Art History Professor Ken Allan published “'Radio-Mastery of the Ether’: Wallace Berman, Mysticism and Meaning in the 1960s” in Wallace Berman: American Aleph, edited by Claudia Bohn-Spector (D.A.P./Michael Kohn Gallery). The book is being published on the occasion of an exhibition at the Michael Kohn Gallery, Los Angeles, CA, of the work of Wallace Berman, one of the most influential, yet lesser known, American artists of the post-World War II era. The exhibition, which runs from May 6 – June 25, 2016, surveys his work from the late 1940s until his accidental death at age 50 in 1976.
“My essay puts Berman’s interest in the language of mysticism and the impact of print media and electronic technology in dialogue with other major artists of the period, including Robert Rauschenberg and Robert Smithson,” Allan said. He was supported in his research by a College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Summer Research Fellowship.
Allan, who received his PhD from the University of Chicago, joined the faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences in 2006. He focuses his research on the rise of the Los Angeles art scene in the 1960s and issues such as urbanism and spectatorship in postwar American art. He has presented internationally on modern and contemporary art and was a member of the advisory committee for Getty Museum exhibition “Pacific Standard Time: Crosscurrents in L.A. Painting and Sculpture, 1950-1970. Allan is currently working on a book, Object Lessons: Experiencing Pop Art in 1960s Los Angeles.