Newsletter on the Arts February 1972

As time goes on, the work of GEORGE HERMS becomes more refined, minimal, sophisticated and clean…

–Diana Zlotnick, Newsletter on the Arts May/June 1977

All is Love

George Herms's LOVE Press

A prolific alchemist of salvaged materials, George Herms was never one to confine himself to a specific material or discipline. At the same time that he was receiving widespread recognition for his inventive sculpture made from "dross," Herms began publishing artists' books and works on paper through his own LOVE Press in his home of Topanga Canyon. In 1964, poet Diane di Prima shared a series of her own haiku works with Herms, who became inspired to illustrate the series with woodcuts. Three years later,  in 1967, LOVE Press published the collaborative artist book Haiku. Herms would also collaborate with poets Michael McClure and Jack Hirschman. 

"Besides the rusty-dusty stuff," Herms has said, "I have an interest in color, which comes from working with bright and vibrant printer’s inks via my independent LOVE Press." Works and materials from the press made up a large portion of Annex to the Secret Archives, a companion exhibition to the 1992 show George Herms: The Secret Archives at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery at Barnsdall Park.

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