Wallace Berman, ‘Untitled (A1-Cosmic Burst)’, 1974, Kohn Gallery

About Wallace Berman

A biting and prescient critic of American visual culture, associated with the Beat Generation and known for his magnetic personality and aversion to publicity, Wallace Berman is considered to be one of the most innovative artists to have worked with photography. With his Verifax (an early copying machine) collages, record covers, Polaroid transfers, art and poetry journal, and filmmaking, Berman was among the first artists to appropriate mass, popular, and advertising imagery. His use of appropriation, and his keen critique of the Modernist ideal of originality, places him alongside the first generation of Pop artists as a major innovator. He was among the first L.A.-based artists who developed the potential of the photograph as an object that could be used as raw material for making art.

American, 1926-1976, Staten Island, New York, based in California