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'Creating the Future: Art and Los Angeles in the 1970s' by Michael Fallon published by Counterpoint
Aviva Rahmani, Sandra Orgel, Suzanne Lacy, and Judy Chicago, Ablutions, 1972. Photo: Lloyd Hamrol.
BERKELEY, CA.- Conceived as a challenge to long-standing conventional wisdom, Creating the Future: Art and Los Angeles in the 1970s (on-sale September 9th, 2014) examines the premise that the progress of art in Los Angeles ceased during the 1970s—after the decline of the Ferus Gallery, the scattering of its stable of artists (Robert Irwin, Ed Kienholz, Ed Moses, Ed Rusha and others), and the economic struggles throughout the decade—and didn’t resume until sometime around 1984 when Mark Tansey, Alison Saar, Judy Fiskin, Carrie Mae Weems, David Salle, Manuel Ocampo, among others, became stars in an exploding art market. However, this is far from the reality of the L.A. art scene in the 1970s.

The passing of those fashionable 1960s-era icons, in fact, enabled the development of a chaotic array of outlandish and independent voices, marginalized communities, and energetic, sometimes bizarre visions that thrived during the stagnant 1970s. Fallon’s narrative describes and celebrates, through twelve thematically arranged chapters, the wide range of intriguing artists and the world they created. He reveals the deeper, more culturally dynamic truth about a significant moment in American art history, presenting an alternative story of stubborn creativity in the face of widespread ignorance and misapprehension among the art cognoscenti, who dismissed the 1970s in Los Angeles as a time of dissipation and decline.

These artists’ work would prove more interesting, more lastingly influential, and vastly more important than ever imagined or expected. Creating the Future is a visionary work that seeks to recapture this important decade and its influence on today’s generation of artists.

Michael Fallon is a longtime writer and editor on arts and culture based in Minneapolis, where he serves as the Executive Director of Minneapolis TV Network, a public access community media center. He has published hundreds of reviews, feature articles, essays, and profiles in print and on the internet for City Pages in Minneapolis, the Orange County Weekly, the St. Paul Pioneer Press, Pittsburgh City Paper, Minneapolis-St. Paul magazine, the Utne Reader, Public Art Review, American Craft, and Art in America. Fallon received national attention for his blog about the struggles of artists, The Chronicle of Artistic Failure in America.

Praise for Creating the Future
“A well-researched, wide-ranging history that amply captures the confusion, contradictions and enormous energy of one triumphant decade.” —Kirkus

“While the closure of the Ferus Gallery in 1966 and subsequent events such as Artforum’s move to New York City in 1967 seemed like crushing setbacks to Los Angeles’s art scene at the time, Fallon proves the contrary in this lively history of artistic pluralism and dissidence." —Publishers Weekly

“Michael Fallon performs a double service with Creating the Future: he contradicts the notion that artistic activity in southern California lost its mojo after the 1960s, and he makes the argument by identifying and connecting all the myriad dots, compiling a thorough, vivid history. With a supple perspective, Fallon promulgates the sense that L.A. and its environs constituted one of the most challenging and exciting places to make art throughout the latter half of the 20th century.”—Peter Frank, editor of Fabrik

“Michael Fallon interweaves dozens of biographies to tell the tale of the most formative decade that the Los Angeles Art Scene will ever know. [...] The earnestness of the author’s lean prose should create a hunger and wistfulness for authenticity in the heart of every serious art lover.” —Mat Gleason, Coagula Art Journal and Huffington Post Arts

“Kudos to Michael Fallon for shining a brilliant and well-deserved spotlight upon this fascinating period.” —Dan Epstein, author of Stars and Strikes: Baseball and America in the Bicentennial Summer of '76 and Big Hair and Plastic Grass: A Funky Ride Through Baseball and America in the Swinging '70s.





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