D.J. Waldie on L.A.’s postwar art scene

“In New York in the mid-1950s, you looked to history and theory to explain how the fears and longings of the age were expressed in its art. In Los Angeles, you only had to look to desire. Los Angeles—a bipolar city of bright surfaces sharply bounded by shadows—tended to eroticize everything, to give even the banal a Dionysian spin into play, physical perfection, violence, altered states of consciousness and a thirst for the infinite.”

From DJ Waldie, “L.A.’s postwar art scene: Hot rods and hedonism,” Los Angeles Times (September 18, 2011).