Llyn Foulkes, 1962. Photo: Ward Kimball
On the occasion of his retrospective exhibition at the New Museum, the influential painter and musician Llyn Foulkes will speak about his life and work.
Llyn Foulkes (b. 1934 Yakima, Washington) studied music and art at Central Washington College of Education until he was drafted into the US Army in 1954. After two years of service in postwar Germany, he studied at the University of Washington before moving to Los Angeles in 1957 to attend the Chouinard Art Institute. In 1959, he was included in a group exhibition at Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles, where he later had his first solo exhibition in 1961. Shortly after, his first solo museum exhibition was held at the Pasadena Museum of Art in 1962. Foulkes has been included in many important group exhibitions including “Whitney Museum Annual of American Painting,” Whitney Museum of American Art (1967); the Ninth São Paulo Biennial (1967); and the Paris Biennale (1967). He formed his own band, Llyn Foulkes and The Rubber Band, in 1973, which performed at various venues including The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson in 1974, and in 1979 he began building his epic music Machine, which he continues to perform on today. Foulkes received a Solomon R. Guggenheim Fellowship in 1977 and had his first survey exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago (1978). His first retrospective was held in 1995 at the Laguna Art Museum (traveled to Cincinnati, Oakland, and Palm Springs), and he was featured in “Helter Skelter: L.A. Art in the 1990s” at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1992). In 2008, he was awarded the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award, and in 2009, he received the Artists’ Legacy Foundation Award. In 2011, he was featured in seven “Pacific Standard Time” exhibitions at institutions in Southern California and the Venice Biennale, and in 2012 his paintings were included in Documenta 13, where he also performed.