press release

The Centre Pompidou will be hosting a major exhibition on the artistic scene of Los Angeles from 1955 to 1985. There will be approximately 350 works on show by 85 artists. Los Angeles is the first exhibition on this scale that aims to demonstrate the importance and specific characteristics of an artistic context yet to be discovered. The Los Angeles artistic scene is unique in its multiform nature and in its continuous renewal of aesthetics and artists. Art here is inspired by the complexity of this “ville-monde” or megalopolis in which underground movements mix with popular Californian culture, with its community expression as with the world of its dream machines of Hollywood and Disneyland.

This exhibition retraces the history of the Los Angeles artistic scene through a large selection of paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs, film and video, from its appearance around the middle of the 50s to the dawn of a new generation of artists in the middle of the 80s.

The period 1955-1985 brought Los Angeles art to an exceptional level of development and recognition allowing a whole generation of young artists to take off. The Los Angeles art scene asserted itself as an alternative power to New York and a ferment of artistic creation that today intrigues artists from all over the world. It is essential France and Europe take this opportunity to understand better contemporary American art via this particularly fascinating, productive and largely undiscovered period. Set out chronologically, the exhibition notably shows works of assemblage art (Kienholz, Berman, Hammons), Pop art (Ruscha, Celmins, Foulkes), Minimalism or the “L.A. Look” (Bell, Kauffman, McCracken), the “Light and Space” movement (Turrell, Irwin, Wheeler), Conceptual Art (Baldessari, Huebler, Antin), Performance Art (Kaprow, Burden, McCarthy), Feminism (Chicago, B. Smith, Rosenthal), installations (Kelley, Leavitt, Shaw), photography (Teske, Fiskin, Welling), video (Viola, Yonemoto, Lamelas) and experimental film (Fisher, Anger, O’Neill).

A large part of the exhibition is dedicated to internationally famous artists such as Ed Kienholz, Allan Kaprow, David Hockney, Ed Ruscha, James Turrell, John Baldessari, Bill Viola, Paul McCarthy, Mike Kelley, Charles Ray, and Raymond Pettibon but this show also allows visitors to discover lesser known artists and a particularly rich and productive, experimental environment. The exhibition, organized on the base of Los Angeles urbanism, offers a large selection of films and videos shown in the cinema rooms at the Centre Pompidou.

At the same me time as the Los Angeles 1955-1985 exhibition the Morphosis Agency, under the aegis of its founder Thom Mayne, Pritzker Prize 2004, is also exhibiting its works and recent projects at the Centre Pompidou. Claiming that complexity is the domain of the architect, this exhibition, and its catalogue, are devoted to the last ten years of the agency’s activities showing 22 projects either currently underway or recently carried out.

Exhibition director: Catherine Grenier

Catalogue presented as a chronicle of creative history in Los Angeles. Format 28 x 28cm, “20th Century” collection, 400 pages, an anthology of 400 articles, 600 illustrations in color and in black and white.


only in german

LOS ANGELES 1955-1985
Kuratorin: Catherine Grenier

mit Bas Jan Ader , Peter Alexander, Kenneth Anger, Michael Asher, John Baldessari, Larry Bell, Jonathan Borofsky, Nancy Buchanan, Chris Burden, Vija Celmins, Judy Chicago, Richard Diebenkorn, John Divola, Judy Fiskin, Sam Francis, Jack Goldstein, David Hockney, David Hammons, Robert Heinecken, Dennis Hopper, Robert Irwin, Allan Kaprow, Mike Kelley, Edward Kienholz (Edward & Nancy Kienholz), David Lamelas, Paul McCarthy, Allan McCollum, John McCracken, John McLaughlin, Michael C. McMillen, Susan Mogul, Ed Moses, Matt Mullican, Bruce Nauman, Maria Nordman, Ken Price, Stephen Prina, Raymond Pettibon, Lari Pittman, Charles Ray, Martha Rosler, Nancy Rubins, Allen Ruppersberg, Ed Ruscha, Allan Sekula, Miriam Schapiro, Jim Shaw, Robert Therrien, James Turrell, Bill Viola, James Welling, Christopher Williams ...