As the legend goes, Los Angeles’s “Cool School” can be traced back to a conversation over a hot-dog stand on La Cienega Boulevard. There, Walter Hopps and Ed Kienholz
scribbled a contract on a hot-dog wrapper to become partners in what would later become the iconic Ferus Gallery—the avant-garde cultural hub largely involved in building L.A.’s first fine art scene, from scratch.
Although hard to imagine in retrospect, Ed Ruscha
, Robert Irwin
, Wallace Berman
, Jay DeFeo
, and Bruce Conner
were once young, up-and-coming artists looking for a break; fortunately, they found it at Ferus. While small and unassuming—operated out of a storefront—the gallery was largely responsible for launching the artists’ careers and, it should be noted, for hosting both Andy Warhol
’s first gallery show and Marcel Duchamp
’s first retrospective.