DWAN OF AGES

LACMA shines a Pop spot­light on the gallery that put LA on the art world map.

Los Angeles Confidential - - Contents - BY CARISSA TOJO

With “Los An­ge­les to New York: Dwan Gallery 1959– 1971,” LACMA takes a trip back to the fu­ture when the fu­ture was cool: the realm of 1960s avant­garde. The sum­mer mega ex­hibit high­lights more than 120 sem­i­nal works, all of which passed though the hands of vi­sion­ary art pa­tron Vir­ginia Dwan. From Pop Art and Min­i­mal­ism to French Nou­veau Real­isme, Dwan’s gal­leries show­cased ground­break­ing works while also pos­ing as an in­ter­me­di­ary be­tween the LA and New York art scenes. “To­day we think noth­ing of a gallery that has venues in Lon­don, New York, Los An­ge­les. Here was a gallery from LA that then opened in New York—that was very much ahead of its time,” re­marks LACMA’s head cu­ra­tor, Stephanie Bar­ron.

Dis­play­ing le­gends such as Ed­ward Kien­holz and Yves Klein, LACMA’s show in­cor­po­rates art­works not pre­sented in the ex­hi­bi­tion’s orig­i­nal run at the Na­tional Gallery, in­clud­ing a lu­mi­nous yel­low Robert Grosvenor sculp­ture that hasn’t been shown in LA since 1967. Re­flect­ing on Dwan’s im­pact, Bar­ron adds, “What’s amaz­ing is that Dwan only op­er­ated the gallery for 11 years. It just hap­pens to be the years that saw con­tem­po­rary art go­ing [away from] easel paint­ing to sculp­tures that don’t sit on pedestals, to works of art that are about ideas. Nancy Dwan was show­ing cut­ting-edge art at the time it was be­ing made.” The fu­ture was then… and now. Through Septem­ber 10, Res­nick Pav­il­ion, 5905 Wil­shire Blvd., LA, 323-857-6000; lacma.org

Retro-spec­tac­u­lar: LACMA takes a hip trip back to the Six­ties, show­cas­ing more than 120 sem­i­nal works orig­i­nally ex­hib­ited by LA art pi­o­neer Nancy Dwan, in­clud­ing pieces by (clock­wise from far left) Sol LeWitt, Fred Sand­back,

Agnes Martin, and Robert Smith­son. be­low: A ma­que­tte for a 1961 ex­hi­bi­tion of Larry Rivers’s work at the orig­i­nal Dwan Gallery in West­wood.

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