RISMEDIA, August 20, 2010—On the heels of the July 11th opening of the highly anticipated exhibition celebrating the late Dennis Hopper’s artistic career organized at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), organized by incoming director Jeffrey Deitch and curated by Julian Schnabel, it was announced that Dennis Hopper’s Venice, CA compound, which he commissioned largely as a showcase for his art and which he made his home for more than 20 years, will be introduced to the market at $6.245 million. The rare property is located in the trendy Abbot Kinney area and features an “Art Barn” and three loft-style townhouses created by visionary architect Frank Gehry, as well as a main residence designed by Brian A. Murphy.
Dennis Hopper, who appeared in more than 100 films throughout his career spanning nearly 60 years, is credited with changing the landscape of American cinema with his iconoclastic 1964 film “Easy Rider,” which celebrated the counterculture of the 1960s and sent shockwaves around the world when it won Best Film at Cannes and went on to make more than $40 million at the box office, a record-setting performance for a film that cost less than $400,000 to make. Dennis Hopper directed and starred alongside Peter Fonda and Jack Nicholson in the film which offered a scathing indictment of conformity and redefined American film.
It was none other than James Dean who first encouraged Dennis Hopper to take up what would become a lifelong artistic passion – photography. Hopper had appeared with James Dean in the classic film “Rebel Without a Cause” in 1955 and then in “Giant” in 1956 along with Elizabeth Taylor. Hopper looked up to James Dean as a mentor and a hero in many ways. Over the years, Hopper documented everything in his photographs from the hippie movement to the 1963 civil rights March on Washington at which Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech. He later went on to turn vintage photographs of public figures, friends and colleagues, including Paul Newman and Bill Cosby, into billboard-size paintings. Peter Fonda famously said that Dennis Hopper’s portrayal of a photojournalist in Francis Ford Coppola’s “Apocalypse Now” was a case of art imitating life.
The unique contemporary property at which Hopper collected his photography and paintings, as well as the work of many other leading artists, became a haven for artists from around the world. Artists converged at the estate to collaborate: From staged plays and readings to projected films, the property hosted a multitude of artists’ gatherings. Hopper’s art circle included some of the biggest names in the world, whose art he collected, such as Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, and Andy Warhol. Hopper purchased Warhol’s first Campbell’s Soup paining for just $75. In 2006, one of Warhol’s Soup Can paintings sold for $11.776 Million.
The main house, which is constructed of corrugated steel, and the three townhouses are all designed to capture the light and are airy, open, light-filled loft-style spaces. Continuing the industrial aesthetic throughout the property, the pool house features concrete floors. The estate also boasts a charming original vintage Venice bungalow-style cottage built in 1909 which offers a retreat with 1,355 square feet of living space. The entire compound extends to over 15,550 square feet. The main house, completed in 1987 by architect Brian Murphy, offers 4,900 square feet of living space. The three Frank Gehry designed townhouses, which were built in 1981, range in size from 1,143 to 1330 square feet.
The property is a joint listing by Jade Mills and Jane Gavens, both with Coldwell Banker Previews International of Beverly Hills.
“With its undulating aluminum and steel exterior, the main residence is an ode to the industrial look,” explains Jade Mills. “This property represents a truly rare find. It is an artist’s ‘dream-come-true’ with its light-filled interiors and its artistic heritage. It is also an opportunity to purchase a coveted Frank Gehry property in one of the townhouses.”
In addition to the $6.245 million listing price for the entire Venice compound, the option also exists to purchase the main residence, bungalow, lap pool and pool house for $3.595 million and to purchase the townhouses separately; they range from $750,000 – $1,050,000.
“This is an architectural property in a class all its own,” said Jane Gavens. “Imagine Frank Gehry’s visionary architectural inspiration combined with Dennis Hopper’s incisive, iconoclastic artistic vision: the result is truly incomparable.”