Join us on Thursday, August 17th from 6:30-8:30pm at the IAO Gallery in Film Row for a film screening & discussion of The Cool School, a film by Morgan Neville. This Café Society Film Screening is presented in conjunction with the Unquenchable Search exhibition which features a group of Oklahoma City artists that have been prolific in the local art community for several decades.
The discussion will be led by exhibiting artist David Crismon.
This event is free & open to the public!
How do you build an art scene from scratch—and not lose your soul in the process? THE COOL SCHOOL is the story of the Ferus Gallery, which nurtured Los Angeles’s first significant post-war artists between 1957 and 1966.
In late 1956, medical-school dropout Walter Hopps met artist Ed Kienholz for lunch at a hot dog stand on La Cienega Boulevard. The two drafted a contract on a hot dog wrapper that stated simply, “We will be partners in art for five years.” And with that, the Ferus Gallery was born.
The gallery’s eventual success came at a cost. The closing of Ferus, just as it was finally becoming financially solvent, is indicative of the volatile and complex relationship money invariably has with art. But while Ferus had a polarizing effect on artists, ideas and art, the gallery managed to do for art in Los Angeles what the museums previously could not. Even though their modalities were as disparate as assemblage art, abstract expressionism and Pop, Ferus artists shared ideas, goals, workspaces and a lasting vision.
"I remember the word 'Ferus' outside had this kind of magic to it. Ferus had a much sparer approach to showing art. If you want to put a tiny painting on a single big wall, you're welcome to it. And the artist is the boss."
—Ed Ruscha, Ferus Gallery Artist