An interview of Llyn Foulkes conducted 1997 June 25-1998 Dec. 2, by Paul Karlstrom, for the Archives of American Art, in Foulkes home and studio, Los Angeles, Calif.
The interview begins with a discussion of Foulkes's move to downtown Los Angeles and "The Brewery" ["The Brewery" was formerly a working brewery that has been transformed into living/studio space for artists] from Topanga. A long discussion takes place about this being where he belongs as opposed to the fashionable westside. The interview continues with a discussion of divorce, his wife, narcissism, and the incorporation of his recent life in his current assesmblage work. He discusses lessons learned from the Old Masters, and Wilhem de Kooning; issues of abstraction vs. representation; and subject vs. style. He proceeds with a discussion about his ideas on music, rock and roll, jazz, black music, and the influence of Spike Jones that led to his own rock group "Rubber Band." There follows a lengthy discussion of the Ferus Gallery, Walter Hopps, Maurice Tuchman, Henry Hopkins, Rolf Nelson, John Coplans, and Christopher Knight. He also discusses Los Angeles as the center of popular art and culture. He reflects on his kinship with Wallace Berman and the spirituality they shared; his isolation as an outsider; his regrets about not responding to others (including Berman and George Herms), seeing it as a lost opportunity to participate more fully in the local art world and cultivating supportive relationships. The political content of his work was also covered at some length.
Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Llyn Foulkes, 1997 June 25-1998 Dec. 2. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the transcription for this interview provided by Pasadena Art Alliance. Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.
Llyn Foulkes (1934-) is an assemblage artist in Los Angeles, Calif.
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics, and administrators.
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, 750 9th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20001