Ferus Gallery was not the only hotbed of interesting art world activity in 1960s Los Angeles. Contrary to contemporary art historical myth, several other galleries presented art that reflected the social and cultural changes of that volatile decade. One of the most interesting was Ceeje Gallery, the dream-child of Cecil Hedrick and Jerry Jerome, an out gay couple who established their gallery through interest in a group of young artists that included Charles Garabedian, Eduardo Carrillo, Roberto Chavez, and Louis Lunetta. These painters shared an exuberant expressionist style and were interested in myth and oblique narratives. Lance Richbourg, Joan Maffei, Les Biller, Aron Goldberg, Martin Lubner, and Marvin Hardin also showed offbeat and lyrical figurative works that fit the eclectic, funky style of the gallery.
Ceeje gallery presented artists from highly diverse backgrounds, including works by Mexican, Armenian, Italian, African, and Asian descent as well as women, gay, and outsider artists. Oblivious of career strategy and the commercial market, Ceeje artists made works that have fascinating relevance today. While their subject matter couldn't have been more out of fashion at the time, the works of these artists have served as crucial precedents for later developments in Los Angeles art, including the paintings of Chicano artists Gronk, Patssi Valdez, Frank Romero, Gilbert Lujan and Salomon Huerta. Artists from Ceeje gallery relates as well to the contemporary espousal of expressionistic narrative, humor, and symbolism, evident in artists like Jim Shaw, Nicole Eisenman, Dana Schutz, Kerry James Marshall, and John Sonsini.
Curated by Michael Duncan, an advocate of individualist artists of the twentieth century, West Coast modernism, twentieth century figuration, and contemporary California art.
The exhibition and forthcoming catalogue are made possible through the generosity of the Pasadena Art Alliance, Maud Winchester and Lucas Reiner, and an anonymous donor.
Wednesday to Saturday, 12 pm - 5 pm.
View artist video works, talks and panels from current and past exhibitions.
A discussion with Ceeje artists Les Biller, Max Hendler, and Lance Richbourg with curator Michael Duncan.
Location: ArtCenter College of Design, Los Angeles Times Theater