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Legendary LA Artists in Santa Monica to Discuss Their Work


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By Lookout Staff

December 21, 2016 -- Five legendary Los Angeles artists will help launch a series of talks exploring LA's vibrant contemporary arts scene at the Broad Stage at Santa Monica College next month.

Moderated by author and art critic Hunter Drohojowska-Philp, "Artists Talk -- LA Legends: A Conversation with California Art Icons" will feature Larry Bell, Billy Al Bengston, Robert Irwin, Ed Moses and Ed Ruscha, who were members of LA's "Cool School" that flourished in the 1960s.

The event Wednesday, January 18 at 7:30 p.m., which will be preceded by a 6 p.m. reception, will give the audience a chance to hear the artists speak about their "work, process, histories, and lives" in what promises to be a "historic public event," event organizers said in a statement this week.

"Los Angeles is now internationally recognized as a center of great contemporary art production, scholarship, and world-class institutions, but its history is a comparatively young one," organizers said.

"This is a rare opportunity to observe these greats in conversation as they share thoughts on their earliest beginnings and apocryphal tales from their storied pasts."

Inspired by Andy Warhol and New York's pop art scene, the "Cool School" broke from "the gestural painting styles that had long defined West Coast art production for a more ruthlessly cool combination of minimalism, pop and precise abstraction," organizers said.

Its members, who were all men, would become known as much for their "swashbuckling antics" as their work.

They "espoused a complex and varied set of stylistic tenets and were bound by camaraderie, the moment, and their youth rather than adherence to any single manifested movement," organizers said.

The five artists featured at next month's event continue to create and shape LA's art scene.

The event is the first of a series of talks with influential California-based artists and is presented in partnership with Sotheby's Institute of Art in LA.

"Forged in the spirit of L.A's unique disciplinary fluidity across cultural and institutional boundaries, the Artists Talk series is part of a new, multi-year collaborative arts initiative between the two organizations," organizers said.

It brings "the living history of Southern California’s art to the stage and (provides) educational and career opportunities for arts management students and public alike."

The executive producer of Artists Talk is William Turner. Tickets go on sale Wednesday, December 21, 2017 at 12pm Pacific Time at and by calling 310-434-3200.

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