Tony Berlant - Artnet News

Tony Berlant Joins Kohn Gallery After 33 Years At LA Louver

It's time for a new beginning, he said.

Henri Neuendorf, February 24, 2017

After 33 years at LA Louver, seminal pop artist Tony Berlant has moved across Los Angeles to Kohn Gallery, in a change that reinforces the gallery’s strategy of supporting artists who helped shape the Californian and West Coast aesthetic.

Berlant was part of the network of Los Angeles artists including the likes of Ed Ruscha, Bruce Connor, and Joe Goode that helped propel the nascent Los Angeles art scene onto the world stage in the 1960s.

In fact the artist was part of the groundbreaking group show “Pop Art USA” at the Oakland Museum of Art, a pioneering exhibition of West Coast pop that included Ruscha, Goode, Robert RauschenbergRoy LichtensteinAndy Warhol, and Jess and Claes Oldenburg.

“There’s one reason why I wanted it, and there’s probably another reason why he wanted it,” dealer Michael Kohn told artnet News on the telephone. “There’s something that he was not able to do at his gallery, which is to participate at art fairs, and I think that was attractive to him because art fairs obviously have such an important place in the art world now,” he explained. “As for me, my interest is in artists who have incredible history who have great bodies of work, who have been inventive their whole life and are literally at times hidden in plain sight. I can’t say I can do everything. But I am able to take some of these artist’s work to venues that give them more exposure than they’ve had.”

In a telephone conversation with artnet News Berlant said, “I’m very fond on a personal level of Peter Gould and the people at LA Louver truly, and appreciate the things they did for me over the years. But I just felt it was time for a new beginning and the program Michael [Kohn] has includes Bruce Conners, Wally Berman and others who I was close to, and so I felt that I fit into a particular pattern that he is focused on.”

Kohn Gallery will introduce the latest addition to its roster at the upcoming edition at the ADAA Art Show in New York as part of a two person presentation with Berlant’s friend and collaborator, the late Bruce Conner.