The Ferus Gallery The Beginnings
Ferus Gallery in late 1950's
The Ferus Gallery spanned the time from 1947-1966 with the generation of California artists laying the foundations in that period of time art in California. Becoming truly modern illuminating the pioneering of the avante-garde and what was to come later from artists from San Francisco to Los Angeles. There were art schools like Otis Art Institute, Chouinard Art Institute, and Art Center were most these guys in Ferus went and also some were teachers. They all would make a name for themselves.
Walter Hopps at Ferus
Most of the artists lived in a culture of surfing, jazz & poetry, motorcycles and a few of them lived in Venice or Santa Monica near the beach.
Wallace Berman was one of the first artists and was a hipster who had made hand press original art and poetry called 'Semina' by a cadre of Beat era Artists. He didn't sell them rather the copies were handed out to friends and artist/poets he knew. His original show at the Ferus Gallery had been raided and closed by the L.A. Vice Squad in 1957 for lewd and obscene art. The art that he had been arrested for was actually done by Cameron and was placed into one of Wallaces shrines at the exhibit.
The original gallery had been run by curator Wally Hopps and artist Ed Kienholz. Later Hopps gave it over to Irving Blum who put the Ferus Gallery in the running. Irving got east coast artists Roy Lichtenstein, Frank Stella and Andy Warhol. The west coast artists felt that these guys were taking a piece of their pie. It wasn't gonna be long before there names would all mean something in the art world.