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N.Y. learns from L.A.

Otis in the News

The New York TImes reports that L.A. may have something to teach N.Y. after all, at least in the art world. New York's museums are flooded with exhibitions of West Coast art: alumni Ken Price ('57) at the Metropolitan Museum and Drawing Center and Robert Irwin ('50) at the Whitney; James Turrell at the Guggenheim; Lyn Foulkes at the New Museum; Paul McCarthy at the Armory, and "State of Mind: New California Art circa 1970" at the Bronx Museum. As Holland Carter quipped, "How “California” is all of this? Totally. What can New York learn from it? We’re just finding out." About the exhibition of Price's work at the Met (originated by LACMA and designed by L.A.-based architect Frank Gehry), he says:
"Price, who died last year at 77, was in certain ways a classic Southern Californian. Born in Los Angeles and raised there in the 1930s and ’40s, as a kid he lived for surfing and jazz, and he had art on the brain from the start: drawing, painting, sculpturing, he liked it all. Where he departed from the stereotype was in the matter of focus: creatively, there was nothing laid-back about him. He was alert, hungry for input. One day on the beach he met a surfer named Billy Al Bengston (Otis classmate), a serious painter who, like Price, had an interest in ceramics. They buddied up and eventually shared a studio, but while Mr. Bengston stuck with painting, for Price clay became the way."

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