Saturday, July 15, 2006

Dennis Hopper: A Survey

Robert Rauschenberg, 1966 16"(H) x 24"(W) Gelatin Silver Print

Painted Broken Window, 1961 16"(H) x 24"(W) Gelatin Silver Print

Dennis Hopper’s installation at Ace Gallery Los Angeles is the artist’s first exhibition of this scale in the United States. This exhibition follows Hopper’s Retrospective organized by Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum in 2001, which traveled to the MAK in Vienna later that year. This exhibition will provide a comprehensive look at Hopper’s use of images taken in Los Angeles, the city that Hopper has called home for over fifty years, and has profoundly influenced his work. The exhibition begins chronologically with black and white photos from the 1960s, continues with photographs of urban surfaces (wall and graffiti details), large billboard – sized paintings and film clips.

Successful as an artist, actor, screenwriter, and director; Dennis Hopper’s first love was painting. He began to paint at age nine on his family farm in Kansas in the mid 1940s. Living in San Diego during his high school years, he was introduced to the work of Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline, Emerson Woeffler and Richard Diebenkorn. His paintings began to reflect his interest in Abstract Expressionism. In one series of works, Matter Paintings, Hopper used a combination of paint and grit to create heavily surfaced works. In the mid-fifties, actor and friend James Dean encouraged Hopper’s interest in photography, which ultimately became an extremely important part of his artistic endeavors. Upon moving to Los Angeles, he intuitively immersed himself in, and collaborated with many influential artists, actors, and musicians.
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