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Lari Pittman & Roy Dowell

Roy Dowell is a California contemporary visual artist. He was born in 1951 in New York and his work combines collage and painted elements, and elements of mass media to create abstract compositions. (P: Lari Pittman and Roy Dowell - LACMA 2013 Art + Film Gala Honoring Martin Scorsese)

Dowell received a Bachelor of Fine Art and Master of Fine Arts (1977) from California Institute of the Arts, where he also met his life partner, the painter Lari Pittman. Pittman and Dowell have been building for nearly a dozen years Parque Oaxaca, a three-quarter-acre private garden.“I think of it as community service,” Pittman says, smiling and watching the hummingbirds and blue jays flit through the spray. The thick coastal scrub in the steep arroyo just beyond the garden is full of thirsty birds and animals — deer, bobcat, quail, fox, even bears. Occasionally he encounters a 4-foot-long green-striped garden snake during his watering chores. Rather than panic, as he might once have done, Pittman says hello.

Pittman and Dowell have been pillars in the modern art world for 30 years, exhibiting their work in galleries and museums around the globe. A couple since the mid-70s, their artistic styles are in many ways polar opposites. Pittman’s large canvases are often a chaos of images and messages frozen in a pleasing clarity, a humorous tumble down Alice’s rabbit hole. By contrast, Dowell’s collages are abstract, forms and colors that speak to the emotions wordlessly, like free-form jazz.Their garden high in the Verdugo Hills is a collaboration of both sensibilities: playful, dramatic, perfectly staged, and expertly balanced.

In 1998, when the couple heard about a six-acre parcel for sale in the foothills, they jumped at the chance to get such a large chunk of land just minutes from downtown Los Angeles. The property had been an unfinished development project of iconic Modernist architect Richard Neutra and included a 1953 wood-and-glass building with views all the way to the ocean. After living there for a few years, the couple commissioned local architect Michael Maltzan to build an additional home on the property, where they now reside. Bright white and modernistic, it sits below the Neutra house (which now hosts guests), closer to the garden.


Roy Dowell is a California contemporary visual artist. His work combines collage and painted elements, and elements of mass media to create abstract compositions. Lari Pittman is an American painter. Pittman received his MFA from the Cal Arts in 1976. There he met his life partner, the abstract painter Roy Dowell who he has lived with ever since. Pittman and Dowell have been pillars in the modern art world for 30 years, exhibiting their work in galleries and museums around the globe.


Lari Pittman and Roy Dowell have been building for nearly a dozen years Parque Oaxaca, a three-quarter-acre private garden. The property had been an unfinished development project of iconic Modernist architect Richard Neutra and included a 1953 wood-and-glass building with views all the way to the ocean. The couple commissioned local architect Michael Maltzan to build an additional home on the property. Bright white and modernistic, it sits below the Neutra house, closer to the garden.




Roy Dowell






Lari Pittman





“It was like Haussmann redoing central Paris,” says Pittman, referencing the urban planning overseen by Baron Georges-Eugene Haussmann 150 years ago, establishing the parks and boulevards of modern Paris. “We knew it was big and we couldn’t simply start putting in petunias here and there.” 

Dowell is exhibited nationally and internationally, including a one-person exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of the Arts. He is represented in major museum collections such as Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, the Hammer Museum of UCLA, Berkeley Museum of Art and the Oakland Museum. He is represented by Margo Leavin Gallery.

In 1979, Dowell founded the Graduate Fine Arts Department at Otis College of Art and Design and serves as Chair. In 2010, he was honored by the Ben Maltz Gallery with an exhibition called "The Story of O", which celebrates the work of 20 graduates. He was selected for "critic's pick" in the May 2010 issue of ARTnews.

He has been awarded a J. Paul Getty Fellowship in the Visual Arts, and has served as artist in residence at the Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Snowmass, Colorado.

Lari Pittman (b. 1952 in Los Angeles, California) is an American painter. His American father met his Colombian mother while the former was working abroad in the latter's homeland.

Pittman received his MFA from the Cal Arts in 1976. There he met his life partner,the abstract painter Roy Dowell who he has lived with ever since. He is now a professor at UCLA (an institution which he once attended, but, from which he did not earn a degree). In 1996 his work was the subject of a mid careet survey at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

In David Pagel’s interview with Pittman, he concludes that Pittman’s paintings include “imaginary organic forms, runaway arrows, and arabesques, transform ornamentation into a contemporary narrative of life and death, love and sex.” He also believes “Pittman’s operatic pictures propose that the world’s complexity does not override passion, sincerity, and individuality.” When talking about his own work, Pittman states: “at times, I purposefully orchestrate the work so that you do have that comfortable laughter when looking at it—it’s fullhearted and enjoyable internally—but it’s also a laughter linked to nervousness. And that’s the laughter I particularly like cultivating, parlor laughter, where there’s always the subtext of conversation going on, but everyone is very agreeable.”

Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Dowell & www.gardendesign.com/roy-dowell-and-lari-pittmans-cactus-garden-in-los-angeles

Further Readings:

Metropolitan Home Design 100: The Last Word on Modern Interiors by Michael Lassell
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Filipacchi Publishing; 1 edition (October 13, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1933231998
ISBN-13: 978-1933231990
Amazon: Metropolitan Home Design 100: The Last Word on Modern Interiors

From its earliest days Metropolitan Home magazine grew into the standard bearer for contemporary home design in the US and became an active participant in reshaping the way Americans live. Always on the forefront of new trends, yet never elevating fashion over substantive style, Met Home championed creative re-use of old buildings, the opening up of homes to light, the reinvention of mid-century modernism, the green revolution in architecture, and the new "big mix" in interior decoration. Many of the designers and architects featured in its pages went on to become household names and leaders of the design profession.

A favorite annual issue known as the Design 100 honored superlative invention and creativity in international design. Metropolitan Home Design 100 focuses on the best homes and the best rooms ever to have appeared in Met Home - as well as scores of new locations and never-before-published photographs. Each of the 100 houses, apartments, lofts, rooms, or design details included in the book is the greatest of something, and each has been created by one of the top designers or architects of our time. The 100 taken as a whole have been curated in the spirit of Met Home: lively, beautiful, accessible, aspirational, real.

Metropolitan Home ceased publication with its December 2009 issue, but the spirit, the vision, and the legacy of the magazine lives on, in this book, in the hearts of thousands of loyal followers and in the way we live now. Metropolitan Home Design 100 is a celebration, a valediction, and a gift to anyone who loves modern design.

More Artists at my website: www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Art

More Real Life Romances at my website:
www.elisarolle.com/, My Ramblings/Real Life Romance


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