L.A. Louver gallery in Venice will present Kienholz Before LACMA, an exhibition of rarely seen works by Edward Kienholz, which he created in the decade prior to his controversial 1966 exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

The exhibit will take place Tuesday, Jan. 24 through March 3 at L.A. Louver, 45 N. Venice Blvd., Venice. An opening reception is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. Jan. 24.

“In these works from 1957-64, we can see how Ed evolves from making work in two dimensions, to three; from abstraction to figuration; from the use of language stanzas as in poetry, to narrative storytelling as in journalistic prose,” said Peter Goulds, founding director of L.A. Louver.

“This exhibition sets out to explore the formal development of Ed Kienholz’s work in the studio through this carefully selected group of paintings, constructions and sculpture.”

The 1966 Kienholz exhibition at LACMA was the first show devoted to a Los Angeles artist since the museum had opened the previous year. It was seized upon by the county Board of Supervisors for its supposed pornographic and indecent content, and was utilized as a vehicle for political gain, an L.A. Louver spokesperson said. Amid threats to close the museum, a public and media outcry ensued that both kept the exhibition intact and led to record-breaking crowds.

Over 45 years later, Kienholz Before LACMA provides the opportunity to see the awakening of a major artist and view his work unfettered by the furor of his time, the gallery spokesperson said. Of the 21 works that will be on view in L.A. Louver’s exhibition, eight were included in Kienholz’s 1966 retrospective.

Kienholz Before LACMA is part of L.A. Louver’s programming in conjunction with the Getty Foundation’s citywide Los Angeles art initiative Pacific Standard Time.

Concurrently on view in L.A. Louver’s second floor gallery isTom Wudl: Works from 1971-1979, an exhibition of mixed media abstractions from the Los Angeles artist’s career.

Information, (310) 822-4955, or www.lalouver.com.

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