The West Coast Avant-Garde - Artweek.LA

The West Coast Avant-Garde: 1950 - Present

Many of the most influential post-war American art movements are closely tied to the West Coast, despite being written out of the art historical record until very recently. Pop, Light and Space, action painting, assemblage, Minimalism, Conceptualism, and Hard Edge, to name a few, all had roots in California. Many of these California-based artists knew, or knew of, each other and together developed an avantgarde sensibility that transcended their stylistic or generational differences.

The West Coast Avant Garde: 1950 – Present is a survey of the incredible work made in California beginning in the mid-1950’s and continuing to present day by a careful selection of influential artists, including Lita Albuquerque, Wallace Berman, Joe Goode, Llyn Foulkes, and Ed Ruscha  working across Pop, Light and Space, assemblage, Minimalism, and Conceptualism.

Kohn Gallery has championed the careers of West Coast artists for 30 years, not only by representing canonical artists such as as Bruce Conner, Wallace Berman, Joe Goode, John Altoon and Larry Bell, but also by creating challenging and meaningful contemporary contexts.

Since its establishment in 1985 by former Flash Art editor Michael Kohn, Kohn Gallery has presented historically significant exhibitions in Los Angeles alongside exciting contemporary exhibitions, creating meaningful contexts to establish links to the greater art historical continuum. Significant exhibitions include Andy Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Boxes in December 1986, which opened just weeks before the artist’s untimely death; She: Works by Richard Prince and Wallace Berman which brought together—for the first time—two generations of leading artists from different coasts; Bruce Conner: Work from the 1970s, which inspired the artist’s first solo retrospective in Europe at the Kunsthalle Wien and Kunsthalle Zurich (2010). Exhibitions of important New York-based artists have included new works by Christopher Wool, Richard Tuttle, Mark Tansey, Kenny Scharf, and Keith Haring. Kohn Gallery represents important West Coast artists with long careers and rich histories such as Larry Bell, Joe Goode and Lita Albuquerque, as well as the Estates of Bruce Conner, Wallace Berman and Charles Brittin. Finally, Kohn Gallery boasts an exciting roster of emerging and mid-career artists including Simmons & Burke, Ryan McGinness, Rosa Loy, Dennis Hollingsworth, Mark Ryden, Eddie Martinez, Tom LaDuke and Troika.