Bruce Conner

decade

1930s

1933

Bruce Conner is born in McPherson, Kansas.

decade

1950s

1951

Bruce Conner begins undergraduate studies at the Municipal University of Wichita (now Wichita State University).

1953

Bruce Conner attends the Kansas City Art Institute one summer and takes classes in watercolor and oil painting.

1954

Bruce Conner transfers to the University of Nebraska during the spring semester and meets his future wife, artist Jean Sandstedt.

1955

Bruce Conner earns his BA from the University of Nebraska.

1956

Bruce Conner is awarded a Max Beckmann Memorial Scholarship to the Brooklyn Museum Art School and attends for six months.

1956

Bruce Conner joins Jean Sandstedt at the University of Colorado Boulder on scholarship after realizing New York is not for him. During that time he cofounds the Experimental Cinema Group (now First Personal Cinema) with Sandstedt and several others. Due to his predilection for skipping classes, he drops out of his program when Sandstedt graduates.

1957

Bruce Conner cutting the wedding cake with Jean Sandstedt Conner, Sep 1, 1957. © Conner Family Trust, San Francisco and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy of Anastasia Aukeman.
Bruce and Jean Conner, in Omaha, boarding the airplane to San Francisco, Sep 1, 1957. © Conner Family Trust, San Francisco and Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Courtesy of Anastasia Aukeman.

1957

Bruce Conner marries Jean Sandstedt on September 1 in Lincoln, Nebraska (Sandstedt’s hometown). Together, Bruce and Jean Conner move to San Francisco that night.

1957

Bruce Conner and Jean Conner live on Jackson Street around the corner from where artists Sonia Gechtoff, Jay DeFeo, Joan Brown, and Wally Hedrick live on Fillmore Street.

1957

Bruce Conner becomes friends with Wallace Berman, George Herms, Robert Duncan, and Jess Collins.

1958

Bruce Conner founds the Rat Bastard Protective Association, which includes his wife Jean Conner, Joan Brown, Jay DeFeo, David Haselwood, Wally Hedrick, Fred Martin, and Carlos Villa.

late 1950s 1958

Bruce Conner creates a body of paper collages using fragments of nineteenth-century engraved illustrations that he attributes to his friend Dennis Hopper.

decade

1960s

1961

Jean Conner has solo exhibitions at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center, where she works as a clerk in the women’s clinic, and City Lights bookstore in San Francisco—both of which her husband, Bruce Conner, helps organize.

1962

Bruce Conner has a solo exhibition at the Ferus Gallery in June.

1962

Bruce Conner and Jean Conner move back to Wichita, Kansas, and then to the Boston area, living briefly at Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert’s commune.

1960s 1964

Vija Celmins reads Beat poets like Michael McClure, a friend of Bruce Conner.

1965

Dennis Hopper, Bruce Conner (in tub), Toni Basil, Teri Garr, and Ann Marshall, 1965. Gelatin silver print; image: 24 × 16 in., framed: 28 ½ × 20 ½ in. © Dennis Hopper. Courtesy of The Hopper Art Trust.

1965

Bruce Conner has a two-month residency at the Tamarind Lithography Workshop.

1965

Dennis Hopper photographs his friend Bruce Conner.

1965

Bruce Conner and Jean Conner return to San Francisco and live in the Haight-Ashbury district.

1967

Bruce Conner, Roy De Forest, and William T. Wiley are included in Peter Selz’s Funk exhibition at University Art Museum, Berkeley.

1967

William T. Wiley participates in Funk, an exhibition curated by Peter Selz at the University Art Museum, Berkeley. It includes Wiley’s Slant Step Becomes Rhino/Rhino Becomes Slant Step in addition to works by Bruce Conner and Roy De Forest.

1968

Bruce Conner advises Dennis Hopper on his film Easy Rider (1969).

late 1960s 1968

Roy De Forest congregates at the Rainbow House at 908 Steiner Street in San Francisco. The house was a place where Davis–Sacramento artists like Bruce Conner and De Forest could mingle with their peers.

decade

1970s

1971–73 1971

Bruce Conner uses the Dennis Hopper collages as source material for a series of photo etchings produced at Crown Point Press in Oakland, with founding Director Kathan Brown. They are published in three volumes as The Dennis Hopper One Man Show. Conner originally proposed the collages for an exhibition of the same name at the Nicholas Wilder Gallery in Los Angeles in 1967, but Wilder rejected the proposal given the false attribution.

1972

Bruce Conner and Jean Conner organize A Conner Family Show at the Quay Gallery in San Francisco. It also includes works by their nine-year-old son Robert.

1973

The Dennis Hopper One Man Show opens at the James Willis Gallery in San Francisco.

1974

Bruce Conner, 10/15/74, 1974. Ink on paper; sheet: 22 × 20 ¼ in. (55.9 × 51.4 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of Baxter Travenol Laboratories, Inc., Deerfield, IL, 1983.25. © 2018 Conner Family Trust, San Francisco/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.
Bruce Conner, 7/29/74, 1974. Ink on paper; sheet: 21 13/16 × 20 ¼ in. (55.4 × 51.4 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of Baxter Travenol Laboratories, Inc., Deerfield, IL, 1983.23. © 2018 Conner Family Trust, San Francisco/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.
Bruce Conner, 8/16/74, 1974. Ink on paper; sheet: 21 7/8 × 20 ¼ in. (55.6 × 51.4 cm). Collection Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, gift of Baxter Travenol Laboratories, Inc., Deerfield, IL, 1983.24. © 2018 Conner Family Trust, San Francisco/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photo: Nathan Keay, © MCA Chicago.

1974

Bruce Conner designs a poster for Anna Halprin‘s San Francisco Dancers’ Workshop. It is projected onto the wall of the rotunda of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) during a performance.

mid-1970s 1974

Bruce Conner is considered part of the Wichita Group, which includes playwright Michael McClure and publisher of the Rat Bastard poets David Haselwood.

1975

Bruce Conner, poster for San Francisco Dancers’ Workshop’s “A Workshop for San Francisco,” 1975. Poster. Anna Halprin Papers, Elyse Eng Dance Collection, Museum of Performance + Design. © 2018 Conner Family Trust, San Francisco/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

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