Swell: Art 1950 - 2010
Curated by Tim Nye and Jacqueline Miro. This survey of art inspired by surf and beach culture will open to the public on July 1st at Nyehaus, Metro Pictures and Friedrich Petzel Gallery and will include work by most members of the group of Venice Beach artists known as Light and Space and Finish Fetish.
The show historically contextualizes beach culture and its poetic and freeing nature on the Beat Generation, Assemblage, Light and Space, Finish Fetish, and early Pop Art. From this group of California artists, works by Wallace Berman, George Herms, Bruce Conner, Llyn Foulkes, Ed Kienholz, Billy Al Bengston, Tony Berlant, Ed Ruscha, Laddie John Dill, Dewain Valentine, Peter Alexander, John McCracken, Larry Bell, Craig Kauffman, and Helen Pashgian will be on view.
One of the main axes of the show is the obvious yet sensual relationship between Shapers and the Finish Fetish movement of the 60's. As the show focuses on two cities, L.A. and New York, it attempts to place the Ocean and its proximity to both cities as an antidote to a cacophony of quantities, speed and competing images. It also addresses how later generations of artists have looked back at assemblage, ephemera and graffiti as a way to either incorporate or reject the piercing presence of branding, advertisement, and information technology.