L.A.’s Stars Turned Out for the Llyn Foulkes Opening at the Hammer Museum


Artist Llyn Foulkes, 78, is having a major moment in the spotlight. The prolific artist has been creating works for over six decades but has been largely under recognized, until now. On Saturday, Los Angeles’s Hammer Museum opened a retrospective of his work, featuring approximately 140 artworks from public and private collections, some of which have not been seen publicly for decades.

The exhibition traces Foulkes’s career from early cartoons and drawings to the emotionally charged paintings of the 1960s. The epic rock paintings and landscapes of the ’70s are striking in that they’re idiosyncratic while still acknowledging the era’s Pop Art and Minimalist context. His social commentary paintings target Disney, with Mickey Mouse featured in all sorts of strange scenarios. The show comes to a close with Foulkes’s remarkably detailed narrative tableaux in which he combines painting with woodworking, found materials and thick mounds of modeling paste.

The museum galleries were so crowded at the opening reception, it was difficult to catch a glimpse of Foulkes’s work, which didn’t seem to bother many since it was definitely a people-watching scene. Jack Black and Tanya Hayden (above), Mike Mills and Miranda July (below),Armie Hammer, and Harvey Weinstein walked around amid art collectors like Susan Hancock and Danny First, and museum director Ann Philbin. Regardless of the opening’s crowds, the exhibition’s breadth and scope merits multiple visits. After the Hammer Museum, Foulkes’s retrospective will travel, first to the New Museum in New York in June 2013 then on to the Museum Kurhaus Kleve in Germany in November 2013.

— Yasmine Mohseni, ARTINFO Los Angeles

(Photos by Stefanie Keenan.)


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