October 27, 2012 – January 13, 2013

ONE Archives Gallery & Museum
626 North Robertson Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069

Find location, hours, and parking information for the ONE Gallery here.

Opening Reception: Saturday, October 27, 2012, 5-8pm
Film Screening: Saturday, November 17, 2012, 6-8pm (More information below)
Film Screening & Closing Reception: Saturday, January 12, 2013, 5-9pm (More information below)

ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives presents Steven Arnold: Cabinet of Curiosities, a retrospective exhibition of this groundbreaking yet under-recognized queer artist at the ONE Archives Gallery & Museum in West Hollywood. The exhibition celebrates Arnold’s radical imagination, presenting many of his tableaux vivant photographs alongside never before exhibited drawings, sketchbooks, paintings and original poster art. In conjunction with the exhibition, ONE will screen Arnold’s four films, including Luminous Procuress (1970), which featured The Cockettes and was lauded by Salvador Dali.

Steven Arnold (1943-1994) is best known for his work with film in San Francisco during the 1960s and early 70s and later for his visionary tableaux vivant photographs produced at Zanzibar, his Los Angeles studio, during the 1980s. Deeply influenced by Jungian archetypes, Eastern philosophy, and ancient ritual, Arnold understood visual production as a key to the spiritual and subconscious, depicting alternative worlds with dramatic style and sly humor across numerous mediums. Arnold spoke about his practice of drawing as a means of making visible his dreams and compared his photography to religious meditation.

Steven Arnold: Cabinet of Curiosities presents works from the entirety of Arnold’s output as an artist, including his elaborate black and white photographs from the 1980s, many on view for the first time. The exhibition also features two accordion sketchbooks from 1967 which unfold to reveal a continuous dreamlike landscape, and a series of erotic drawings that join, contort and convolute ambitiously gendered bodies. Additionally, a number of surrealist portraits Arnold produced between 1973 and 74 will be on display, as well as original poster art used to promote films and psychedelic rock concerts in San Francisco during the late 1960s. By presenting Arnold’s later photographs alongside earlier drawings and paintings, the exhibition strives to uncover aspects of the artist’s visual language he explored throughout his lifetime. All works are on loan from the Steven Arnold Archive.

In conjunction with this exhibition, ONE will screen all four of Arnold’s films as well as a special preview of an upcoming documentary about Arnoldat the West Hollywood Library located next to the ONE Gallery. On Saturday, November 17, ONE will show two of Arnold’s short films, The Liberation of Mannique Mechanique (1967) and Various Incarnations of a Tibetan Seamstress (1967), with his feature-length Luminous Procuress (1970), which starred Arnold’s muse Pandora and featured the gender-bending San Francisco performance troupe The Cockettes.  Luminous Procuress brought Arnold considerable attention as an avant-garde filmmaker, and so impressed Salvador Dali that he invited Arnold to Spain to assist in embellishing and inaugurating his Theatre-Museum Dali.

As a closing celebration for the exhibition on Saturday, January 12, ONE will screen Arnold and collaborator Michael Wiese’s Messages, Messages (1968), for which they were invited to the Directors Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival. The screening will be followed by a special preview of the upcoming feature-length documentary Steven Arnold’s Heavenly Bodies produced by artist and filmmaker Stephanie Farago, Creative Director of the Steven Arnold Archive. Many of Arnold’s films have received renewed critical attention, being recently shown at the Tate Modern, London; the Museum of the Moving Image, New York; and the Centre Pompidou, Paris, among other recent venues.  This screening series will be the first time all of Arnold’s films have been shown in Los Angeles.

Arnold’s work was recently included in ONE’s Pacific Standard Time exhibition Cruising the Archive: Queer Art and Culture in Los Angeles, 1945-1980, a major, three-part showing of the archives’ extensive collections. With this exhibition, ONE is pleased to work with the Steven Arnold Archive to present Arnold’s work to the public with a greater depth and insight worthy of this visionary artist.

ONE Archives would like to thank the Steven Arnold Archive, especially Stephanie Farago and Blake Moffitt, and the City of West Hollywood. Steven Arnold: Cabinet of Curiosities is organized by David Frantz, Curator at ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, with assistance from the Steven Arnold Archive. Screenings in conjunction with this exhibition have been presented with support from the City of West Hollywood. Generous support for exhibitions and programming during ONE’s 60th Anniversary is provided by Wells Fargo.
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Bio

Steven Arnold (1943-1994) was a California-based artist, photographer, filmmaker and protégé of Salvador Dalí. Arnold held a Master’s degree in photography from the San Francisco Art Institute. He authored three photographic collections during his lifetime, Reliquaries (1983), Epiphanies (1989) and Angels of Night (1990). A fourth collection, Exotic Tableaux (1996), was published posthumously. Arnold’s work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art and ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, Los Angeles; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Cincinnati Art Museum, among others. Most recently, Arnold’s photography was included in ONE Archives’ Pacific Standard Time exhibition Cruising the Archive: Queer Art and Culture in Los Angeles, 1945-1980. For more information on Steven Arnold, please visit the Steven Arnold Archive online at stevenarnoldarchive.com.

 

Programs

Luminous Procuress

 

Screening: The Liberation of Mannique Mechanique (1967), Various Incarnations of a Tibetan Seamstress (1967), and Luminous Procuress (1970)
Saturday, November 17, 2012, 6-8pm

West Hollywood Library Community Room
625 North San Vicente Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069

Admission is free – suggested donation of $5

Please join us at the West Hollywood Library for a screening of three films by groundbreaking artist and filmmaker Steven Arnold in conjunction with the exhibition Steven Arnold: Cabinet of Curiositiesat the ONE Archives Gallery & Museum. The screening will include two of Arnold’s short films, The Liberation of Mannique Mechanique (1967) and Various Incarnations of a Tibetan Seamstress (1967), created while the artist attended the San Francisco Art Institute in the late 60s, followed by Arnold’s feature-length Luminous Procuress (1970). Featuring Arnold’s muse Pandora, beat-poet Ruth Weiss, and the gender-bending San Francisco performance troupe The Cockettes, Luminous Procuress brought Arnold considerable attention as an avant-garde filmmaker, being lauded by Salvador Dali and Andy Warhol. The film so impressed Dali that he invited Arnold to Spain to assist in embellishing and inaugurating his Theatre-Museum Dali.

The West Hollywood Community Room is located next to the library’s main entrance. The ONE Archives Gallery and Museum, locating just next door to the library on El Tovar Place, will be open before and after the screening for attendees to view the exhibition.

 

Messages-Messages

 

Screening: Messages, Messages (1968) and Steven Arnold’s Heavenly Bodies (2012)
Saturday, January 12, 2013
Screening 5-7pm; Reception 7-9pm

West Hollywood Library Community Room
625 North San Vicente Boulevard
West Hollywood, CA 90069

Admission is free – suggested donation of $5

Please join us at the West Hollywood Library for a screening of Steven Arnold’s Messages Messages (1968) followed by the new documentary Steven Arnold’s Heavenly Bodies and a closing reception for the exhibition Steven Arnold: Cabinet of Curiositiesat the ONE Archives Gallery & Museum. Produced with collaborator Michael Wiese, Messages, Messages was Arnold’s third short film for which he and Weise were invited to the Directors Fortnight at the Cannes Film Festival. Weise described Messages, Messages as, “a journey of the psyche into the world of the unconscious, influenced by Dali, Buñuel, and the German expressionists.” Steven Arnold’s Heavenly Bodies is a new documentary about the artist produced by artist and filmmaker Stephanie Farago, Creative Director of the Steven Arnold Archive. This special preview screening will include a Q&A with the director.

The West Hollywood Community Room is located next to the library’s main entrance. Following the screening, please join us at the the ONE Archives Gallery and Museum, locating just next door to the library on El Tovar Place, for a closing reception for Steven Arnold: Cabinet of Curiosities.

Images: (Top) Steven Arnold, Sea of Transition, c. 1980. Gelatin silver print; (Middle) Stills from Luminous Procuress, 1970. Courtesy of the Steven Arnold Archive