Getting the Word Out: Artists' Magazines in Los Angeles
Last updated: February 15, 2021
Throughout the 20th Century artists across the globe staked out claims and arguments in small run publications, “little magazines” and manifestos. We can think of Duchamp’s The Blind-Man, or any number of Surrealist publications. Previewing their groundbreaking work of the 60s, Brazilian artists Lygia Clark and Helio Oiticica outlined their ideas in the Manifesto Neoconcreto. Later, Art&Language, 0 to 9, The Fox, generated a dialogue among hitherto unrelated disciplines, from philosophy to dance, laying out the parameters of new forms of hybrid, conceptually driven art. This same impulse allowed local art scenes to develop a sense of difference, and Los Angeles has proved a fertile ground for such publications intended, in one way or another, to foster a sense of interrelatedness, of community. Some, like the LAICA Journal, began as a supplement to an exhibition program, and grew into something separate, raising a critical voice against commercialism. Others, like The Dumb Ox, and Straight Turkey, aimed to give direct voice to artists who found it difficult to break through mainstream gatekeeping. A significant number of artists from Los Angeles are now firmly in that mainstream, yet dissent still seeks a voice and small, often short-lived publications continue to enliven local discourse.
Hand in Glove: Reflections on LAICA Journal and Culture Endowed
by Lane Relyea
DIY culture, artist-run initiatives, pop-up galleries, and ‘zines have long been essential but often unhistoricized aspects of the art world. What happens when that independent fringe drifts steadily into the mainstream and informal networked culture influences the establishment?
Experiments in Print: A Survey of Los Angeles Artists’ Magazines from 1955 to 1986
by Gwen L. Allen
The emergence of Los Angeles as the “second city” of American art, as art historian Barbara Rose once called it, was witnessed by Artforum’s tenure here. Founded in San Francisco in 1962, the magazine focused almost exclusively on West Coast art during its first few years and sought to be an alternative to the mainstream New York–based art press. Yet Artforum’s short stint in Los Angeles, from 1965 to 1967, proved merely a stepping-stone on the way to New York, where it was soon lured by East Coast prestige and advertising revenue.
Getting the Word Out: Artists' Magazines in Los Angeles Archive