Virginia Dwan opened her first art gallery in Los Angeles in 1959 and went on to organize groundbreaking exhibitions of movements as diverse as abstract expressionism, pop art, minimalism, conceptualism, and land art. She brought New York art and artists—Larry Rivers, Franz Kline, Robert Rauschenberg, Claes Oldenburg, among others—to a West Coast audience and supported young French artists, including Yves Klein and Niki de Saint Phalle.
The opening of a New York location in 1965 made Dwan Gallery the country’s first bicoastal gallery. There Dwan’s aesthetic shifted toward the spare, restrained look of minimalism. In 1971 she closed her gallery and continued her work as a patron of ambitious earthworks in the American West. The film includes a new interview with Virginia Dwan, comments from artists Claes Oldenburg and Charles Ross, and archival footage of the exhibitions and happenings she sponsored in the 1960s.
23 minutes (closed captioned)