Robert Berman Presents “Luck And Love Revisited”
Ben Talbert was an accomplished painter and sculptor, who was part of the original circle of beat and alternative Venice artist’s from the 1960’s. Not only was he friends with all of the people from the seminal group, in particular Wallace Berman and Ed Kienholz, but was also exhibited in a major show with both of them at the Pasadena Art Museum as well as a solo show curated by Walter Hopps. Talbert’s assemblages are still well known and were recently in exhibitions at the Whitney Museum and at the Santa Monica Museum.
In the late 60’s Talbert painted large Pop paintings of pornographic playing cards, using the American Flag as the background. This work was shown in a group exhibition in 1972 at the David Stuart Gallery in Los Angeles that was closed down by police as obscene. His friends organized a secret exhibited called Luck and Love for two days at the Mermaid Tavern in Topanga, California. Other than this renegade show his paintings and drawings have never been shown.
When he died in 1974, the Women’s movement was in full swing. Glicksman, an advocate of Talbert’s, concluded that Talbert’s work needed to be stored away for a long time to find a new audience. Even by today’s liberal standards, the work is very tough.
This is Ben Talbert’s first solo exhibition since 1973.