The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) presents Los Angeles to New York: 1959–1971, an examination of the storied history of Dwan Gallery, one of the most important galleries of the postwar period in the United States. Virginia Dwan (b. 1931), gallery owner, art patron, and collector, was one of the greatest champions of avant-garde art and artists of the mid-20th century. During her more than 11 years as a gallerist, Dwan’s Los Angeles and New York galleries were among the first bicoastal spaces dedicated to showcasing art in America.
On view March 19–September 10, 2017, this exhibition comprises a selection of works from the 134 shows presented at Dwan Gallery between 1959 and 1971. Founded in 1959, Dwan Gallery first opened in a storefront in Westwood, Los Angeles. The gallery presented groundbreaking exhibitions of New York artists such as Philip Guston, Franz Kline, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, Ad Reinhardt, and Larry Rivers as well as the Los Angeles-based artist Edward Kienholz. In 1965, she opened her second gallery in New York City. The Los Angeles gallery was notable for introducing East Coast artists to West Coast audiences, and in turn, the New York gallery presented exhibitions of work by Los Angeles-based artists.
Los Angeles to New York: Dwan Gallery, 1959–1971 was organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., and is curated by James Meyer, associate curator of modern art, National Gallery of Art, and curatorial and academic advisor, Dia Art Foundation. Stephanie Barron, senior curator of modern art at LACMA, is the coordinating curator of the Los Angeles presentation.