Billy Al Bengston: Paintings & Watercolors
This is the first monograph on the Californian pop artist in more than thirty years, with a representative selection of works from 1957 to 2014. Billy Al Bengston is the very personification of the cheerful, carefree attitude towards life in California—in both his work and his personal life. After studying at the California College of Arts and Crafts and the Otis Art Institute, he exhibited at the legendary Ferus Gallery in 1957 and was the central figure among a group of artists that included Frank Gehry, Edward Kienholz, Ed Ruscha, and Ken Price. BAB, as he apostrophizes himself, inserts car and motorcycle parts as motifs into his otherwise abstract paintings. He uses lacquer and spray paint instead of oil and aluminum panels with dented surfaces instead of the traditional canvas. Art and lifestyle combine to create the individual “Bengston iconography” of California Cool.