Joan Agajanian Quinn on the On the Edge Panel at the Laguna Art Museum (photo by Reza Allahbakhshi )

Laguna Art Museum Unveils ‘On the Edge: Los Angeles Art from the Joan and Jack Quinn Family Collection’

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LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. — Laguna Art Museum has announced the opening of the highly anticipated exhibition, “On the Edge: Los Angeles Art from the Joan and Jack Quinn Family Collection,” which will run through September 2, 2024.

This exhibition, previously showcased at the Bakersfield Museum of Art in 2021, now takes center stage at Laguna Art Museum, offering a unique and enhanced experience.

The Laguna Art Museum exhibition will present earlier works from the 1960s, bringing a historical perspective to the evolution of Los Angeles art, including works from artists Daniel LaRue Johnson, Dora De Larios, Charles Garabedian, Vija Celmins, Tony Berlant and others.

The exhibition introduces additional artists, including John McCracken and Bruce Conner, enriching the narrative of this pivotal period in art history. Distinctive pieces from Billy Al Bengston and James Hayward were also added to the exhibition to contribute to a comprehensive understanding of Los Angeles’ artistic evolution.

Notably, “On the Edge” at Laguna Art Museum unveils never-before-exhibited works from Lita Albuquerque, Ken Price, Lynda Benglis and Ed Ruscha, providing visitors with an exclusive glimpse into the artistic journey of these influential figures.

Back row, Artists: Bradford Salamon, Laddie John Dill, Julie Perlin Lee, Astrid Preston, Prime, Yolanda Gonzalez, Joe Fay, Lita Albuquerque, Amanda Quinn Olivar, Andy Moses, Joey Terrill, Jim McHugh ( Front row) Moderator Sonja Moro, Joan Agajanian Quinn, James Hayward, Gregory Wiley Edwards at the opening celebrations of On the Edge at Laguna Art Museum (photo by Reza Allahbakhshi )

“Our anticipation for the opening of ‘On the Edge: Los Angeles Art from the Joan and Jack Quinn Family Collection’ grows stronger each day as we prepare for a truly epic and extraordinary gathering of artworks and artists here on the Southern California coast, a place that has informed so much of the artwork in the exhibition,” said Julie Perlin Lee, executive director, Laguna Art Museum. “We are grateful to the Quinn family for being open to the incorporation of artists like, Jose PRIME Reza and Joey Terrill, alongside others not featured in previous iterations of the exhibition and for allowing us to display artworks by Frank Gehry, Andy Warhol and Laddie John Dill, among others that have never been exhibited publicly. By incorporating artists and artworks that align with the museum’s permanent art collection and carefully selecting works from the earlier decade of the 1960s and work created less than a year ago, we have created a fresh experience for visitors.”

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Joan Agajanian met Jack Quinn at the University of Southern California where she was studying to be a teacher, and he was a law student. They were a happily married couple for 56 years until Jack’s passing in 2017. Together, they raised identical twin daughters, Amanda and Jennifer.

Collectively, the family has amassed artworks by Los Angeles’ most prominent artists that document the development of contemporary art in Los Angeles, and uniquely, the family itself. In the early ‘50s, a 17-year-old Joan met the brash young Billy Al Bengston while both were working at Desmond’s department store on Crenshaw Boulevard. Bengston was Joan’s initial connection to Ed Kienholz, Ed Moses, Ken Price and others. Those artists were a close-knit group affiliated with the Ferus Gallery and they were making an impact in Los Angeles. The Quinns’ home became a meeting place for their diverse group of friends ranging from the arts, the social set and the legal community. Joan, who notoriously had a camera in tow, documented these gatherings where friendships were deeply established, and patronage of the arts was encouraged.

In 1978, Andy Warhol asked Joan Quinn to join his Interview magazine as its West Coast editor. She soon also became the LA Herald Examiner society editor known as “Culture Cween” and wrote for national and international publications. That path along with her appointment to the California Arts Council allowed her to promote the work of the growing circle of Southern California creatives while Jack actively championed their circle of artists by connecting them with the legal community. He was the first to transform the walls of his three-story law firm into a captivating art space, akin to a museum. Artist Joe Goode once said the Quinns were a “primary support system for artists in L.A. at a time when you could count the city’s art dealers on one hand.”

Amanda Quinn Olivar and Joan Agajanian Quinn celebrating the On the Edge opening and Joan’s birthday at the Laguna Art Museum (photo Jim McHugh)

Joan, called one of the most painted, sketched and sculpted women alive by W Magazine, has been a subject for artists such as David Hockney, Shepard Fairey, Claire Falkenstein, Steven Arnold, George Hurrell, Yolanda Gonzalez, Robert Mapplethorpe, Helmut Newton, Robert Graham, Matthew Rolston to name a few.

The exhibition includes over 25 portraits of Joan and the Quinn family, a poignant representation of friendship, appreciation and respect.

The exhibit is sponsored by Bank of America, Christie’s and JHM Foundation. The exhibition not only showcases the Quinn family’s pivotal role in shaping the Los Angeles art scene but also emphasizes the dynamic evolution of artistic styles over the decades.

For more information about “On the Edge: Los Angeles Art from the Joan and Jack Quinn Family Collection,” visit lagunaartmuseum.org.

 

 

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