This book on Virginia Dwan and her galleries in Los Angeles and New York tells for the first time the unique story of a fundamental player on the global art scene, who has rarely been explored. The Dwan Gallery opened in Los Angeles in 1959 and showed works by artists such as Arman, Yves Klein, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, Niki de Saint Phalle, and Jean Tinguely, becoming a West Coast point of reference for international art. In 1965, Virginia Dwan also opened a gallery in New York, where she exhibited pieces by the protagonists of Minimalism and Conceptual Art. Through a rich collection of images and rare testimonies published for the first time, as well as a detailed chronology, in this volume Germano Celant recounts the years 1959–1971 in the Dwan Gallery, whose shows were as important as those organized by figures such as Leo Castelli and Ileana Sonnabend, also focusing on earlier and subsequent events in Virginia Dwan’s career up to the present.
Virginia Dwan (born October 18, 1931), an American art collector and art patron, is the former owner and executive director of Dwan Gallery Los Angeles (1959–1967) and Dwan Gallery New York (1965–1971), a contemporary art gallery closely identified with the American movements of Minimalism, Conceptual Art, and Earthworks. Germano Celant, a renowned art historian, critic, and theorist, has served as the curator of hundreds of exhibitions worldwide and published more than one hundred books and catalogs.