From Culture(d) edited by Mayer Rus
Twenty-five years is a long time in a town where you’re only as good as your last movie/series/concert. When Michael Kohn opened his gallery in 1985, the L.A. art world was more insular than it is in today’s era of Renzo Piano pavilions at LACMA, Jeffrey Deitch at MOCA and transcontinental migrations of prominent New York galleries. A native Angeleno, Kohn set up shop in his first location on Robertson after earning a master’s from NYU’s Institute of Fine Arts. “I couldn’t afford to redo the floors, so there was black shag carpeting for the first year,” he says.
Kohn’s original roster leaned heavily toward the East Coast, but over the years, his program grew to encompass a mix of established and emerging contemporary artists from New York and California, as well as the estates of seminal figures like Wallace Berman and Bruce Conner. Highlights include solo shows of Andy Warhol, James Rosenquist, Christopher Wool and Mark Ryden. Last year, he presented She: Wallace Berman and Richard Prince, featuring a 1986 El Camino embellished with photo reproductions from Prince’s Girlfriends series.
Characteristically eclectic, Kohn’s upcoming 25th Anniversary Show 1985–2010 (Nov. 19–Jan. 1) features high-profile artists and younger talents like Camille Rose Garcia and collaborators Case Simmons and Andrew Burke. Reflecting on the broad spectrum of styles, Kohn says, “It’s a show of visual non sequiturs—except they all happen in the context of me.” 8071 Beverly Blvd., 323-658-8088, kohngallery.com.
To view this article in the Cultere(d) section visit: http://www.latimesmagazine.com/2010/11/culturednovember-2010.html