The Cool School: Story of the Ferus Art Gallery

The Cool School: Story of the Ferus Art Gallery

The Cool School: Story of the Ferus Art Gallery

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  1. Doug Anderson says:
    10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    Beat, Jazz, Macho, Irreverent …Art, January 13, 2011
    By 
    Doug Anderson (Miami Beach, Florida United States) –
    (VINE VOICE)
      

    This review is from: The Cool School (DVD)

    I found this documentary by chance. I’m thrilled that it exists. But it is kind of a disappointment. For a documentary about visual art, it’s not particularly easy on the eye. And for a documentary about visual art, it doesn’t include much discussion of art or even much art. The cover seems to promise an affectionate look at a handful of “cool” California artists (John Altoon, Craig Kauffman, Allen Lynch, Ed Kienholz, Ed Moses, Robert Irwin & Billy Al Bengston are the ones that appear on the cover photo, but the group also included Larry Bell & Ed Ruscha) that gathered together in the late fifties in Southern California and began creating art before Southern California had an art scene. But instead of foregrounding the half dozen or so “cool” California artists living in a boheme paradise & creating a new kind of art (which explored/incorporated/appropriated car culture & other industrial/commercial forms & contents, exhibited a frank anti-romantic attitude toward sexuality, and displayed an irreverence toward previous art history and toward NY art scene seriousness) the filmmakers foreground Ferus Gallery co-founders Walter Hopps & Irving Blum. These two may have provided the gallery space, but poverty and lack of attention from the outside world is what kept the group together; and the lure of fame & fortune is what tore it apart. That’s the real story here, and the essence of their brand of California cool & detachment. If only the documentary had focused less on Hopps & Blum & the Ferus Gallery & more on the actual artists & art work & what relation the work had to Southern California culture/independence/attitude/cool this could have been a real masterpiece. There’s a little of that, but not nearly enough.

    The doc will be most interesting to those with an interest in the sociology of artistic collectives/movements.

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  2. Sadie L. Shaw "sadielola" says:
    8 of 12 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    The roots of the Contemporary Art movement in Los Angeles, July 14, 2008
    By 
    Sadie L. Shaw “sadielola” (San Francisco, CA) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: The Cool School (WS) (DVD)

    Customer Video Review Length:: 1:30 Mins

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  3. Charles R. Williams "Chazzo books and bikes" says:
    4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Excellent Documentary., February 15, 2009
    This review is from: The Cool School (WS) (DVD)

    I was familiar with the artists and some of the work. I didn’t know the bigger picture, however. This doc is informative, inspiring, and entertaining.

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