Outline of LACMA
Los Angeles to New York: Dwan Gallery, 1959–1971 presents the storied history of the Dwan Gallery, one of the most important galleries of the postwar period in the U.S., and the dealer and patron Virginia Dwan. Founded by Dwan in a storefront in Westwood in 1959, the Dwan Gallery was a leading avant-garde space during the 1960s, presenting groundbreaking exhibitions by Edward Kienholz, Yves Klein, Franz Kline, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, Ad Reinhardt, and Robert Smithson, among others. A keen follower of contemporary French art, Dwan gave many of the Nouveau Réalistes their first shows in the U.S. In 1965 she established a second space in New York City; Dwan New York would go on to provide the first platform for now-major tendencies in the history of contemporary art including Minimal Art, Land Art, and Conceptual Art. She was a leading patron of earthworks and sponsored major projects including: Heizer’s Double Negative (1969) and City: Complex One (begun 1972); Smithson’s Spiral Jetty (1970); De Maria’s 35-Pole Lightning Field (1974); and Charles Ross’s Star Axis (begun 1971).
Dwan was a major force in the international art world yet has received relatively little attention, due in part to the closure of her gallery after only eleven years in 1971 (her Los Angeles space closed in 1967). Featuring paintings, sculpture, films, and drawings by a wide range of artists, this exhibition retrieves Dwan’s singular contributions and reexamines the important history she made, highlighting in particular the increasing mobility of the art world during the late 1950s.
This exhibition was organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington.
(quoted from “official website“)
Outline of National Gallery of Art, Washington
Overview: The remarkable career of gallerist and patron Virginia Dwan will be featured front and center for the first time in an exhibition of some 100 works, featuring highlights from Dwan’s promised gift of her extraordinary personal collection to the National Gallery of Art. Founded by Dwan in a storefront in Los Angeles in 1959, Dwan’s West Coast enterprise was a leading avant-garde space in the early 1960s, presenting works by abstract expressionists, neo-dadaists, pop artists, and nouveaux réalistes, including Philip Guston, Franz Kline, Ad Reinhardt, Robert Rauschenberg, Claes Oldenburg, Edward Kienholz, Yves Klein, Joseph Kosuth, Arman, Martial Raysse, Niki di Sant Phalle, and Jean Tinguely. In 1965, Dwan established a gallery in New York where she presented groundbreaking exhibitions of such new tendencies as minimalism, conceptual art, and land art, featuring works by Carl Andre, Walter de Maria, Dan Flavin, Michael Heizer, Robert Morris, Sol LeWitt, Agnes Martin, Charles Ross, Robert Ryman, and Robert Smithson, among others. Dwan emerged as a leading patron of earth works during this period, sponsoring Heizer’s monumental sculptures Double Negative (1969) and City (begun 1972); Smithson’s masterpiece Spiral Jetty (1970); the first version of Walter de Maria’s Lightning Field (1974); and Ross’s Star Axis (begun 1971). The exhibition will trace Dwan’s activities and the emergence of an avant-garde gallery in an age of mobility, when air travel and the interstate highway system linked the two coasts and transformed the making of art and the sites of its exhibition.
Organization: Organized by National Gallery of Art, Washington
Sponsor: The exhibition is made possible through the generous support of the Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Foundation.
Passes: Admission is always free and passes are not required.
Image: Virginia Dwan standing in the Language III installation (May 24–June 18, 1969). Photo courtesy Dwan Archive
(quoted from “official website“)