James Rosenquist, 1964 by Dennis Hopper via
It looks like Jeffrey Deitch may breathe some much needed life back into the withering lungs of MOCA as its new director and given us one more thing to look forward to this summer. Last month, Deitch revealed his first major undertaking at his new digs would be an exhibition of Dennis Hopper's art curated by Julian Schnabel. Boom. Not too shabby for an inaugural thrust into the L.A. art scene. It sounded more like an ambitious dream than like something that would actually materialize, at least anytime soon, especially considering Hopper's very obvious weakened condition seen over the last few months. But a press release for the exhibition, Dennis Hopper Double Standard, was disseminated last week, confirming that we will live to see the very show Deitch set his sights on and it sounds like it's going to be a pretty radical display. The exhibition opens on July 11 and will showcase a sweeping collection of 200 of Hopper's works from over 60 years in a wide range of media including photography, sculpture, painting, and film installations.
Double Standard, 1961 by Dennis Hopper via [Taken through a car windshield at the intersection of Santa Monica Blvd., Melrose, and North Doheny on historic Route 66]
If you're unfamiliar with Hopper's work as an artist you may not know that L.A. was a primary source of inspiration for him; his art is concerned with depicting and addressing elements of the city, so through it we can actually get a historical (although very subjective) account of our hometown. For example, as a photographer in the '60s, his interests lay in "capturing the the quintessential pop imagery that symbolizes Los Angeles during that time." Yes! How awesome it will be to see moments of our city-- it's streets, landmarks and culture--through the eyes of someone who was there and lived it. His later work also dealt with L.A. street culture, from graffiti to gang signs. With so much comprising the exhibition you may actually learn a lot from one man's perspective of the city. It's going to be epic and we are counting the days until opens.
In the meantime, here are some of his photographs that you will probably see in the exhibition...
Biker Couple, 1961 by Dennis Hopper via
Ed Ruscha, 1964 by Dennis Hopper via
Fractured Girl, 1964 by Dennis Hopper via
Robert Fraser, Tijuana, 1965 by Dennis Hopper via
Check out this short interview of Hopper talking collecting art and his own artistic works: