From 1957 to 1966, the Ferus Gallery was the catalyst of modern art in Los Angeles. Launching the careers of luminaries like Warhol, Ruscha and Lichtenstein, Ferus built an art scene from scratch and transformed the cultural climate of the West Coast.
The Cool School is an object lesson in how to build an art scene from scratch and what to avoid in the process. Narrated by actor Jeff Bridges, the film focuses on the seminal Ferus Gallery, which groomed the LA art scene from a loose band of idealistic beatniks into a coterie of competitive, often brilliant artists, including Ed Kienholz, Ed Ruscha, Craig Kauffman, Wallace Berman, Ed Moses and Robert Irwin. The Ferus also served as launching point for New York imports, Andy Warhol (hosting his first Soup Can show), Jasper Johns and Roy Lichtenstein as well as leading to the first Pop Art show and Marcel Duchamp’s first retrospective. What was lost and gained is tied up in a complex web of egos, passions, money, and art. This is how L.A. came of age.
Co-produced and edited at Tremolo Productions for PBS.
Los Angeles, Contemporary Art, Pop Art, Ferus Gallery, Ed Ruscha, Andy Warhol, Watts Towers, Ed Kienholz, Marcel Duchamp, Tremolo Productions.