Boxes

1 February 1964 to 29 February 1964
Dwan Gallery Los Angeles , CA
United States
California US

Artists: Peter Agostini, Arman, Anthony Berlant, Joseph Cornell, Jim Dine, Marcel Duchamp, Letty Eisenhauer, Boris Lurie, Marisol, Louise Nevelson, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, Marital Raysse, James Rosenquist, Kurt Schwitters, Andy Warhol, Robert Watts, Tom Wesselmann, H.C. Westermann

In February 1964 Dwan Gallery director John Weber organized the group show Boxes, which explored the format and prevalence of the box in twentieth-century art and was accompanied by a catalogue written by curator and Pasadena Art Museum director Walter Hopps. The works in the exhibition ranged in style and content: from a sculpture made of photographs, pins, and yarn by Lucas Samaras to Marcel Duchamp's modernist Boite-en-valise (The Box in a Valise), which had appeared in Hopps's 1963 Duchamp retrospective. Daniel LaRue Johnson's The Big N, a glossy box containing a black doll's hand tangled in a mousetrap and a chain-link fence, conveyed the violence and tensions of the contemporaneous civil rights movement. Andy Warhol's three Brillo Box sculptures, exhibited for the first time at Dwan Gallery, were among the most celebrated works in the show. Closely resembling actual shipping boxes for the soap pads and produced in an assembly-line manner by Warhol and his collaborators at the Factory, the artist's New York studio space, the Brillo boxes raised the mundane household product to a subject worthy of art. Philosopher Arthur Danto expressed the impact of these works: "Never mind that the Brillo box may not be good, much less great art," he wrote. "The impressive thing is that it is art at all."