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Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Biographical/Historical Note
  • Administrative Information
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Wolfgang Stoerchle papers
    Date (inclusive): 1952-2007
    Number: 2009.M.16
    Creator/Collector: Stoerchle, Wolfgang
    Physical Description: 5.17 Linear Feet (12 boxes)
    The Getty Research Institute
    Special Collections
    1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
    Los Angeles 90049-1688
    URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10020/askref
    (310) 440-7390
    Abstract: 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.

    Biographical/Historical Note

    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 rudimentary 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 accident.

    Administrative Information


    Open for use by qualified researchers.

    Publication Rights

    Preferred Citation

    Wolfgang Stoerchle papers, 1952-2007, The Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles, Accession no. 2009.M.16

    Acquisition Information

    The archive was acquired from Carol Lingham in 2009.

    Processing History

    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 Darlington.

    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: Series I. Personal files, 1952-2007; Series II. Documentation of artworks, 1968-1975, undated; Series III. Materials about Stoerchle, 1965-2006, undated; Series IV. Audiovisual materials, 1970-2006, undated

    Indexing Terms

    Subjects - Names

    Stoerchle, Wolfgang

    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
    Photographs, Original
    Correspondence -- 20th century


    Paik, Nam June, 1932-2006
    Wegman, William
    Williams, Emmett
    Winer, Helene, 1946-
    Kaprow, Allan
    Lentz, Daniel, 1942-
    Stoerchle, Wolfgang