Los Angeles 1955–1985: A Birth of an Artistic Capital

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Los Angeles 1955–1985: Birth of an Art Capital was a historical exhibition detailing the emergence of Los Angeles as a post-war arts capital, organized by Catherine Grenier for the Centre Georges Pompidou in 2006.[1] The exhibition was thought to be a watershed for Los Angeles' reception as a serious center of contemporary art, as described by then-curator at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art Carol S Eliel:

Organized in Paris by a major museum with a large and international audience, it could not be considered local or boosterish, but rather was seen as the fourth in a series of major, critically acclaimed Pompidou shows that focused on international centers of cutting-edge artistic activity earlier in the twentieth century: Paris–New York, Paris–Berlin, and Paris–Moscow.[2]

The exhibition is also somewhat infamous, as two works (a 1971 wall sculpture by Peter Alexander and 1967 wall relief by Craig Kauffman) were destroyed because of poor handling at two separate moments during the show's run.[3]


  1. ^ Grenier, Catherine (2006). Catalog L.A.: Birth of an Art Capital 1955–1985. San Francisco, Calif: Chronicle Books. p. Verso. ISBN 978-0811859349. 
  2. ^ Eliel, Carol S. "Reflections on the Decade: Los Angeles 1955–1985 at the Pompidou". LACMA Unframed. LACMA. Retrieved July 13, 2013. 
  3. ^ Riding, Allan (September 8, 2006). "Museum Apologizes for the Destruction of Two Artworks". The New York Times. Retrieved July 13, 2013.