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Hollywood Is a Verb

October 29–December 20, 2002
Heddon Street, London

Dexter Dalwood, McCarthy's List, 2002 Oil on canvas, 80 ¼ × 109 ¾ inches (204 × 279 cm)

Dexter Dalwood, McCarthy's List, 2002

Oil on canvas, 80 ¼ × 109 ¾ inches (204 × 279 cm)

Douglas Gordon, Blind Grace, 2002 36 × 36 inches (91.4 × 91.4 cm). Archival museum board and photograph

Douglas Gordon, Blind Grace, 2002

36 × 36 inches (91.4 × 91.4 cm). Archival museum board and photograph

Dennis Hopper, Peter Fonda (with Edward G. Robinson billboard), 1964 Gelatin silver print, 24 × 16 inches (61 × 40.6 cm)

Dennis Hopper, Peter Fonda (with Edward G. Robinson billboard), 1964

Gelatin silver print, 24 × 16 inches (61 × 40.6 cm)

Ed Ruscha, Lame Theme, 1975 Pastel on paper, 14 ½ × 22 ⅞ inches (36.8 × 58.1 cm)

Ed Ruscha, Lame Theme, 1975

Pastel on paper, 14 ½ × 22 ⅞ inches (36.8 × 58.1 cm)

Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still #16, 1978 Unique gelatin silver print, 20 × 16 inches (50.8 × 40.6 cm)

Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still #16, 1978

Unique gelatin silver print, 20 × 16 inches (50.8 × 40.6 cm)

Andy Warhol, Paramount, 1985 Acrylic and silkcreen enamel on canvas, 22 × 22 inches (55.9 × 55.9 cm)

Andy Warhol, Paramount, 1985

Acrylic and silkcreen enamel on canvas, 22 × 22 inches (55.9 × 55.9 cm)

About

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).

From the Quarterly