Christie’s Explores CalArts’ Influence on LA Art

CalArts and its legendary creatives were noted in world-famous auction house Christie’s recent historical survey of the Los Angeles art scene. In a city where “the light shines brighter,” artists like Ed Ruscha (Chouinard 60), Mark Bradford (Art BFA 95, MFA 97) and Larry Bell (Chouinard 59) are credited as luminaries.

CalArts was named an integral force in the city’s emergence as an art scene that, according to Ruscha, has “the right kind of decadence.” By the late 1960s, the institute garnered a reputation as a nucleus of “utopian lawlessness and academia,” which in turn influenced LA’s engagement with cutting-edge artistic practices and commercial galleries.

The article mentions figures like founding School of Art faculty members Allan Kaprow and John Baldessari (Chouinard 59). Under their tutelage, artists like David Salle (Art BFA 73), Catherine Opie (Art MFA 88) and Mike Kelley (Art MFA 78) blazed a course to “articulate a unique post-modern vision of late consumer capitalism.”

Also noted were former faculty members Judy Chicago and Miriam Schapiro, who banded together to establish CalArts’ Feminist Art Program. Much of their work occurred throughout the 70s at Womanhouse, the pair’s off-campus exhibition space in an abandoned mansion in Hollywood. 

In an overview of the newest additions to the city’s roster of museums and galleries, alums Nayland Blake (Art MFA 84) and Sadie Barnette (Art BFA 06) were cited for their forthcoming exhibitions at the Institute of Contemporary Art LA (ICA LA).

Read the full article on Christie’s feature page.

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