The Cool School

Mason-at-ferus-1959_photo-by-robert-bucknam

For those of you who read Everything Popular is Wrong more often, you will know I am hugely interested by what was happening during the 60’s in LA’s art scene. While doing research for another publication I write for, I came across The Cool School, a documentary that chronicles the rise and fall of modern art in Los Angeles.

The Cool School is an abject lesson in how to build an art scene from scratch and what to avoid in the process. The film focuses on the seminal Ferus Gallery, which groomed the LA art scene from a loose band of idealistic beatniks into a coterie of competitive, often brilliant artists, including Ed Kienholz, Ed Ruscha, Craig Kauffman, Wallace Berman, Ed Moses and Robert Irwin. The Ferus also served as launching point for New York imports, Andy Warhol (hosting his first Soup Can show), Jasper Johns, and Roy Lichtenstein, as well as leading to the first Pop Art show and Marcel Duchamp’s first retrospective.

Through interviews and footage from the time period, the documentary sheds light on the story of Los Angeles as well as the rise (and fall and rise) of Los Angeles’ art scene. As the trailer says, it is a chronicle of “how an art scene was built from scratch.”
If you are interested in how the LA art scene make sure to check this Documentary out.

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