re: Art in the Sixties

Julia Stein (
Fri, 17 May 1996 20:29:57 -0400

If one wanted to teach "visual art in the '60s" one should look at which
art forms in the sixties inspired art after the 1960s.
There were five such art forms: assemblage (sculpture); performance art;
abstract expressionism; video art; Chicano art.
I think op art and pop art were short lived movements that had little
influence after the 1960s.
The major figure for 1960s assemblage is Ed Kienholz--he towers over the
rest. Kienholz's '36 Dodge assemblage when exhibited at the lA County
Musuem of Art was a cause celebre--a County supervisor tried to get it
censored but failed. Also, Kienholz did terrific art about the Vietnam War
such as his Barney's Beanery assemblage where all the people at the bar
have no faces except for Barney who is reading about Vietnam in the
Also, for assemblage is Betty Sayre's terrific pieces about Aunt Jemima
with her rifle!
For performance art, I'd say Hannah Wilke. Of course Carolee Schneeman and
Yoko Ono (yes, that's right!) also were important feminist pioneers in
performance that used the female body as a site of the art, but Wilke was
amazing from the beginning to her latest photos of herself right before her
death of cancer. These early women inspired 25 years of performance art
which I think is an art form dominated by women.
For abstract expressionism, Motherwell--as the most political and the most
powerful painter. There are now 2nd gen. ab ex painters exhibiting in the
galeries. Ab ex goes on.
Video art- Nam June Paik--again he inspired 25 years of art.
Last, Los 4, the pionnering Chicano art group of 4 painters in L.A. with
Carlos Almarez, Frank Romero, Gilbert Luhan and Beto de la Rocho.
that's all for now, Julie