Art History Unstuffed. Book Review. “Rebels in Paradise: The Los Angeles Art Scent in the 1960s”

Art History Unstuffed. Book Review

“Rebels in Paradise: The Los Angeles Art Scent in the 1960s (2011)”

posted on August 2, 2014

This entertaining book by Hunter Drohojowska-Philip was published in 2011. To those who already know the art scene in Los Angeles in the 1960s, a definitive decade, this book offers a nice condensation of a number of topics. To the novice reader this book offers an excellent place to start the study of the unique art scene on the Left Coast.

Overall the book is a very special sixties nostalgia trip, retelling the story of the making of an art world, without controlling art critics, without ruling dogmas, before the take-over of an international art market and before the control of the art schools.  The author takes the reader a bit into the future by bringing in John Baldessari and Judy Chicago, leaders of the seventies scene which ended painting as it was known and began the challenge of feminist art—all done at Cal Arts.  Again and again, Drohojowska-Philip presents statements by her artists stressing the importance of not being in New York and working in a brave new world where they could be completely open to new ways of making art. 

Dr. Jeanne S. M. Willette

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