Joan Quinn Captured: Brand Library and Art Center Grand Re-Opening

2014 Joan Quinn Captured Brand Library and Art Center

As part of the Brand Library and Art Center's 2012-2014 historic restoration, Label Curatorial organized the official re-opening of the center in 2014. The show presented a series of capsule arenas featuring the Light and Space artists Peter Alexander, Larry Bell and Laddie John Dill, and post war Los Angeles luminary artists Billy Al Bengston, Charles Arnoldi, Don Bachardy, Tony Berlant, Claire Falkenstein, Joe Goode, Frank Gehry, George Herms, David Hockney, Ed Moses, Ed Ruscha, Allen Ruppersberg and Beatrice Wood in dialogue with their notable works and their portraits of the impresario Joan Quinn. Expanding upon the trajectory of Quinn’s international alliances, the exhibition also featured the London 'Them’ artist collective including Dame Zandra Rhodes, Luciana Martinez de la Rosa, Duggie Fields, Kevin Whitney and Andrew Logan. As close affiliates of Warhol and West Coast editor of his Interview magazine, the show included Quinn’s polaroids of Warhol, sketches by Jean-Michel Basquiat and and documentaries of both NY artists. Also included was a portrait by Richard Bernstein who was notable for his Interview cover art.

The exhibition’s auxiliary opened with a public discussion moderated by Peter Frank and Cheryl Bookout with artists Laddie John Dill, Tony Berlant and George Herms. Prompted by Ed Moses, Herms closed the evening with a piano performance followed by Suzanne Kraft DJing the opening with Dublab. The exhibition’s theatre auxiliary also premiered to America Kevin Whitney’s film The Great Wen (1969) which starred Syd Barrett. The film recently debuted at the ICA London after sitting under the director's bed for nearly 50 years. Laura Whitcomb’s interview with Duggie Fields was followed by the films of Derek Jarman including Sebastiane (1976) and Jubilee (1977) presenting the cameos of Martinez de la Rosa and Whitney. Also premiered was Steven Arnold documentary Heavenly Bodies with a public discussions including Pandora and the Cockette Fayette Hauser moderated by Vishnu Dass of the Steven Arnold Estate. The exhibition also included a dedicated photography section including Steven Arnold, Patrick Demarchelier, George Hurrell, Paul Jasmine, Robert Mapplethorpe, Mathew Rolston, Herb Ritts and Arthur Tress. Public discussions on the media of the 1980s included Mathew Rolston presenting his film Talking Heads followed by June Newton’s 2007 documentary Helmut by June. Other performances included Jeremy Davies, Harry Partch Ensemble founder John Schneider and his daughter Erin Schneider’s Fantasies in Crystal. The 4rth theater event hosted an evening with Don Bachardy speaking of his life with Christopher Isherwood following the presentation of the documentary Chris and Don: A Love Story (2009) and Gary Conklin’s documentary Memories of Berlin The Twilight of Weimer Culture (1976.) Laura Whitcomb’s slideshow presentation on the history of 20th century contemporary artists collaborating upon the stage was followed by Dame Zandra Rhodes lecture on her work in the theatre and her work on the opera Aida. The evening closed with archival footage of Anton Perich Presents featuring R. Couri Hay interviewing Charles James and Zandra Rhodes in 1978 at the Chelsea Hotel.

Although selections of the Joan Agajanian Quinn portrait collection have been previously shown in Southern California, the exhibition Joan Quinn Captured took a new approach, showcasing the works of her artist friends in dialogue with the portraits. The exhibition presented the work of Ed Moses, Ed Ruscha, Billy Al Bengston, Tony Berlant as well as other light and space artists Larry Bell, Laddie John Dill, and Peter Alexander, Larry Bell, Pop Art artists Joe Goode, George Herms Beatrice Wood Allen Ruppersberg Jean Michel Basquait Robert Graham, Claire Falkenstein, Minimalism/Maximalism artist Duggie Fields. Charles Arnoldi, Frank Gehry portrait of Joan as a light sculpture along with the portrait maquette.

The sculpture garden featured works by sculptor Woods Davy along with John Krawccyk. The Brand hallway featured figurative painting and drawing masters include Don Bachardy, Kevin Whitney, Mel Ramos, and Chaz Guest. Ephemera cases documented her collaborations with Issey Miyake, Zandra Rhodes and Andrew Logan,costume balls with David Hockney as well as a slide show that featured her renown polaroids of William Burroughs, Andy Warhol, Tim Leary and Divine.

The exhibition presented a sand sculpture conceived by Label Curatorial and executed by Jonathan Rigall presenting multi screens of the interviews from Quinn's cable TV show Joan Quinn Profiles.

Joan Quinn Captured Auxiliary

Curated by Laura Whitcomb

1. Opening Night Panel Discussion George Herms, Ed Moses, Laddie John Dill and Tony Berlant was screened after LA Suggested by the Art of Ed Ruscha (1981) directed by Gary Conklin and the Pacific Standard Time interview with Ed Moses courtesy of the Getty Research Center.

2.Utopia, Dystopia and Desire Unbound

Film screenings and discussions of the “Them” artists Luciana Martinez de La Rosa, Kevin Whitney, Andrew Logan, Derek Jarman and Duggie Fields This selection later became a focused exhibition .

Duggie Fields Telecast Interview Laura Whitcomb

Derek Jarman: Sebastiane” (1976) starring Luchiana Martinez de La Rosa and Kevin Whitney and “Jubilee” (1978), a film co written with Jarman by the Scratch Orchestra composer Christopher Hobbs featuring a sound score by Brian Eno. Jubilee tells a story of Queen Elizabeth I traveling to a dystopian London of the future transported in time by the occultist John Dee and the angel Ariel.

Luciana Martinez de la Rosa in London was a central London figure from the early 1970’s to the 1980’s painted portraits of women who were part of the cultural zeitgeists of her day in the color palettes of Henri Rousseau.

Kevin Whitney: Film Premiere: The Great Wen. Following its premiere at the ICA London the exhibition screened this greatly anticipated film of Syd Barrett and friends exploring altered states at his renown Weatherby Mansions that he shared with Duggie Fields. The film had been kept under the artist’s bed for over forty years.

Kevin Whitney, Duggie Fields and Martinez de la Rosa were featured recently in the retrospective Them in London.

Special Musical Guests Jeffrey Davies performed live as a sound score.

‘Fantasies in Crystal’ Father and daughter John and Erin Schneider performed on a retuned 19th century pump organ and a Harry Partch Adapted Viola. The music accompanies a slide show of her grandfather Robert R. Forrester’s microscopic images of polarized chemicals, made in Laurel Canyon from the 1960s-1990s.

3. Alternative Publications and the Art Zeitgeist of the 1980s

Mathew Rolston Magazines of the 80s: A public discussion with Mathew Rolston with Laura Whitcomb discussing lesser known publications like the Manipulator, Blitz The Face and how Los Angeles .


Film screenings of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s The Radiant Child directed by Tamra Davis (2010) Jean-Michel Basquiat first became known for his philosophic slogans joining Keith Haring and Richard Hambleton as a trinity of street art pioneers. Later, Basquiat revolutionized the art world with his paintings and drawings. These works merged the influences of his contemporary art heroes with the traditions of animism and the ethnographic mythology of his Haitian and Puerto Rican heritage. He merged these influences with pop culture semiotics offering a pan-cultural window into the collective unconsciousness.

Ric Burns’s Andy Warhol: A Documentary Film. The film explores Warhol’s life from the 1940′s through the 1980′s. Stephen Holden of the New York Times wrote “the movie is an entirely absorbing, occasionally revelatory portrait of a brilliant talent driven to greatness by an inner chorus of demons and angels.”

4. Steven Arnold Heavenly Bodies Steven Arnold California Surrealism

Presentation of Films The Liberation of Mannique Mechanique (1967), Messages, Messages (1968), Various Incarnations of a Tibetan Seamstress (1969)

Salvador Dali Protégé Steven Arnold revolutionized the Haight Ashbury counterculture with his late night screenings, with intensely stylized films that starred the infamous Cockettes. Performers, friends and colleagues were invited to a public discussion who recalled Arnold’s philosophy and artistic oeuvre. His work revived the photographic tableaux vivant tradition in the later part of the 20th Century impacting the prevailing culture of the time. Guests in the panel discussion include the evocative star of many Arnold films Pandora along with Cockette member Fayette Hauser, the Steven Arnold Estate and close friends moderated by the Steven Arnold Estate director Vishnu Dass.

Screening: Heavenly Bodies; A documentary of Steven Arnold

5. California Carved by a Creative Diaspora

Don Bachardy: A public discussion talk by artist Don Bachardy discussing his life with Christopher Isherwood following a showing of the documentary film Don and Me. Bachardy spoke of his relationship with Isherwood and their close relationships to the Los Angeles contemporary art community.

A Night of Helmut Newton Presentation of June Newton’s 2007 documentary Helmut by June. Before leaving Berlin, Jewish-born Helmut Newton apprenticed under Elsie Neulander Simon from 1936 until the family was forced to leave Nazi Germany. In America he would go on to become one of the most prolific photographers of his era. The film intimately presents Helmut Newton on the sets of his renowned photo shoots where his aesthetic ideals and excavation of cultural taboos was achieved.

6. The Art of the Stage

Dame Zandra Rhodes, Charles James and Works for the Stage

A presentation of Dame Zandra Rhodes’ work for the opera creating sets, props and costumes for the opera. The designer presented her 1970′s and 1980′s design work along with her work today. The talk was preceded by a talk by Laura Whitcomb on the history of fine artists collaborating in the theater. Laura Whitcomb’s slideshow presentation on the history of renowned artists collaborating with the stage and performance included Edward Munch, Henri Matisse, Marc Chagall, Giorgio de Chirico, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Joan Miro, Isamu Naguchi, Alexander Calder, Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, David Hockney and more. Sets and costumes for the theater, ballet and opera are culled from her unpublished Movements on the Stage. Excerpts from productions David Hockney’ A Rakes Progress and Daniel Arsham’s sets for Merce Cunningham were presented.

Film Presentation :Aida and Public Discussion with Zandra Rhodes
The opera in four acts by Giusseppe Verdi and commissioned by an Ottoman ruler tells the story of the enslaved Ethiopian princess by the Egyptians and a military commander who falls in love with her in a complicated triangle. One act of ‘Aida’ with costumes of Zandra Rhodes will be be presented to feature the costumes of Zandra Rhodes.

Film :Dame Zandra Rhodes and Charles James at the Chelsea Hotel

Archival Film by Anton Perich presents 1970’s television interview to celebrate the Metropolitan Museum’s current show ‘Charles James: Great American Fashion Designer.’ R. Couri Hay interviews Charles James and Zandra Rhodes who serves as a model and commentator at New York’s renowned Chelsea Hotel.


LA Times

Matt Stromberg Daily Serving

1814 'Joan of Art'

NY Social Diary

Cinema Without Borders