Pop L.A.: Art and the City in the 1960s

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University of California Press, Aug 4, 2008 - Art - 272 pages
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"Pop L.A. maps the relation between a new urban and cultural space and the artists who confronted it and gave it form. Los Angeles in the 1960s in Cécile Whiting's smart and incisive study was home not only to a zany, outré popular culture but also to a Pop Art as expansive, crisscrossed, and de-centered as the city's entangled freeways and urban sprawl. Ruscha's photographs of gas stations and parking lots, Hockney's paintings of swimming pools and tract homes, Rodia's Watts Towers, and more--after this book, none will look the same."—Anthony W. Lee, Mount Holyoke College, author of Picturing Chinatown

"Sun, surf, sand, sex, strip malls, subdivisions: all are present in Cécile Whiting's trenchant anatomy of Pop Los Angeles. And all were central to the vision artists constructed of this protean city as a site of both pleasure and emptiness, speed and stasis. Some artists, however, went further, not merely representing the city, but intervening in it, and for Whiting, the results—whether a performance by Kaprow or a tower by Rodia—further demonstrate the wild diversity of a multicentric city that somehow seems both more and less than a circumscribable place."—Anne Wagner, author of Mother Stone: The Vitality of Modern British Sculpture

"In Pop L.A.: Art and the City in the 1960s, Cécile Whiting proves herself an expert guide to the cultural and artistic landscape of Los Angeles. From hot rods to parking lot Happenings, from the Watts Towers to Womanhouse, the book thrillingly remaps the multiple intersections of Pop art and Southern California in the 1960s and early 70s. Beautifully researched and written, Pop L.A. is a major work of modern art-historical scholarship. It is also one hell of a ride."—Richard Meyer, author of Outlaw Representation: Censorship and Homosexuality in Twentieth-Century American Art

"From the Ferus Gallery to the Woman's Building, Cécile Whiting has fashioned an indispensable book. Thanks to her brilliant remapping, the landscape of art in Los Angeles will never look the same."—Kenneth E. Silver, author of Making Paradise: Art, Modernity, and the Myth of the French Riviera

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Pop L. A.: art and the city in the 1960s

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In the 1960s, Los Angeles became the physical embodiment of the Pop Art paintings then adorning Manhattan�s art galleries and museums. The western city�s architecture and art brought Pop Art ... Read full review

Selected pages


For Purple Mountain Majesties
Cruising Los Angeles
The Erotics of the Built Environment
The Watts Towers as Urban Landmark
LA Happenings and Performance Art
List of Illustrations

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About the author (2008)

Cécile Whiting is Professor of Art History at the University of California, Irvine, and author of A Taste for Pop: Pop Art, Gender, and Consumer Culture (1997) and Antifascism in American Art (1989).

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