L.A. Confidential reports that Michael Ovitz, Frank Gehry, Sofia Coppola, Larry Gagosian, Ed Ruscha and others will comprise an honorary committee to raise funds for the new John Baldessari Art Studio Building at CalArts. The building is named for renowned contemporary artist John Baldessari, famous for his work in the mid-1960s incorporating texts and photography into his canvases – as well his work in printmaking, film, video, installation, sculpture and photography – who taught his “infamous Post-Studio class” at CalArts from 1970 – 1986, profoundly influencing generations of artists, “including David Salle, Mike Kelley, James Welling, Matt Mullican, and Barbara Bloom.”
The fundraising campaign expects to raise more than $5 million via the sale of “more than 90 major works donated by alumni and former and current faculty members, all of whom are art-world heavyweights in their own right, like Catherine Opie, Mark Bradford, Sam Durant, Charles Gaines, Barbara Kruger, Kaari Upson, and Allan Sekula—even Baldessari himself.”
Though the sale will take place primarily at Christie’s in New York, the collection of art will be on display through March 8th in Los Angeles at Regan Projects.
The history of CalArts itself is an interesting one: brothers Walt and Roy Disney facilitated the merger between the Chouinard Art Institute and the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music in 1961 “to establish the first degree-granting institution of higher education in the US designed especially for students of both the performing and visual arts.” This new building should continue that effort by providing a place for artists to work for generations to come.
Michael Ovitz is a prominent patron of the arts in Southern California and among the top art collectors in the world. In 2000, Ovitz commissioned architect Michael Maltzan to build a new residence for his family and to be able to display his art collection. The house was completed in 2010 and now acts at a permanent home for works from modern and contemporary painting and sculpture, to Ming Dynasty furniture and African antiquities. The house features three dedicated galleries, one of which is a rotating project space where commissioned artists create site-specific installations on an annual basis, thereby allowing the collection to expand the collection while also establishing new and lasting relationships with contemporary artists.
Read the entire L.A. Confidential article, The John Baldessari Art Studio at CalArts