Terry Allen

LA Louver/Santa Monica Museum of Art

How did Los Angeles come to host what amounted to a Terry Allen festival? The Lubbock-raised, LA-schooled, and Santa Fe–based visual artist, musician, and writer was the subject of simultaneous solo exhibitions at LA Louver and the Santa Monica Museum of Art; the Skirball Cultural Center produced his new play; and LACMA organized a conversation between Allen and art criticism’s great Texan Dave Hickey. Perhaps Allen’s completion of a multimedia opus several years in the making converged with a broadly felt need for a practice that, though inconsistent, is also genuinely unpredictable; maybe LA was finally ready for some hot and bothered grit with hints of Ed Kienholz’s and Wallace Berman’s complicated humanity and politics. And perhaps at a time when insidious federal policies are masked by talk of patriotism and traditional values, we can really use a storyteller like Allen, who knows

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