Your humble blogger wrote a piece for Los Angeles magazine about the origins, offerings and meaning of the whole thing -- it includes a dozen recommended shows, from the Getty's overview, Crosscurrents, to a show of swimming pool photography in Palm Springs. Here's an image that describes what I liked about this period:
Walter Hopps, the curator-genius who steered the gallery in its radical early days, originally supported his art habit by working as a psych-ward orderly. Kienholz lived, as he put it, “on the fringes of society, like a termite,” so poor that he bartered a painting for the removal of an aching tooth. Irwin made his money winning dance contests—the lindy mostly—and betting on horses. Billy Al Bengston was so broke that he couldn’t afford a battery for his car: The art school dropout parked his ’37 Pontiac facing downhill, nose toward the Malibu surf, so he could roll-start it.
Here's something art critic Dave Hickey just told the New York Times:
|Wildman Ed Kienholz|
You be the judge.