The Art Prophets

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2011-10-25
  • Publisher: Other Press
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In The Art Prophets, Richard Polsky introduces us to influential late twentieth-century dealers and tastemakers in the art world. These risk takers opened doors for artists, identified new movements, and resurrected art forms that had fallen into obscurity. In this distinctive tour, Polsky offers an insightful and engaging dialog between artists and the visionaries who paved their way. Table of contents Ivan Karp and Pop Art Stan Lee and Comic Book Art Chet Helms, Bill Graham, and the Art of the Poster John Ollman and Outsider Art Joshua Baer and Native American Art Virginia Dwan and Earthworks Tod Volpe and Ceramics Jeffrey Fraenkel and Photography Louis Meisel and Photorealism Tony Shafrazi and Street Art


The evening was billed as “Ivan Karp Live in Los Angeles.” Not since Irving Blum’s Ferus Gallery first exhibited Andy Warhol’s original Soup Can paintings in 1962 had the spirit of Warhol returned to L.A. Twenty-five years later, here was the man who discovered Warhol—a dealer who rarely traveled above Fourteenth Street in Manhattan, let alone cross-country — about to descend on the art scene New York viewed with contempt as its lightweight counterpart. Great things were expected: revelations about the art world, never heard before anecdotes about Pop Art, secret histories of the period’s key figures.
   Jack Glenn had labored overtime to promote Karp’s visit, taking out ads in art magazines and working the phones to drum up a crowd. Now Glenn stood there, beaming at a space packed with artists, dealers, and collectors hoping to see the celebrated figure who had literally altered the course of art history by spotting the Pop Art zeitgeist. Though Karp was only in his late fifties at the time, he had already been credited with identifying a second important art movement—Photorealism. Would tonight be the night that he revealed a third?

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