In the 1960s, Los Angeles's warm weather, cheap rents and groovy vibe attracted painters short on money but long on ambition. Three new gossipy, image-filled books chronicle the heady days of freewheeling creativity that put Los Angeles on the international art map.
In Rebels in Paradise: The Los Angeles Art Scene and the 1960s, author Hunter Drohojowska-Philp discusses how then-unknowns-- including Ed Ruscha, Edward Kienholz and John Baldessari--blossomed away from New York's stranglehold of abstract expressionism. There's also the story of how a little gallery called Ferus gave a young Manhattan window dresser named Andy Warhol his first solo show.
Ed Ruscha's Los Angeles is a compact volume detailing how the handsome artist (who still works in Venice today) elevated text-laden freeway gas stations, motels and billboards into iconic Los Angeles imagery.
Lush, large-format Dennis Hopper: Photographs 1961-1967 shows an intimate, bygone Los Angeles. Not yet a household name, Hopper was a 1960s art-world insider who snapped everyone from heavyweights like Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol to the Hollywood stars littering parties at his own contemporary art-filled home.