The Cool School at Ferus Gallery

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, , Robert Irwin, , , and  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 ’s first gallery show and ’s first retrospective.