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Bruce Conner




Bruce Conner is born in McPherson, Kansas.




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


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


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


Bruce Conner earns his BA from the University of Nebraska.


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


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.

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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.


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.


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


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.




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.


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


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.

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


Dennis Hopper photographs his friend Bruce Conner.


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


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


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.


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.



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.


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.


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

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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.

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Related tags

Vija Celmins Jean Conner Roy De Forest Anna Halprin Dennis Hopper William T. Wiley Albuquerque Art Institute of Chicago Berkeley California Ferus Gallery Haight-Ashbury Kansas La Cienega Los Angeles Missouri Nebraska Nicholas Wilder Gallery Oakland SFMOMA Sacramento San Francisco Tamarind Wichita Funk art Slant Step

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UC Davis and the Slant Step


Related tags

Bruce Conner Roy De Forest Stephen Kaltenbach Bruce Nauman William T. Wiley Berkeley California San Francisco UC Davis Funk art Slant Step