Exhibitions

Rat Bastard Protective Association

RBPA Installation View

Joan Brown, Things in Vat, 1959, 72 x 72 in., Courtesy of Allan Stone Projects, NYC

Wally Hedrick, Love Feel, 1957, Oil on canvas, 59 in. diameter, Courtesy of The Box, Los Angeles

Bruce Conner, The Egg, 1959, Mixed media assemblage, including fabric, buttons, plastic doll, convex glass with brass frame, 24 1/2 x 16 1/2 x 2 in., Courtesy of Susan Inglett Gallery, NYC.

Bruce Conner, FLOATING HEAD, 1958-59, Mixed media and epoxy on board, 17 x 17 in., 26 x 26 x 4 3/4 in. Frame, © 2017 Conner Family Trust, San Francisco / Artists Rights Society (ARS). Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York. Photo: Steven Probert.

Bruce Conner, MARY, MOTHER OF GOD, 1960, Charcoal on paper, 32 1/2 x 26 in. Sheet, 26 x 27 in. Frame, Courtesy of the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, NYC

George Herms, Untitled, 1962, Assemblage, 11 x 9 1/2 x 11 1/2 in.

George Herms, The Scribe, c. 1957, Mixed media on canvas, stretched over window screen, 44 1/2 x 36 1/2 in.

George Herms, Lockbox, c. 1959, Assemblage, 9 1/2 x 5 1/2 in.

Wally Hedrick, Hurry Up It's Time, 1960, Oil on canvas, 118 x 25 in., Courtesy of The Box, Los Angeles

Jean Conner, (ARE YOU A SPRINGMAID), 1960, 11 7/8 x 9 3/4 in. Sheet, 16 x 13 1/2 in. Frame, Courtesy of Anglim Gilbert Gallery, San Francisco

Jean Conner, Two Way Collage, 1960, Paper collage, 21 3/4 x 7 1/4 in., Courtesy of Kohn Gallery, Inc.

Jay DeFeo, Untitled (Berkeley), 1953, Tempera and acrylic on paper, 28 1/4 x 22 in., The Jay DeFeo Foundation owns the copyrights in all works of art by Jay DeFeo. © The Jay DeFeo Foundation /Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY Courtesy Mitchell-Innes & Nash.

Jay DeFeo, Untitled (Florence), 1952, Tempera and acrylic on paper, 20 x 14 3/4 in,, The Jay DeFeo Foundation owns the copyrights in all works of art by Jay DeFeo. © The Jay DeFeo Foundation /Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY Courtesy Mitchell-Innes & Nash.

Jerry Burchard, Jay DeFeo with "The Jewel" and Ladder, c. 1958-1960/2008, Archival digital print, 15 3/4 x 16 in., Courtesy of the Landing, Los Angeles

Wallace Berman, Collaged Mailer, c. 1960, Collage on cardstock, 6 x 3 in., Courtesy of the Landing, Los Angeles and The Stockwell Estate

Jerry Burchard, The Studio 13 Jass Band, c. 1958-1960/2008, Archival digital print, 15 3/4 x 16 in., Courtesy of the Landing, Los Angeles

Wallace Berman, Collaged Mailer, c. 1966, Collage on paper, 10 1/2 x 16 1/2 in., Courtesy of the Landing, Los Angeles and The Stockwell Estate

Artists

  • Wallace Berman
  • Robert Branaman
  • Joan Brown
  • Jean Conner
  • Jay DeFeo
  • Wally Hedrick
  • Michael McClure
  • Manuel Neri

RAT BASTARD PROTECTIVE ASSOCIATION
Curated by Anastasia Aukeman
April 27 – June 3, 2017
Book signing: Saturday, April 29, 4-6PM

Susan Inglett Gallery is pleased to present Rat Bastard Protective Association, a group exhibition organized by Dr. Anastasia Aukeman, author of Welcome to Painterland: Bruce Conner and the Rat Bastard Protective Association (University of California Press, 2016). Through gallery ephemera and more than 40 works by 10 artists, the exhibition documents the activities and artistic production of the Rat Bastard Protective Association (RBPA), an inflammatory, close-knit community of artists and poets who lived and worked together in a building they dubbed “Painterland" in the Fillmore neighborhood of mid-century San Francisco. The idiosyncratic group included Wallace Berman, Bob Branaman, Joan Brown, Bruce Conner, Jean Conner, Jay DeFeo, George Herms, Wally Hedrick, Manuel Neri, and Michael McClure, among other, less constant members.

Eager to consolidate his inclusion in the artistic community in and around 2322 Fillmore Street, or “Painterland,” when he arrived in San Francisco in September 1957, Bruce Conner placed himself firmly at the center of the cohort by forming the Rat Bastard Protective Association and naming himself its president. Conner derived the name by combining the name of a San Francisco trash collection company, the Scavengers Protective Association, with a slur picked up at the gym. The art practices of these Northern California artists in the late 1950s and early 1960s animated broader social and artistic discussions throughout the United States and carved out an important place for West Coast activities for decades to come.

The Rat Bastard Protective Association exhibition at Susan Inglett Gallery will be the second since 1958, when the group led a parade to the opening of their exhibition at the Spatsa Gallery on Filbert Street in San Francisco. (The first, also curated by Aukeman, was mounted at the Landing in Los Angeles in Fall 2016.) We are grateful for the cooperation of the estates and institutions lending works to the exhibition, including The Conner Family Trust, The Jay DeFeo Foundation, the Estate of Wally Hedrick, and the Stockwell Collection.

Dr. Anastasia Aukeman is an art historian, curator, and professor at Parsons School of Design in New York City.

Stamp created by Bruce Conner, ca. 1957– 58. © Conner Family Trust / Artists Rights Society

Exhibitions