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.

Craig Kauffman

Craig Kauffman, ca. 1955

Craig Kauffman, ca. 1955. © The Estate of Craig Kauffman. Photo by Ed Moses

Robert Craig Kauffman was born in 1932 in Los Angeles. He first studied architecture at the University of Southern California and then transferred to UCLA to pursue painting, completing his MA in 1956. Initially an abstract painter, he showed his work at Felix Landau Gallery and then regularly at Ferus Gallery. In 1964 he began experimenting with plastics and even sought out craftsmen at commercial factories to learn the technique. These glossy, industrial plastics, sometimes referred to as “bubbles,” were painted to appear as ethereal sculptures protruding from the wall.

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Works of Art

  • Untitled

    Untitled, 1969, Craig Kauffman. Acrylic lacquer on plastic. 73 x 50 x 9 in. Courtesy the Estate of Craig Kauffman and the Frank Lloyd Gallery. © The Estate of Craig Kauffman

Explore the Archive

  • Video: the postwar L.A. gallery scene

    Video: Making the Scene—find out about the L.A. gallery scene during the postwar years

  • Poster for Craig Kauffman exhibition

    Poster for Craig Kauffman exhibition at Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles, 1962. © The Estate of Craig Kauffman. The Getty Research Institute, Gift of Michael Asher, 2009.M.30.16. Courtesy Frank Lloyd Gallery, Santa Monica, California

  • Craig Kauffman installation

    Installation view of Craig Kauffman's solo exhibition at the Pasadena Art Museum, including works from Kauffman's Loops series, 1970. Photo by Frank J. Thomas. Courtesy of the Frank J. Thomas Archives

  • Craig Kauffman in Billy Al Bengston's studio

    Craig Kauffman in Billy Al Bengston's studio in the 1960s. Image courtesy of and © Billy Al Bengston