Millard Sheets, Phil Dike, et al.: Chouinard Art Institute, Benches (1921 – 1972)

1545 West Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90026
May 22, 12 PM - 5 PM — ends Jun 27, 2021
In tandem with the Chouinard Foundation, Marta hosts seven original artists’ benches from the Chouinard Art Institute (1921–1972).

Built in 1921 as partial exchange for tuition fees by then-students Millard Sheets (1907–1989) and Phil Dike (1906–1990), these recovered pieces begin to tell the dynamic, complex history of the art school and its alumni: artists and designers like John Baldessari, Milo Baughmann, Mary Corse, Sadamitsu Fujita, Edith Head, Sister Corita Kent, Allen Ruppersberg, Ed Ruscha, and Peter Shire, among scores of distinguished others.

These iconic, layered, century-old benches — donated to the Foundation in 2002 — present themselves as humble primary documents whose graffiti, adornment, and patina tell the story of Chouinard perhaps better than anyone or anything else could.

An edition of newly-built replicas of the Chouinard artists’ benches — rendered in Douglas Fir and appearing much as they would have in 1921 — will be made available in tandem with the exhibition. By reconstructing these functional works of furniture that, in their day, facilitated the making of early artworks by some of the city’s most renowned artists, Marta celebrates the Chouinard benches not only as beautiful and functional works unto themselves, but also as items that inherently promote and facilitate the making of other works of art.