Joan Quinn was known as the “Culture Queen’” as well as the “Gertrude Stein of her day” amongst the artist satellites of Los Angeles, New York and London. Quinn hosted and served as a direct imperative to what soon became the nucleus of this pivotal interchange from the 1970’s to the 1990’s at her home base of Los Angeles. Amongst this artistic milieu, which held court at the Quinn family home, arrived a tradition made in the challenge for Quinn’s anointed artists to capture her enigmatic persona through portraiture. Each artist through the vocation of their most renowned mediums and techniques, showcased their virtuosity in the interpretation of her mystery. This tradition, embellishing on the mythology she continues to build amongst the contemporary art world to this day, now resides as the largest portrait collection amongst renowned artists in the world.
Joan Quinn’s position as a major contributor to Andy Warhol’s Interview Magazine, her constant snap shot taking of the emerging and established worlds of art and later her ‘Joan Quinn Interview’ show captured these artists in a milieu that highlighted an overlooked seminal journey of the contemporary art world. Joan Quinn provides a life and legacy showcasing one of the most important aspects of the world of art, captured in the momentum of the alliances and influences made through friendship of which she still continues to this day. This critical aspect of the power of friendship provided an interchange of ideas amongst a social milieu which Joan Quinn and her family hosted. The influences made amongst this collision of disparate visionaries changed the course of the artists’ lives as well as their theoretical seminal journeys at a time Los Angeles’s sun was rising in a momentous dawn.
Although Joan Quinn’s portraits have been shown before in Southern California, this exhibition ‘Joan Quinn Captured’ which will take place at the Brand Art Center, takes on an entirely new approach. The exhibition showcases the works of Quinn’s artist friends which are exemplary of their legacies, forming an engaging dialogue with her portraits,, while enumerating on both their legends.
This exhibition will link the alliances of these friendships with a theme of ‘Captured and Capturing’ showcasing never before displayed photos and footage of these artists personal lives, interviews, documentaries and films that will be showcased in the exhibition’s interactive displays and the Brand Library and Art Center’s theater.
The main gallery will include the renowned artists of the groundbreaking 1960’s Los Angeles Ferus Gallery including Ed Moses, Ed Ruscha, Billy Al Bengston, Pop Art (Joe Goode, Andy Warhol, Rupert Smith), The Light and Space Movement (Larry Bell, Peter Alexander and Laddie John Dill will be represented in sculpture.) The main gallery will also include Neo Expressionism’s Jean Michel Basquait as well as minimalism/maximalism (Duggie Fields). The formal studies in abstraction will be presented in the works of Charles Arnoldi along with a maquette and light sculpture by his close associate Frank Gehry. The center of the room will present the renowned cubes of Larry Bell whose transparent capacity will reflect and form a cohesive whole with the main gallery’s multiplicity of colors textures and forms. The wall spaces will divide a separation from the large windows of the gallery forming an altar like appearance with a neon work of Laddie John Dill, giving the room that holds late pop art and maximalism a hyper realized altar like appearance.
The artist David Hockney will be also present with works that might potentially include a new portrait of Joan for his upcoming retrospect. The street artists Shepard Fairey and Joey Krebs will be given an alcove to present their portraits with new works along with the ethnographic sculptures of Dora Delarios.
The Brand Art Center entrance will feature Robert Graham’s drawings and sculptures commemorating the human figure along with the work of California Abstraction and Craft artist Claire Falkenstein and her large works in sculpture. This would be followed by a Neo Dada arena (George Herms, Robert Lizano) together with Beatrice Wood the longtime partner of Marcel Duchamp and co-founder of the early Dada journal Blind Man. Figurative painting and drawing masters include Don Bachardy, Kevin Whitney, Mel Ramos, Bill Tunberg and Chaz Guest who was recently commissioned for the White House.
The hallway leading into the library will feature neo Surrealism artists Steven Arnold (who is recently having his renowned film Luminous Procuress re-mastered by the Walker Center in Minneapolis) together with the Armenian artist Zareh. This section portrays the satellite worlds of fashion. Portraits are taken by Helmut Newton, Robert Mapplethorpe, Alice Springs, George Hurell, Paul Jasmin, and Mathew Ralston. The renowned illustrator Antonio Lopez will be presented with Luciana Martinez de la Rosa, whose portraits of women has undergone a recent revival of interest perpetuating a cult following amongst the revision of London’s underground club culture from the 1970’s through the 1980’s. The hallway, where these works will be shown, will also showcase some of these photographers’ renowned still life works while portraits of Joan form a sculptural quality in the costumes of the legendary designers Issey Miyake and Zandra Rhodes.
The exhibition proposes to show new commissions by the works of the sculptor Woods Davy along with John Krawccyk in the sculpture garden. The Brand Library entrance courtyard will also be given an outdoor sculpture to accommodate this show. A new generation of artists including the painter Eric Pederson who has been considered an adherent to the school of Francis Bacon and Lucian Freud will also be included.
The exhibition provides a narrative of Los Angeles’ emerging art world and some of the most critical influences which arrived from New York and Europe. These artists’ participation in the life of Joan Quinn formed a critical snapshot of what became a familiar vernacular for the Los Angeles contemporary art world. The exhibition presents a unique cluster of varying satellite art worlds through the interplay that was captured by the artists in portraits and Quinn herself in the documentation of these visionaries. The exhibition will have interactive displays of these photographs and interviews. The exhibition will be supplemented with a film and documentary festival in the Brand Library theater. Artist works will be brought in by the galleries and artists where sales will contribute a portion to the funding of the Brand Library and Art Center’s future arts programming.
The exhibition showcases a collision through the networking of one woman and her family that altered the secular journey of Los Angeles on a new course which is now visible in the grand horizon it as achieved today.
Curated by Laura Whitcomb Curator and Curatorial advisors Amanda Quinn Olivar and Cheryl Bookout