Cool School documentary tells the story of L.A.’s influential, artist-launching Ferus Gallery

Tonight, PBS’ Independent Lens debuts The Cool School, a documentary that follows the nine-year life of Los Angeles’ Ferus Gallery. It airs at whatever time your local PBS station decides to air it. (PBS seriously needs to get its act together and force its affiliates to air national programs at the same time. My lame-ass station is airing it at 3 a.m. Thursday.)

The Ferus Gallery “nurtured Los Angeles’s first significant post-war artists between 1957 and 1966,” and “served as a general launching point for Ed Kienholz, Ed Ruscha, Craig Kauffman, Wallace Berman, Ed Moses and Robert Irwin, among many other artists,” and also “played a role in solidifying the careers of many of New York’s brightest talents, including Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Donald Judd, Frank Stella, Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns,” according to PBS.

The film includes interviews with some of those artists, and was written, directed, and produced by Morgan Neville. He says he did the film because “[t]here were so many things that attracted me to this story: great themes, great characters, great context, great visuals, and it takes place in the city I love/hate, Los Angeles.” Here’s a preview:

The Cool School [PBS]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.