Edward Kienholz, ‘Back Seat Dodge '38’, 1964, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Collection: Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Image rights: Image © 2016 Museum Associates / LACMA. Licensed by Art Resource, NY. Copyright Kienholz. Courtesy of L.A. Louver, Venice, CA.. Digital

"Los Angeles to New York: The Dwan Gallery, 1959-1971"

Venue: National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (2016 - 2017)

Purchased with funds provided by the Art Museum Council Fund

About Edward Kienholz

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.

American, 1927-1994, Fairfield, Washington, based in Los Angeles, California

Solo Shows

Edward Kienholz: America My Hometown