From the Archive
The Beat atmosphere that had characterized Ferus Gallery during its early years waned noticeably as the 1950s came to an end. Poetry readings gave way to glamorous opening parties. The Ferus group self-consciously characterized themselves as masculine and hard-working—a stance that would reach its apotheosis in 1964, when Ed Moses, Ken Price, Billy Al Bengston, and Robert Irwin took part in a group show brazenly called The Studs. The exhibition poster, which incorporated an illustration of a pioneer unloading lumber from a horse-drawn cart, aligned the artists with the resourceful and laboring frontiersman. Despite their divergence from the Bay Area school of abstract expressionism, this core group of painters remained true believers in abstraction.