Getty Research Institute Acquires Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions Archives

Jeffrey Vallance, LACE 4th Annual St. Valentine’s Day flyer, 1984.


The Getty Research Institute has added another delectable-sounding archive to its holdings, that of the storied exhibition space Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, which is toasting its 40th anniversary this year.

“We are particularly pleased to preserve and study an archive of this caliber from a landmark Los Angeles institution,” the GRI’s director, Thomas W. Gaehtgens, said in a statement. “LACE has helped launch careers, supported a vibrant and ever-changing Los Angeles art scene, and pioneered a unique exhibition and performance program that while, artist-driven, supports community development and social causes.”

The 40-year archive includes materials from ASCO, Mike Kelley, Suzanne Lacy, Paul McCarthy, Rafa Esparza, and many, many more, according to the GRI, which says that LACE has worked with more than 5,000 artists in 3,000 different programs during its run. Future documents and other materials from LACE will also be given to the Getty.

Fun fact: LACE is of course, an acronym, but it had special resonance for the organization early on, since its original location was located in the bridal shop district of Los Angeles when it was founded by 13 artists. It’s now located in Hollywood, in a space it moved to in 1994.

Other recent GRI archival acquisitions include those of architect Frank Gehry and artists Allan Sekula, Mary Kelly, and Harmony Hammonds.

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