Tag Archives: Wallace Berman

Auerhahn Press

While stationed with the U.S. Army in Germany during the 1950s, David Haselwood conceived the idea of becoming a publisher. At the time he was corresponding with his friend Michael McClure (also a native of Wichita, Kansas) who was living in San Francisco. McClure’s first book of poems, Passage (1956), was being published by Jonathan Williams’ Jargon Press. “Jonathan was having books printed in Germany because of the high quality and low cost,” Haselwood says, “and I began looking into things.”

When Haselwood was released from the Army, he came to live in San Francisco. According to Haselwood, “During the summer of 1958 I drifted around San Francisco talking endlessly with painters such as Robert LaVigne and Jesse Sharpe and poets [Philip] Lamantia, [Michael] McClure, [John] Wieners, and reading all the live poetry and prose I could get my hands on. It was at this time that it occurred to me that the press could mean a great many things … ” From this intense exposure to the active literary scene in the Bay Area grew the desire to see these writers published without the great delays imposed by larger printing establishments.


Auerhahn Press Checklist:

Section A: Auerhahn Press: Books & Pamphlets 1958-1965
Section B: Auerhahn Press: Broadsides 1959-1965
Section C: Auerhahn Press: Commissioned Publications 1961-1965
Section D: Dave Haselwood Books 1965-1969


A short while later in 1958 appeared the first publication of the Auerhahn Press, John Wieners’s The Hotel Wentley Poems. After this initial experience, in which the actual printing was done by a commercial printer (and edited by the printer without Haselwood’s knowledge), Haselwood was convinced that he should not only design all future books himself, but also print them: “The first and final consideration in printing poetry is the poetry itself. If the poems are great they create their own space, the publisher is just a midwife during the final operation…” With this ideal in mind, Haselwood tackled the publication of Philip Lamantia’s Ekstasis, and went on to the printing of Michael McClure’s Hymns to St. Geryon.

Though its limited financial resources were drained by this last publication, the press continued its publication of controversial and avant-garde works, such as Lamantia’s pamphlet Narcotica.

Haselwood took on a partner, Andrew Hoyem, in 1961. By then, a number of Kansans had arrived in San Francisco — including Robert Branaman, who shared living quarters with Haselwood for a time, and Glenn Todd, who later worked as a pressman and editor at Arion Press, which Hoyem founded after an amicable dissolution of his Auerhahn interests in 1964. Todd remembers the partners at work at 1334 Franklin Street: “The Auerhahn was a small press in a small room. Andrew would be setting type, and Dave running the press, passing single sheets of paper through. They’d be in their blue printer’s aprons.” Branaman adds, “Dave looked like someone out of Dickens to me. His shop was a center for artists. It was a well-known center of the culture.”

Another of San Francisco’s cultural hot-spots was the Batman Gallery, first owned by William Jahrmarkt, a.k.a. Billy Batman, whose art interests leaned to the visionary, the experimental and the mystical. According to Jack Foley in O Her Blackness Sparkles! The Life and Times of the Batman Art Gallery, 1960-65 (1995), the opening of the gallery was a “spectacular affair” and featured 99 pieces of Bruce Conner’s work. Auerhahn produced the announcement. In 1962, the gallery was sold to Michael Agron, a psychiatrist and University of California Medical Center associate professor who researched LSD as a therapeutic tool. Collaborating with Haselwood, Agron conceived of each exhibition’s announcement as a work of art. The first Agron show, Master-Bat, showcased the works of, among others, Conner and Branaman.

As the Beat scene faded with the ascent of Hippie culture, Haselwood continued to collaborate with artists on Dave Haselwood Books projects. He worked for a time at Arion Press and designed books for other presses, but his interest in publishing had waned by the close of the ’60s. It was time, he says, to choose another path.


References consulted:

Clay, Steven and Rodney Phillips. A SECRET LOCATION ON THE LOWER EAST SIDE: Adventures in Writing, 1960-1980
New York: New York Public Library / Granary Books, 1998

Clements, Marshall. A CATALOG OF WORKS BY MICHAEL MCCLURE, 1956-1965
New York: The Phoenix Book Shop, 1965

Johnston, Alastair. A BIBLIOGRAPHY OF THE AUERHAHN PRESS & ITS SUCCESSOR DAVE HASELWOOD BOOKS
Berkeley: Poltroon Press, 1976

Lepper, Gary M. A BIBLIOGRAPHICAL INTRODUCTION TO SEVENTY-FIVE MODERN AMERICAN AUTHORS
Berkeley: Serendipity Books, 1976

 —

Michael McClure

Photograph of McClure by Wallace Berman taken in 1964; make-up by Robert LaVigne. Beneath the photo is a statement by McClure beginning “Poetry is a muscular principle…”

Since his literary debut at the Six Gallery reading, Michael McClure has been one of the most enduring and influential writers of the Beat movement. As one of five poets who began his career on that night in 1955, he shares a long and rich history with Allen Ginsberg, Philip Whalen, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Gary Snyder, Philip Lamantia, and many other writers of San Francisco’s Beat period. As one of the youngest members of the Beat circle, McClure played an important role as a bridge between writers and artists of the Beat movement and the region’s youth counterculture of the 1960s and has been a close friend and collaborator with figures such as Jim Morrison, Richard Brautigan, Bob Dylan, and Janis Joplin.


Michael McClure checklist:

Section A: Books and Broadsides
Section B: Contributions to Books and Anthologies
Section C: Contributions to Periodicals


McClure was born October 20, 1932, in Marysville, Kansas. He began his university education in 1951 at the University of Wichita and later transferred to the University of Arizona before moving to San Francisco where he enrolled in a writing workshop with poet Robert Duncan at San Francisco State University. Through his friendship with Duncan and later with poet Kenneth Rexroth, he began to find his place in the city’s literary community in the early 1950s.

In fall 1955 McClure took part in the now famous Six Gallery reading — the foundation of what would soon be called the San Francisco Poetry Renaissance. Here, in his first public reading, McClure, along with Lamantia, Snyder, Whalen, and Ginsberg helped to launch the Beat movement, and his presence at the event helped to instill in the fledgling movement his lifelong fascination with the natural world.

In the months following the Six Gallery reading, McClure began in earnest to publish his work. In 1956 his first small collection of poems PASSAGE, was published by Jonathan Williams (Jargon). Other collections soon followed, including McClure’s first major collection, HYMNS TO ST. GERYON AND OTHER POEMS (Auerhahn Press, 1958), THE NEW BOOK / A BOOK OF TORTURE (Grove Press, 1961), his powerfully erotic long poem DARK BROWN (Auerhahn Press, 1961), the wildly experimental “beast language” poems contained in GHOST TANTRAS (1964), and his vitriolic condemnation of the Vietnam War, POISONED WHEAT (Oyez, 1965). During these early years, McClure also took an active role in seeing that the words and ideas of other writers of the Beat movement and the Black Mountain School made it into print; he co-edited two influential literary journals of the period: ARK II / MOBY I and JOURNAL FOR THE PROTECTION OF ALL BEINGS.

— Encyclopedia of Beat Literature


References consulted:

Clements, Marshall. A CATALOG OF WORKS BY MICHAEL MCCLURE, 1956-1965
New York: The Phoenix Book Shop, 1965

Cook, Ralph T. CITY LIGHTS BOOKS: A DESCRIPTIVE BIBLIOGRAPHY
Metuchen: Scarecrow Press, 1992

Cooney, Seamus. THE BLACK SPARROW PRESS, A CHECKLIST
Los Angeles: Black Sparrow Press, 1971

Johnston, Alastair. A BIBLIOGRAPHY OF THE AUERHAHN PRESS & ITS SUCCESSOR DAVE HASELWOOD BOOKS
Berkeley: Poltroon Press, 1976

Lepper, Gary M. A BIBLIOGRAPHICAL INTRODUCTION TO SEVENTY-FIVE MODERN AMERICAN AUTHORS
Berkeley: Serendipity Books, 1976


Online resources:

Empty Mirror  Books – bibliography

Light and Dust – biography and bibliography

Michael McClure – official site

Penn Sound – audio

Poetry Foundation – biography

Wallace Berman – Solo and Select Group Exhibitions

>> return to WALLACE BERMAN main page >>

This index collects solo and select group exhibitions; gallery, dates, location, catalog, and ephemera information provided, when available…


1957

Wallace Berman / Exhibition
June 8 – July 9, 1957
Ferus Gallery, Los Angeles
poster (pictured)




1965

Studio Exhibition
October 10-17, 1965
Los Angeles
Curated by Wallace Berman
announcement (pictured)



1967

Exhibition
February 26, 1967
Topanga Community House, Topanga
Curated by Wallace Berman
announcement (pictured)


1968

Wallace Berman: Verifax Collages
September 17 – November 17, 1968
The Jewish Museum, New York City
Curated by Kynaston McSchine
no catalog; announcement (pictured)

berman_lacmaWallace Berman
April 30 – June 2, 1968
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles
brochure (pictured)




1969

Exhibition / Wallace Berman
December 14, 1969
Topanga
Curated by Wallace Berman
no catalog


1973

Exhibition / Wallace Berman
June 9, 1973
Mermaid Tavern, Topanga
Curated by Wallace Berman
no catalog; flyer (pictured)



1974

berman_radioRadio Aether Series
Gemini G.E.L., Los Angeles
Portfolio of prints published; brochure (pictured)




1977

Wallace Berman
July – August, 1977
Timothea Stewart Gallery, Los Angeles
catalog (pictured)




1978

berman_whitneyWallace Berman
January 18 – March 5, 1978
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City
brochure (pictured)


berman_retrospectiveWallace Berman Retrospective
October 24 – November 26, 1978
Otis Art Institute, Los Angeles
catalog (pictured); postcard




1979

Wallace Berman / Gallery Exhibition
April 11 – May 10, 1979
L.A. Louver, Los Angeles
no catalog

Work by Wallace Berman / Art is Love is God
June 26 – July 14, 1979
L.A. Louver, Los Angeles
no catalog

Wallace Berman / Retrospective Exhibition
September 21 – November 1979
University Art Museum, Berkeley
no catalog; announcement (pictured)


1982

Wallace Berman
March 4 – 27, 1982
Charles Cowles Gallery, New York City
no catalog; brochure (pictured)




1985

Selections from the Diana Zlotnick Collection
March 19 – April 27, 1985
Fisher Gallery, Los Angeles
Curated by Stella Paul
brochure (pictured)


Past Presence / Contemporary Sources
March 30 – May 9, 1985
College of Notre Dame Art Gallery, Belmont
brochure (pictured)




1988

Wallace Berman / Works from the Estate
January 9 – January 30, 1988
L.A. Louver Gallery, Venice
no catalog; brochure (pictured)



Different Drummers
May 12 – August 14, 1988
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.
catalog (pictured)


Assemblage
October 8 – November 13, 1988
Herron Gallery, Indianapolis
flyer (pictured)



1990

Wallace Berman, A Gesture Involving Verifax Collage, Photographs, Text and Sculpture
October 13 – November 10, 1990
Louver Gallery, New York City
no catalog; brochure (pictured)



1992

Overlay
March 21 – April 18, 1992
Louver Gallery, New York City
announcement (pictured)



Poem Makers: Wallace Berman, George Herms, and Jess
June 5 – July 12, 1992
L.A. Louver Gallery, Los Angeles
catalog [Semina facsimile]; brochure  (pictured)


Wallace Berman
December 31, 1992 – February 7, 1993
The Institute of Contemporary Art, Amsterdam
catalog (pictured)




1997

Sunshine and Noir: Art in Los Angeles 1960 – 1997
Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebaek
May 16-September 7, 1997
catalog (pictured)



1999

berman_arrangedArranged Marriage
October 28 – December 10, 1999
Roth Horowitz, New York City
catalog (pictured)


Group Show / Wallace Berman and Jeff Koons, Allan McCollum, Al Ruppersberg, Andy Warhol
October 29 – December 18, 1999
Nicole Klagsbrun, New York City
no catalog; brochure (pictured)



2000

“Art Is Love Is God”, une introduction, 1957 – 1976
June 17 – September 17, 2000
le Musée d’Art Moderne et Contemporain, Geneva
no catalog


2005

Aleph – A Film by Wallace Berman
January 04 – March 06, 2005
The Jewish Museum, New York City
no catalog

Assemblage and Collage in California in the 1960s
June 16 – August 31, 2005
871 Fine Arts, San Francisco
Curated by Adrienne Fish
catalog; announcement (pictured)

Wallace Berman
September 10 – October 15, 2005
Patricia Faure Gallery, Los Angeles
no catalog; announcement (pictured)




2006

Wallace Berman
September 6 – October 28, 2006
871 Fine Arts, San Francisco
Curated by Adrienne Fish
announcement (pictured)


2007

Wallace Berman – Photographs and Other Works
November 30, 2007- January 19, 2008
Michael Kohn Gallery, Los Angeles
no catalog


2008

All is Personal: the Art of Wallace Berman
September 26 – November 23, 2008
Camden Art Center, London
catalog (pictured)




2009

Verifax Collages
January 10 – March 10, 2009
Galerie Frank Elbaz, Paris
Curated by Sophie Dannenmüller
catalog (pictured)


berman_kohnShe – Wallace Berman and Richard Prince
January 15 – March 7, 2009
Michael Kohn Gallery, Los Angeles
Curated by Kristine McKenna
catalog; brochure (pictured)


2010

Bebop Kabbalah
October 30 – December 24, 2010
Galerie Frank Elbaz, Paris
Curated by Sophie Dannenmüller
catalog (pictured)


Verifax
June 11 – July 24, 2010
Anne Mosseri-Mario Galerie, Zurich
no catalog

Wallace Berman
November 6 – January 9, 2010
Nicole Klagsbrun Gallery, New York City
catalog (pictured)




2011

The Ephemeral World of Wallace Berman and Circle
February 1 – April 25, 2011
871 Fine Arts, San Francisco
Curated by Adrienne Fish
announcement (pictured)


Speaking in Tongues : The Art of Wallace Berman and Robert Heinecken
October 2, 2011 – January 22, 2012
Armory Center for the Arts, Pasadena
catalog; postcard (pictured)


2013

Into the Mystic
November 17, 2012 – January 26, 2013
Kohn Gallery, Los Angeles
no catalog


2016

Wallace Berman American Aleph
May 6 – June 25, 2016
Kohn Gallery, Los Angeles
catalog (pictured)




2018

Wallace Berman – Visual Music
September 8 – October 11, 2018
Galerie Frank Elbaz, Paris
catalog (pictured)




2019

Dilexi Gallery The Early Years
June 8 – August 3, 2019
Brian Gross Fine Art, San Francisco

Wallace Berman

berman_arranged

Wallace Berman was born in 1926 in Staten Island, New York. In the 1930s, his family moved to the Jewish district (Boyle Heights) in Los Angeles. After being expelled from high school for gambling in the early 1940s, Berman immersed himself in the growing West Coast jazz scene. During this period, he briefly attended the Jepson Art School and Chouinard Art School, but departed when he found the training too academic for his needs.

In 1949, while working in a factory finishing antique furniture, he began to make sculptures from unused scraps and reject materials. By the early 1950s, Berman had become a full-time artist and an active figure in the beat community in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Many art historians consider him to be the ‘father’ of the California assemblage movement. Moving between the two cities, Berman devoted himself to his mail art publication SEMINA, which contained a sampling of beat poetry and images selected by Berman.

In 1963, permanently settled in Topanga Canyon in the Los Angeles area, Berman began work on verifax collages (printed images, often from magazines and newspapers, mounted in collage fashion onto a flat surface, sometimes with solid bright areas of acrylic paint). He continued creating these works, as well as rock assemblages, until his death in 1976.


Wallace Berman Checklist:

Section A: Solo and Select Group Exhibitions
Section B: Posters and Prints
Section C: Cover and Book Art
Section D: Semina


Further Reading and Reference:

ART AS A MUSCULAR PRINCIPLE, 10 Artists and San Francisco 1950-1965, edited by Merril Greene and Alix Meier
Mount Holyoke: John and Norah Warbeke Gallery, 1975

ART IN LOS ANGELES: SEVENTEEN ARTISTS IN THE SIXTIES, edited by Maurice Tuchman
Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1981

ASSEMBLAGE IN CALIFORNIA: WORKS FROM THE LATE 50’S AND EARLY 60’S
Irvine: Art Gallery, University of California, 1968

DIFFERENT DRUMMERS, edited by Frank Gettings
Washington DC: Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 1988

LA POP IN THE SIXTIES, edited by Anne Ayres
Newport Beach: Newport Harbor Art Museum, 1989

SAN FRANCISCO RENAISSANCE PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE ’50S AND ’60S, edited and with an introduction by Merril Greene
New York: Gotham Book Mart Gallery, 1975

SECRET EXHIBITION: SIX CALIFORNIA ARTISTS OF THE COLD WAR ERA, edited by Rebecca Solnit
San Francisco: City Lights, 1990

SUPPORT THE REVOLUTION, edited by Tosh Berman, Michael McClure, David Meltzer, Colin Gardner, Walter Hopps, Christopher Knight, Eduardo Lipschutz-Villa, Charles Brittin
Amsterdam: Institute of Contemporary Art, 1992

THIRD RAIL, Issue 9, edited by Uri Hertz
Los Angeles: Third Rail, 1988

UTOPIA AND DISSENT: ART, POETRY, AND POLITICS IN CALIFORNIA, by Richard Cándida Smith
Berkeley: University of California Press, 1995)


Online Resources:

· Art Net – Wallace Berman
· Kohn Gallery – Wallace Berman
· Ubuweb – Wallace Berman
· University of Delaware – Wallace Berman and Semina


Collaborators:

· Robert Alexander
· Cameron
· Jay De Feo
· Bobby Driscoll
· Dave Haselwood
· Michael McClure
· David Meltzer
· Dean Stockwell ( D.·. )
· Russ Tamblyn