DILEXI Totems and Phenomenology

Arlo Acton, Tony DeLap, Deborah Remington, Charles Ross, Richard Van Buren

Organized with Laura Whitcomb in association with Label Curatorial 

June 22, 2019 – August 10, 2019


Los Angeles Times


The Architect's Newspaper

Parrasch Heijnen Gallery is pleased to participate in the multi-venue Dilexi Gallery retrospective with a historic presentation of works by Arlo Acton, Tony DeLap, Deborah Remington, Charles Ross, and Richard Van Buren.

The Dilexi gallery began out of necessity--a deep-seated need to have a serious space for counterculture artists in the heart of vibrantly active beatnik San Francisco. In 1958, Jim Newman and Bob Alexander filled this void championing free-spirited and nonconformist artists. Dilexi, which derives from Latin “to select, to value highly, to love,” was the conduit necessary for these disparate artists to experiment with new materials and non-traditional techniques that eventually became their individual styles outside any singular art movement. Pivotal museum exhibitions such as Primary Structures (1966: Jewish Museum, New York, NY) as well as the locally founded ArtForum brought Dilexi artists international recognition.

Reverberating in the cultural and emotional displacement of their time, these artists pursued a spiritual pilgrimage that burst forth in dramatically new forms of art. Urgent and improvisational “happenings,” experimental media, and the adaptation of cottage industry production reinvented the art scene on the West Coast. The proximity of San Francisco to Los Angeles allowed artists a free interchange of ideas between the two centers. Contrasting with the echoing density in the Bay area, the lack of infrastructure and slow pace in Los Angeles gave parallel rise to serious exploration where artists were supported by similarly groundbreaking galleries such as Ferus, Dwan, and Wilder. Newman, keen on this porous exchange, opened a second Dilexi location in Los Angeles in 1962, which included solo exhibitions by Deborah Remington, Joe Goode, and H.C. Westermann.

In 1969, Newman left the gallery and began the Dilexi Foundation with Ralph H. Silver, the mission of which was to promote artists’ loose avant-garde projects with a broader reach through a television series aired on KQED. The first of the groundbreaking series was Arlo Acton’s and Terry Riley’s ‘Music with Balls.’ Following a successful television run, Newman and Silver organized 35 artist happenings around San Francisco titled September 1970.

This exhibition includes works by Arlo Acton, Tony DeLap, Deborah Remington, Charles Ross, and Richard Van Buren, who all exhibited within Dilexi’s immense roster. These artists embody the radical aesthetics that came out of the resounding counterculture activity. By instinctively discerning spatial perception, they produce artwork with illusionistic phenomena relating to corporeal and environmental awareness. The collective aesthetic energy of the Dilexi community continues to have an expanding impact on artistic dialogue today.  

Arlo Acton (b. 1933, Knoxville, IO - d. 2018, North San Juan, CA) earned a BA from Washington State University and an MFA in 1962 from the California Institute of Arts San Francisco. He taught sculpture at the University of California, Berkeley. Acton’s art fell into Neo-Dada, self expressionism as part of the Funk Movement in the Bay area. In 1976, Arlo, his partner Robyn Martin and a small community of like-minded radicals moved to North San Juan, also known as "The Ridge," to farm organically and live independently. The couple started Olala Farms, which was among one of the first farms to return to an entirely organic practice implementing the art of self-healing and wildcrafting organics. Acton’s work is featured in the collections of major museums including: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA and Fine Arts Museum of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA.

Tony DeLap (b. 1927 Oakland, CA – d. 2019, Corona Del Mar, CA) has exhibited extensively since 1963. His work resides in the permanent collections of Tate Modern, London, UK; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA; and Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne, Switzerland, among many others. He has been included in such landmark exhibitions as The Responsive Eye (1965: Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY), Primary Structures (1966: Jewish Museum, New York, NY), and American Sculpture of the Sixties (1967: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA). In 2018, the Laguna Museum of Art mounted a major retrospective of DeLap’s work dating from 1961 to 2018, curated by Peter Frank and was accompanied by a fully illustrated publication.

Deborah Remington’s (b. 1930, Haddonfield, NJ - d. 2010, Moorestown, NJ) career burgeoned in the 1960s when she had three solo shows at the Dilexi Gallery in San Francisco and one at the San Francisco Museum of Art. In 1963, she was the only woman to show at Dilexi’s short-lived Los Angeles gallery alongside Joe Goode and H.C. Westermann. In New York, she exhibited at Bykert Gallery starting in 1967. A twenty-year retrospective exhibition of Remington’s work, curated by Paul Schimmel, was held at the Newport Harbor Art Museum (Newport Beach, CA) in 1983 (now Orange County Museum of Art), and traveled to the Oakland Museum of Art as well as several other venues. More recently, Remington’s work has been featured in several exhibitions including: Women of Abstract Expressionism, a traveling exhibition by the Denver Art Museum and Psychedelic: Optical and Visionary Art Since the 1960s, which opened at the San Antonio Museum of Art in 2010 and traveled widely. Remington was the recipient of numerous grants and awards in her lifetime including a Guggenheim Fellowship (1984), a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship (1979), and a Tamarind Fellowship (1973), among others. In 1999, she was elected to the National Academy of Design and also received a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant.

Charles Ross (b. 1937, Philadelphia, PA) graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 1960 and went on to complete an M.A. there in 1962. Ross was a 2011 Guggenheim Fellow and recipient of an Andy Warhol Foundation Grant in 1999. His works reside in the permanent collections of numerous institutions internationally including the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France; the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY. Most recently Ross’ work has shown at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA; Reina Sofia Museum, Madrid, Spain; Ludwig Museum Koblenz, Germany; Palazzo Fortuny, Venice, Italy; and Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA, as part of the Los Angeles to New York: The Dwan Gallery, 1959 - 1971 exhibition.

Richard Van Buren (b. 1937, Syracuse, NY) studied painting and sculpture at San Francisco State University and the National University of Mexico. In 1964, Van Buren relocated to New York. From 1967 to 1988, he taught in the Sculpture Department at the School of Visual Arts. In 1988, he began teaching at the Parsons School of Design. He now lives and works in Perry, Maine. Van Buren’s work is featured in the collections of major museums around the world, including: the Art Institute of Chicago, IL; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; the Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; the National Gallery, Washington, D.C.; the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.; the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA; and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN.

DILEXI Totems and Phenomenology is organized with Laura Whitcomb in association with Label Curatorial. The exhibition will be on view at Parrasch Heijnen Gallery, 1326 S. Boyle Avenue, Los Angeles, from June 22, 2019 - August 10, 2019, with an opening reception taking place on June 22, from 4 - 7p. Other exhibition venues include Brian Gross Fine Art and Crown Point Press in San Francisco, and Parker Gallery, The Landing, and Marc Selwyn Fine Art in Los Angeles. There is a forthcoming publication by Label Curatorial on the history of the Dilexi Gallery. For more information, please contact the gallery at +1 (323) 943-9373 or info@parraschheijnen.com

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