 1, 2008
Publisher Steidl & Partners
ISBN 3865216102 ISBN13 9783865216106
Availability 0 units.
More About Kristine McKenna
Kristine Mckenna lives in Los Angeles and where she has written a biography of the artist Wallace Berman.