Joan Quinn: Captured

'Joan Agajanian Quinn Portrait' by Lucie Abdalian


GLENDALE—“Joan Quinn: Captured” curated by Laura Whitcomb in collaboration with curators Amanda Quinn Olivar, and J. Cheryl Bookout takes place at the beautiful Brand Library and Art Center, a long-time cultural haven for the Armenian community. The exhibition opens Saturday, June 28th and runs through August 1st. This unique event celebrates the Brand Library and Art Center’s re-opening and grand renovation in conjunction with an exhibit highlighting one of Armenia’s esteemed daughters, Joan Agajanian Quinn. The art being shown celebrates Joan’s life and contributions to art and culture by presenting approximately 50 portraits of her image in a varied array of media. The portraits on display were selected from a collection of over 300 and are being shown for the first time alongside artwork from Joan and Jack Quinn’s legendary artist friends such as: Zandra Rhodes, Frank Gehry, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Billy Al Bengston, Ed Moses and Ed Ruscha to name but a few. The work of renowned Armenian artists such as Lucie Abdalian, Zareh Meguerditchian and Silvina Der-Merguerdichian are included in the exhibition.

Joan Agajanian Quinn has been referred to as the “Culture Queen” and the “Gertrude Stein of her day” amongst the artist satellites of Los Angeles, New York and London. Through the 1970s to the 1990s, Quinn’s Los Angeles home base became the nucleus of a pivotal artist interchange. Amongst this milieu, artists were drawn to capture the enigmatic and mysterious Joan Quinn; showcasing their singular style in portraiture while embellishing the mythology she had built in the contemporary art world. It is quite possible this unique portrait collection of nearly 300 pieces of art by renowned artists is the largest of a singular portrait subject in the contemporary art world: Joan Quinn Captured.

Joan Agajanian Quinn’s, cultural dedication is never ending and has taken many paths. Since 1997 she has served as an NGO representative to the United Nations, board member of the Armenian Rug Society (1997-present)/ The Armenian International Women’s Association International & Los Angeles Board and representative of the Armenian Pavilion, International Art Biennale of Venice and acting chairman of the ‘Friends of the Armenian Pavilion (1997- 2003), a member of the International Press Academy (1997-present) and the Armenian Professional Society 2002-present. As West Coast editor of Andy Warhol’s Interview Magazine, Joan’s constant snapshot taking for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner of emerging and established artists and her current ‘Joan Quinn Profiles’ cable television show has created an ongoing archive of the creatives making waves in the art world. Since 1997 she has served as an NGO representative to the United Nations and held membership in the International Press Academy. As West Coast editor of Andy Warhol’s Interview Magazine, Joan’s constant snapshot taking for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner of emerging and established artists and her current “Joan Quinn Profiles” cable television show has created an ongoing archive of visionaries shifting paradigms in the art world.

Joan and her husband Jack Quinn have together created a legacy of one of the most important aspects of the world of art; the momentum of the alliances and influences made through friendships of which she still continues to this day. This critical aspect of friendship provided an interchange of ideas in a creative community. The influences made by these disparate visionaries changed the course of the artists’ lives as well as their theoretical seminal journeys at a time the Los Angeles sun was rising in a momentous dawn.

Although selections of the Joan Agajanian Quinn portrait collection have been previously shown in Southern California, the exhibition Joan Quinn Captured takes on a new approach, showcasing the works of her artist friends that are exemplary of their legacies to inform an engaging dialogue with their selected unique portraits of Joan,

The Gallery Presentation

The main gallery will include:
• The Ferus Gallery artists including Ed Moses, Ed Ruscha, Billy Al Bengston, and Larry Bell
• Pop Art artists Joe Goode, Rupert Smith from an Andy Warhol polaroid
• Conceptual artist Allen Ruppersberg
• Light and Space Movement artists Larry Bell, Peter Alexander and Laddie John Dill
• Neo Expressionism’s Jean Michel Basquait
• Minimalism/Maximalism artist Duggie Fields.
• Formal studies in abstraction by Charles Arnoldi.
• Frank Gehry portrait of Joan as a light sculpture along with the portrait maquette
• Cubes by Larry Bell will reflect and form a cohesive whole with the gallery’s multiplicity of colors textures and forms
• Wall spaces will provide a natural separation from the large windows of the gallery forming an altar-like appearance with a neon work by Laddie John Dill.

Work by David Hockney will be represented in Captured and may include a new portrait of Joan for his upcoming retrospective at a major museum. Street artists Shepard Fairey and Krebs will be given an alcove to present their portraits along with the ethnographic sculptures of Dora Delarios. The exhibition proposes to show new commissions by the works of the sculptor Woods Davy along with John Krawccyk in the sculpture garden. The Brand Library entrance courtyard may also be given an outdoor sculpture. A new generation of artists including the painter Eric Pederson who has been considered an adherent to the school of Francis Ba- con and Lucian Freud will also be included.

The Brand Art Center entrance will feature Robert Graham’s drawings and sculptures commemorating the human figure along with Claire Falkenstein and the Armenian artist Lucie Abdalian who will open the show. Just beyond the entrance the gallery guest will find a Neo Dada arena including assemblage works by George Herms and the deconstructions of Roberto Lizano, Mattia Biaggi and Susi Sielski. Beatrice Wood, the long- time partner of Marcel Duchamp and co-founder of the early Dada journal Blind Man will also be included. Figurative painting and drawing masters include Don Bachardy, Kevin Whitney, Mel Ramos, and Chaz Guest (Guest was recently commissioned by the White House) and the legendary creator of Interview’s 1980’s covers, Richard Bernstein.

The hallway leading into the library will feature Neo Surrealism artists Steven Arnold, who is recently having his renowned film Luminous Procuress re-mastered by the Walker Center in Minneapolis, together with the Armenian artist Zareh. This section portrays the worlds of fashion: portraits by Helmut Newton, Robert Mapplethorpe, June Newton, George Hurell Paul Jasmin and Matthew Rolston. The renowned illustrator Antonio Lopez will be presented with Luciana Martinez de la Rosa, whose portraits of women have undergone a recent revival of interest perpetuating a cult following amongst the recent revision of London’s underground club culture from the 1970’s through the 1980’s. Also present in this area of the art center a few of the photographers’ well-known still life works will be displayed. Portraits of Joan in the costumes of the legendary designers Issey Miyake and Zandra Rhodes take on a sculptural quality.

Captured provides a narrative of Los Angeles’ emerging art world and some of the most critical influences which arrived from New York and Europe. Through the interplay captured by the artists in portraits and Joan Quinn herself in the documentation of these artists, the exhibition showcases a collision through the networking of one woman and her family that altered the secular journey of Los Angeles on a new course that now resides as the grand horizon it has achieved today.

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