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4.1 junk assemblage

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4.1 junk assemblage

  1. 1. Making  it  Real:    Junk  Sculpture  and   Assemblage   Art  109A:    Contemporary  Art   Westchester  Community  College   Fall  2012   Dr.  Melissa  Hall  
  2. 2. The  New  Academy   Abstract  Expressionism  becomes   “mainstream”  in  1950s   “Abstract  Expressionism  was,  and  is,  a   certain  style  of  art,  and  like  other   styles  of  art,  having  had  its  ups,  it  had   its  downs.  Having  produced  art  of   major  importance,  it  turned  into  a   school,  then  into  a  manner,  and   finally  into  a  set  of  mannerisms.  Its   leaders  aQracted  imitators,  many  of   them,  and  then  some  of  these  leaders   took  to  imitaRng  themselves.   Painterly  AbstracRon  became  a   fashion  .  .  .  “   Clement  Greenberg,  Post  Painterly   AbstracRon,  1964   Cecil  Beaton,  The  So'  Look,  photograph  of  a  model  posing  in  front  of  a  Jackson   Pollock  painRng    at  BeQy  Parsons  Gallery,  Vogue  March  1,  1951  
  3. 3. Art  as  Life   Two  Paths   Art  as  Art   Post  Painterly  AbstracRon  represented   one  path  
  4. 4. Two  Paths   Should  art  avoid  everyday  life?   George  Segal,  Cinema,  1963   Albright  Knox  Gallery  
  5. 5. “To  the  arRsts  who  arrived  in  New  York   in  the  late  fiRes,  the  spiritual  and   Two  Paths   philosophical  aspiraRons  of  the  original   Abstract  Eart  avoid  everyday  life?  wesome;   Should   xpressionists  were  a yet  these  same  aspiraRons  generated   resentment  because  they  excluded  the   external  world.    Younger  arRsts  chafed   at  being  allowed  to  deal  with   universals  but  not  to  paint  what  could   be  seen  or  touched.    ‘We  found  it   amazing,’  George  Segal  recalled  later,   ‘that  so  much  avant  garde  twenReth-­‐ century  art  was  rooted  in  physical   experiences  of  the  real  world  and   suddenly  the  Abstract  Expressionists   were  legislaRng  any  reference  to  the   world  totally  out  of  art.    This  was   outrageous  to  us.’”   Barbara  Haskell,  Blam!    The  Explosion  of  Pop,   Minimalism,  and  Performance  1958-­‐1964,  Whitney   Arnold  Newman,  George  Segal  with  one  of  his  works,  1964   Museum,  1984,  p.  12  
  6. 6. Art  as  Life   Two  Paths   Art  as  Art   One  way  to  get  art  involved  with   reality  is  to  make  it  out  of  “real  things.”     “To  those  dissaRsfied  with   Abstract  Expressionism’s   detachment  from  percepRble   reality,  the  interjecRon  of   commonplace  materials  by   means  of  assemblage  was   seen  as  a  way  of  .  .  .  bringing   it  back  into  contact  with  the   ordinary  and  the  ‘real.’”   Barbara  Haskell,  Blam!    The  Explosion  of  Pop,   Minimalism,  and  Performance  1958-­‐1964  
  7. 7. Junk  Sculpture   “Junk  Sculpture”  and  “Assemblage”   became  such  a  widespread   phenomenon  that  in  1961  William   Seitz  curated  an  exhibiRon  at  the   Museum  of  Modern  Art  Rtled  The  Art   of  Assemblage.   “Assemblage  has  become,   temporarily  at  least,  the  language   of  impaRent,  hypercriRcal,  and   anarchisRc  young  arRsts.”   William  Seitz,  1961   William  SeRz,  the  Art  of  Assemblage,  Museum  of  Modern  Art,  19161  
  8. 8. Junk  Sculpture   “Junk  culture  is  city  art.    It’s  source   is  obsolescence,  the  throwaway   material  of  ciRes,  as  it  collects  in   drawers,  cupboards,  ahcs,   dustbins,  guQers,  waste  lots,  and   city  dumps  .  .  .  .”   Lawrence  Alloway,  1961   Richard  Stankwiecz,  UnNtled,  1958   Image  source:    hQp://www.metroRmes.com/editorial/story.asp?id=13515  
  9. 9. Junk  Sculpture   John  Chamberlain  made  sculptures   from  crushed  automobile  parts   “The  whirling  arabesques  of  color   in  wall  reliefs  such  as  Dolores  James   echo  the  energy  and  expressive   power  of  painRngs  by  Willem  de   Kooning;  the  heroic  scale  and   animated  diagonals  suggest  the   canvases  of  Franz  Kline”   Guggenheim  Museum   John  Chamberlain,  Dolores  James,  1962   Guggenheim  Museum  
  10. 10. John  Chamberlain,  Dolores  James,  1962   Guggenheim  Museum  
  11. 11. Junk  Sculpture   “It  may  be  difficult  to  imagine   now,  but  in  their  Rme  Mr.   Chamberlain’s  early  sculptures   were  seen  as  a  flagrant   violaRon  of  the  formalist  idea   that  color  was  for  painRng   only.  As  Donald  Judd  wrote  in   1960,  “Colored  sculpture  has   been  discussed  and  hesitantly   aQempted  for  some  Rme,  but   not  with  such  implicaRons.”   Karen  Rosenberg,  “Beyond  the  Junkyard:     John  Chamberlain  Choices  at  Guggenheim   Museum,”  New  York  Times  February  23,   2012     John  Chamberlain,  Hatband,  1960   Image  source:    hQp://www.artnet.com/artwork/423788513/1018/john-­‐chamberlain-­‐hatband.html  
  12. 12. “Hatband”  (1960),  on  view  at  the  John  Chamberlain  retrospecRve  at  the  Guggenheim.  Sara  Krulwich,  NY  Times  
  13. 13. “For  the  first  Rme  since  the   period  of  the  futurists,  the   automobile,  for  example,  has   been  effecRvely  dealt   with  .  .  .  .  By  now,  the   automobile  has  become  a   mass  killer,  the  upholstered   love  boat  of  the  adolescent,   and  the  status  symbol  of  the   socially  disenfranchised.”   William  Seitz,  The  Art  of  Assemblage   John  Chamberlain,  Marfa  
  14. 14. Louise  Nevelson   Assemblages  made  of  discarded  boxes,   crates,  architectural  moldings,  dowels   and  spindles,  all  painted  a  uniform   black   Richard  Avedon,  Louise  Nevelson,  1975   hQp://www.richardavedon.com/ #s=15&mi=2&pt=1&pi=10000&p=0&a=0&at=0   Louise  Nevelson,  Sky  Cathedral,  1958.       Museum  of  Modern  Art    
  15. 15. Louise  Nevelson,  UnNtled,  1968   Image  source:    hQp://www.newcriterion.com/arRcles.cfm/Gallery-­‐chronicle-­‐4037  
  16. 16. “From  the  refuse  found  at  demoliRon   sites,  di  Suvero  pioneered  a  new  form   of  sculpture  in  which  wooden  beams,   chained  together  in  outward-­‐leaning   construcRons,  declared  the  physical   forces  that  held  them  in  check.”   Mark  di  Suvero,  Landmarks:    The  Public  Art   Program  of  the  University  of  Texas  at  AusRn     Mark  Di  Suvero,  Hankchampion,  1960.   Whitney  Museum      
  17. 17. Franz  Kline,  PainNng  Number  2,  1954   Museum  of  Modern  Art  
  18. 18. Mark  di  Suvero,  Mother  Peace,  1970   Beethoven’s  Quartet,  2003   Sotrm  King  
  19. 19. West  Coast  Assemblage   San  Francisco  –  Beat  Art  movement   Los  Angeles  -­‐-­‐  Funk  Art  movement   Larry  Keenan,  Last  Gathering  of  Beat  Poets  and  ArRsts,  North  Beach,  1965   Image  source:    hQp://uncnews.unc.edu/content/view/1022/107/  
  20. 20. West  Coast  Assemblage   While  New  York  arRsts  enjoyed  the   support  of  galleries,  collectors,  and   museums,  California  arRsts  worked  in   relaRve  obscurity   Eliot  Elisofon,  Art  dealer  Leo  Castelli  in  his  New  York  art   gallery  surrounded  by  artwork,  1960   LIFE   Museum  of  Modern  Art,  New  York,  NY.  Philip  L.  Goodwin  and  Edward  Durell  Stone,   Architects,  1939.  Robert  Damora,  Photographer,  1939   Image  source:    hQp://www.robertdamora.com/  
  21. 21. West  Coast  Assemblage   The  Six  Gallery  in  San  Francisco,  co-­‐ founded  by  Wally  Hedrick  and  Jay  De   Feo,  was  the  center  of  the  San   Francisco  Funk  Art  scene   Alan  Ginsburg’s  first  public  reading  of   Howl  was  at  this  gallery   Wally  Hedrick  with  Jay  De  Feo  and  Joan  Brown  at  the  Six  Gallery,   San  Francisco.    Phoro  C.R.  Snyder   Image  source:    hQp://www.wallyhedrick.com/album.html  
  22. 22. West  Coast  Assemblage   Wally  Hedrick’s  early  work  consisted  of   assemblages  made  of  beer  cans,  lights,   broken  radio  and  television  sets,   refrigerators,  and  washing  machines   he  found  in  junkyards   “What  interests  me  is  to   take  garbage  and  make  it   into  art,  kind  of  ironic  art”   Wally  Hedrick   Wally  Hedrick,  Yagi,  1953   Image  source:    hQp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Wally.yagi.53.gif  
  23. 23. West  Coast  Assemblage   Bruce  Conner  created  assemblages   from  a  wide  variety  of  materials  that   hint  at  society’s  obsessions   Bruce  Conner,  Looking  Glass,  1964  SFMOMA  
  24. 24. West  Coast  Assemblage   “In  Looking  Glass,  a  dense  collage  of   baQered  pinups  of  nude  women  is   juxtaposed  with  worn  women’s   stockings,  lacy  undergarments,  and   once-­‐elegant  shoes  in  a  meditaRon  on   male  desire,  vanity,  and  mass-­‐ marketed  ideals  of  femininity  and   beauty.  Presiding  over  this  unseQled   and  unseQling  construcRon  is  a   disquieRng  figure  made  of  stuffed   nylon  pantyhose  and  mannequin  arms   with  polished  nails,  topped  by  a  head   formed  from  a  dead  blowfish.  The   scratched,  torn,  and  burned  surfaces   of  the  photographs  add  to  the  disRnct   sense  of  repulsion  or  frustraRon   conveyed  by  this  work.”   Bruce  Conner,  Looking  Glass,  1964  SFMOMA   San  Francisco  Museum  of  Modern  Art  
  25. 25. West  Coast  Assemblage   The  Child  is  a  small  figure  sculpted  in   black  wax  and  wrapped  in  nylon  and   string   Bruce  Conner,  The  Child,  1959-­‐1960   Museum  of  Modern  Art  
  26. 26. West  Coast  Assemblage   Tom  Crow  has  linked  it  to  the   notorious  case  of  Caryl  Chessman,  who   spent  12  years  on  death  row  while   insisRng  upon  his  innocence   Bruce  Conner,  The  Child,  1959-­‐1960   Museum  of  Modern  Art  
  27. 27. West  Coast  Assemblage   Chessman’s  case  aQracted   internaRonal  aQenRon  and  widespread   protest  against  the  death  penalty   Bruce  Conner,  The  Child,  1959-­‐1960   Museum  of  Modern  Art  
  28. 28. West  Coast  Assemblage   Conner’s  morbid  and  putrefying   assemblages  suggest  a  society  in  the   throes  of  sickness  and  decay  –  the   opposite  of  the  slick  images  of  1950s   America  seen  in  the  media   Bruce  Conner,  Snore,  1960   Fine  Arts  Museum  of  San  Francisco  
  29. 29. West  Coast  Assemblage   The  success  of  Conner’s  assemblages   prompted  him  to  quit  making  them   “I  quit  the  art  business  in  1967  for  about   three  years…  At  that  Rme,  whenever  I’d  get   any  leQers  about  art  related  events,  I’d   send  them  back  or  throw  them  out.   SomeRmes,  I’d  write  deceased  on  them.  I   was  listed  in  Who’s  Who  in  American  Art   and  I  sent  back  all  their  correspondence   with  “Deceased.”  Aver  three  years,  Who’s   Who  believed  me  …  So  the  arRst    is   definitely  dead.”     hQp://blog.sfmoma.org/2008/07/11/works-­‐by-­‐the-­‐late-­‐ bruce-­‐conner-­‐part-­‐2/   Bruce  Conner,  Bombhead,  1989/2002   Image  source:    hQp://www.magnoliaediRons.com/Content/Conner/F00011.html  
  30. 30. West  Coast  Assemblage   He  went  on  to  become  a  pioneer  in   experimental  film   “His  work  was  sampling   before  that  word  existed”   Brian  Eno  and  David  Byrne   Bruce  Conner,  Cosmic  Ray,  1961  
  31. 31. West  Coast  Assemblage   His  first  film  was  simply  Rtled  “A   Movie”   “Conner  .  .  .  began  making  his  mark   on  cinema  in  1958  with  A  Movie,  a   stream-­‐of-­‐consciousness  montage   made  from  films  purchased  at  a   local  camera  store;  its  dreamlike   structure,  Conner  later  said,  was   influenced  by  TV  channel-­‐surfing.”   hQp://earz-­‐mag.com/2008/07/bruce-­‐ connor-­‐1933-­‐2008-­‐forefather-­‐of-­‐21st-­‐century-­‐ art/   Bruce  Conner,  A  Movie,  1958   See  video  at:    hQp://www.tudou.com/programs/view/3-­‐9tCeFX0Eo/  
  32. 32. West  Coast  Assemblage   “Using  only  found  footage,   Conner  has  created  one  of  the   most  extraordinary  films  ever   made.  One  begins  by  laughing   at  the  juxtaposiRon  of  cowboys   and  Indians,  elephants  and   tanks,  but  soon  the  metaphor   of  associaRon  becomes  serious,   as  we  realize  we  are  witnessing   the  apocalypse.”—Freude   hQp://www.filmlinc.com/nyff/program/ avantgarde/program5.html   Bruce  Conner,  A  Movie,  1958   See  video  at:    hQp://www.tudou.com/programs/view/3-­‐9tCeFX0Eo/  
  33. 33. “Since  there  was  a  movie  I  wanted  to   see,  and  didn’t  see  it  being  made,  I   decided  it  had  to  be  my  job  to  make  it.   And  absolutely  nothing  was  being  taught   in  schools  Cow  to  make  films.  I  couldn’t   West   h oast  Assemblage   take  a  class  in  filmmaking.  I  had  to  invent   His  first  film  was  simply  Rtled  “A   my  own  ways  of  making  movies.  All  I   Movie”   could  learn  was  how  to  glue  one  piece  of   film  to  another.  A  MOVIE  was  made  in   the  most  primiRve  film  ediRng  process   that  is  possible.  You  just  glue  it  together.   I  had  no  work  print,  synchronizer,   moviola,  sound  reader.  I  had  none  of  the   technical  tools  that  beginning  film   students  use  today.  I  had  never  even   heard  of  most  of  these  technical  tools.   Although  A  MOVIE  is  being  used  today  –   and  had  been  used  since  it  was   completed  in  1957  –  in  teaching  film   classes,  the  way  I  made  A  MOVIE  is  not   the  way  anybody  is  ever  taught  how  to   make  films.”   Bruce  Conner,  in:  Wiliam  C.  Wees  (Ed.):  Recycled  Images.   Bruce  Conner,  A  Movie,  1958   The  Art  and  PoliRcs  of  Found  Footage  Film,  New  York:   See  video  at:    hQp://www.tudou.com/programs/view/3-­‐9tCeFX0Eo/   Anthology  Film  Archives  1993,  S.  77-­‐86:  82.  [San   Francisco  22.  Mai  1991]   hQp://www.kunst-­‐der-­‐vermiQlung.de/arRkel/kurztext-­‐ conner/  
  34. 34. West  Coast  Assemblage   Report  was  a  film  about  the  Kennedy   assassinaRon   “In  REPORT  he  has  used  newsreel   footage  and  radio  tapes  of  President   Kennedy’s  assassinaRon  to  produce  a   13-­‐minute  movie  that  captures   unbearably,  yet  exhilaraRngly,  the   tragic  absurdity  of  that  day.”—Jack   Kroll,  Newsweek   hQp://www.filmlinc.com/nyff/program/ avantgarde/program5.html   Bruce  Conner,  Report,  1967  
  35. 35. West  Coast  Assemblage   In  1978  Conner  became  involved  with   the  San  Francisco  Punk  scene  as  a  staff   photographer  for  the  fanzine  Search   and  Destroy   Bruce  Conner,  Roz  Makes  a  Giant  Step  for  Mankind:  NegaRve  Trend,  January  23,  1978  
  36. 36. West  Coast  Assemblage   In  1981  he  collaborated  with  David   Byrne  and  Brian  Eno  to  produce  Mea   Culpa   “In  the  course  of  recording  this   album  Brian  and  I  crossed  paths   with  arRst  and  filmmaker  Bruce   Connor,  who  lives  in  San  Francisco.   Bruce's'  legendary  "experimental"   films  are  well  known  for  their   pioneering  use  of  found  footage,  so   it  was  natural  that  we  approach  him   regarding  the  possibility  of  working   together  .  .  .  Connor  mainly  uses   old  educaRonal  films,  science  films,   government  footage  and  film   footage  that  people  throw  out  and   then  recuts  them  to  new  music  .  .  .   His  work  was  sampling  before  that   hQp://bushofghosts.wmg.com/watch_video.php   word  existed,  as  was  this  record.”   hQp://bushofghosts.wmg.com/watch_video.php  
  37. 37. West  Coast  Assemblage   The  Ferus  Gallery  was  the  center  of  a   thriving  art  scene  in  Los  Angeles   Founded  in  1957  it  hosted  Andy   Warhol’s  first  solo  exhibiRon  in  1962   The  Ferus  Gallery,  Los  Angeles,  1962   Artnet  
  38. 38. West  Coast  Assemblage   The  group  of  arRsts  associated  with   the  gallery  came  to  be  known  as  “ The   Cool  School”   Ferus  Gallery  ArRsts,  1959   From  Lev:  John  Altoon,  Craig  Kauffman,  Allen  Lynch,  Ed  Kienholz,  Ed  Moses,  Robert  Irwin,  Billy   Al  Bengston     Photograph  by  Patricia  Faure   hQp://www.ferusgallery.com/  
  39. 39. West  Coast  Assemblage   Ed  Kienholz  was  a  leading  member  of   the  group   Marvin  Silver,  Ed  Kienholz  in  Junkyard,  1962   Craig  Krull  Gallery  
  40. 40. West  Coast  Assemblage   Before  becoming  an  arRst  he  earned   his  living  doing  odd  jobs,  such  as   working  in  a  psychiatric  hospital,  and   selling  used  cars  and  vacuum  cleaners   Marvin  Silver,  Ed  Kienholz  Expert,  1962   Craig  Krull  Gallery  
  41. 41. West  Coast  Assemblage   He  began  making  art  from  discarded   junk  and  then,  in  collaboraRon  with  his   wife  Nancy  Reddin  Kienholz,  he  moved   on  to  making  large  scale  walk-­‐in   environments  that  he  called  “concept   tableau.”   Edward  and  Nancy  Reddin  Kienholz  in  the  studio   Image  source:    hQp://www.theartkey.com/index.php?page=news_id&id=248&rlang=en&lang=ru  
  42. 42. West  Coast  Assemblage   One  of  Kienholz’s  earliest  works  is  John   Doe,  a  paint-­‐splaQered  mannequin  cut   off  at  the  waist  and  placed  in  a  baby   carriage     Marvin  Silver,  Ed  Kienholz  introducing  John  Doe  to  Irving  Blum,  1962   Craig  Krull  Gallery  
  43. 43. West  Coast  Assemblage   It  was  a  portrait  of  “everyman,”  and  of   the  tortured  soul  of  the  “organizaRon   man’s”  efforts  to  conform   Ed  Kienholz,  John  Doe,  1959   The  Menil  CollecRon,  Houston  
  44. 44. “The  mannequin  is  cracked  and  chipped,   and  black  resinous  material  has  been   West  Coast  Assemblage   poured  over  its  head.  The  chest  has  burst   open  where  the  heart  should  be,  and  red   paint  has  run  down  like  blood.  There's  a   cross  in  the  chest  cavity.  One's  first  thought   is  that  this  might  represent  the  subject's   religiousness.  But  if  viewers  kneel,  they  can   see  through  the  hole  in  the  chest  into  the   other  half  of  the  divided  mannequin.  Their   gaze  passes  through  the  buQocks  and  out   the  enormous,  erect  phallus  which  projects   from  the  groin.  The  cross  thus  becomes  like   the  crosshairs  of  a  rifle  scope  and  we  get,  as   it  were,  a  sperm's-­‐eye  view  of  John  Doe's   sexual  target  for  the  night.  John  Doe  easily   lends  itself  to  Freudian  interpretaRon,  with   its  raRonal,  religious  half  heading  forward,   only  to  find  its  eroRc  half  pulling  in  the   opposite  direcRon.” Reagan  Upshaw,  “Scavenger’s  Parade.”  Art  in   America.  October  1996 Ed  Kienholz,  John  Doe,  1959   The  Menil  CollecRon,  Houston  
  45. 45. West  Coast  Assemblage   Keinholz’s  first  walkn-­‐in  tableau  was   Roxy’s,  which  was  exhibited  at  the   Ferus  Gallery  in  1962   Ed  Kienholz,  Roxy’s,  1961   Bremen,  Neues  Museum  Weserburg,  Germany  
  46. 46. West  Coast  Assemblage   “Roxys  (1961-­‐62),  was  based  on  the  arRst's   youthful  memories  of  a  brothel  in  Kellogg,   Idaho.  In  developing  the  piece,  Kienholz   worked  like  a  set  designer,  construcRng  a  room   and  filling  it  with  period  props,  including  a   jukebox  which  plays  mid-­‐1940s  music,  a  1943   calendar,  a  photo  of  General  Douglas   MacArthur  and  the  like.  InhabiRng  the  set  are  a   number  of  Kienholz's  grotesque  assemblage-­‐ figures  represenRng  the  madam  and  her   prosRtutes.  The  madam  has  a  cow's  skull  for  a   head,  while  Five-­‐Dollar  Billy,  one  of  the   prosRtutes,  lies  on  her  back  on  the  stand  of  an   old  foot-­‐powered  sewing  machine.  (Is  this  a   pun  on  the  fact  that  she's  there  to  be   Ed  Kienholz,  Roxy’s,  1961   pumped?)”   Bremen,  Neues  Museum  Weserburg,  Germany   Reagan  Upshaw,  “Scavenger’s  Parade.”  Art  in  America.   October  1996
  47. 47. West  Coast  Assemblage   In  Illegal  OperaNon  Keinholz  took  on   the  poliRcally  charged  topic  of   aborRon   Ed  Keinholz,  Illegal  OperaNon,  1962   LACMA  
  48. 48. West  Coast  Assemblage   “The  1962  tableau  is  a  down-­‐and-­‐dirty   disaster  scene,  laid  out  on  a  taQy  old   knoQed  rug.  A  floor  lamp,  with  its   shade  askew,  blazes  over  a  metal   shopping  cart  rejiggered  into  an   operaRng  table.  A  sack  of  oozing   concrete  sits  on  the  table,  like  a  lifeless   body,  above  a  bedpan  liQered  with   rusty  medical  instruments.  Off  to  the   side  are  a  slop  bucket,  a  cooking  pot   and  a  liQle  red  stool,  apparently  used   by  the  ‘doctor.’”   Suzanne  Muchnic,  L.A.  Times   http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/ news/arts/la-et- kienholz20-2008aug20,0,6242187.story Ed  Keinholz,  Illegal  OperaNon,  1962   LACMA  
  49. 49. West  Coast  Assemblage   In  Backseat  Dodge  Keinholz  took  on   another  controversial  topic  -­‐-­‐  teenage   sex  and  an  emergent  car  culture   Ed  Keinholz,  Backseat  Dodge,  1964   LACMA  
  50. 50. “One  night  when  he  was  about  17,  Kienholz   borrowed  his  father’s  ’38  Dodge  and  drove  it  across   the  state  line  to  a  dance  at  Chatcolet  Lake,   Idaho.“This  girl  was  out  there,  and  I  enRced  her  into   the  car,”  he  said  in  an  issemblage   included  in  a   West  Coast  Anterview  that  is   secRon  of  the  museum’s  Web  site  devoted  to  the   online  collecRon.     “We  got  some  beer  and  pulled  off  in  the  tules   someplace  and  did  inRmate  and  eroRc  things  all   over  her,  and  we  sat  there  and  drank  beer  and  had   a  nice  Rme.”   “And  I  couldn’t  remember  her  name  later,”  he  said.     “I  thought,  what  a  crazy  situaRon  —  to  be  that   inRmate  with  a  person  and  not  know  who  they  are.   It  just  seemed  wrong  to  me  in  a  way.  And  then  I  got   to  thinking  about  back  seats  and  Dodges  and  the   kind  of  a  world  where  kids  are  really  forced  into  a   cramped  space  in  —  maybe  even  a  fear  situaRon,   certainly  a  furRve  situaRon.  Like  what  a  miserable   first  experience  of  sex  most  kids  go  through.  I   mean,  the  back  seats  of  cars.”   Ed  Keinholz,  Backseat  Dodge,  1964   Edward  WyaQ,  “In  Sunny  Southern  Californi  a   LACMA   Sculpture  Finds  its  Place  in  the  Shadows,”  New  York   Times,  October  2,  2007  
  51. 51. West  Coast  Assemblage   “Kienholz's  major  brush  with  the   authoriRes  came  in  1966,  on  the   occasion  of  his  first  retrospecRve  at   the  Los  Angeles  County  Museum  of   Art.  Upset  by  the  sexual  content  of   Roxys  and  Back  Seat  Dodge  '38-­‐-­‐ probably  Kienholz's  most  famous  work,   in  which  a  male  and  a  female  figure   grope  each  other  in  the  back  seat  of  a   shortened,  purple  Dodge  sedan-­‐-­‐some   conservaRve  county  supervisors   aQempted  to  close  down  the  show.   The  resulRng  controversy  and   Kienholz's  arRculate  defense  of  free   speech  subsequently  aQracted  record-­‐ breaking  crowds  to  the  museum.”   Reagan  Upshaw,  “Scavenger’s  Parade.”  Art  in   America.  October  1996   Ed  Keinholz,  Backseat  Dodge,  1964   LACMA  
  52. 52. Ed  Keinholz,  Ed  Keinholz,  Backseat  Dodge,  1964  LACMA  
  53. 53. Ed  Keinholz,  Ed  Keinholz,  Backseat  Dodge,  1964  LACMA  
  54. 54. West  Coast  Assemblage   The  Beanery  was  one  of  Keinholz’s   more  elaborate  walk-­‐in  tableaux   The  arRst  created  it  aver  seeing  a   disturbing  headline  about  the  Vietnam   war   Ed  Kienholz,  The  Beanery,  1965.    Photograph  Ralph  Crane   LIFE  
  55. 55. West  Coast  Assemblage   The  incongruity  of  people  eaRng  at  a   local  diner  against  the  backdrop  of   such  violence  was  the  moRvaRon   behind  the  work   Ed  Kienholz,  The  Beanery,  1965.    Photograph  Ralph  Crane   LIFE  
  56. 56. West  Coast  Assemblage   “The  Beanery  (1965)  [is]  a  full-­‐sized  replica   of  a  railroad-­‐car-­‐sized  bar  and  grill  (based   on  a  real  LA  diner,  Barney's  Beanery),   complete  with  music  and  the  recorded   sounds  of  the  patrons  plus  chemicals  to   produce  the  smell  of  the  place.  “   Reagan  Upshaw,  “Scavenger’s  Parade.”  Art  in   America.  October  1996   Ed  Kienholz,  The  Beanery,  1965.    Photograph  Ralph  Crane   LIFE  
  57. 57. West  Coast  Assemblage   “Most  of  the  figures  were  cast  by  wrapping   plaster-­‐infused  bandages  around  live  models,  a   technique  that  Kienholz  was  to  use  in  subsequent   pieces.  The  clientele  represents  a  cross  secRon  of   the  populaRon:  there  are  a  young  couple,  two   moving-­‐company  men,  an  aging  barfly  in  a  mink   stole  who  has  brought  her  poodle,  and  others  (no   gays,  though,  since  a  couple  of  signs  warn   "Faggots-­‐-­‐stay  out").”   Reagan  Upshaw,  “Scavenger’s  Parade.”  Art  in  America.   October  1996   Ed  Kienholz,  The  Beanery,  1965.      
  58. 58. “Kienholz  once  said  .  .  .    "A  bar  is  a  sad  place,  a   place  full  of  strangers  who  are  killing  Rme,   postponing  the  idea  that  they're  going  to  die."   The  stopped  dials  of  the  clocks  inform  us  that   Rme  has  been  effecRvely  killed  in  this  space,  as   forlorn,  in  its  way,  as  that  other  evocaRon  of  the   American  greasy  spoon,  Edward  Hopper's  1942   painRng  Nighthawks.”   Reagan  Upshaw,  “Scavenger’s  Parade.”  Art  in  America.   October  1996   Ed  Kienholz,  The  Beanery,  1965  
  59. 59. West  Coast  Assemblage   Keinholz’s  concept  tableau   usually  consisted  of  three   Parts:   1.  A  wriQen  descripRon  of  the   concept     2.  A  drawing  of  the  project   3.  The  finished  installaRon   Ed  Kienholz,  The  State  Hospital,  1966  
  60. 60. Ed  Kienholz,  State  Hospital  (Exterior),  1966   Moderna  Museet,  Stockholm  
  61. 61. Ed  Kienholz,  State  Hospital  (Interior),  1966   Moderna  Museet,  Stockholm  
  62. 62. “The  period  1961-­‐72  consRtutes  a  sort  of  miracle  decade  for   Kienholz.  The  free-­‐floaRng  atmosphere  of  violence  at  the   Rme,  from  the  war  in  Vietnam  to  the  race  riots  to  the  poliRcal   assassinaRons,  gives  the  work  of  those  10  or  so  years  an   angry  edge  .  .  .  .”   Reagan  Upshaw,  “Scavenger’s  Parade”  
  63. 63. West  Coast  Assemblage   Five  Car  Stud  is  a  gruesome  concept   tableau  depicRng  a  racial  murder   It  was  exhibited  at  Documenta  5  in   Kassel  Germany  in  1972   Ed  Kienholz,  Five  Car  Stud,  1969  
  64. 64. “The  scene  depicts  six  white  men  in   the  process  of  castraRng  a  black   man.    Two  white  men  pin  the  black   man  down  by  his  arms,  one  with  a   rope  Red  to  his  ankles  restrains  a   leg,  two  others  casually  holding   shot    .  .  .  restrain  him  with  the  threat   of  firearms,  while  a  lay-­‐surgeon   (performing  an  "illegal  operaRon")   takes  to  cuhng  off  the  man's   balls  .  .  .  and  penis  with  a  metal   instrument.    Four  cars  and  a  pickup   truck  represenRng  the  makes  and   models  of  the  current  moment   (1972)  surround  the  scene,   illuminaRng  it  in  their  headlights.    In   the  pick-­‐up  truck  (the  odd  car  out,   the  mysterious  face-­‐down  card  in   this  hand  of  poker)  a  white  woman   who  the  narraRve  clues  indicate  is   the  black  man's  date/friend,  has  her   hand  to  her  mouth  gasping  or   holding  back  vomit.    In  one  of  the   other  cars  a  young  white  boy,  most   likely  the  son  of  one  of  the  aQackers,   watches  the  scene  with   impressionable  innocence.”   The  Center  for  Three  Dimensional   Literature  
  65. 65. “While  the  faces  of  the  woman  and  child  are   rendered  unmasked,  the  faces  of  the   aQackers  are  shrouded  in  costume  masks  –   the  signs  of  masking  are  not  masked,   reminding  us,  for  example,  that  the  KKK  also   wear  hoods.    The  vicRm  also  has  two  faces,  an   inner  one  with  a  sRll  expression  encased  in  a   plasRc  mask  that  depicts  a  scream.    And  as  if   to  clarify  any  ambiguity  over  the  racial   moRvaRons  behind  the  scene,  the  vicRm's   torso  is  made  from  an  oil  pan  with  the  leQers   floaRng  in  black  oil,  which  in  one   configuraRon  —  the  only  one  we  are  intended   to  read  —  spell  and  misspell  N-­‐I-­‐G-­‐G-­‐E-­‐R.”   The  Center  for  Three  Dimensional  Literature  
  66. 66. “Once  the  viewer  enters  the  tent,  s/he  enters  this   poker  game.    S/he  becomes  an  insider,  a  parRcipant   in  the  scene.    In  accepRng  the  role  of  the  voyeur,  as   every  art  viewer  does,  s/he  is  implicated  in  the   scene.    The  act  of  looking  at  a  piece  of  art  is  a   commitment  to  responsibility:    once  s/he  has  looked   the  choice  and  act  are  irreversible.    Once  a  ciRzen   knows  this  kind  of  violence  occurs,  s/he  can  no   longer  feign  ignorance.    To  ignore  the  scene  and   escape  the  tent  to  view  the  Frankenthaler  in  the   next  room  implicates  the  viewer  with  turning  his/ her  back  on  the  issue;  to  stay  forces  one  to  take  a   posiRon  in  relaRon  to  it.    In  this  scene  of  a   suspended  moment,  where  what  narraRvely   happened  before  and  what  will  inevitably   narraRvely  happen  aver,  the  viewer  confronts  his/ her  own  potenRal  acRons.    Would  s/he  protect  the   girl  from  being  the  next  physical  vicRm  or  rape  her   while  the  others  are  busy;  pull  the  liQle  boy  away   from  the  scene  or  give  him  a  knife  to  jab  with;  fight   off  the  men  to  free  the  black  man  or  personally   finish  the  job?”       The  Center  for  Three  Dimensional  Literature  
  67. 67. West  Coast  Assemblage   In  a  later  work  Keinholz  re-­‐used  the   photograph  of  Five  Car  Stud  as  the   view  seen  out  the  window  of  a  car   door   Ed  Kienholz,  Sawdy,  1971   Walker  Art  Gallery  
  68. 68. “The  window  is  open.  It's  like   we're  just  cruising  on  by,  but   what's  happening  out  there?  The   scene  is  from  Kienholz's  Five  Car   Stud  (1969-­‐1972)  and  it's   something  you  just  don't  want  to   see.  White  racists  are  castraRng  a   black  man.  My  father  was  a   racist,  and  sadly  I  can  recognise   that  feeling  of  being  close  to   something  completely  inhuman   and  yet  being  powerless  to   change  it.  All  I  could  do  was   leave  -­‐  I  had  to  drive  on  by,  and   I'm  not  proud  of  it.”   Edward  Allington     hQp://www.tate.org.uk/tateetc/issue4/ microtate4.htm  
  69. 69. West  Coast  Assemblage   In  the  Portable  War  Memorial  Keinholz   took  on  the  issue  of  the  war  in   Vietnam   Ed  Kienholz,  Portable  War  Memorial,  1968   Wallraf-­‐Richartz-­‐Museum,  Cologne,  Germany  
  70. 70. Ed  Kienholz,  Portable  War  Memorial,  1968   Wallraf-­‐Richartz-­‐Museum,  Cologne,  Germany   “The  Portable  War  Memorial  (1968).  Five  face  less  mannequins  dressed  in  combat  gear,  posed  as  in  the   famous  World  War  11  photograph  of  the  marines  raising  the  flag  on  Iwo  Jima,  were  aQempRng  to  plant  a   flag  pole  in  the  umbrella  hole  of  a  paRo  table.  The  music  came  from  an  upside-­‐down  garbage  can  bearing   Kate  Smith's  likeness,  while  to  the  right  of  the  marines  were  a  Coke  machine  and  a  reproducRon  of  the   service  window  for  a  hot  dog  stand.  The  enRre  installaRon  was  colored  in  the  tones  of  galvanized  steel,   except  for  a  menu  board  bearing  the  legend  "V-­‐__  Day."  Underneath,  in  chalk,  were  names  of  hundreds  of   naRons  that  no  longer  existed  because  of  wars,  while  the  blank  next  to  the  "V"  awaited  the  iniRal  of   whomever  we  were  to  celebrate  beaRng  this  Rme.(1)  With  its  conflaRon  of  patrioRsm  and  the  turning  of  a   capitalist  buck,  The  Portable  War  Memorial  at  once  evoked  a  past  war  in  Asia  and  stood  as  a  rebuke  to  the   one  currently  raging.”   Reagan  Upshaw,  “Scavenger’s  Parade.”  Art  in  America.  October  1996  
  71. 71. “Kienholz's  art  was  predominantly  a  socially  criRcal  art  .  .  .  it  confronted  us  with  the  darker  aspects  of   contemporary  American  life.  Its  subjects  were  society's  vicRms  and  the  methods  of  their  vicRmizaRon:  the   loneliness  of  death,  furRve  sex,  violent  acts  moRvated  by  racism.  Indeed,  Kienholz  focused  on  these  and   other  troubling  aspects  of  everyday  life  in  Western  culture  that  were  generally  excluded  from  art  of  the   1950s  and  1960s  including  other  assemblages  and  environmental  work.”   Robert  Pincus-­‐WiQen   hQp://www.artchive.com/artchive/K/kienholz.html  

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