Since the 1960s, the Los Angeles art world had begun to establish itself as a rival force to New York. Marc Pally, of Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE) and Linda Shearer devised this “exchange” exhibition, in which five artists who had previously exhibited in either gallery were chosen to participate in a group show in the opposite city. The artists included Charles Clough, Rebecca Howland, Jeff Koons, Nachume Miller, Christy Rupp, and Reese Williams from Artists Space; and Jill Giegerich, Victor Henderson, Kim Hubbard, Lari Pittman, Mitchell Syrop, and Megan Williams from LACE.
The show not only sought to grant national exposure to local artists, but also examined the antagonism between the two cities, which Pally and Shearer were moved to sum up in this way at the time: “New York is seen by Los Angeles as overly intellectual, highly conscious of its historical context and perhaps arrogantly self-contained; Los Angeles is seen by New York as surface-oriented, conceptually weak and self-indulgent.” A single publication was produced for both exhibitions. The Los Angeles curator Susan Larsen wrote the essay on the Los Angeles art scene, while the critic Roberta Smith wrote the parallel essay for New York.
In her text, Smith draws both cities together in sharing the “Post-Conceptual” condition, responding to the legacy of Conceptualism and Process “which dominated both the New York, Californian, and European avant-gardes during the late ‘60s and early ‘70s.”