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Oral history interview with Alexis Smith, 2014 January 24-April 14

Interviewee:
Smith, Alexis, 1949-  Search this
Smith, Alexis, 1949-  Search this
Interviewer:
Drohojowska-Philp, Hunter  Search this
Subject:
Bell, Larry  Search this
Burden, Barbara  Search this
Burden, Chris  Search this
Celmins, Vija  Search this
Chicago, Judy  Search this
Coplans, John  Search this
Gehry, Frank O.  Search this
Grieger, Scott  Search this
Howard, Coy  Search this
Irwin, Robert  Search this
Krull, Craig  Search this
Moses, Avilda  Search this
Ruppersberg, Allen  Search this
Sedivy, Richard  Search this
Solomon, Jerry  Search this
Holly Solomon Gallery  Search this
Honor Fraser Gallery  Search this
Margo Leavin Gallery  Search this
Mizuno Gallery  Search this
Nicholas Wilder Gallery  Search this
University of California, Irvine  Search this
University of California, Los Angeles  Search this
Type:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Place:
France -- description and travel
Topic:
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Collagists -- California -- Interviews  Search this
Installations (Art)  Search this
Multimedia (Art)  Search this
Multimedia installations (Art)  Search this
Women artists -- California -- Los Angeles -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)16169
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)366489
AAA_collcode_smith14
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_366489

Robert Alexander papers and Temple of Man records, 1938-2015

Creator:
Alexander, Robert, 1923-1987  Search this
Temple of Man (Venice, Calif.)  Search this
Alexander, Robert, 1923-1987  Search this
Subject:
Beattie, Paul  Search this
Berman, Wallace  Search this
Hirschman, Jack  Search this
Herms, George  Search this
Temple of Man (Venice, Calif.)  Search this
Type:
Video recordings
Theme:
Lives of American Artists  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)6562
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)215848
AAA_collcode_alexbob
Theme:
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_215848
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Alexis Smith

Creator:
Smith, Alexis, 1949-  Search this
Interviewer:
Drohojowska-Philp, Hunter  Search this
Names:
Holly Solomon Gallery  Search this
Honor Fraser Gallery  Search this
Margo Leavin Gallery  Search this
Mizuno Gallery  Search this
Nicholas Wilder Gallery  Search this
University of California, Irvine -- Students  Search this
University of California, Los Angeles -- Faculty  Search this
Bell, Larry, 1939-  Search this
Burden, Barbara  Search this
Burden, Chris, 1946-  Search this
Celmins, Vija, 1938-  Search this
Chicago, Judy, 1939-  Search this
Coplans, John  Search this
Gehry, Frank O., 1929-  Search this
Grieger, Scott  Search this
Howard, Coy  Search this
Irwin, Robert, 1928-  Search this
Krull, Craig  Search this
Moses, Avilda  Search this
Ruppersberg, Allen, 1944-  Search this
Sedivy, Richard  Search this
Solomon, Jerry  Search this
Extent:
5 Items (Sound recording: 5 sound files (3 hr., 11 min.), digital, wav)
84 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Place:
France -- description and travel
Date:
2014 January 24-April 14
Scope and Contents:
An interview with Alexis Smith conducted 2014 January 24 and April 14, by Hunter Drohojowska-Philp, for the Archives of American Art at Smith's studio, in Venice, California.
Ms. Smith discusses growing up in Southern California and her early years living with her parents on the grounds of Metropolitan State Hospital, a mental institution in Norwalk, California; her mother's death when Ms. Smith was 11; the family's time in Whittier and Palm Springs and being raised as an only child by her father; her early interest in French studies and travel to France as a student; her interest in studying art beginning with a John Coplans class at UC Irvine; her time at at UC Irvine in the early days of the university and her growing attraction to the life of an artist; the origin of her name Alexis Smith; and the encouragement of her fellow artists to continue pursuing her cut-up collages from literature, photos, magazines, and Hollywood ephemera. Ms. Smith also describes her time with her artist women's group in the 70s; her husband Scott Grieger; working for Frank Gehry; her showing with the Nicholas Wilder Gallery; her relationship with Chris Burden and her time with him during his period of performance pieces in the 70s; the Riko Mizuno Gallery; her work with terrazzo and its use for installations at the LA Convention Center, Ohio State University, and other installations; the appropriation of text and the assistance of Jerry Solomon utilizing custom frames in her artwork; the impact of women from history, media and literature on her art; her relationship with Coy Howard; the Holly Solomon Gallery; her Jane series; her On the Road series; her installation Snake Path at UC San Diego; her piece for SITE Santa Fe Red Carpet; teaching at UCLA; her installation of the piece Scarlet Letter at Las Vegas Central Library and its subsequent removal; her associations with Margo Leavin Gallery and Honor Fraser gallery; and the loss of her long-time studio space and the challenges of storing her artwork. Ms. Smith also recalls Judy Chicago, Robert Irwin, Vija Celmins, Larry Bell, Barbara Burden, Richard Sedivy, Avilda Moses, Craig Krull, and Allen Ruppersberg among others.
Biographical / Historical:
Alexis Smith (1949- ) is a collage, multimedia, and installation artist in Los Angeles, California. Hunter Drohojowska-Philp is an art critic and writer from Beverly Hills, California.
General:
Originally recorded as 5 sound files. Duration is 3 hr., 11 min.
Provenance:
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.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Topic:
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Collagists -- California -- Interviews  Search this
Installations (Art)  Search this
Multimedia (Art)  Search this
Multimedia installations (Art)  Search this
Women artists -- California -- Los Angeles -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.smith14
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-smith14

Robert Alexander papers and Temple of Man records

Creator:
Alexander, Robert  Search this
Temple of Man (Venice, Calif.)  Search this
Names:
Temple of Man (Venice, Calif.)  Search this
Beattie, Paul, 1924-1988  Search this
Berman, Wallace, 1926-1976  Search this
Herms, George, 1935-  Search this
Hirschman, Jack, 1933-  Search this
Extent:
11.7 Linear feet
1.01 Gigabytes
11.7 Linear feet
1.01 Gigabytes
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Gigabytes
Video recordings
Date:
1938-2015
1938-2015
Summary:
The papers of poet, artist, and ordained priest Robert Alexander and the records of Venice, California's Temple of Man measure 11.7 linear feet and 1.01 GB, and date from 1938-2015. The papers and records document Alexander and the Temple of Man, which he founded in 1960 to serve as a meeting place for a community of artists, poets, and musicians. The collection contains biographical material pertaining to Alexander, Temple of Man administrative records, correspondence and artists files, project files, printed material, and photographic material.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of poet, artist, and ordained priest Robert Alexander and the records of Venice, California's Temple of Man measure 11.7 linear feet and 1.01 GB, and date from 1938-2015. The papers and records document Alexander and the Temple of Man, which he founded in 1960 to serve as a meeting place for a community of artists, poets, and musicians. The collection contains biographical material pertaining to Alexander, Temple of Man administrative records, correspondence and artists files, project files, printed material, and photographic material.

Correspondence and artists files comprise the bulk of the collection and contain a wide variety of material pertaining to Temple of Man artists and affiliates, including mail art, over one hundred artworks, poetry, writings, exhibition announcements, clippings, and photographs. Artists include Anita Alexander, Bob Alexander, John Altoon, Aya, Paul Beattie, Michael Bergt, Wallace Berman, Charles Britton, Cameron, Bruce Connor, William Dailey, Gayle Davis, George Herms, Jack Hirschman, Maurice Lacy, Fred Mason, Kenneth Patchen, Peter Paul, Stuart Perkoff, Artie Richer, Tony Scibella, Ben Talbert, Zack Walsh, Edwin Ward, Marcia Ward, Saul White, Steve Wilson, and others. A small amount of born-digital material includes a video recording of Renick Stevenson, images of artworks, and photographs.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as six series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1938-1988 (0.2 linear feet; Box 1)

Series 2: Temple of Man Administrative Records, 1960-2010 (0.4 linear feet; Box 1, OV 13)

Series 3: Correspondence and Artists Files, circa 1948-2015 (9.8 linear feet, Boxes 1-6, 9-12, 30-33, OVs 14-28; 0.99 GB, ER01-ER02)

Series 4: Project Files, circa 1967-2014 (0.9 linear feet, Boxes 6-7; 0.015 GB, ER03)

Series 5: Printed Material, 1958-2014 (0.8 linear feet; Boxes 7-8, OV 29)

Series 6: Photographic Material, circa 1960-2009 (1 folder, Box 8; 0.001 GB, ER04)
Biographical / Historical:
Robert Alexander (1923-1987), also known as Bob and "Baza," was a poet, collagist, printer, assemblage artist, and ordained priest from Venice, California. Alexander founded the Temple of Man in 1960 in San Francisco, moving it to his home in Venice, California in 1968. The Temple served as a meeting place for artists, poets, and musicians, and contained a collection of artworks by Temple of Man members, also ordained priests. Many of the artworks which form the core of the collection were on display at the Alexander residence and are dedicated to Alexander and his wife Anita. Members also created and exchanged mail art, handmade cards, and poems with one another. After Alexander's death in 1987, the Temple of Man was directed by Anita Alexander and, since 1992, by a board of directors.
Related Materials:
Also found in the Archives of American Art are an oral history interview with artist George Herms conducted by Paul Karlstrom in 1993-1994, the papers of California artist and poet Wallace Berman, and the papers of curator and founding board member of the Temple of Man, Hal Glicksman.
Provenance:
Donated to the Archives of American Art by Alexander's widow Anita Alexander in 1990 and in 2017 and 2018 by the Temple of Man via George Herms, Officer, and Yoav Getzler, Registered Agent of record.
Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.

Researchers interested in accessing born-digital records or audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Poets -- California -- Venice  Search this
Collagists -- California -- Venice  Search this
Assemblage artists -- California -- Venice  Search this
Priests -- California -- Venice  Search this
Genre/Form:
Video recordings
Citation:
Robert Alexander papers and Temple of Man records, 1938-2015. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.alexbob
See more items in:
Robert Alexander papers and Temple of Man records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-alexbob
Online Media:

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