PRINT Summer 2007

Connie Butler

Guy de Cointet, The Halved Painting, 1974. Performance view, University of California, Irvine, 1974. Deborah Coates.

ONE OF THE SONGS I had in constant rotation for years in my car in Los Angeles was David Stephenson and Richard Bell’s “I Want to Hang Out with Ed Ruscha”: “I want to pack up and fly to LA / I want to hang out with Ed Ruscha / He makes the words and light interplay / He puts cool into LA / That’s Ed Ruscha.” It was on a compilation CD commemorating the late Giovanni Intra, the mercurial New Zealander who was a founder and the pied piper of China Art Objects gallery in Los Angeles for four short years. Like the French-born artist and LA immigrant Guy de Cointet, whose work is the topic at hand, Intra’s light burned fast and bright. The impact he had on his host city and its resident artists was profound and indelible. He must have loved that catchy Ruscha tribute (I assume that’s why it’s on the disc) for the way its languid phrasing and cool temperature crystallize the exotic,

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