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Dennis Hopper
MOCA, Geffen Contemporary, Los Angeles, California
Recommendation by Jody Zellen


Dennis Hopper, 'Double Standard,' 1961, gelatin silver print

Continuing through September 26, 2010

Dennis Hopper was an amazing actor; his presence penetrated the screen. He was an outsized personality who moved in and out of various creative disciplines beyond his central skill. He was accepted as an artist in art circles, having had numerous gallery exhibitions over a period of half a century. His presence here, however, is somewhat of a surprise. Although the exhibition was organized before his death, it functions more as a personal tribute than as a celebration of his oeuvre.

The black and white photographs are the pinnacle of the exhibition. He focused his camera on artists and celebrities, catching them unaware rather than posed, allowing the intimacy of the moment or situation to reign. Many of these modest photographs have been enlarged to billboard scale, thus serving as a reminder that bigger is not always better. This uneven exhibition nonetheless allows access to Hopper as a complete artist. It was curated by Juilan Schnabel; another artist well known for his booming presence and large scale works. Featured in addition to the photographs are numerous sculptures, paintings, assemblages and an excerpt that juxtaposes scenes from many of his films. While "Double Standard" takes advantage of all senses of those words, its still an exhibition worth viewing.
 

MOCA Grand Avenue

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