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Overview of the overlooked Southern California artists at the Robert Berman Gallery
John Van Hamersveld, Atomic Banana, 1970, Ink on photo stat paper render with rapidograph pen and ink. Signed on recto, Image: 26.5 x 18 inches.
SANTA MONICA, CA.- Robert Berman Gallery presents Paid to Play – an overview of the overlooked Southern California artists rooted in illustration, commissioned to create imagery for record albums, magazines, advertisements, et al. A genre dirtily linked to commercialism but nonetheless full of innovation, technique, artistic expression and speed.

“Fueled by a combination of intense demand, sleepless nights and brutal competition, the four men at the center of LA’s airbrush market – Dave Willardson, Charles E. White III, Peter Palombi and Peter Llyod – embarked on careers that produced iconic work for Playboy, Levi’s, the Rolling Stones, along with major studio films such as American Graffiti and Tron.” - Overspray: Riding High with the Kings of California Airbrush Art.

And the wrangler of these men was Mike Salisbury – the art director of West magazine, the Sunday supplement of the Los Angeles Times, beginning in the late 60s – who was for illustrators what Ferus Gallery was for beat artists – a platform to project Los Angeles cool to the world at large.

Though the visuals defined a generation, most west coast illustrators never landed the fine art jump with the aplomb of their east coast contemporaries like James Rosenquist, Tom Wesselmann and Andy Warhol. But perhaps the most convincing testament to the relevance of a movement largely branded as irrelevant would be the 1969 West magazine cover painted by Ed Ruscha, commissioned by Salisbury, which fetched $578,500 at auction in 2009.

Included in the exhibition are works by Willardson, White, Palombi, Llyod, George Petty, Bob Zoell, Mick Haggerty, Lou Beach, Van Hamersveld, Ben Talbert, John Altoon, Jim Heimann, Mark Ryden, Dennis Mukai and others.

PAID TO PLAY is part of Pacific Standard Time. This unprecedented collaboration, initiated by the Getty, brings together more than sixty cultural institutions from across Southern California for six months beginning October 2011 to tell the story of the birth of the L.A. art scene.

Robert Berman Gallery | Southern California artists |


Last Week News

September 18, 2011

Like Painted Silk: Large-scale exhibition of Pierre-Auguste Renoir's work opens in Chemnitz

Degas and the Ballet: Picturing Movement at the Royal Academy of Arts

Ellsworth Kelly shines in new Boston Museum of Fine Arts Contemporary Art wing

Unknown portrait discovered under Goya's masterpiece in Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum

Exhibition of work by Agnes Martin from the 1980s on view at the Pace Gallery

Brooklyn Museum to Present Keith Haring: 1978-1982 on view in April 2012   

The British Museum is the first UK arts organisation to publish its collection semantically

Kunsthaus Zurich presents a selection of acquisitions of 'Young Art' from its collection

The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center presents an exhibition of European drawings

Researchers from the University of Alberta report feathers in amber reveal dinosaur diversity

New exhibition by British artist Graham Nickson at the Knoedler & Company Gallery

Dutch Royal House criticized for 'racist' painting on Queen Beatrix's iconic gold-trimmed carriage

Fine American paintings, drawings and sculpture at Christie's New York this September

Puzzles of the Brain: An artist's journey through amnesia on view at the Walters Art Museum

For its third edition, Greece's second largest city welcomes the Thessaloniki Biennale

Paul Ha Selected as Director of the MIT List Center for the Visual Arts

Walter De Maria's first solo museum exhibition in the U.S. opens at the Menil Collection

Philly home for Barnes collection to open May 19

Portland Museum of Art's Winslow Homer Studio Opens in September 2012

White Gold: the true cost of cotton exhibited at the International Slavery Museum

September 17, 2011

Exhibition of German portraiture around 1500 opens at the Hypo Cultural Foundation

Exhibition of new work by Mexican artist Gabriel Orozco at Marian Goodman Gallery

Minneapolis Institute of Arts to transfer 5th century B.C. Greek volute krater to Italy

Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art totals $2.3 million at Sotheby's New York

Hand-drawn St. John's Bible completed, on display at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Wesleyan University's Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery presents Mixed Signals: Artists Consider Masculinity in Sports

Exhibition at Haus der Kunst reflects the versatility of Italian architect Carlo Mollino's oeuvre

Philadelphia Museum of Art appoints Hiromi Kinoshita associate curator of Chinese Art

Nine monumental photoworks by American artist John Chamberlain at Steven Kasher Gallery

Nassau County Museum of Art presents an early first edition of Goya's Los Caprichos

Israelis, Palestinians smile for the camera in project by French street artist known only as JR

FBI arrests Florida man accused of stealing paintings from a Los Angeles art gallery

Exhibition of rarely seen paintings by Eva Hesse presented at the Brooklyn Museum

Eighteen new paintings in oil and mixed media by Vincent Desiderio exhibition at Marlborough Chelsea

Contract reveals Beatles' anti-segregation stance

Delhi exhibition explores India's sexy "morning shows"

Cleveland Museum of Art collaborates with regional Foundation to expand reach into Cleveland's West Side

Tracey Snelling's Woman on the Run offers psychological tension in multimedia installatio

Alina Szapocznikow: Sculpture Undone, 1955-1972 at Wiels Contemporary Art Centre

Extensive solo exhibition of work by Rudolf Schwarzkogler at Galerie Guido W. Baudach

September 16, 2011

Masterpieces by the giants of the Antwerp School on view at the Hermitage Amsterdam

Israeli lifeguard Avi Afia rescues sunken treasure from the Mediterranean sea near Tel Aviv

Unseen works alongside rare, vintage dye-transfer prints by Ernst Haas at Atlas Gallery

Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive unveils plans for new facility designed by Diller Scofidio + Renfro

Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen announces new findings on Van Meegeren's forgeries

New site-specific installation by David Byrne "Tight Spot" exhibited by The Pace Gallery

Bortolami Gallery presents Richard Aldrich's second solo show with the gallery

Ludwig Museum exhibition expands the scope of earlier shows on Photorealism

Guernsey's Auction House presents unprecedented Rock & Roll auction of remarkable items

Shortlist announced for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2011

Keno Auctions offers rare silver from Estate of master silversmith Hans Christensen

Seattle Art Museum announces Jenny Heishman as 2011 Betty Bowen award winner

After 80+ years in same family, Taos school artwork appraised for $200K-$400K; to be auctioned

Frick Art Reference Library photo archive records now accessible online

Exceptional masterpiece by Boris Kustodiev for sale at MacDougall's Russian Art Auctions

Significant support secures Sickert for Wales

Smithsonian Institution Archives launches a new website

Smithsonian announces Archives of American Art medal recipients

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement repatriates pre-Columbian bowl to Belize

September 15, 2011

First exhibition in Germany dedicated to Prince Albert opens at Veste Coburg

Sotheby's to hold Fine Chinese paintings sale and exhibition of Zhang Daqian paintings

From Start to Finish: De Wain Valentine's Gray Column at the J. Paul Getty Museum

Sotheby's Switzerland appoints Marc Michel-Amadry as new Managing Director

First Lady Michelle Obama honors winners of National Design Awards at White House

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El Museo's Bienal extends to The Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance and Lehman College Art Gallery

Detroit Institute of Arts presents gift of a lifetime: The James Pearson Duffy Collection

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Witte de With in Rotterdam announces Istanbul native Defne Ayas as new Director

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Stephanie Wiles named new Director of Cornell's Herbert F. Johnson Museum

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Magnificent private collection of Judith Leiber handbags and accessories on the auction block in December

United Kingdom campaign seeks to save Roald Dahl writing hut

Nashville museum on African American music planned

Gary Lawrence is awarded the Jerwood Drawing Prize 2011

Judge throws out lawsuit over Custer museum raids

Metropolitan Museum's McQueen, Caro, Serra, and "Rooms with a View" Exhibitions Stimulate $908 million

September 14, 2011

Gagosian Gallery announces the death of The Father of Pop Art: Richard Hamilton

Sotheby's in New York announces sale of part III of The Collection of Allan Stone

Lost British street artist Banksy mural "Every Picture tells a lie" uncovered on Berlin galley wall

A host of dragons, buffalo, lions and horses, lead caravan of Chinese art at Bonhams

National Gallery of Art launches second edition of the Gemini G.E.L. Online Catalogue Raisonné

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In Living Color vivid post impressionist works highlight Bonhams' October prints auction

Freeman's sells $3.5 million Qing Dynasty Jade Seal, Asian Art auction realizes $8.1 million

New Orleans Museum of Art names Russell Lord new Curator of Photographs

Christie's in New York to offer rare Inglenook from Francis Ford Coppola's cellar

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Credit, Faith, Trust, an exhibition of new and recent works from James Casebere at Lisson Gallery

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Jewellery belonging to Thomas Jefferson's great, great granddaughter offered at Bonhams

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September 13, 2011

Exhibition of Modern artworks in dialogue with Contemporary art at Kunstmuseum Bern

Sotheby's Contemporary Art evening sale to be headlined by Lucian Freud's Boy's Head of 1952

Personal handwritten letters by James Dean to be auctioned at Christie's for the first time

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4.- United States pastor Kevin Sutherland convicted over Damien Hirst fake paintings

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7.- Landmark exhibition opens in New York exploring the ancient kingdoms of Southeast Asia

8.- Palm-sized scroll that mentions Jesus's wife is ancient: Harvard Theological Review

9.- Hitler's wife Eva Braun may have had Jewish ancestry: British television documentary

10.- Bonhams to sell Madame de Pompadour's favourite porcelain which surfaced in Devon after 350 years

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