The Cool School in Barcelona



Peter Alexander, Larry Bell, Billy Al Bengston, Laddie John Dill, Craig Kauffman, Eric Orr,

and Ed Moses

Opening: Saturday, October 24, 2015 from 6:00-8:00pm
On view through December 5, 2015

 Billy Al Bengston, BAB 1, 1988, original etching, hand signed and numbered

Billy Al Bengston, BAB 1, 1988, original etching, 30x22 in., hand signed and numbered 

(SANTA MONICA, CA)--Andrew Weiss Gallery is pleased to announce The Cool School in Barcelona: Rare Handmade Print Works by LA’s Most Influential Group of Artists.

Polígrafa Obra Gràfica were innovators with their short-term residency program.  In 1988 and 1989 Poligrafa invited eight prominent California-based artists--Billy Al Bengston, Peter Alexander, Larry Bell, Laddie John Dill, Criag Kauffman, Ed Moses, Eric Orr and Ed Ruscha--to each spend two weeks in Barcelona and create handmade prints based on their experiences and impressions of the city.  Most of this trailblazing group of California Light and Space and Pop artists, who worked in mediums ranging from sculpture to painting and installations, received their first introduction to printmaking at this time.

Peter Alexander, Hallelujah II, 1988, original lithograph, 22 x 30 in., hand signed and numbered


The majority of the works created during these artist residencies were then archived for nearly 30 years by Poligrafa, and rediscovered and reintroduced exclusively by Andrew Weiss Gallery.

Gallerist Andrew Weiss brings the rare print works of these renowned California artists to his light-filled gallery space in Santa Monica’s Bergamot Station, close to the studios still in practice by many of these Venice and Santa Monica-based artists. On view will be more than 50 works highlighting Los Angeles’s first and most significant post-war artists, who continue to lead and influence today’s contemporary art world.  The hand numbered, limited edition etchings and lithographs on woven paper are each hand signed and dated by the artist.

 Eric Orr, Catalonian Nine, 1989, original embossed etching, 30 x 22 in. hand signed and numbered

Barcelona-based fine art printmaker Polígrafa Obra Gráfica was launched in 1964 by Manuel de Muga and has published editions featuring over 300 leading artists since then. After the death of Francisco Franco in 1975, and at the end of Spain’s 36-year fascist regime, Poligrafa was widely credited for bringing new art and artists into the country, injecting a breeze of freshness and modernity to Spain’s moribund cultural atmosphere. Their artists have always been chosen by a criteria of rigor and ambition. Polígrafa published editions by artists who are today recognized as among the foremost of their time, such as Joan Miró, Francis Bacon, Max Ernst, John Cage, Alex Katz, Rufino Tamayo, and Francisco Toledo.

In conjunction with this exhibition, the gallery will also be screening The Cool School: The Story of Ferus Art Gallery, a documentary film by Morgan Neville that focuses on the seminal Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles, which between 1957 and 1966 solidified the careers of a band of young and rebellious artists including Larry Bell, Billy Al Bengston, Craig Kauffman, Moses, and Ed Ruscha.

The Cool School  In Barcelona: Rare Print Works by LA’s Most Influential Group of Artists is on view from October 24, 2015 until December 5, 2015.