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Doug Wheeler redux

October 21, 2008 |  1:03 pm

Wheelerrm669 Modern Art Notes has been posting about Light & Space artist Doug Wheeler, who pioneered L.A.'s vanguard perceptual genre in the 1960s, together with Robert Irwin and James Turrell. (Washington, D.C.'s Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, where former Museum of Contemporary Art staffer Kerry Brougher is now chief curator, recently acquired Wheeler's 1969 Eindhoven, Environmental Light Installation.) Today's installment includes what appears to be the first interview the artist has given since the Johnson administration (Lyndon, not Andrew).

That's important because a half-century after the city's artists joined the big leagues, its contemporary art history remains a very incomplete sketch. My colleague Suzanne Muchnic will have a story in Sunday's Arts & Books section on the cottage industry that has been growing up around historical exhibitions of Los Angeles art, which is slowly redressing the imbalance. What's ultimately needed, of course, is a permanent museum display that tells the eventful story.

-- Christopher Knight

Photo: Doug Wheeler, "RM 669," 1969, vacuum-formed plexiglass and white UV neon Light; collection Museum of Contemporary Art [via]


 
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I didn't even know he was still alive. And it's not just the history of LA Art that is lacking in Los Angeles - but there is no place in LA where a single permanent collection displays even the a basic history of contemporary art.


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