Historical examination of The Ferus Gallery, Los Angeles CA. Written and organized by critic and journalist, Kristine McKenna. "Prior to the opening of The Ferus Gallery in 1957 it was virtually impossible to see contemporary art in Los Angeles. The city was a notoriously conservative cultural backwater at the time, and L.A.’s city fathers had banished modernism from public art facilities on the grounds that it was 'communistic.' Everything changed, however, when medical school drop-out Walter Hopps and artist Ed Kienholz joined forces to open the first avant garde gallery in Los Angeles devoted to supporting work by young L.A. artists. Until it closed in 1966 the gallery played a crucial role in launching the careers of many of the most significant artists to emerge from the west coast. Ferus hosted the first exhibitions of Ed Ruscha, Ed Kienholz, Andy Warhol, Robert Irwin, Larry Bell, Ken Price, and Wallace Berman, among many others. Under the stewardship of Hopps and Kienholz Ferus is where L.A. left its identity as a hick town behind and grew up culturally. In the early 1960s Kienholz left the gallery to devote himself full-time to his work and Hopps quit to become director the Pasadena Museum of Art. At that point they handed the reins of the gallery to Irving Blum, who got the gallery out of the red, and went on to become one of America’s most successful art dealers. 'The Ferus Gallery: A Place to Begin' is the first comprehensive chronicle of this pivotal decade in Los Angeles’ art history. It is a lavishly illustrated oral history drawn primarily from 62 new interviews with Ferus artists, and key figures in L.A.’s art community of the period. The book includes more than 300 photographs, most previously unpublished, and many drawn from the personal collections of the Ferus artists. The key players in the Ferus story who feature prominently in the book include: Ed Kienholz, Ed Ruscha, Walter Hopps, Irving Blum, John Altoon, Jay DeFeo, Robert Irwin, Larry Bell, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Ken Price, John Mason, Craig Kauffman and Dennis Hopper, among others." --quote from publisher.