Collection: Los Angeles County Museum of Art

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

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.

Established
Represented by industry leading galleries.
Collected by major museums
Tate, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Selected exhibitions
2019
Dirty Protest: Selections from the Hammer Contemporary CollectionHammer Museum
2018
Edward Kienholz: America My HometownBlain | Southern
2017
KienholzL.A. Louver
View all

Back Seat Dodge '38, 1964

Paint, fiberglass and flock, 1938 Dodge, recorded music and player, chicken wire, beer bottles, arificial grass, and cast plaster figures
120 × 145 in
304.8 × 368.3 cm
Location
Washington

Collection: Los Angeles County Museum of Art

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

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.

Established
Represented by industry leading galleries.
Collected by major museums
Tate, Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)
Selected exhibitions (3)
Other works from Los Angeles to New York: The Dwan Gallery, 1959-1971
Other works by Edward Kienholz
Related works