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No Hopps for Easter

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Art curator Walter Hopps, who helped shape the art scene in Los Angeles, died this weekend, and is memorialized in today's LA Times in a long piece by art critic Christopher Knight. Hopps, who lived in Houston, was back in town for a retrospective of sculptor George Herms' work which he had put together for the Santa Monica Museum of Art. Knight describes a 1963 Duchamp retrospective organized by Hopps as being seminal in defining LA's freewheeling art scene — Duchamp played chess against a nude Eve Babitz (photo) — as was the Ferus Gallery, which Hopps opened with artist Ed Kienholtz. Oddly, the story says that Hopps had previously fallen and had several broken ribs when an old friend, artist Larry Bell, spotted him at a coffeeshop and insisted he see a doctor. Could it be that even well-known art curators can't afford health insurance?