Edward Kienholz

American, 1927–1994

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Edward Kienholz

American, 1927–1994

622
Followers
Biography

A prominent figure in Los Angeles’s art scene, Ed Kienholz produced rough-hewn wooden relief paintings in his early career (that he painted with a broom), before going on to make his better-known large-scale tableaux and sculptures—for which he constructed objects and scavenged items from the streets of LA. Kienholz’s installation work, The Back Seat Dodge ’38 (1964), was first exhibited in LA in 1966 when it scandalized the county supervisors, who labeled it as “revolting, pornographic, and blasphemous” and requested the closure of the exhibition. The life-size tableau depicted two youths copulating on the back seat of a car, a sexual experience that Kienholz and others maintained was common in California, where social proprieties had not caught up with evolving technologies. Becoming increasingly three-dimensional and figurative throughout his career, Kienholz’s work offered unflinching critiques of modern society, including issues of race. Kienholz opened the famed Ferus Gallery with Walter Hopps in 1957, and the same gallery housed the artist’s first solo exhibition.

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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Established
Established representation
Represented by industry leading galleries.
User
Solo show at a major institution
Centre Pompidou, and 1 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 7 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 2 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale International Exhibition, and 1 more
Biography

A prominent figure in Los Angeles’s art scene, Ed Kienholz produced rough-hewn wooden relief paintings in his early career (that he painted with a broom), before going on to make his better-known large-scale tableaux and sculptures—for which he constructed objects and scavenged items from the streets of LA. Kienholz’s installation work, The Back Seat Dodge ’38 (1964), was first exhibited in LA in 1966 when it scandalized the county supervisors, who labeled it as “revolting, pornographic, and blasphemous” and requested the closure of the exhibition. The life-size tableau depicted two youths copulating on the back seat of a car, a sexual experience that Kienholz and others maintained was common in California, where social proprieties had not caught up with evolving technologies. Becoming increasingly three-dimensional and figurative throughout his career, Kienholz’s work offered unflinching critiques of modern society, including issues of race. Kienholz opened the famed Ferus Gallery with Walter Hopps in 1957, and the same gallery housed the artist’s first solo exhibition.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Established
Established representation
Represented by industry leading galleries.
User
Solo show at a major institution
Centre Pompidou, and 1 more
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 7 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 2 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Venice Biennale International Exhibition, and 1 more
Shows Featuring Edward Kienholz
Articles Featuring Edward Kienholz
The Startling $2.5-Million Car Sculpture Driving Conversation at The Armory Show
Mar 4th, 2020
7 Great Artist Duos That Shaped Art History
Jul 13th, 2016
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