Exhibitions

From Start to Finish: De Wain Valentine’s Gray Column

September 13, 2011–March 11, 2012
J. Paul Getty Museum, West Pavilion

De Wain Valentine polishing Gray Column

De Wain Valentine polishing Gray Column in 1976. © De Wain Valentine. Photo courtesy of De Wain Valentine

About the Exhibition

Gray Column was one of the largest sculptures De Wain Valentine ever cast with polyester resin―the material with which he worked through the 1960s and 1970s to create his dazzling Circles and Columns. This monumental, free-standing slab, measuring 12 feet high and 8 feet wide, will be displayed to the public for the first time. The exhibition From Start to Finish: De Wain Valentine’s “Gray Column” tells the story of how this extraordinary piece was made and features preparatory drawings and maquettes, videos documenting the fabrication process, interviews with the artist, and a discussion of the conservation of this sculpture.

This exhibition is organized by the Getty Conservation Institute in collaboration with the J. Paul Getty Museum.

Learn about technical studies and conservation research being conducted at the Getty in conjunction with the initiative.

Images

See more images related to De Wain Valentine.

  • Gray Column

    Gray Column, 1975–76, De Wain Valentine. Polyester resin. 140 x 87 1/2 x 9 1/2 in. Lent by De Wain Valentine. Artwork © De Wain Valentine

  • Video: Start to Finish, the Story of Gray Column

    Video: The story behind the making of Gray Column, from its original concept to its display at the Getty Center, includes a wealth of stunning archival images taken during Gray Column’s creation.

  • Video: De Wain Valentine and the L.A. Art Scene

    Video: De Wain Valentine and the L.A. Art Scene in the 1960s and 70s is explored by the Getty Conservation Institute.

  • Video: MasKast Resin, developed by De Wain Valentine

    Video: MasKast Resin, the polyester developed by De Wain Valentine to create his large-scale sculptures, is explored by the Getty Conservation Institute.

  • Video: Pristine surfaces on De Wain Valentine's sculptures

    Video: Surface Matters—learn about the role of and upkeep for the pristine surfaces on De Wain Valentine's sculptures through the work of the Getty Conservation Institute.

  • Video: Getty Conservation Institute and Valentine's 'Gray Column'

    Video: Learn about the research and activities of the Getty Conservation Institute that went into the planning of the exhibition From Start to Finish: De Wain Valentine's Gray Column.

  • De Wain Valentine polishing Gray Column

    De Wain Valentine polishing Gray Column in 1976. © De Wain Valentine. Photo courtesy of De Wain Valentine

  • Two Gray Walls

    Two Gray Walls, 1975–76, De Wain Valentine. Cast polyester resin. © De Wain Valentine. Photo courtesy of De Wain Valentine

  • Slideshow: De Wain Valentine's process of creating Gray Column

    Slideshow: De Wain Valentine’s process of creating Gray Column, 1975–76. © De Wain Valentine. First, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 8th photo by and © Cathy Weiner; 2nd and 3rd photo by Sean Valentine

Related Events

Admission to the Getty Center is FREE. No tickets or reservations are required for general admission. For visitor information, see information on planning a visit or call (310) 440-7300. All events are free, unless otherwise noted. Reservations are required for performances, lectures, seminars, and courses.

Lecture


Modern Art in Los Angeles—An Evening with De Wain Valentine
The Getty Conservation Institute collaborates with the Getty Research Institute to present a special evening with artist De Wain Valentine on the occasion of the exhibition From Start to Finish: De Wain Valentine's "Gray Column."

Watch a video recording of this event.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011, 6:00 p.m.
Getty Center, Harold M. Williams Auditorium

 

Talks


Curator’s Gallery Talks—From Start to Finish: De Wain Valentine's Gray Column
Curators Tom Learner, Rachel Rivenc, and Emma Richardson, of the Getty Conservation Institute, lead a gallery talk on the exhibition From Start to Finish: De Wain Valentine's "Gray Column." Meet under the stairs in the Museum Entrance Hall. Free; no reservations required.

Tuesdays, October 4 and December 13, 2011, 1:30 p.m.
Thursday, January 12, 2012, 1:30 p.m.
Thursday, November 10, 2011, 1:30 p.m.
Tuesday, February 7, 2012, 2:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 1, 2012, 2:30 p.m.

 

Film Screening


From Start to Finish: The Story of Gray Column
This 30-minute documentary video recounts the remarkable story behind the making of Gray Column, from its original concept to its display at the Getty Center, through interviews with Valentine and his contemporaries, his studio assistants, collectors, conservators, curators, and scientists, and includes a wealth of stunning archival images taken during Gray Column's creation.

It illustrates the extraordinary measures Valentine undertook to develop a material that would enable him to cast colossal pieces, and the efforts needed to achieve their extremely delicate and pristine surfaces. Free; no reservations required.

Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, September 13–25, 2011, and October 4, 2011–March 11, 2012
1:00 p.m

Tuesday–Sunday, September 27–October 2, 2011
12:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Getty Center, Museum Lecture Hall