Exhibition Review: SFAQ

Julian Wasser: Duchamp in Pasadena Revisited

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Julian Wasser: Duchamp in Pasadena Revisited…
June 21 – September 23, 2015
Robert Berman/E6 Gallery
1632 Market St., San Francisco, CA 94102

Much came before and more was to follow, but a pivotal swing in the course of West Coast art history occurred during Marcel Duchamp’s first American museum retrospective at the Pasadena Art Museum in 1963. It was then he sat down to play chess with a naked Eve Babitz—an act that was documented by TIME Magazine-assigned photographer Julian Wasser. By leapfrogging the New York City institutional art establishment, California curatorial foresight provoked a future pregnant with conceptual possibilities escaping a purely “retinal” art.

The exhibition was the brainchild of Walter Hopps, previously associated with the legendary Ferus Gallery and recently installed as Acting Director of the Pasadena Art Museum. As a teenager, Hopps had cut his eyeteeth by pestering Walter Arensberg, and scavenging the collector’s library and key works of Modernism, which Duchamp’s key benefactor had assembled and relocated from New York City. It was there a younger Hopps met Duchamp for the first time.

Ensconced in a position to offer Duchamp his first major retrospective, Hopps found that the normally-reluctant Duchamp was predisposed to accept his invitation, given the Arensberg connection and the relocation of important early friends Man Ray and Beatrice Wood to the Los Angeles area. The exhibition opening was attended by a who’s who of Los Angeles cultural glitterati, many to alter the course of West Coast art in the coming decades. Artists Ed Ruscha, Robert Irwin, Billy Al Bengston, Larry Bell, Ed Moses, and Robert Irwin attended the October 7, 1963, opening along with film star Dennis Hopper and Ferus Director Irving Blum, as well as visiting New Yorkers Bill Copley, Taylor Mead and Andy Warhol. Wasser captured them all in his photographs of the exhibition’s opening.

The staged photograph featuring Duchamp pondering the chessboard with a voluptuous naked female occurred a week after Marcel and his wife Teeny returned from a post-opening gambling gambit in Las Vegas—accompanied by friends Richard Hamilton (in from London), Copley (Duchamp’s henchman in assembling the materials for the still secretiveÉtant donnés: 1° la chute d’eau / 2° le gaz d’éclairage (Given: 1. The Waterfall, 2. The Illuminating Gas) (1946-66), Hopps, and benefactors.[1] Without Hopps’s knowledge, his current girlfriend had been recruited and agreed to take part in a staged chess match with Duchamp to be photographed by Wasser. Although TIME failed to publish the photograph, it remains one of the century’s most iconic staged works of photography.

Babitz was mortified that her breasts were noticeably swollen, caused by newly prescribed medication: the resulting image fraught with innuendo and implications.[2]  The photograph exudes endless speculation upon any number of recurrent themes in Duchamp’s oeuvre, impacting gender, age, reality and illusion, the dichotomy of art and life. All are evoked by the iconic image. Drawing upon the antecedent of his alter ego, Rrose Sélavy, the photograph perpetuates Duchamp’s association with gender and transgression. Duchamp biographer, Calvin Tompkins, has observed that the photograph, “served as an erotic and very Californian footnote to the Walter Hopps historic show.”

The Robert Berman/E6 Gallery exhibition, Julian Wasser: Duchamp in Pasadena Revisited, contains both vintage and contemporary prints taken during various events surrounding the Pasadena retrospective. Contact Sheet for Duchamp Playing Chess with a Nude (1963) presents the selected image and thirty-four outtakes from the photo session taken in front of the Large Glass (1915-23). Present at the exhibition opening, Wasser captured a boyish Andy Warhol having his cheeks tweaked by Los Angeles artist Billy Al Bengston, and an amused Dennis Hopper looking on. There are numerous photographs of Duchamp posed with specific works in the show, and several photographs of Hopps replacing Babitz at the chessboard, with Teeny Duchamp looking on. There are an equal number of vintage and contemporary prints available, the newer works printed expressly for the exhibition.

Providing a hospitable environment for Wasser’s centerpiece photograph, Berman has included several of the photographer’s contemporaneous celebrity portraits, including luminaries Steve McQueen, Lenny Bruce, Joan Didion, and The Beatles. A working colleague of Weegee, while a copy boy at the Washington bureau of the Associated Press, Wasser mirrored his mentor’s no-nonsense documentary approach to the moment. In his depiction of the festivities surrounding the Duchamp retrospective, Wasser cast an unflinching look at the faces and forces shaping an assertive and aspiring Los Angeles art community. A wider selection of Los Angeles artists can be found in the publication,Rebels in Paradise: The Los Angeles Art Scene and the 1960s (Henry Holt, 2011), featuring additional Wasser’s portraits.

The Berman exhibition not only provides context to the famed photograph by surrounding it with alternative takes and other contemporaneous photographs by Wasser, but also slavishly recreates other objects in the gallery in which the photograph was taken. Duchamp and Babitz meditate over the chessboard directly in front of the Large Glass, flanked by key readymades including the bicycle wheel, the bottle rack, and the urinal. San Francisco artist, Tom Marioni, founder of the Museum of Conceptual Art in 1970, contributed a replica of 50 cc of Paris Air (1919), completing a full sweep of the readymades displayed in Pasadena. Fresh Window, Why Not Sneeze Rose Selavy? (1921) and The Brawl at Austerlitz (1921), are also on display, along with reproductions of Duchamp paintings, all recreated specifically for the Berman exhibition by Los Angeles artist Gregg Gibbs. A life size cutout of Duchamp and Babitz at the chessboard by Gibbs, brands the exhibition, prominently placed in the gallery’s front window.


Some exhibitions are notable for their broad strokes, exposing emerging trends or highlighting past movements, while other exhibitions expound upon a sliver of experience, expanding our understanding of the moment under detailed study. By selecting an iconic image and flushing it out, Wasser’s notorious photograph is stripped bare and revealed anew—no longer a mysterious whodunit, but a well documented moment in time presaging West Coast conceptual ascendency.

[1] Calvin Tompkins, Duchamp: A Biography (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1996), 423.

[2] Tompkins, Duchamp: A Biography, 424.


Bill Barminski & Dietrich Wegner featured in Banksy's "Dismaland"



The following is an excerpt from our October issue cover story, featuring aJuxtapoz exclusive interview with world-renowned artist Banksy, conducted on the eve of his largest project to date, Dismaland. The October issue will soon be available in our webstore and on newsstands worldwide.

Introduction by Banksy
Dismaland is the latest innovation in family light entertainment by the graffiti artist Banksy. Installed in the centre of an unfashionable British seaside town frequented by low-income families, Banksy describes it as “the perfect art audience.” The location is a former lido comprising four acres of walled seafront compound, which in recent years has come to more closely resemble a neglected prison yard, an atmosphere Banksy has endeavoured to preserve by declaring that none of the installation crew were allowed to bring a broom.

This is an art show for the 99% who would rather not be at an art show. It features a fairytale castle, a boat pond, arcade games and extensive water gardens, all given a distinctly modern twist. But beyond the Mickey-taking is a deadly serious attempt to assemble a show that takes stock of its generation. “It's scrappy, incoherent and self-obsessed, so maybe we're halfway there,” says Banksy.

This is certainly not a “street art” show—an art form Banksy describes as “just as reassuringly white, middle class and lacking in women as any other art movement.” The roster of artists ranges from Jenny Holzer, winner of the gold medal at the Venice Biennale, to Ed Hall, a pensioner who has spent forty years producing every major trade union banner from his garden shed.

Visitors are taken on an unflinching journey of art “made in the shadow of gathering clouds,” literally in the main gallery, as Dietrich Wegner's Playhouse towers above the centre of the room. Truly global in scope and scale, you will find art from Israel and Palestine hanging side by side.

Does it represent any distinct art movement? Banksy has come up with the term “post modem-ism” and is valiantly trying to make it fit. This is art with high “click potential,” something achieved by containing more than one strand of thought or technique. “It’s flower embroidery, but done with a power drill into car bonnets,” or, “It’s a greenhouse, but all the seedlings are sprouting from ready meals.” This is art that thrives and is shared in the online environment—art that has an “and” or a “but.” The digital world demands more than the humble portrait or landscape, and these artists serve it wholeheartedly.

As ever, Banksy has constructed a show that essentially speaks to his fifteen-year-old self. It shouts “another world is possible” at every turn. And this event actually provides some tools to achieve it. Visit “Guerilla Island,” an activist’s area where you're able to buy the specialist keys that unlock bus shelter advertising hoardings alongside workshops in how to replace their posters with your own.

One end of the site is dominated by a windmill, Banksy's attempt to power the entire site using a giant copy of a child's pinwheel, only to find the results seriously under-powering. “I guess it’s become a monument to how much further we've still got to go,” he says. —Banksy 

Read the full interview in our October, 2015 issue, coming soon.

Evan Pricco: Tell us about your role here. Has it been an interesting process being a curator? Is it a role that you enjoyed?
Banksy: It turns out curating can be surprisingly creative. For instance, I asked Jenny Holzer for one of her electronic signs, but she didn’t have anything in stock. She said she was happy to supply the text, but I’d have to find some signs. I asked a lighting guy to get a big LED screen and he came back with a system that cost £8000 a week to rent. I couldn’t afford that, so I suggested we record Jenny’s slogans and play them over the Tannoy system. She liked the idea and said she’d never done anything like it in forty years. So now we have a totally original Jenny Holzer that cost fuck all.

Did you do a lot of editing? Were there things you liked at first that got cut out and other things that grew because you liked the direction they were heading? 
A lot of the decisions have been made by neglect. I put together a whole list of artists and pieces I wanted, and then, a month later, if I hadn’t done anything about it, I knew it probably wasn’t worth pursuing. When you’re busy, the most important things have a way of asserting themselves. I discovered “not now” is as valid a reaction as anything else.

How much does the reaction matter to you? I know it matters to us, the critics and audience, but forget us for a second. Does it matter to you? 
I’m at a point with art where I only really care if the piece is more than the sum of its parts. I’m lucky because what I make either succeeds or fails. Some people undoubtedly would tell you that’s why it’s crap art, but that’s the way it is. I feel sorry for Abstract Expressionists—how do they know when to go home?

All I need is to make my point and get something more out of it than what I put in. If something extra has happened between the idea and realizing it, that’s a win. This week I surrounded my Cinderella’s carriage with a ring of paparazzi, and the flash bulbs made the shadows leap around the room, and the pumpkin looked like it was lit by flickering candles, so I’m good. I never saw that coming.

My satisfaction level is independent of your opinion. If I feel a piece has worked, there’s nothing you can say that will take that away. And the flip side is, if I know it’s failed, there’s nothing you can say that would make it OK.

This project, in particular, is so destination-based that you will really rely on audience reaction. You have always been good at controlling your message, but did joining social media teach you anything that you liked? Or disliked?
The last show I did was at the Bristol Museum and a lot of people came. In fact, the queue was the most interesting thing about it. I don’t know if people will show up this time, but I made a few pieces with the audience in mind: the Cinderella sculpture is only complete when surrounded by a gawping crowd snapping photos. The audience is the punchline. Likewise, the killer whale is crap in real life. It’s only good when you pose behind it pulling a face and send a picture to your mate.

What are you hoping visitors take away from Dismaland? 
A souvenir programme, three T-shirts and a mug. Each. This project isn’t sponsored or government aided; it’s self-financing.

Dismaland will be open daily from 11am—11pm, August 22—September 27, 2015 in Weston-super-Mare, England. For more information, visit

Read the full interview in our October, 2015 issue, coming soon.


Cuba Libre! Bronx Museum

Camejo @ the Bronx Museum

Cuba Libre!: Works from the Shelley and Donald Rubin Private Collection
March 19 to June 21, 2015



The recent announcement of a new re-engagement policy between the United States and Cuba has increased the level of expectation as to what the future of the island will be. While this new political openness will undoubtedly attract new markets and an influx of foreign investment, truly creative solutions for the local communities and their diverse culture will have to come from within.  By featuring a selection of works from the Shelley and Donald Rubin Private Collection, the exhibition Cuba Libre! suggests that contemporary Cuban artists have already been engaged in this discussion, providing thoughtful materials for their audiences to ponder on their diversity and rich historical legacy.

Selected works include, among others, collaborations between Ricardo G. Elias and José Angel Toirac (from the series Peregrinaje); assemblages by Eduardo Ponjuan; lithographs by Humberto Castro; as well as works by Tonel, Adonis Flores, Tommas Esson, Carlos Garaicoa, Sandra Ramos, and others. The curatorial team will be shared among the Bronx Museum and the staff of the Rubin Private Collection.


Support for Cuba Libre! was provided by Shelley and Donald Rubin.


Exhibition Review: L'Oeil de la Photographie

Link to the full exhibition catalogue

L'Oeil de la Photographie - San Francisco: Duchamp in Pasadena by Julian Wasser

Photo credit: Chess Match, Duchamp scratching nose, Duchamp Retrospective, Pasadena Art Museum, 1963 vintage gelatin silver print 6.75 x 9.5” © Julian Wasser







Credit: Julian Wasser Duchamp Playing Chess with Nude (Eve Babitz), 1963

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JULIAN WASSER: Duchamp in Pasadena Revisited

Exhibition Dates: Summer 2015

Vernissage: Thursday, June 11th at Dusk


Robert Berman / E6 Gallery is pleased to announce Julian Wasser : Duchamp in Pasadena Revisited, Summer 2015. Rare vintage and contemporary photographs documenting one of the most significant moments in California’s art history will be on view alongside appropriations of many of the readymades and conceptual works of art by Marcel Duchamp displayed in the Pasadena Art Museum during the artist’s first major U.S. retrospective. A vernissage will be held Thursday, June 11th at dusk.



In 1963 a long overdue retrospective for Marcel Duchamp, arguably the most significant and influential artist of the 20th century was held at the Pasadena Art Museum. The exhibition, curated by art world renegade and acting museum director, Walter Hopps, was Duchamp’s very first museum retrospective in the United States and a coup for the  West Coast art world. Having produced some of the most groundbreaking examples of conceptual art since the early part of the century, Duchamp was a legendary figure by the 1960s and his presence in California was a pivotal moment in L.A. history and lore.


Artists and luminaries including Ed Ruscha, Billy Al Bengston, Larry Bell, Dennis Hopper and a very boyish Andy Warhol flocked to the opening gala of Duchamp’s retrospective and TIME Magazine sent L.A. based photographer, Julian Wasser to cover the event. At the time, Wasser, who began his career as a teenager shooting crime scenes in Washington D.C., was unaware of Duchamp’s significance in the pantheon of art. But known for being in the right place at the right time and catching formative moments in L.A. history with an unmistakable eye, Wasser not only captured the energy of Duchamp’s opening reception, but produced several of the most iconic pictures of the artist ever made. Duchamp posing next to his groundbreaking readymade Bicycle Wheel, originally conceived in 1913 and Duchamp playing chess with a nude Eve Babitz were among the images Wasser took while on assignment. Though TIME never published Wasser’s pictures, the latter photograph, inspired by one of Duchamp’s master paintings Nude Descending a Staircase and the artist’s obsession with chess, went on to become one of the most recognizable staged photographs of the 20th Century.


Julian Wasser : Duchamp in Pasadena Revisited brings the quintessential photographs of Julian Wasser, together with an installation of appropriated works of art produced primarily by L.A. based artist Gregg Gibbs to create an exclusive experience of the 1963 Duchamp retrospective at the Pasadena Art Museum. Works on view originally produced by Duchamp and appropriated by Gibbs will include early works such as Bicycle Wheel, Nude Descending a Staircase, I.H.O.O.Q, 1919;With Hidden Noise, 1916, and one of Duchamp’s masterworks (The Large Glass) The Bride Stripped Bare of Her Bachelors, Even 1915-1923. The piece de resistance is a life-sized recreation of Wasser’s now-infamous photograph of Marcel Duchamp and Eve Babitz playing chess at the museum in 1963.



Julian Wasser began his career in photography in the 1950s as a teenager shooting crime scenes in Washington D.C., which he sold to The Washington Post.  While working as a copy boy at the Washington bureau of the Associated Press he met Weegee and rode around with the legendary and unflinching press photographer while he worked. After university and military service that found him stationed in San Diego, Wasser settled in Hollywood and became a contract photographer for Time, Life and People Magazine. Like his mentor, Wasser has the knack for being present at critical public and private moments and for producing images with a graphic bold punch. His photographs from 60s Los Angeles capture a seminal period in the L.A. art scene, iconic musicians and nightclubs, the transition from classical to New Hollywood, and a volatile political and civil rights era. Wasser’s photographs have been exhibited in museum exhibitions worldwide including Overdrive: L.A. Constructs the Future 1940-1990, Getty Center 2013; Los Angeles 1955-1985, The Birth of an Art Capital, Centre Pompidou, 2006, among others. His work is the subject of the monograph The Way We Were: The Photography of Julian Wasser, Damiani, 2014, and is included in numerous publications including Time & Place: Los Angeles 1957-1968, Steidl Verlag, 2008; Rebels in Paradise: The Los Angeles Art Scene and the 1960’s, Henry Holt and Company, 2011.



E6 Gallery SF

We are pleased to announce the re-opening of our San Francisco location


Paintings & Works on Paper

Opening Reception | Re-opening: Friday February 6, 2015 From  5-8pm

Open Tuesday-Saturday by appointment

Since first exhibiting his work in the early 1980’s, Bay area native Rob Setrakian has developed a liberating and intuitive painting style that is abstract, primal and unencumbered by reliance on figurative limitations. To look at his painted surfaces is to witness a conversation between the artist and the world around him and more definitively, between the painter and his medium. Setrakian’s method begins with one fearless gesture onto a surface and evolves with each stroke into meditations on texture and color, energy and light, continuity and fissure. His finished paintings are imbued with a suggestive sense of motion and energy that border on the performative and seem to preserve the artist’s actions in a language of their own. While vestiges of figures, objects and landscapes begin to emerge from the compositions, they consistently give way to more primary but subtle themes and universal relationships that occur in the natural world. The interplay between hot and cold, bright and dark, dry and damp, interior and exterior will ultimately preside where more concrete and reductive forms simply melt away.


Irene Hardwick Olivieri Book Review

"Closer to Wilderness"

Congratulations to Irene Hardwicke Olivieri on her recent review for her new book "Closer to Wilderness" in the latest issue of Spring 91: Women's Voices

To purchase a copy of Irene's beautifully illustrated book, please visit (signed copies are available too!):


'Special Deluxe' memoir recalls Neil Young's rides to stardom

"I painted one with some charcoal and some watercolors, and the publisher said, 'Wait a minute — what's that?' I said, 'I thought with some of the special ones maybe I'd color them a little bit.' He said, 'Our art department thinks you should do all of them like that.'"

That request added two years to the creation of "Special Deluxe," which comes at a time when two other big projects from Young are surfacing: his new album "Storytone" and his Pono music playback system.


Read the full artcile here:


Against All Odds (pg 25)

By Phil Tarley @ Fabrik Magazine

"Against All Odds" 

By Phil Tarley for Fabrik Magazine

Please click the link here, the article starts on page 25


Mr. Fish On and Off the Record with Graham Nash


On and Off the Record with Graham Nash (In Conversation with Mr. Fish)

Posted: Updated: 

Read entire article here

In the end we shall have had enough of cynicism, skepticism and humbug, and we shall want to live more musically. 
-Vincent Van Gogh

It took me three years to finally drip all the way out of college and I doubt that I would've been able to do it without headphones. That's me on the D bus at Rutgers University with hair in my face, filthy black horn-rimmed glasses and a Walkman clamped onto my head like forceps tasked with the dubious job of pulling me from the supercilious hole of cynicism that I'd been gestating in ever since leaving high school. I'm listening to an unreleased Beatles song called Watching Rainbows. John Lennon is singing, "Shoot me! Shoot me! Whatever you do you gotta kill somebody to get what you want, you gotta shoot me! You gotta shoot me! Please shoot me!" and I'm deliberately not standing up to get off at my stop to go to my Tuesday afternoon class on expository writing where I'd be forced to remove my headphones and listen to a middle aged woman in sensible shoes lecture me on how to bow at the waist and square dance politely with her syllabus. Or that's me not getting off the G bus to learn about third-person thesis construction because I'm listening to CSNY sing Blackbirdat the Fillmore East in 1970, or that's me not getting off the L bus to make tree-rubbings and collaborative scrap paper collages with girls in top-siders and digital watches because Bob Dylan is telling me how, "Disillusioned words like bullets bark as human gods aim for their marks, make everything from toy guns that sparks to flesh-colored Christs that glow in the dark, it's easy to see without looking too far that not much is really sacred."

Read the remainder of the article here


Robert Berman's 35 Year Weekend

By Shana Nys Dambrot


September 16, 2014Cover StoriesCover Story

Robert Berman’s 35-Year Weekend

By Shana Nys Dambrot   Tue, Sep 09, 2014


In Fall 2014, Robert Berman kicks off a four-month slate of rotating exhibitions and events, covering his 35 years of gallery exhibition history across seven locations -- including the inception and evolution of Bergamot Station as we know it.


[Video] Photographer Spotlight : Murray Garrett by Michael Kurcfeld

Please click here to view the video:

The celebrity culture in which we now swim, some would say drown, has accelerated far beyond what anyone awake in the 1950s would ever have imagined. Before the 24/7 global voyeurism of the Web, before E! and Barbara Walters and Annie Liebovitz, before the invading phalanxes of paparazzi on red carpets from Hollywood to Cannes, were the select flashbulb photographers who were allowed further access into the lives of stars than anyone else.  One of the anointed was Murray Garrett. Now 88, he’s got a lifetime of stories about the icons of that more innocent era whose off moments he was often privileged to capture: Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando, Bob Hope, Liberace… More fly-on-the-wall than commanding set-piece director, Garrett let his big-game hunting happen according to their creative rhythms, not his. A master of the stealthily revealed persona, he became a sought-after chronicler of a golden era in Hollywood.

“My dance was simply don’t get in their way,” says Garrett, “and don’t make your appearance there bigger than theirs — which would be absolutely stupid. My job was not to annoy them or interfere with them, and that’s why I get so many people who come up to me — and I’m very proud of it — saying, My God these pictures really are candid!”

As a kid, Garrett devoured photography books. While in high school he landed a part-time job with renowned New York stage photographer Eileen Darby. The studio owner kept him stuck in weddings-and-bar mitzvahs Siberia until one day, at age 17, he was thrown into his first celebrity assignment: Eleanor Roosevelt. When asked for his ID by her security team, he presented his high-school library card. “There was no television in those days, and to suddenly see her, I was numb.” Five years later, he was asked to open the agency’s West Coast office. He parlayed that into a long career of entertainment photo-journalism that reached every major star-hungry publication around the world.

“True these are special people, but they go to the bathroom the same way you do, they put their pants on the same way you do… but you’re not the same, because there’s only a very few who make it in their business and there are millions of us who never make it; we just work and make a living.” His secret weapon? New York-bred civility. He was always polite, and the marquee names rewarded him with their time. “You don’t have to like them, you don’t have to hate them, but you have to respect them.” Bob Hope was so impressed with Garrett’s discretion, his nimbleness and his sharp eye, he hired him on a regular basis to cover his shows — a gig that lasted 25 years.

“It wasn’t until long after I got out of the business that I was able to understand that it was okay to have whatever ego I have about my work. I knew I was good. That’s it.”

Murray Garrett’s photographs can be viewed at Robert Berman Gallery in Santa Monica until October 5, and in two books — Hollywood Candid: A Photographer Remembers and Hollywood Moments (both Harry N. Abrams).


Edward Goldman ART TALK with KCRW

July 30, 2014 (Please scroll down for the article)

So, enough with all this whining and nagging, let’s switch to something interesting, something special that all of us can enjoy and appreciate. How about Hollywood at its glamorous best? Here is a guilty pleasure ––the exhibition at the Robert Berman Gallery of black and white photographs of Old Hollywood royalty, all of them snapped by well-known celebrity photographer Murray Garrett, who worked roughly between the 1940’s and 1960’s. Mr. Garrett, who is 88 years old, hasn’t shown these photos for decades, so now is our chance to see and salivate a little over numerous images of Marilyn Monroe and Marlon Brando, Lauren Bacall with Humphrey Bogart, and Lucille Ball with Desi Arnaz. And you know what? In these photos by Murray Garrett, all these Hollywood Gods, even many decades later, are still alive, well, and kicking. As the saying goes, they don’t make ‘em like this anymore.


Christopher Felver

American Jukebox Review - Publishers Weekly

July 23, 2014

Immersed in the cultural landscape, filmmaker and photographer Felver (Beat) compiles moments both candid and posed from the past 25 years of American musical history. Framed by a brief personal narrative of the artist's social life in diverse countercultural milieus, as well as forewords by David Amram and Lee Ranaldo, the book quickly proceeds to striking images of luminaries such as Emmylou Harris, Ozzy Osbourne, Odetta, Taj Mahal, and Eartha Kitt. Felver possesses a unique skill, presenting the artists in moments that suggest a personal connection and unveiling of celebrity, while maintaining a firm grounding in the act of musical creation. Occasional recollections and ephemera from the featured artists further bolster the collection. Sure to please music aficionados and casual fans alike, the range and intimacy of this collection work together, drawing out nostalgia for the recent past. The artists feel present, whether it's Sonny Rollins with cheeks puffed as he glances over his shoulder, or Hazel Dickens's genuine smile. Felver's sincere appreciation of that presence is enough to make you turn on a record player. 240 b&w illus. (May)


Christopher Felver

American Jukebox Review - by the SFGATE

July 18, 2014

As a filmmaker, Chris Felver understands a tight close-up and a tight schedule, so when he shifts to still portraiture of concert performers, he gets the job done in three frames. Click, click, click.

"Mind I make one?" is all he has to say, his backstage pass and handheld Leica finishing the question.

Even Neil Young and Lou Reed had time for three quick frames, though Emmylou Harris had time for only one. They appear among 240 images in Felver's "American Jukebox," ($50, Indiana University Press), a new picture book as efficient as a three-minute single.

If he is shooting, say, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass in Golden Gate Park, he'll hang an airplane blanket on a generator, put a stool in front of it and catch the musicians as they are standing around waiting to play.


John Valadez at the Musee D'Aquitaine

Featuring: Leed's Shoes, 2004 Courtesy John Valadez from the Collection of ROBERT BERMAN GALLERY

June 1, 2014

Official Site for the Musee D'Aquitaine -


Chicano Dream - La collection Cheech Marin (1980-2010)

Exposition temporaire du 27 juin au 26 octobre 2014
From Friday 27 June 2014, 11:00 to Sunday 26 October 2014, 18:00
« Je me sens un peu Chicano, un peu Mexicain Américain et je suis aussi un artiste américain. […] Je me sens plus riche d’être tout cela à la fois. »
Eloy Torrez, 2000.

« En réaction à la culture dominante et aux distinctions implicites entre “beaux arts” et “art populaire”, les artistes [chicanos] ont tenté de supprimer les frontières et de mêler les genres. La vie quotidienne, réelle, constitua la source principale de cette nouvelle esthétique. »
Tomás Ybarra-Frausto, 1993

Cheech Marin, une passion généreuse

Le musée d’Aquitaine a fait le choix de présenter dans ses murs la collection privée de Richard Antony « Cheech » Marin, réalisateur, acteur et scénariste installé à Los Angeles. Cheech Marin accompagne depuis trente ans les plus grands artistes mexicains américains de Los Angeles. Carlos Almaraz, Gronk, Harry Gamboa, Patssi Valdez, Frank Romero, John Valadez…
Carlos Donjuán,
Portrait of Cheech, 2012.Technique mixte sur bois. Collection Cheech Marin. Courtesy de l'artiste

Tous figurent en bonne place au sein de cette collection qui a fait l’objet de plusieurs expositions d’envergure internationale : Chicano Visions, dont l’itinérance a débuté en 2001 au musée de San Antonio, Texas ; Chicanitas et Papel Chicano, qui rappellent que les artistes chicanos sont aussi de brillants dessinateurs et pastellistes. Très récemment, les petits formats de l’exposition Chicanitas ont été rassemblés au musée d’art contemporain de San Diego, Californie. En France pourtant, les artistes chicanos restent encore très méconnus. En 1989, le Centre de Recherche pour le Développement Culturel de Nantes (C.R.D.C.) coproduisait avec le Centre d’art Santa Monica de Barcelone une exposition pionnière présentant seize peintres, sculpteurs et affichistes chicanos. Le musée d’Aquitaine s’inscrit dans le prolongement de cette présentation inédite en France. Il élargit cependant le champ des artistes et courants picturaux représentés, et ajoute une introduction conséquente à la douloureuse histoire des Mexicains Américains depuis la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Quelque 70 oeuvres majeures de la collection Cheech Marin ont été retenues pour témoigner de plus de quarante années de création picturale. Cet ensemble est complété par d’importants prêts consentis par des artistes et collectionneurs privés, pour élargir le propos à la sérigraphie contemporaine, mais aussi représenter la toute jeune création chicana.

Artistes exposées

Carlos Almaraz, Jari « Werc » Álvarez, Jesus Barraza, Chaz Bojorquez, David Botello, Melanie Cervantes, Alfredo de Batuc, Carlos Donjuán, Diane Gamboa, Margaret García, Yolanda González, Glugio Gronk Nicandro, Roberto Gutiérrez, Wayne Alaniz Healy, Leo Limón, Albert Lopez, José Lozano, Gilbert « Magú » Luján, Cesar Martínez, Frank Romero, Sonia Romero, Ricardo Ruiz, Shizu Saldamando, Eloy Torrez, John Valadez, Patssi Valdez, Vincent Valdez, Jaime Zacarías, alias GERMS

John Valadez, une résidence au musée

L’association des amis du musée d’Aquitaine a convié John Valadez à réaliser in situ un mural, en introduction à l’exposition Chicano Dream. Accueilli fin mai 2014 en résidence à Bordeaux, l’artiste disposera de cinq semaines pour finaliser une oeuvre monumentale d’environ 8 x 4,50 mètres, qui sera exposée sur la façade du musée. Artiste de renommée internationale, Valadez est particulièrement reconnu pour ses extraordinaires murals, ces vastes fresques dont il reçoit régulièrement commande, en Californie comme ailleurs aux Etats-Unis. À l’issue de l’exposition, la fresque de John Valadez sera déposée puis réinstallée dans un espace public pérenne, choisi en concertation avec la Mairie de Bordeaux.

John Valadez, Pool Party, 1987 (coll. Cheech Marin) courtesy de l'artiste

2014, l’anniversaire du jumelage Bordeaux/Los Angeles

Les villes de Bordeaux et Los Angeles célèbrent le 50e anniversaire d’un jumelage débuté en octobre 1964. De nombreuses manifestations ponctuent cette année : une programmation particulièrement dense, qui mêle concerts et spectacles de danse, performances, projections de films et expositions. Los Angeles sera par ailleurs l’invitée d’honneur du festival Bordeaux fête le vin (BFV), du 26 au 29 juin. Musées et associations culturelles des deux villes sont pleinement impliqués dans la programmation de cette année de célébration.

Programmation à Bordeaux :
- À l’espace Saint-Rémi, du 13 juin au 13 juillet, FLASH association propose une nouvelle édition de BDXLAX Faraway So Close, exposition qui se veut, une nouvelle fois, le relais d’une scène culturelle forte et alternative, souvent peu visible, au croisement de l’art et de la pop culture.
- Le CAPC - Musée d’art contemporain de Bordeaux consacrera ses expositions d’été au sculpteur « caldérien » Aaron Curry, aux deux jeunes artistes émergents Carter Mull et Daniel Finsel, ainsi qu’aux archives du collectif d’artistes militants chicanos ASCO (« la nausée » en espagnol), actif à East Los Angeles entre 1972 et 1987 ; une exposition qui entre en résonance avec celle du musée d’Aquitaine, où seront présentées des oeuvres sur toile de Gronk, Patssi Valdez et Diane Gamboa, trois artistes fondateurs du collectif.
- La galerie du musée des Beaux-Arts de Bordeaux présentera du 28 août au 10 novembre, Roadtrip, un siècle de photographies de la côte ouest des Etats-Unis, à partir d’une sélection proposée par le riche département photo du LACMA.

Les partenaires

Exposition organisée en partenariat avec la Mairie de Los Angeles, dans le cadre du 50e anniversaire du jumelage Bordeaux – Los Angeles, et avec le généreux concours de M. Cheech Marin.


Norton Wisdom Exhibition Coverage

January 29, 2014

90265 Magazine

The Stylecon By Keely Weiss

LA WEEKLY by Shana Nys Dambrot

Visual Art Source by A. Moret


David Trulli releases Artist Statement Film

August 14, 2013

To see a behind the scenes look at David Trulli's studio and artistic process, please click here:


President Obama Awards National Medal of Arts to Herb Alpert

July 16, 2013

The highest honor bestowed by the President upon twelve
individuals in the arts annually

Los Angeles, CA — At the White House today, President Barack Obama awarded noted musician and philanthropist Herb Alpert with the National Medal of Arts for his lifetime of contribution to the arts.

Herb Alpert is not only a music icon and philanthropist, but also an accomplished sculptor, painter who through his creativity and inspiration, has significantly enriched and influenced our cultural life. The National Medal of Arts awards were established by Congress in 1984 to honor artists and patrons of the arts. It is the highest award given to artists and arts patrons by the United States government. The National Council of the Arts and the Arts Endowment’s advisory council recommends individuals and organizations to the President.
“My dreams of being a professional artist never included the Medal of Arts Award. I am deeply touched.” Herb Alpert

Herb Alpert continues his life–long passion to push the boundaries of his own art. As a multi–disciplinary artist, he has never stopped being a musician. Alpert not only has sold over 72 million albums over the course of his career, but he and partner Jerry Moss changed the music industry forever when they founded the legendary A&M Records. As an eight–time Grammy winner, Alpert is just releasing his 34th studio album “Steppin’ Out,“ and with his wife, Grammy–award winning singer Lani Hall, will perform at the Hollywood Bowl on July 17, 2013.

As a sculptor and painter, Alpert’s show, In·ter·course, is currently at the Robert Berman Gallery, Bergamot Station in Santa Monica, California.

Together Herb Alpert and Lani Hall are mutually involved in the work of The Herb Alpert Foundation, which was formed in the early 1980’s. The Foundation’s significant commitments support music & arts education, jazz studies and organizations that work toward creating a compassionate and empathetic society and has given over $125 million in grants.

In 2012 Herb Alpert was awarded the Harlem School of the Arts inaugural leadership award in recognition of the life–saving $6 million grant to the school. Journalist Bill Moyers said at the ceremony: “Herb Alpert is a creative genius. His career continues to flourish, and he continues to use his gifts as an artist and philanthropist to make our world a better place.”
For more information please visit
For media information, contact:
Caroline Graham, C4 Global Communications | 310–899–2727 |



On His Birthday, a Famed Artist’s Masterpiece Faces the Bulldozer

June 27, 2013

The late political cartoonist Paul Conrad won the Pulitzer Prize so many times it was deemed unseemly to give him any more. Now, on the Thursday he would have turned 89, one of his masterpieces faces oblivion.

Titled “Chain Reaction,” Conrad built a sculpture in the heart of Santa Monica, a once-progressive city, directly across the street from the RAND Corporation. It is a huge, elegant, moving work that stands against the horror of war and nuclear holocaust.

The city has threatened to tear it down, for lack of funds to maintain it. It ought to be a meager budgetary concern in a place that polishes its streets multiple times a week and maintains a showcase water reclamation plant on its beachfront. A number of prominent community members, notably art gallery owner Robert Berman and this site’s editor in chief, would like to prevent that cultural catastrophe.

If you want to get involved, find out more about the fight to save “Chain Reaction” at this website.

Here are a few words about Conrad from his old friend, Robert Scheer:

Paul was like other veterans of that era of what has been called the good war—maybe the last one that can be called that—like the great Ed Guthman, also a Pulitzer winner and Paul’s close friend, and that other Times Pulitzer winner, Phil Kerby, a foil for Paul’s daily journey through the editorial page compound seeking reaction to drafts of his cartoons. Those guys had a confidence to speak truth to power that derived from the deep conviction that they were guardians of the American dream of justice and liberty for all. For them it was never simply a slogan but rather their lifeblood.

There is an adage that I believe defines both the role of the free press and the progressive church that Conrad honored—the injunction to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable—an epitaph that best captures this truly great man.

Paul Conrad in his inspired works of art day after day for more than half a century never betrayed that mission. He did so with brilliance, humor, and integrity that millions came to expect from a cartoon signed “Conrad.”

—Posted by Peter Z. Scheer. Follow him on Twitter: @peesch.


Dietrich Wegner at the LEOPOLD MUSEUM, Austria

March 23, 2013

Congratulations to Dietrich Wegner for being selected to exhibit at the Leopold Museum in Austria for their exhibition "Fleeting Worlds"CLOUDS
Fleeting Worlds

22 March 2013 - 01 July 2013

From 1800 landscape painting experienced an impressive heyday. Within this genre, artists paid increasing attention to the motif of clouds. These strange, elusive formations consisting of water, air and light appear as conveyors of different emotions and messages. Bushy clouds in a sunny sky contribute significantly to the positive atmosphere of a landscape and seem to be an almost indispensible feature in idyllic depictions of nature. A sky traversed by dark rain and thunder clouds, on the other hand, is perceived as threatening, while a band of clouds bathed in the glow of the red evening light sets a melancholy mood. Bizarre cloud formations, in turn, can be interpreted as enigmatic signs, as mysterious messages and warnings of imminent danger. A sense of foreboding is also conveyed by masses of clouds that appear out of control, occasioned either by natural disasters or by man as a result of technical intervention, such as exhaust fumes and atomic explosions.

The exhibition seeks to shed light on these different aspects of cloud depictions with a great variety of select examples of European and American painting and photography from 1800 to today. The presentation features works by Caspar David Friedrich, Carl Gustav Carus, William Turner, Claude Monet, Alfred Sisley, Paul Cézanne, Vincent van Gogh, John Constable, Ferdinand Hodler, Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Edvard Munch, Emil Nolde, René Magritte, Ansel Adams, Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, Gerhard Richter, Anselm Kiefer, Paul Wolff, Olivier Masmonteil, Dietrich Wegner, Studio ++ to name but the most internationally famous representatives.


Art ltd. Reviews:


March 20, 2013

Marc Fichou: "Contenant Contenu" at Robert Berman Gallery
by jody zellen
Mar 2013

In "Contenant Contenu" (Containing, Contained), French-born, LA-based artist Marc Fichou plays with conceptual double entendres. His photographs and sculptures explore the process of making in relationship to the object made. This recalls Robert Morris' 1961 work Box with the sound of its own making, a quintessential conceptual artwork in which Morris recorded the sounds of building a box, later placing the recording inside the box, looping the sound forever.

In his Paper on Paper series (all 2012), photographs Fichou took of hand-folded origami animals and objects are printed onto larger pieces of paper. These prints are then folded to make another copy of the object/animal and later unfolded and framed. The two sets of folds fused in a single image, depict before and after simultaneously. Fichou acknowledges the self-referential nature of his work stating, "my intention here is to create a piece where the image cannot be separated from its referent, thus creating a visual link between past and present." The monochromatic images--archival pigment prints-- become sculptural, with uneven edges, slight rips and obvious folds. Fichou uses traditional origami subjects, including a seal, shark, raven, wolf and dove, as well as a shell and an octahedron. These paper-on-paper pieces are then interspersed with sculptural tromp l'oeil that further explore before and after in the continuum of creation. In 9 (the title refers to the size of the room and not the sculpture), Fichou extracted twelve rhomboid shapes from the gallery's drywall, leaving the studs, wood, and wall structure exposed. He subsequently used them to make a three-dimensional twelve-sided sculpture that inhabits the deconstructed space.

Fichou explores the intersection between photography and sculpture by creating complex puzzles that require the viewer to reconstruct the process of their making. In 3 Panels, the artist photographed three large, irregular white panels leaning against each other in his studio: they appear to be cut from a single piece of wood, and if reunited they would complete a square. The photographic image was then enlarged and transfered onto the panels shown in the original image. The three pieces sit slightly askew on a shelf on the gallery wall becoming a work that is a sculptural photograph and a visual illusion. Exploring the traditional realm of visual illusion while building off the conceptual and technological advancements of recent decades, Fichou's innovative works employ both digital and analogue technologies to offer striking conceptual and physical juxtapositions.


NY TIMES Reviews:

Ferlinghetti: A Rebirth of Wonder by Christopher Felver

February 8, 2013

Congratulations to Christopher Felver for his recent review of his documentary on the infamous Beat poet, publisher and activist Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

To read the review, further reviews and information on the documentary "Ferlinghetti: A Rebirth of Wonder," please click here:

Link to NY TIMES Review of Ferlinghetti: A Rebirth of Wonder

Link to NEW YORK POST Review of Ferlinghetti: A Rebirth of Wonder

Link to FILM JOURNAL INTERNATIONAL Review of Ferlinghetti: A Rebirth of Wonder


Marc Fichou THE WEEK Review + Cover of FABRIK MAGAZINE

February 1, 2013

Congratulations to Marc Fichou for his review in this weeks issue of THE WEEK and recent cover of FABRIK MAGAZINE.

Link to the digital (also available in print) issue of FABRIK MAGAZINE:


Review by THE WEEK:

French-born artist Marc Fichou gives the idea of before-and-after pictures a novel twist. Using a bit of pretzel logic, he creates artworks that cleverly incorporate previous versions of themselves. For one series, he folded paper into origami creatures, photographed each one, then flattened the sheets and printed the corresponding photos on them. He does a similar trick with drywall. When a viewer enters the last gallery, it appears that the room is not all there: Swiss cheese-like holes have been cut into the walls. But don't call security: The sculpture at the room's center was assembled from the walls' missing pieces.


New York Times Top Ten Photo Book: GERALD SLOTA

December 28, 2012

Gerald Slota's photo book STORY was just selected as one of the top ten photo books of 2012 by The New York Times.

To read about STORY and the rest of the top ten, please click:


Cira Crowell IN LIGHT Review by Peter Frank

December 19, 2012

To read the review by Peter Frank for the Huffington Post Haiku Reviews please visit:


Dietrich Wegner SKIN DEEP Review

A. Moret Reviews Dietrich Wegner's recent exhibition SKIN DEEP

September 1, 2012

To read the review by A. Moret for Art Ltd. please visit:


BERGAMOT STATION Summer Live Jazz Collector's Jam

August 5, 2012


Summer Live Jazz Collector's Jam

Sunday August 5, 3-7pm

The Bergamot Station Lower East Side (A & B buildings at Bergamot Station Arts Center) invites you to an afternoon of live jazz, art and libations. Galleries of the Lower East Side will be open to the public to share in an afternoon of art in all mediums, discussions and enjoyment.



The Lower East Side (A&B Buildings)
Participating Galleries:

Dietrich Wegner Skin Deep

"Forever Young": The Art of Music Photography

Group Exhibition

Neil Farber, Hideaki Kashima, Edward de Rosario,
David O'Brien and Others, Summer of Love

James Fee Buoyancy
Rose-Lynn Fisher Yonder

Greg Colson Early Works


Dinh Q. Le Remnants, Ruins, Civilization and Empire

Thank you to:

Bombay Sapphire Gin



The S'Cream Truck


CRYBABY Presents

Special thanks to:
Bryan Carter

John Colao

KJazz 88.1FM


Visual Art Source

Writers Boot Camp


TED SOQUI : LA Riots Then & Now Photographs

April 27, 2012

For more than two weeks in the spring of 1992, L.A. Weekly photographer Ted Soqui put his life at risk as he drove from one ravaged neighborhood to another to document the fallout of the Los Angeles riots, also known as the Los Angeles Uprising. He spotted torched buildings by following plumes of smoke in the sky. "And there was no shortage of smoke," Soqui says, "dark smoke."

He rephotographed those sites 20 years later, standing in the very same locations where he'd stood in 1992. Soqui's before-and-after imagery gives silent testament to how much has changed - and how little.

To read more about the LA Riots and Ted Soqui's documentation of the infamous LA Riots, please visit:



March 13, 2012

ART LTD Report on JUST OCCUPY in the latest issue, out now!

To read this article online, please visit:


TOWERING MOMENTS by Jonathan Bickart

January 31, 2012

ROBERT BERMAN GALLERY presents TOWERING MOMENTS, the premiere exhibition of Los Angeles artist Jonathan Bickart. Opening reception this Saturday at B7 Gallery from 7-10pm.

Interview with Jonathan Bickart by Echo in the Sense available here:


Best known for his large commissions, Bickart’s work can be seen from the famous 14-foot monument of Colonel Griffith J. Griffith on Riverside Drive at the entrance to Griffith Park, to the bronze bust in the center of the Tennis Center at the Rivera Country Club, and most recently the inspirational larger-than-life bust of G.W.Carver for LA Unified School District at Carver Middle School in South LA.

TOWERING MOMENTS captures a compelling moment in the artist/muse relationship, exhibiting the creation of surrealistic icons of gesture through human form. Inspired by images of Javier Marin, Egon Schiele, and Rodin. "I try to incorporate the artist/muse relationship symbolically with figurative surrealism through optical illusion, distortion, and an expressionist style." Through these sculptures, Bickart attempts to fuse our subconscious visuals with our aesthetic sensibilities. Bickart's work includes the use of many materials, such as polychromed terracotta, steel, concrete, hydrocal, brass, and well as found objects.

Bickart’s clients include: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, David Foster, Ted Kotcheff, Marcy Carsey, Kenny G, Peter Guber, Fred Ward, Inner City Games, Mandalay Bay Hotel, National Congressional Medal of Honor Monument, City of Los Angeles, Griffith Park Trust, and numerous private collectors.


PAID TO PLAY Exhibition Poster

John Van Hamersveld

October 29, 2011

John Van Hamersveld
Atomic Banana, 1970 (Printed 2011)
Hand-pulled silkscreen; Edition of 80
Published by Robert Berman Gallery; Printed by John Miner
40 x 26 inches



Participating in Pacific Standard Time

September 9, 2011

About Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945 – 1980
Pacific Standard Time is a collaboration of more than sixty cultural institutions across Southern California, coming together for six months beginning in October 2011 to tell the story of the birth of the Los Angeles art scene and how it became a major new force in the art world. Each institution will make its own contribution to this grand-scale story of artistic innovation and social change, told through a multitude of simultaneous exhibitions and programs. Exploring and celebrating the significance of the crucial post-World War II years through the tumultuous period of the 1960s and 70s, Pacific Standard Time encompasses developments from L.A. Pop to post-minimalism; from modernist architecture and design to multi-media installations; from the films of the African American L.A. Rebellion to the feminist activities of the Woman’s Building; from ceramics to Chicano performance art; and from Japanese American design to the pioneering work of artists’ collectives.

Initiated through $10 million in grants from the Getty Foundation, Pacific Standard Time involves cultural institutions of every size and character across Southern California, from Greater Los Angeles to San Diego and Santa Barbara to Palm Springs.