Bringing It Together

Lloyd Hamrol's Communal 'Woven Cone'

Lloyd Hamrol with Woven Cone (1973) at California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, California on May 22, 2007, photo by Audrey Chan

Lloyd Hamrol made this maquette for the Woven Cone sculpture that he and his students constructed on the CalArts campus in 1973. "My idea [as a professor]," Hamrol explained for Afterall Online, "was to expose the students to as many off-the-path, off-the-track alternatives to the canon that I could possibly find." To construct Woven Cone, Hamrol enlisted the help of three students, who trekked with him to a redwood forest in Mendocino County to fell the saplings for the structure. "It was like a CalArts woodland camping trip," he remembered. 

"Woven Cone resolved certain issues I was involved with as an artist," Hamrol said, "particularly working contrary to canons of history that glorify a fixed monument in the landscape without taking into account the environmental context." Hamrol specifically cites the energy and influence of CalArts' newly founded Feminist Art Program, which opened up space for criticizing and questioning male-dominated hierarchies in art and more broadly. "It was really a great time," Hamrol reflected, "so, for me, the sculpture was a kind of androgynous form that was both masculine and feminine, reflecting the zeitgeist of the moment. On the one hand, it was an upright, priapic, thrusting form in the landscape. But it also had a soft, penetrable surface, and internal space. Little glints of light would come through the weaving’s interstices, giving it a nest-like quality."

Hungry Eyes

Diana Zlotnick and Post-War Art in Los Angeles

Diana Zlotnick arranging artworks at home, accompanied by her family Photo: Los Angeles Times Photographic Archive, Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA

A voracious collector, comm­­unity builder, and champion of emergent contemporary artists, Diana Zlotnick tapped into the Los Angeles art world at a particularly charged moment of post-war creative ferment. Today, the art milieu of the late 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s Los Angeles has taken on nearly mythic qualities, conjuring Bohemian fetes in canyons, the experimental openness of CalArts, Venice Beach warehouse studios, and, broadly, an explosion of material and conceptual inquiry through performance, sculpture, video, painting, publication, and more. Zlotnick immersed herself wholeheartedly in this atmosphere, led by fearless curiosity, dedication, and deeply felt connections to the works that she brought home.

Collect art that cancels out the rest of the world…—Diana Zlotnick, Newsletter on the Arts, 2013

Born in 1927 and raised in Los Angeles, Diana Zlotnick (née Shirley) attended Fairfax High School and would later support herself as a schoolteacher. She met Harry Zlotnick at a USO dance, and, after a whirlwind romance, the couple married on July 3, 1955. Being a schoolteacher was decidedly not Ms. Zlotnick’s calling, nor was being a dental hygienist (she flunked the program). Encouraged by her husband, who was able to support the family as a veterinarian, Zlotnick stopped working—and started collecting. With determination, savvy, and a healthy dose of chutzpah, she went on to amass an extensive collection from major artists as their stars were rising – among those who most captivated her were Wallace Berman, Chris Burden, Llyn Foulkes, George Herms, Channa Horwitz, Gloria Kisch, Ed Ruscha, and Richard and Shirley Pettibone.

There aren't many collectors like Diana Zlotnick, though there ought to be...Not content to play the passive art consumer, she quickly began circumventing the gallery system, approaching artists directly — visiting studios, exploring work in depth and developing real relationships.

Doug Harvey, L.A. Weekly, October 27, 2005