Los Angeles, CA (October 14, 2008) – Michael Kohn Gallery is pleased to present a special
exhibition, SHE: Images of Women by Wallace Berman & Richard Prince, guest curated by
Kristine McKenna. Opening on January 15, SHE draws connections between these two worldrenowned
contemporary artists and the common subtext that courses through their work:
Women, the archetypes and the fantasies. Featuring works from 1958 to 2008, SHE will be on
view through March 7, 2009 at Michael Kohn Gallery in Los Angeles.
SHE features previously unseen works by Berman as well as representative pieces from
Prince’s signature series, Nurses and Girlfriends, and the debut of his Car-—a 1986 El Camino
automobile with images from his Girlfriends series superimposed on the car’s body. In the
1960s, Wallace Berman (1949-1976) became an extremely prominent figure in the
counterculture movements of Los Angeles and San Francisco. He helped shape the artistic
sensibility of the Beat generation as a master of assemblage and editor of Semina, a mail art
publication. A generation later, Richard Prince gained notoriety in the 1980s for his
rephotographs and appropriating popular media into his collages and paintings.
Highlights of SHE include Richard Prince’s Nurse collages, a careful selection of Girlfriend
photographs, a collaged mailbox sculpture, and finally Car. Car is the third in a series of cult
cars that are wrapped in vinyl and printed with images of Prince’s infamous Girlfriends
(rephotographs of biker girls found in motorcycle magazines), one of which was shown this past
June at the Serpentine Gallery in London in Prince’s show, Continuation. Wallace Berman will
be represented by a series of previously unseen single-image Verifax collages, a body of rarely
exhibited mailers from the collection of Teri Garr, inserts from his limited edition, hand-made
artists magazine, Semina, selections from his recently discovered body of photographic
portraiture, and several unique works incorporating images which were considered
“pornography” at the time.
The exhibition, SHE: Images of Women by Wallace Berman & Richard Prince, will be
accompanied by a comprehensive catalogue of the works designed by Lorraine Wild of Green
Dragon Office. It will include an essay by Kristine McKenna and an interview with Richard
Prince. The catalogue is published by Michael Kohn Gallery.
About Wallace Berman
Considered by many to be the father of the assemblage movement, Wallace Berman (1949-
1976) was born in 1926 in Staten Island, New York. He began his career making sculptures
from unused scraps and reject materials while working in an antique furniture factory. By the
early 1950s, Berman had become an artist and active figure in the beat community in Los
Angeles and San Francisco. Moving between the two cities, Berman devoted himself to his mail
art publication, Semina, which contained a sampling of beat poetry and images selected by
Berman. In 1963, Berman moved to Topanga Canyon in the Los Angeles area, and began work
on verifax collages (printed images, often from magazines and newspapers, mounted in collage
fashion onto a flat surface, sometimes with solid bright areas of acrylic paint). He continued
creating these works, as well as rock assemblages, until his death in 1976. Berman’s work is
included in public collections at numerous institutions including the Los Angeles County
Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Whitney Museum of American Art,
New York, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
About Richard Prince
Richard Prince first gained critical attention in the early 1980s when his photographs of
magazine advertisements redefined the autonomies of authorship and ownership and the very
nature of representation. Prince’s best known work about women is the Nurse series. Begun in
2002, and taking the covers of pulp novels as their point of departure, the Nurse paintings are
studies in a contained sexuality that leaks out and stains the entire canvas. In addition to
Nurses, Prince’s Girlfriends exude a raunchy power so extreme that it verges on the comical,
though it is anything but funny. Prince was born in 1949 in the Panama Canal Zone and lives
and works in upstate New York. His work has been the subject of numerous solo museum
exhibitions, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the San Francisco
Museum of Modern Art; the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; and most recently at
the Serpentine Gallery, London.
About Kristine McKenna, guest curator
Kristine McKenna is a widely published critic and journalist. Her profiles and criticism have
appeared in Artforum, Artnews, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, Vanity Fair, The
Washington Post and Rolling Stone Magazine, and she was the recipient of a National
Endowment Arts Administration grant in 1976. She is producer and co-writer of the
documentary The Cool School. Her 2007 monograph Wallace Berman Photographs, co-written
with Lorraine Wild, was selected as one of the 50 best art books of the year by the A.I.G.A. Her
monograph Los Angeles: Photographs by Ann Summa, will be published in the spring of 2009.
Currently, she is collaborating on Feral Institutions, a survey of rogue organizations in Los
Angeles, and McKenna is organizing an exhibition of West Coast assemblages for the California
Folk Art Museum that opens in April 2009.
About Michael Kohn Gallery
Established in Los Angeles in 1985, Michael Kohn Gallery has exhibited the work of 20thcentury
artists from Picasso to Warhol, Bruce Conner, Wallace Berman, and John McLaughlin,
with a focus on representing the work of mid-career artists from California, New York, and
Europe such as Maureen Gallace, Mark Innerst, James Nares, Darren Waterston, Guy Limone,
and Walton Ford. The gallery also extends its programming to introduce emerging and
established artists such as Los Angeles-based artists Christine Ngyuen, David Korty, Dennis
Hollingsworth, and Mark Ryden.
The Kohn Gallery has exhibited the work of Andy Warhol (during his lifetime), Richard Tuttle,
Peter Halley, Dan Flavin, Mark Tansey, Lorna Simpson, Maureen Gallace, Christopher Wool,
and Bruce Conner, among many other notable and talented artists. For nearly 25 years the
Michael Kohn Gallery has maintained a space in Los Angeles.
Michael Kohn Gallery is located at 8071 Beverly Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90048
Hours: Tuesday through Friday, 10am – 6pm; Saturday, 11am – 6pm
For further information, please contact
Laura Sumser, Michael Kohn Gallery, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 323-658-8088, or
Melissa Goldberg, FYAworld, email@example.com or 323-951-9790