Explore the Era

Delve into the postwar Los Angeles art world in this online archive, which provides additional material related to the exhibitions on view at the Getty Center. Learn about hipsters and happenings, and the venues across the city where all the action took place through images from the archives and first-hand accounts with the artists.

Bruce Conner

Bruce Conner (in tub), Toni Basil, Teri Garr, and Ann Marshall

Bruce Conner (in tub), Toni Basil, Teri Garr, and Ann Marshall, 1965. Photo by Dennis Hopper. Courtesy of and © The Dennis Hopper Trust

Bruce Conner (1933–2008) was a Kansas native, studied art in the Midwest, and moved to San Francisco in the late 1950s, where he quickly joined in the city’s vibrant Beat culture. Conner founded the Rat Bastard Protective Association, a group of artists that included Jay DeFeo, Wally Hedrick, Wallace Berman, and George Herms, all of whom lived in the Bay Area in the 1950s and 1960s. Conner’s early works were assemblages made with reclaimed materials; women’s stockings, costume jewelry, nails, and candles were combined and painted, resulting in complex sculptural works ripe with social commentary critical of American consumer culture.