This summer, LACMA shines a pop spotlight on the gallery that put LA on the art world map.
Retro-spectacular: LACMA takes a hip trip back to the Sixties, showcasing more than 120 seminal works originally exhibited by LA art pioneer Virginia Dwan, including pieces by Sol LeWitt, Fred Sandback, Agnes Martin, and Robert Smithson.
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 avant-garde. 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. Virginia 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