Let The Experiment Begin: Photographic Process in Los Angeles, 1960–1980

Hammer Building, Level 3
October 31, 2011–February 26, 2012

This installation of work from the permanent collection represents a chapter in the larger photo history of Los Angeles, focusing on the freewheeling use of process employed by photo-based artists during the 1960s through the 1980s. The installation features work by Robert F. Heinecken, Jerry McMillan, Darryl Curran, and Susan Rankaitis.

In 1960, Heinecken, as the head of the Photography Department at UCLA, became known for promoting a photo practice that was varied and often camera-less. Jerry McMillan utilized the populist photo cube that was a fixture in the 1970s home to create photo-sculpture, and generated photo “drawings"—simple manipulations of paper that result in abstractions. Darryl Curran’s photolithographic prints place the artist’s own photographs alongside mass-produced images or logos, creating a hybrid that focuses on our littered environment. Susan Rankaitis created tonal abstractions made solely from chemicals “painted” in layers onto photo-sensitive paper, transforming the way we perceive photography, a conversation that continues today.

Image: Darryl Curran, Nutrition Temple, 1972, photo silkscreen on embossed paper, gift of the artist, M.2006.162.8 © Darryl Curran.