Ferus Gallery

The Ferus Gallery was a contemporary art gallery operating from 1957–1966 at 736A La Cienega Boulevard, Los Angeles, California, United States.

Under the directorship of Irving Blum from 1958, the gallery exhibited both the West Coast and New York art of the period. It was the first gallery to devote a solo show to Andy Warhol’s pop art.

The gallery was founded in 1957 by the curator Walter Hopps, the artist Edward Kienholz, and the poet Bob Alexander. In 1958 Kienholz left to concentrate on producing art, and his stake in the gallery was replaced by Irving Blum. Hopps left in 1962 to become director of the Pasadena Art Museum.

Up until the autumn of 1958 the gallery had had twenty shows, but had made hardly any sales. Blum persuaded Hopps to reduce the number of represented artists to fourteen (seven from San Francisco and seven from Los Angeles) and transformed the financial health of the gallery. After the departure of Kienholz, the gallery was also supported by a third silent partner, Sadie Moss, a wealthy widow. [Lawrence Weschler, "Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees: A Life of the Contemporary Artist Robert Irwin", University of California Press, 1982. (pp45-6). ISBN 0520049209]

The offices of the art magazine Artforum were for a time situated above the gallery, before the magazine moved to New York City.

Notable exhibitions

The inaugural exhibition at the Ferus Gallery was "Objects on the New Landscape Demanding of the Eye" (March 15 - April 11, 1957), a group show including the work of Frank Lobdell, Jay DeFeo, Craig Kauffman, Richard Diebenkorn, John Altoon and Clyfford Still.

In 1957 the gallery was temporarily closed after LAPD officers arrested and charged Wallace Berman with obscenity over work in his exhibition. It was his first and last solo show.

In 1962 "Andy Warhol: Campbell's Soup Cans" was Andy Warhol's first solo pop art exhibition and the first exhibition of the Soup Cans. Five of the canvases sold for $100 each, but Blum bought them back to keep the set intact. [ [http://www.guardian.co.uk/warhol/story/0,,638151,00.html "The Guardian", Jan 23, 2002] ]

Los Angeles artists who had their first solo shows at the gallery included: Wallace Berman (1957), Billy Al Bengston (1958), Ed Moses (1958), Robert Irwin (1959), John Mason (1959), Kenneth Price (1960), Llyn Foulkes (1962), Larry Bell (1962) and Ed Ruscha (1963).

References

External links

* [http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/coolschool/ THE COOL SCHOOL] site for Independent Lens on PBS
* [http://www.ferusgallery.com Michael Wilson's Ferus Gallery fansite]


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