Part 1: Hal Glicksman at Pomona
- Michael Asher |
- Lewis Baltz |
- Judy Chicago |
- Ron Cooper |
- Tom Eatherton |
- Lloyd Hamrol |
- Robert Irwin
Excerpt from Michael Asher: Familiar Passages and Other Visibitilites by Marie B. Shurkus
Like many artists of his generation, Michael Asher took his lead from Minimalism’s theatricality, which was designed to enhance viewers’ perceptual awareness of their role within the exhibition space. Yet where many of Asher’s peers responded by expanding their practice into the more temporal realms of film and performance, Asher focused on the temporal as a condition of the spatial, which aligned his work more specifically with architecture. Overall, Asher’s entire oeuvre has investigated how viewers encounter specific sites, primarily spaces dedicated to the presentation of visual art. As a result, Asher’s work is typically associated with the Conceptual art practice of Institutional Critique. Historically, the placement of Asher’s work within the discourse of Institutional Critique was cemented with his 1974 project at the Claire Copley Gallery in Los Angeles. For this work, Asher removed the wall separating the exhibition and office spaces, revealing the otherwise hidden gallerist working at her desk. With all physical traces of Asher’s intervention repaired, visitors to the gallery encountered a space whose only apparent focus was the administration of business. This intervention not only opened the discourse of the gallery to issues of labor and economic exchange, but also invited the participants—both Copley and the gallery visitors alike—to re-examine their understanding of what constitutes an artwork and how visual art functions within the larger social domain. While not Asher’s first manipulation of a gallery space, his intervention at the Copley Gallery was certainly one of his first to bring attention to the larger social discourses that inform the production of art—be it an aesthetic object or a system of exchange. Yet, Asher’s attention to the discursive functions operating within an exhibition space was already evident the year before in his project at Milan’s Galleria Toselli. Here, Asher sandblasted the gallery walls and ceiling, stripping away the neutral white paint and pristine surfaces to reveal the underlying brown plaster. The effect physically recreated the gallery as a site under construction, rather than one engaged with the conventions of display. For visitors the transformation was as stunning as the encounter with Copley was awkward. Together, Asher’s interventions at the Toselli and Copley galleries marked a significant transition that clearly positioned his work in terms of the more analytical, site-specific approach that has come to define Institutional Critique. Victor Burgin described this approach as a shift in focus from material effects toward a concern for the more immaterial effects of content, which he dubbed Situational Aesthetics.
Asher’s understanding of how spaces address viewers physically and construct visibilities emerged through a number of works that culminated in his 1970 exhibition at Pomona College. In fact, Asher’s contribution to the exhibition at Pomona College in 2011 was first inspired by his 1970 installation. Nevertheless, Asher admits that the significance of his original intervention at Pomona did not occur to him until after the logistics of recreating the space were complete. Initially, Asher was too consumed with solving a problem that had emerged a few months earlier during his first solo exhibition at the La Jolla Museum of Art. For the La Jolla exhibition, Asher installed a tone generator in one of the gallery walls that effectively cancelled out all sound waves in the room, creating a dead zone in the center of the gallery. Accordingly, “viewers” experienced sound as a physical force operating through the gallery space. Similarly, in the months prior to the La Jolla exhibition, Asher had employed industrial air blowers to create first a “wall” of air at the Newport Harbor Art Museum, and then the less intrusive “curtain” of air, exhibited in the Whitney’s 1969 “Anti-Illusion: Procedures/Materials” exhibition. Moving on from these and other sensory-based installations, Asher confronted the problem of how to organize light and sound at Pomona without introducing any outside equipment.
Excerpt from Progressions of a Not-Photographer: Lewis Baltz, 1969-1973 by Rochelle Legrandsawyer
Claremont Graduate School (CGS) was not an obvious choice for the young artist Lewis Baltz, as there was no program in photography there or at any of the five undergraduate colleges in the Claremont College consortium at that time. After an informational meeting with Guy Williams and Mowry Baden in the summer of 1969, Baltz was admitted to CGS, but not before defending his case against a good dose of skepticism surrounding a photographer’s place in the program. Baltz recalls, “I wanted to do graduate work. I wanted to do more, meet more interesting people in the art world…and I absolutely did not want to go to a school that had photography, because I didn’t like photography very much….I think mostly what they needed to be convinced [of was] that I didn’t need any physical equipment, I didn’t need any technical advice. Which I didn’t. But I needed aesthetic advice. I needed people to read things with and discuss them with.”Aesthetic advice and an intellectual community is precisely what Baltz found in the Claremont art faculty. A relationship that began with some hesitance from both parties soon developed into a healthy exchange of artistic and professional support.
Three men were especially influential in Baltz’s development during his time in Claremont: Guy Williams, Mowry Baden, and Hal Glicksman. Guy Williams, Baltz’s academic advisor, met weekly with Baltz to discuss the development of his work. Meanwhile, Mowry Baden offered Baltz a consistently unique intellectual perspective. Baltz remembers Baden as someone he could “reliably count on for an original point of view. Mowry would bring a slant to something that nobody else had.” Learning from Williams’s and Baden’s intensely analytical process, Baltz further developed the ethos of intellectual inquiry that underlies his incisive photographic style. Of Baltz’s three key mentors, Glicksman would have the largest direct impact on Baltz’s burgeoning career. Glicksman—then director of the Pomona College Museum of Art—immediately recognized not only Baltz’s extraordinary technical skill in producing photographs but the unusually critical approach with which Baltz supported his work.
After his initial interactions with Baltz in his history of nineteenth century art course in the fall of 1969, Glicksman quickly made Baltz his teaching assistant, asking him to introduce a section on photography into the course. Baltz accepted, but requested an official position with the college. Glicksman followed through, not only securing Baltz a teaching position at Pomona in the spring of 1970, but also inviting him to show his photographs in the Pomona College Museum of Art. Baltz’s show (May 25–June 1, 1970) was the final exhibition of Glicksman’s tenure at pomona, and Baltz’s first solo exhibition. The two continued their relationship long after Glicksman left Pomona for the Corcoran Gallery. indeed, it was Glicksman who would act, according to Baltz, as “prime Mover in a process of steps leading from Claremont to the [Museum of] Modern [art].”
Excerpt from Talk. Pomona College, February, 1970
Hi. Hal tells me he already told you that I’m going to talk about my cunt…well, I want to talk to you first a little bit about me, and about some of the things I’m trying to do. Then you can ask me questions. First of all, I was brought up with the idea that I could do what I wanted. At the time I didn’t understand that that was a fairly radical way of bringing a kid up, especially a girl. But as I’ve become an adult, I’ve discovered that’s pretty far out. I didn’t really understand that I was going to encounter any kind of problems until I got into college. Now, there were problems that I encountered when I was growing up, but I didn’t understand that they had anything to do with the fact that I was a girl; I just didn’t think in those terms. And until I was in college—I’m sure a lot of girls understand this—I never encountered anyone saying anything to me overtly about the fact that I couldn’t do something, or my ideas weren’t valid, or my thoughts weren’t important, because I was born with a cunt. It just never penetrated my consciousness until once when I was arguing with some guy about Hamlet. He proceeded to tell me that my ideas about Hamlet were obviously wrong, not because they were incorrect, but because I was a girl and obviously didn’t know what I was talking about. I was shocked; I mean shocked. I didn’t even know how to cope with it at the time. I got outraged. Those things started to happen to me, but it still didn’t really affect me, because I had all those years behind me of being able to do what I wanted.
Then, I must have been about twenty the first time I got used sexually. I was irate. I couldn’t believe it. I mean, the idea of me being used like that, just like I was some turd on the ground. My ego was just someplace else. All these things started to happen to me. I began to confront a whole structure of reality that was totally out of context with the way I was brought up. Somehow or other, though, I kept on thinking that everything was going to be okay. I thought that I was still going to be able to do what I wanted, that I was going to somehow get by. I didn’t want to believe that things were this way. This kind of thing was creeping into my head, and I began to be aware of it, but I still wanted to push it away. I didn’t want to believe it; it wasn’t going to affect me. Somehow I was different. Somehow I was going to slip by. I was going to get to do what I wanted. I wanted to make art from the time I was a little girl. I have had no other aim in life since I was three years old. By the time I was twenty-one, I had developed some attitudes that I think a lot of young women develop, like putting down other women, and saying, “I don’t really like women very much; I like men better.” And “Most women aren’t very interesting…”
What was happening to me—which I understand now—was that I was beginning to see the world as if I was a man. I was talking like I was a man, putting down women, saying the things that all the boys said, “Women aren’t very…blah, blah, blah,” so that I could be accepted by a bunch of boys. They were the ones that I was trying to get recognition from, because they were the ones that were doing things. I got into that whole trip, not recognizing that on its fundamental level it was perverted and unhealthy and destructive. I went along like that for four or five years, still thinking somehow that I would just do what I wanted to do, despite the fact that there were no women on any level in society above menial. There are no women in Congress; you look at Congress, there are no women. There are no women running anything. There are no women running the country. There are no women in power in administration. There were no women generally teaching art, and the ones who taught art in universities were just unimportant. There were two when Hal and I were in school, and they were both put down. I mean, they were laughed at as little old ladies.
Excerpt from interview by Rebecca McGrew, December 17, 2009
Rebecca McGrew Your exhibition for Hal Glicksman’s “Artist Gallery” program at Pomona was from December 12 to 20 in 1969. How did it come about that Hal invited you?
Ron Cooper Let me tell you how I knew Hal. When I was in art school at Chouinard, in the early sixties, there was a guy who was making really cool paintings that had a show at Ralph Stewart Gallery on La Cienega, named Michael Olodort. Through him, I met Phil Hefferton, who was also a pop painter. Through Olodort and Hefferton, I met Hal and Gretchen Glicksman in Pasadena. They knew all the artists living downtown in those lofts.
RM Were you working on your MFA at this time?
RC Ah, no. I got pushed out of Chouinard by John Dean. It was the period, around ’64–’65, when Chouinard was going to become CalArts. And Ed Reep, who was the head of the California Watercolor Society and definitely a fifties kind of painter, was the dean of painting at Chouinard. He began to fire cool people like Bob Irwin and John Altoon, and limit the input that we young students had. So we formed a student body organization. I was the representative for the junior year, and we had a meeting in the library. And Disney had six three-piece-gray-suited lawyers walk in. And we said, “Look, we’re very happy to take classes from Ed Reep and the old school, but we want young, vital people as well.” Anyway, Dean was one of those attorneys, and he said: “Look, we know what’s good for your education. You limit yourselves to school dances and art sales. We’ll take care of the rest.” And I stood up and gave everyone the finger. I said, “Fuck you. This is the end of my formal education.”
RM What year was that?
RC In ’64 or ’65. I had been working eight hours a day at Chouinard, five days a week, and eight hours a day in my studio. After this incident with Dean and the Disney people, I was exhausted. It was just before lunch, and I collapsed on the sidewalk, sitting against the wall. All the teachers came out and shook my hand and said, “You did the right thing.” I went back to my studio and I took stacks of all the work I had done up to that moment and put it out on the sidewalk for the trash pick-up the next day. I decided that the things that were the most personal to me were a sense of scale; I grew up in a small town—Ojai, California. Instead of the abstraction of the city, where you go north four blocks and then you go east a block, and then north another half block, I grew up where you could see everything. I wanted to deal with a scale that was real, rather than abstract. Ojai is basically a bowl, just like James Turrell’s crater.
RM That’s right, Ojai is in a valley.
RC And it’s filled with this incredible light. I wanted to deal with space, a sense of scale, and light. When I was a teenager, I was really into hotrods; I was going to be the greatest car customizer in the world. When I was eighteen, I went to Europe for a year. I saw all the great work in the museums, and realized that what I really wanted to be was an artist. But what was most personal to me were the materials and techniques of my time—the custom lacquer paint, nacreous pigment, surfboard resin.
RM Was this when you were working on the Vertical Bars?
RC Yes, and the Light Traps. The Vertical Bars had a scale the size of an American four by four (which are really 3 5/8 by 3 5/8 inches) and were seven to eight feet high. I thought a lot about the materials of construction and the tract housing in Southern California, that kind of density and volume. So I began making pieces that related to all these things.
RM Don’t the Vertical Bars have many layers of pigment?
RC Yes, of nacreous pigment, lacquer, and transparent pigment, sanded many times, then more layers. Close to thirty layers of transparent pigment. At that time, I began to meet another group of artists. I shared my earliest work with Bill Petit, Terry O’Shea, who’s dead, and Doug Wheeler. We hung out in each other’s studios. And then Ron Davis became a part of this group of artists.
Excerpt from interview by David Pagel, June 4, 2010
David Pagel I understand that you went to Pomona High School with Roland Reiss.
Tom Eatherton Well, actually, he graduated before I got there, but we knew each other. I remember both of us drawing the model at a night-school class. I think it was in a park in Pomona. He was a friend of my family, too. When I was in high school, I went to Claremont a lot, to night-school classes at different colleges.
DP Just to sit in on them?
TE Oh, no. I was enrolled in extension courses. I was in a drawing class with Roger Kuntz and a painting class with Bob Frame. Other people, too. When I went to the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), which is where Roland also went, Craig Kauffman and Ed Moses were there, too. They were graduate students. I was an undergrad.
DP But at that time you already knew that you were an artist?
TE Earlier. Always.
DP Did you think of yourself as a painter or a sculptor? Or simply an artist?
TE Only as a painter. I still do.
DP Even with the installation work?
TE Yes. I think painting is a tradition. Even calling it painting is kind of slighting it, you know. Paint is what you make it with. But it’s much greater than that. It’s a whole dialogue across the centuries.
DP A way of looking or thinking about things?
TE Well, you know people made those things. When you make a thing, an object, it’s not like acting or performance. It’s not like writing, where you may have several editions. Most often it’s unique. You make it, and it goes out in the world. It has its own existence. You are its first viewer. You have a vision. And you try to make the artwork as close as possible to that vision so that it will trigger a response—an experience—so that hopefully the viewer will have that experience as well, or something very similar. And I just think that’s too profound to be called painting. It’s like calling writing typing.
DP Before you made Rise at Pomona in 1970, you made more traditional paintings?
TE Yes. In 1958, I actually did some Abstract Expressionist paintings, and they really meant a lot to me. Abstract Expressionism…those artists just really totally turned my head around. Because all through high school and college I was grappling with lots of figurative art attempts, trying all kinds of different solutions, experimentations, and so on. And then about a year or two after I got out of UCLA, I did this series of Abstract Expressionist paintings. I’d been trying to understand that ethos. Those guys were so committed, and they were so rigorous. For me, it was very clarifying. It burned away the irrelevancies. So, I actually got brave and did some myself.
DP Your paintings from that time strike me as being structural, as stubbornly built.
TE It was conscious. They were consciously made on the grid, but with the painting gesture. That’s just where I was at, at the time. Later, I did clearly formalist paintings, geometric abstractions, and works of that sort.
DP And these led to works like Rise?
TE In 1966, I was doing another series of paintings. Most of them were four-by-four feet. A few were six-by-six feet. And I did one that was only about two-feet square. It was painted on unbleached muslin that I didn’t size. I didn’t paint it white first; I masked the points right on the muslin and I painted an opaque black or dark blue surround. It was little and I was playing around. For some reason, I took it home. I was married at the time, and I took it to our apartment. We had a breakfast nook and I propped it up on the table in the breakfast nook. I went away and I came back later. The sun was shining through the window and it was shining through that muslin. And these points were lit up in my painting.
DP An epiphany?
TE Until then, I didn’t know what I wanted to do. Besides making these paintings, I had been making these little corrugated cardboard maquettes. They were just geometric forms. I said, “You can see that form clearly because you’re looking at it from the outside.” After looking at these things for a little while, I realized, “I don’t want to look at them from the outside. I want to look at them from the inside.”
Excerpt from interview by Glenn Phillips, June 15, 2010
Glenn Phillips You studied art at the University of California, Los Angeles?
Lloyd Hamrol I did, and then I went back and spent four years in graduate school there for a master’s degree. I think I was probably one of the most difficult people for them to eject from the program. I don’t know anyone else who spent four years in that program. When I graduated with a BFA, one of my teachers, Jan Stussy, said, “So what are you going to do now?” I said, “I don’t know.” He said, “Don’t go out there. It’s scary out there; you should come back to school.”
GP What did your sculpture look like around the time you were finishing the graduate degree?
LH Well, I wanted to cast, but I had some disasters with casting. We didn’t have a casting facility at UCLA then. I had done these wax pieces, and I looked around town for someplace to cast them in bronze. I found a foundry out in the valley, but they really weren’t lost wax casters. They did a piss poor job of burning them out, and when they poured it, there was an internal conflagration between the wax and the molten bronze—things were shooting around. I thought I was embarking on something that would be my thesis show, and I got half a piece. I was so depressed after that. I said, “Okay, no more hot industrial processes.” So I started making these laminated polychrome constructions out of plywood, cut with a scroll saw, nailed together, and glued up. John Coplans saw what I was doing, and he was very supportive. He was involved with Finish Fetish, the refinement, that sort of elemental geometry, and he told me that I was going to have to learn how to spray paint. Judy [Chicago] and I—we were neighbors at the time—enrolled together in an auto body finishing school in downtown Los Angeles, and we learned about spray painting. I realized that I couldn’t really build a spray booth in the studio I was in, so Judy and I decided to move together into the same place in Pasadena. This was in late 1964. We turned that studio into a paint factory. Then I sort of lost interest in the spray painting thing. When I made Goodboy (1965), the canvas and plywood triangular sculpture that Los Angeles County Museum of Art owns, I simply used paint rollers. Then, when I was making 5 x 9 (1966), a set of adjustable, modular sculptures I showed at Rolf Nelson in 1966, I started looking for craftsmen to make it. So within a year I moved from doing everything myself to beginning to employ other people to make the things I wanted to make.
GP Was that about getting the level of finish you wanted?
LH When I was in school, we were looking for signature and authenticity—the artist’s hand, and that sort of thing. Then the whole paradigm shifted from expressionism and individuality to the artist removing himself or herself from the work by degrees.
GP Were you watching what was happening with Minimalism and with developments on the East Coast?
LH Kind of. We were all reading Artforum at the time. Bob Morris was beginning to pound away at his philosophy. But then also around that time there were other things going on that had to do with participation. So I had an impulse to make these discrete forms, and I had this other impulse to go out and do stuff that disappeared. That’s how we got into those dry ice environments in 1967. Before that, we did a feather environment at Rolf’s gallery.
GP Where did you get the feathers?
LH From a chicken plucker! There was a place down in South Central. A guy used to pluck chickens for the bedding and pillow industry.
GP And the gallery walls were covered in plastic.
LH It was inflated. They were bags that we blew up, so they became pillows. We had a drop plastic ceiling, convex pillow walls, and the floor was covered in feathers.
GP The reviews from the time say that it was this incredible, ethereal kind of environment—but then the smell—
LH It was a killer. You couldn’t stay in there for very long. It was just the aroma of hundreds of pounds of chicken feathers and talcum powder. The smell factor. It was dynamic in there. [Laughs.]
Excerpt from interview by Rochelle LeGrandsawyer, May 22, 2010
Rochelle LeGrandsawyer In the fall of 1969, you worked with Hal Glicksman to install a disc in the Pomona College Museum of Art, which was up for the 1969–70 school year. When you started making the discs, did you have a particular effect in mind?
Robert Irwin Well, yes, I had very specific things in mind when I made the discs. It was a very simple set of questions, really, because I’m a very simple person. The question was, if something is in the painting that doesn’t actually contribute to the painting in a way that merits it being there, then is it actually a distraction? I started taking out those things that were not really contributing, and in that process things kept becoming more and more sparse. My first breakthrough was realizing that when it’s working, two and two don’t make four. They never make less than five. All the actions and interactions may not actually be there in the concrete sense, but they’re there in the perceptual sense. For me, that was a big deal. I wondered, “Could I paint a painting without a mark, without a line?” Because I realized that in some way or another all marks are part of a sign system. So I made these stretcher bars. They were six-by-six feet and very slightly curved in all directions. It took me a year just to build these stretcher bars. And they worked, in a way. They had a kind of energy to them. But being a painter, I couldn’t just leave it at that. I still had to do something. I made a series of dots on them, bright red dots, very carefully put on, not too ordered, not too disordered. And they went out all the way to the edge and slowly became less and less. Then I put a bright green dot in between every red one, and they canceled each other. What you had was like a field of energy, but slightly circular. In that interval, while they were manifesting themselves for the first time, I saw the frame. And then I looked around at the world and said, “There are no frames in the world, in that sense.” That’s not how we see at all. How can we carry on the entire dialogue about art within something that is, in fact, arbitrary? We see the world with all of our senses; we’re wrapped in an envelope of it, which is a continuum. Well, that blew my mind. How do you deal with that? How do I paint a painting that doesn’t begin and end at the edge? Now the square, of course, is rather demanding, because of the corners. So I took off the corners, which made it round and more neutral, and I stood it off from the wall slightly. The key was for the edge to become lost in its own shadows. The painting didn’t begin and end at the edge. The discs were a beginning of one kind. They broke the magic of the frame. The idea that we can actually conduct everything within that frame is a highly stylized, learned logic. You realize that the frame is very limiting. Look around—that’s not how the world presents itself at all.
RLG You talked about taking the mark away, so that there wasn’t so much of a sign. Were you able to find any way to disengage people from “I see ‘x’ and it means ‘y’”?
RI You know, the thing about something like that is that you don’t do it for that reason. There are two big myths in the art world. One is the idea that the purpose of art is to communicate. And the other is the idea of expression, that I’m expressing myself in some way. In terms of expression, there’s nothing that I can think of that is not an expression. If that’s true, then obviously that can’t be a real reason for the whole enterprise of art. The other is communication, and my questions are: What? How? And to whom? It’s not about me telling them “how,” or “what.” I’ll assume I’ve got something of value to contribute, and the best I can do is put it in the world.
Excerpt from Hal Glicksman Interviewed by Rebecca McGrew, Hal Glicksman's home, Santa Monica, California, December 4, 2008
REBECCA MCGREW: Let’s start by talking about how you got the museum director’s job at Pomona College. Did Mowry Baden contact you?
HAL GLICKSMAN: Yes, he did. Mowry came to me and he basically offered me the job. I told him that I wasn’t a museum director; I was a preparator. I said, “I hang the shows,” and he said, “Well, the artists don’t seem to think so. You’re always the one that gets everything done.” So he just offered it to me.
RM: Where were you working at that time?
HG: I was the preparator at the Pasadena Art Museum from 1963–69. And my wife Gretchen Taylor [died 2009] was the registrar. Walter Hopps was the director at Pasadena and he had six people doing all the work. It was unbelievable; Walter would pick up the phone and say, “We’re going to do a show and…” So in the end I did a lot more than hang pictures. I built a room for Bob Irwin, and solved a lot of problems. We did the first [James] Turrell show. John Coplans was the curator, but he didn’t know anything about how it came into existence physically. I remember Jim Turrell asking, “Do you have a soldering iron? Do you have a VTVM [vacuum tube volt meter]?” That was a little meter for electricity. And every time I said, “Yes,” I got really proud because I’d accumulated all of these tools that people needed. Then he says, “Do you have an oscilloscope?” And I had to say “No,” I didn’t have an oscilloscope. To which he says, “When you’re in this long enough, you’ll have one of those, too.” [Laughs.] Anyway, Mowry had heard stories like this because he asked the artists and they said, “Hal Glicksman knows how to do this and that.”
RM: Then you started at Pomona in September of 1969. Did you initiate the artist’s gallery immediately when you started?
HG: I was director for only one academic year. The summer before coming to Pomona I visited Lloyd Hamrol. He had this beautiful artwork installed in his studio. It was a cube made of red vinyl thread, kind of like a Fred Sandback piece. It was a drawing in space made out of red tubing, and the corners of it were held by almost invisible, clear monofilament from the ceiling, walls, and floor. All you saw was a red cube about the size of a room, floating in a much bigger space. I said, “Oh, you should show that.” And he said, “Well, you never have any time with these shows, there’s two days to install, and they don’t have anybody to help, and you know, it’s just impossible. And besides, I like to do things for the space.
”So he gave me the idea for the artist’s gallery, and I gave him the first show. I said, “Well, why don’t we have a gallery that functions like an artist’s residency? And you could come and take all the time you need to do the piece. So, out of the six weeks he did four or five things that he took down the next day.
RM: When you conceived of the artist’s gallery, you scheduled the installations for about six weeks per artist?
HG: I think it was six weeks, but it might have been a little more. You know, it was always dependent on the school’s breaks and things. And some artists had projects that they wanted to do that took many weeks just to construct, like Tom Eatherton’s piece and Michael Asher’s. So it depended.
RM: How did you select the artists?
HG: There was no formal selection process. Artists knew me as someone who was interested in the processes and technology of creating art and showing it properly. I was able to see the correlation of the materials and the aesthetic goals of the work. The artists that I showed were friends, and there did not seem to be any conflict of interest because there was no special prestige or advantage to showing at Pomona College at the time. The artists expected that only other artists and art students would make the trek to Claremont to see their work. They wanted to show because otherwise the work would not be created, or even conceived.
RM: Did you let the public observe what the artists were doing?
HG: No, only the students. You see, there were three galleries. So I could always have something up while the artists were working on their projects in a separate gallery. People couldn’t go into the artist’s gallery space, but there would be another exhibition that they could see.
RM: So Lloyd’s was the first artist gallery installation, and at the same time you invited Robert Irwin to exhibit one of his disks?
HG: Yes, Irwin came for a half a day. He didn’t need to experiment, because we knew exactly what we wanted, and I had already installed a disc at the Pasadena Art Museum. I knew what Bob wanted, and he knew I knew, so he trusted me.