130910: The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA Dennis Hopper – Double Standard

The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA Dennis Hopper – Double Standard 11.07.10 – 26.09.10 “Hey, that’s a painting!”* The Large letters mounted on the gas station read “DOUBLE STANDARD”; written twice they give the building a mirror-effect. The photo was taken from behind a windscreen – and in the car’s back mirror another windscreen is visible – as a front view. And “DOUBLE STANDARD” also stands for Dennis Hopper’s oeuvre both in art and film. In the exhibition catalogue, Julius Schnabel, curator and Hopper’s long-time friend, writes: “Hopper shot photos like someone who was constantly on the lookout for paintings, as if he would call out: “Hey, that’s a painting”.” This not only describes his earlier works, but also his recent works: the huge paintings, photorealistic works of his friends including “James Rosenquist” (with Brunette Billboard, 2009), Roy Liechtenstein and Andy Warhol (with flower, 2006) appear like oversized photos or blowups. The exhibition is described as “the first comprehensive survey exhibition of Dennis Hopper’s artistic career”. With the one-month retrospective of his films at the LA Film Forum, running at the same time, the exhibition offers the essence of both parts of his art world. The works are very carefully selected, and some of them were displayed at the MAK exhibition in Vienna in 2001, such as “Drop Bomb” (1967/68/2000), the backlit sculpture of an enlarged bomb release lever or “Hotel Green Entrance” (1963). Schnabel, through his selection, shows that Hopper was a fantastic artist – one who also happened to be successful in Hollywood. Double Standard, at that. His beginnings in the 50’s show his involvement with the pre-war generation, with surrealism. In his works, in which he combines objects and painting, he takes up the game with reality and its doubling-effect through depiction. He does the same in his series of J.F. Kennedy screenshots (1967) or when he combines painting with film: e.g. in the triptych in which the sequence of an accident is projected onto the middle of the canvas the moment the onlooker presses the projector’s lever; or the “real” parts of American fences and house facades. His oversized advertising figures, the “Salsa Man” (2000) and the “Mobile Man” (2000), or the life-size Cowboy, illustrate what constitutes America: food and gasoline. And legends. He used all kinds of media with their degrees of reality and let them interact with one another. The same way he had to “get to terms with” the cross fading of his own reality in the world of film. Dennis Hopper lived the “American Dream”, he was a part of it and his art centred on the topic. He was a member of the California School of Assemblage and New Realism and was the co-founder of conceptual art together with Ed Rusha and Edward Kienholz. In his Hollywood films, Hopper was influenced by experimental film. Too bad, that until now the Hollywood glamour “overshadows” Hopper’s standing as a visual artist. By Renate Quehenberger *taken from the catalogue text “A reflection on Dennis Hopper as an artist” by Julian Schnabel in “Dennis Hopper DOUBLE STANDARD”, MOCA, 2010-09-11 The Geffen contemporary at MOCA CA 90013 Los Angeles, 152 North Central Avenue http://www.moca.org Opening hours: Mon: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Thu: 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., Fri 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sat, Sun 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA
CA 90013 Los Angeles, 152 North Central Avenue
Öffnungszeiten: Mo 11-17, Do 11-20, Fr 11-17, Sa, So 11-18 h

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