Gagosian is pleased to present our group show entitled Hollywood Is a Verb. This exhibition explores the ways in which artists respond to Los Angeles as a landscape and Hollywood as an idea. It includes classic works by Ed Ruscha, David Hockney, Dennis Hopper, and Andy Warhol, and more recent paintings and photographic works by Maurizio Cattelan, Philip-Lorca diCorcia, Dexter Dalwood, Douglas Gordon, and Cindy Sherman.
Already in the 1960s Hollywood had acquired a lurid history and mythology associated with its location at the heart of the “dream factory.” For Ed Ruscha, who moved to Los Angeles in 1956, the Hollywood sign, the Sunset Strip, and the urban language of signs could be represented in a mysteriously cool, deadpan manner, whereas for David Hockney, who escaped to Los Angeles from the austerity and repression of England, the city was sunny, hedonistic, and gay.
Younger artists have seen Hollywood with deeper irony and an attention to the politics, sleaze, and darkness at the core of the entertainment industry. Maurizio Cattelan has remade the Hollywood sign on a hillside in Sicily, Dexter Dalwood’s new painting alludes to the effects of McCarthyism on the film industry, and Douglas Gordon has created a series of “blind star portraits” that exude a mordant humor and Warholian fascination with stardom.
As a complement to the works on exhibition at the gallery, there will be an evening of film introduced by Douglas Gordon on October 28, featuring Ed Ruscha’s Premier (1970) and Miracle (1975), Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests (1964–66), Kenneth Anger’s Puce Moment (1949), and Sydney Pollack and Frank Perry’s The Swimmer (1968).
Gregory Crewdson: An Eclipse of Moths
Gregory Crewdson discusses his new work with actor Cate Blanchett.
“Things Fall Apart”: Ed Ruscha’s Swiped Words
Lisa Turvey examines the range of effects conveyed by the blurred phrases in recent drawings by the artist, detailing the ways these words in motion evoke the experience of the current moment.
The Art History of Presidential Campaign Posters
Against the backdrop of the 2020 US presidential election, historian Hal Wert takes us through the artistic and political evolution of American campaign posters, from their origin in 1844 to the present. In an interview with Quarterly editor Gillian Jakab, Wert highlights an array of landmark posters and the artists who made them.
I’ll Be Your Mirror: Allen Midgette
Raymond Foye speaks with the actor who impersonated Andy Warhol during the great Warhol lecture hoax in the late 1960s. The two also discuss Midgette’s earlier film career in Italy and the difficulty of performing in a Warhol film.
On Collecting with Norman Diekman
Rare-book expert Douglas Flamm speaks with designer Norman Diekman about his unique collection of books on art and architecture. Diekman describes his first plunge into book collecting, the history behind it, and the way his passion for collecting grew.
Gwen Allen recounts her discovery of cutting-edge artists’ magazines from the 1960s and 1970s and explores the roots and implications of these singular publications.