Ferus Gallery  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

The Ferus Gallery was a contemporary art gallery operating from 1957-1966. In 1957 it was located at 736-A North La Cienega Boulevard, Los Angeles, California. In 1958 it was relocated across the street to 723 North La Cienega Boulevard where it remained until its closing in 1966.

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 in the world 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. Also at this time, Sayde Moss, a wealthy widow, became a silent partner and with her support the gallery moved across the street to 723 N. La Cienega Boulevard. Hopps left in 1962 to become curator and, later, director of the Pasadena Art Museum.

Up until the autumn of 1958 the gallery held 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.

From 1965, the offices of the art magazine Artforum were situated above the gallery, before moving to New York City in 1967.

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.

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).

In 2007, "The Cool School" was released, a documentary film about the Ferus Gallery and its eccentric artists.



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Ferus Gallery" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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