The Early Years
June 8–August 3, 2019
Opening reception: Saturday, June 8, 4–6pm
Gallery talk: 6:30pm
Brian Gross Fine Art is pleased to announce the opening of Dilexi Gallery: The Early Years, an exhibition celebrating the beginning years of this historic San Francisco gallery, on Saturday, June 8, from 6–8pm, with a gallery talk by Dilexi co-founder Jim Newman at 6:30pm. On view will be paintings, sculptures, and constructions by important Bay Area and Southern California artists, including John Altoon, Wallace Berman, Joan Brown, Jay DeFeo, Roy De Forest, Sonia Gechtoff, Wally Hedrick, Craig Kauffman, James Kelly, Robert Morris, Ed Moses, Manuel Neri, and Leo Valledor, that highlight the groundbreaking exhibitions held at the gallery during its 12-year run from 1958–1969. The exhibition will be on view through July 27, 2019.
Founded in 1958 by Jim Newman and Bob Alexander (who left after the first year) in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood, Dilexi Gallery played a critical role in the development of San Francisco’s, emerging post-war art scene. By creating a venue with a more professional look than the earlier artist-run cooperative galleries that came before it, Dilexi was able to exhibit the best of both established and underground local talent, as well as artists like Ed Moses and John Altoon from Southern California. Within a few months of opening, Dilexi shows were regularly reviewed in the San Francisco newspapers, and soon grew to a national reputation through regular coverage by then San Francisco-based Artforum. The impact on the careers of many of the artists who showed at Dilexi was immediate and lasting, elevating many of them to the national reputations that they enjoy today.
The works presented in Dilexi Gallery: The Early Years will focus on artists and significant works that were exhibited at the gallery in the early years of 1958-1963. Included will be rare 1950s paintings by Ed Moses, Wally Hedrick, and Manuel Neri. Other significant works in the exhibition include an early plaster sculpture by Neri, constructions by Roy De Forest, a Verifax collage by Wallace Berman, drawings by Sonia Gechtoff and Craig Kauffman, and paintings by Joan Brown, John Altoon, James Kelly, and Leo Valledor. Of special note are an early, large-scale abstract expressionist painting by renowned minimal and conceptual artist Robert Morris, who showed at Dilexi in 1958 and 1959, and Landscape with Figure, an important 1955 painting by Jay DeFeo that was exhibited at Dilexi.
Dilexi Gallery: The Early Years has been organized in collaboration with Laura Whitcomb and Label Curatorial, Los Angeles. It is the inaugural exhibition of The Dilexi Multi-Venue Retrospective, an exhibition series taking place this summer in San Francisco and Los Angeles focused on the artists and exhibitions of Dilexi Gallery. Other exhibition venues include Crown Point Press, San Francisco, and Parker Gallery, Parrasch Heijnen Gallery, The Landing, and Marc Selwyn Fine Art in Los Angeles.