A social and cultural history of Los Angeles and its emerging art scene in the 1950s, 60s, and 70s
The history of modern art typically begins in Paris and ends in New York. Los Angeles was out of sight and out of mind, viewed as the apotheosis of popular culture, not a center for serious art.
Out of Sight chronicles the rapid-fire rise, fall, and rebirth of L.A.’s art scene, from the emergence of a small bohemian community in the 1950s to the founding of the Museum of Contemporary Art in 1980. Included are some of the most influential artists of our time: painters Edward Ruscha and Vija Celmins, sculptors Ed Kienholz and Ken Price, and many others.
A book about the city as much as it is about the art, Out of Sight is a social and cultural history that illuminates the ways mid-century Los Angeles shaped its emerging art scene—and how that art scene helped remake the city.
William Hackman is a former managing editor at the J. Paul Getty Trust and a longtime arts journalist who has written extensively about art, music, and theater for general audiences. His essays, articles, and reviews have appeared in major American newspapers and magazines, including the Chicago Tribune, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Los Angeles Times. The author of two previous books—The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, for the Art Spaces series (Scala: 2008); and Inside the Getty (J. Paul Getty Trust: 2008)—Hackman lives in Los Angeles.