WATER TOWN, Mass. – The Armenian Museum of America is pleased to present its largest contemporary exhibition On the Edge: Los Angeles Art 1970s-1990s from the Joan and Jack Quinn Family Collection. This selection of works explores a period crucial to understanding current West Coast practices and mentality. Featuring Lita Albuquerque, John Altoon, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Lynda Benglis, Vija Celmins, Gregory Wiley Edwards, Claire Falkenstein, Frank Gehry, David Hockney, John M. Miller, Helmut Newton, Ed Ruscha, Andy Warhol and more.
on the edge premiered at the Bakersfield Museum of Art in 2021 and is curated by Rachel McCullah Wainwright. “The works and artists on display represent a historical era that transformed art-making,” said Wainwright. “Art made in Los Angeles in the late 1960s and 1970s is defined by a unique spirit of anti-conformity, a play with new materials, a celebration of light and the California cool ethos.”
Part of what makes the collection so unique is its foundation in the friendship between artist and collector. “Few people have had such a lasting impact on the artistic landscape of Southern California as the Quinns,” says Wainwright.
Newly married in the 1960s, Joan and Jack started collecting at an early age. “We reveled in our friendship with the artists as we brought our communities together,” notes Quinn. Jack used his skills as a prominent and influential lawyer to help a range of emerging artists and their distributors navigate the world of law and business, while Joan found herself both muse and promoter.
The accompanying exhibition Discovering Takouhi: Portraits by Joan Agajanian Quinn is curated by Natalie Varbedian and Gina Grigorian and includes Armenian artists such as Dahlia Elsayed, Jean Kazanjian, Silvina Der Meguerditchian, Ara Oshagan, Zaven Sarkissian and Aram Saroyan. The distinctive works are a selection from Quinn’s unparalleled portrait collection, which consists of over 300 gifts from friends who painted, sculpted and photographed their likeness in their style.
“We are incredibly pleased to exhibit these outstanding works by American-Armenian collector Joan Agajanian Quinn,” said AMA Executive Director Jason Sohigian. “We are a living museum that preserves and shares ancient and medieval artefacts and has a long tradition of also highlighting modern art in our galleries. These are definitely exhibits that you should not miss.”
Joan is the co-host of View of Beverly Hills and was the producer and host of the Joan Quinn profiles for over 35 years. A native of Los Angeles, he was the west coast editor of Andy Warhol’s interviewHearst’s Society Editor Los Angeles Herald Examiner and the founding editor of the West Coast Conde Nast Traveler. She has served on a number of city and state commissions; In 2017 she received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.
The exhibition opens on Thursday 16 June with a reception for museum members at 5pm and a preview for non-members at 7pm. It runs from June 16th to November 30th and is generously sponsored by the JHM Charitable Foundation.
The galleries of the Armenian Museum of America are open Thursday through Sunday from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. and are located at 65 Main Street, Watertown, MA.