A tribute to the remarkable life and career of Walter Hopps will take place at the Getty Center on Tuesday, November 1, at 7:30 p.m.
Scholars, artists, curators, conservators, and others will reminisce about the scholar and curator in “Modern Art in Los Angeles: A Tribute to Walter Hopps.”
Among those scheduled to participate are artists James Rosenquist, Ed Ruscha and Robert Williams, curators Hal Glicksman and Lynda Hartigan, and conservator Carol Mancusi-Ungaro.
Hopps’ death earlier this year ended an aesthetic adventure that spanned nearly 50 years. One of the most influential figures in postwar American art. Hopps was known as a groundbreaking curator, a champion of artists, and one of the most innovative thinkers in contemporary art.
Hopps looked like a banker, but had an unerring eye and the heart and mind of a revolutionary.
One of his first acts was to bring Dadaist master Marcel Duchamp to the Pasadena Museum of Art.
In 1954, he organized the first exhibition of West Coast abstract expressionist art, “Action I,” and set it in the merry-go-round in the Carousel on Santa Monica Pier, wrapping canvas around the merry-go-round and hanging paintings on it.
In 1957, he co-founded the legendary Ferus Gallery with artist Ed Keinholz. Its first exhibitions focused on assemblage and pop art.
As a curator, he was peerless, mounting ground-breaking exhibits in museums on both coasts, and, for a time, was director of the Corcoran Gallery in Washington D.C. The exhibits were almost always brilliant, drawing crowds, and artists loved him, but museum administrators sometimes deplored his eccentric way of working.
He was founding director of the Menil Collection in Houston and, for a number of years before his death, devoted much of his time to it. At the time of his death, he was at work on his memoirs, Dream Colony.
In fact, Hopps was an artist whose medium was other people’s works of art.
The tribute is free with reservations. Reservations will be available, beginning Thursday, October 27, at 9 a.m. For reservations call (310) 440-7300 or visit www.getty.edu.The Getty Center is located at1200 Getty Center Drive, off the 405, and Sepulveda, just north of Sunset in Brentwood.