You don’t know Jack–or his influence on LA art

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John McCracken; Red/Black, 1977; Plywood, fiberglass, polyester resin; 16 3/8 x 18 x 12 inches

John McCracken; Red/Black, 1977; Plywood, fiberglass, polyester resin; 16 3/8 x 18 x 12 inches

I have one word for you: Plastics. They’re beautiful, they’re sleek, they’re so seventies– but how did artists work with this material? With some special help from the unsung hero of the Los Angeles art world: Jack Brogan.

Once a woodworker and transformed by a random encounter into perhaps the world’s first “art fabricator,” Jack has assisted some of Southern California’s premiere artists with, shall we say, smoothing it all out. Plastics, glass, wood– and in the case of Frank Gehry, cardboard. Jack worked with all of the greats to help them achieve their vision, turning it into a career and his life’s work.

He’s being celebrated at the Katherine Cone Gallery in Culver City now, in a show that turns out to be something of a mini-Pacific Standard Time unto itself. Works he helped create are not only on display, but for sale.

Art critic Hunter Drohojowska-Philp talked about it this week on Art Talk.

You don’t know Jack: From the collection of the foremost ultimate artist enabler is on display through June 2nd