Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Wolfgang Stoerchle papers
Date (inclusive): 1952-2007
5.17 Linear Feet
The Getty Research Institute
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
Los Angeles 90049-1688
The archive of conceptual, video, and
performance artist Wolfgang Stoerchle documents his brief career through video and sound
recordings, correspondence, notes, clippings, and photographic materials.
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Language: Collection material is in Description is in English
Wolfgang Stoerchle was an important figure in the development of performance and video art
in Southern California in the 1970s. Born in Germany, Stoerchle emigrated to Toronto, Canada
with his family in 1959. In 1962 he and his brother Peter rode horseback through the United
States for ten months to Los Angeles, where Stoerchle lived from 1963 to 1964.
After attending the University of Oklahoma from 1964 to 1968, Stoerchle enrolled in the MFA
program at the University of California, Santa Barbara. While there he began experimenting
with performance and sound art. He performed throughout California with Miles Varner and
Daniel Lentz in a group called California Time Machine. In 1970 Allan Kaprow recruited
Stoerchle to teach in the Post-Studio Art program at the California Institute of the Arts.
Encouraged by Nam June Paik, who was also teaching at CalArts during this time, Stoerchle
began experimenting with video. Collectively, his video works show a complete dissection of
the medium, isolating nearly every formal property of video and turning it towards often
poignant efforts to capture and contain the body.
Stoerchle was included in a number of important exhibitions in the early 1970s, including
24 Young Artists at LACMA in 1971, the Pier 18 exhibition at MoMA, and a two-person
exhibition with William Wegman at Sidney Janis gallery. He moved to New York in 1973 and
shifted his concentration from the abstract and conceptual work that had garnered so much
attention, to blunt depictions of sexuality and nudity. Stoerchle left New York by the
middle of 1973.
During the last three years of his life Stoerchle moved back and forth between Mexico City,
Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and Santa Fe, where he lived with his second wife, Carol
Lingham, whom he married in 1974. Stoerchle continued producing art during this time,
primarily fiery abstract pencil drawings and ephemeral sculptures resembling primitive
shrines and mounds. In the fall of 1975, he presented his final performance in John
Baldessari's studio. On March 14, 1976, Stoerchle died following injuries suffered in a car
Open for use by qualified researchers.
Wolfgang Stoerchle papers, 1952-2007, The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, Accession
The archive was acquired from Carol Lingham in 2009.
Vladimira Stefura processed and created a box list of the archive in June 2009. Later in
2009 and 2010 Emmabeth Nanol further processed the archive, devised the arrangement, and
expanded the box list into a preliminary finding aid under the supervision of Andra
Scope and Content of Collection
The archive contains documentation of work produced by Stoerchle during his short career,
as well as a small amount of personal material. A significant component of the archive is a
set of half-inch open-reel tapes documenting Stoerchle's experiments with video. In addition
to his well-known works, the videos also include documentation of some of Stoerchle's
lesser-known works, such as a live performance with Viva, some of his more provocative
performances, and a television "dinner" performance produced with Allan Kaprow, Emmett
Williams, and Helene Winer. Also included are audiotapes of Stoerchle's sound works and a
slide and sound installation. The archive contains a small number of works by other artists,
including early video reels by Nam June Paik and William Wegman, and sound works made by
Daniel Lentz in honor of Stoerchle.
Also included in the papers is a small selection of photographs of works Stoerchle produced
as an undergraduate student at the University of Oklahoma, extensive photographic
documentation of sculptures and performances he produced at UCSB, CalArts, and elsewhere in
Los Angeles, and images of drawings and sculpture he produced in Santa Fe and Mexico.
Stoerchle's childhood is represented by a few family photographs and images of drawings and
sculptures he made in his youth.
Among the limited correspondence are letters received by Stoerchle, personal letters
between Stoerchle and his wife, Carol Lingham, and letters to Lingham following Stoerchle's
death, including some lengthy remembrances by friends. The archive also contains an
extensive set of press clippings about Stoerchle during his lifetime. Much of the archive
was assembled by Lingham after Stoerchle's death.
Organized in four series:
Personal files, 1952-2007;
Series II. Documentation of artworks,
Series III. Materials about
Stoerchle, 1965-2006, undated;
Series IV. Audiovisual materials,
Subjects - Names
Subjects - Topics
Performance art -- California -- Los Angeles
Video art -- California -- Los Angeles
Genres and Forms of Material
Performance art -- 20th century
Video art -- 20th century
Sound recordings -- 20th century
Photographic prints -- 20th century
Correspondence -- 20th century