Sarah Cooper is a curator, writer, and art historian based in Los Angeles.

She is the Public Programs Specialist for performance at the J. Paul Getty Museum, where she directs the experimental performance series Ever Present, among other programs. 

She has organized programs featuring artists and musicians including Kim Gordon, Simone Forti, Brendan Fernandes, Patti Smith, Lonnie Holley, Martin Creed, Midori Takada, Helado Negro, Moor Mother, David Wojnarowicz, Derek Jarman, and Solange Knowles.

In addition, Sarah has held positions at The Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Royal Academy in London, and the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh.

She holds a Master's Degree in Art History from Hunter College, New York. Her thesis, Expanding Experimentalism: Popular Music and Art at the Kitchen in New York City, 1971-1985, explores the creative output of artists' bands and the relationship between popular music and avant-garde performance practices.

sarahannecooper [at]


Sarah Cooper

Marjani Forté-Saunders
Milka Djordjevic, Victoria Fu/Matt Rich Image Frolics at Zebulon
Image Frolics article (The Kitchen)
Standing on the Corner Art Ensemble
Hand Habits
Bartees Strange
Ever Present: Dissonant Days
Poussin and the Dance
Meaningless Work, Get to Work
Phoebe Berglund Dance Troupe
Moor Mother
Refuge: Devendra Banhart & Noah Georgeson
Brendan Fernandes: Free Fall for the Camera
Soup & Tart: Broadcast
Ben Kinmont for Active Cultures Digest
Steve Reich’s Drumming
Bridge-s by Solange Knowles
Martin Creed
Ex Hex
Mother Earth's Plantasia
San Cha
Colin Self
Ben Babbitt
Mandy Kahn
Lala Lala
Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs A.S.T.R.A.L.O.R.A.C.L.E.S + Ana Roxanne
Jennifer Moon & laub
Cate Le Bon
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith with Cool Maritime + Emily Sprague
Lonnie Holley
Eyes of Laura Mars & Fashion Films
Combo Chimbita
Friday Flights 2014-2018
No Sesso + Kelsey Lu
Gun Outfit
Tyler Matthew Oyer
Ian Svenonius’ Escape-Ism
Lola Kirke
Dynasty Handbag
Geneva Jacuzzi
Corey Fogel
Elliot Reed
No) One. Art House
Sarah Davachi
Devon Welsh (Majical Cloudz)
Tom Krell | Tram Music
Artists' Books Fest
Peaking Lights Family Band
Allah Las
Midori Takada
Maria Chavez
Helado Negro
See What You Mean: Harry Gamboa Jr.
Savoy Motel
Kenyatta A.C. Hinkle
Scott Benzel
Psychic Ills
Steve Gunn
Institute for New Feeling
Molly Surno with Brian Chase
Sun Araw
Reggie Watts
La Luz
Brendan Fernandes
White Fence
Sam Rowell
William Tyler + Noveller
Dungen: The Adventures of Prince Achmed
John Berger's Ways of Seeing: A Live Reading
KCHUNG News Residency
Simone Forti, News Animations
Leonard Cohen, A Celebration
Derek Jarman's Blue
Charles Atlas' The Legend of Leigh Bowery & Teach
Free Cinema
Demdike Stare
Veggie Cloud Film Series
David Horvitz Posters
David Horvitz & Xiu Xiu
Jennifer Juniper Stratford
Laurel Jenkins' B A S E
Jim Drain
M. Geddes Gengras
Burger Records
Kevin Morby
Carolyn Pennypacker Riggs + mecca vazie andrews
Chris Cohen
Moses Sumney
Kianí del Valle
Mary Lattimore & Jeff Zeigler score Le Revelateur & Odilon Redon
Getty Salad Garden
Ed Ruscha's Premium
Harry Gesner in the Getty Salad Garden
Lee Ranaldo
Jessica Pratt
5 Every Day
Lucky Dragons
Yoko Ono Morning Peace
Barbara Kruger 'Tag Wall'
Shannon & the Clams
Total Freedom
Julianna Barwick & Matthew Brandt
Body/Head (Getty)
Daisies & Jennifer West
Mikael Jorgensen & Cassandra C. Jones
No Age
Ooga Booga
William Tyler & Harry Smith
Body/Head (MoMA)
Sofia Coppola & Phoenix
Abstract Currents
David Lamelas & Carlos D'Alessio
The Clock—Silent Disco
Exquisite Corpse & Au Revoir Simone
The Raincoats
Forth Estate & Real Estate
Paper Rad & Cory Arcangel



Ed Ruscha’s Premium
with Ed Ruscha and Larry Bell
Introduced by John Tain
Getty Salad Garden 
January 9, 2016
Getty Museum, Los Angeles

One of only two films made by Ed Ruscha over his dynamic artistic career, Premium is a filmic translation of 1969’s Crackers, one in an influential series of conceptual photography books created by Ruscha in the 1960s and 70s. Both the book and the film are based on the short story “How to Derive the Maximum Enjoyment from Crackers” written by Mason Williams, a musician and comedic writer for the Smothers Brothers, and a childhood friend of Ruscha’s.

Featuring perhaps one of the greatest appearances by salad in art history, Premium stars fellow L.A. art icon, sculptor Larry Bell, in a hilarious and absurd late-night adventure. Ruscha’s film is an exploration of storytelling and the conventional narrative codes of Hollywood, featuring his signature deadpan humor and keen translation of the contemporary American condition.

Crackers and Premium featured both professional actors, such as Léon Bing, a model and actress made famous by wearing the topless bathing suit designed by Rudi Gernreich (who himself has a cameo in the film as the hotel concierge), as well as figures from the art world, like Bell Set against the fabled Los Angeles backdrop, the film plays with the city’s extremes, as Bell’s tuxedo-clad character circulates between supermarkets, seedy hotel rooms, and gas stations in a chauffeur-driven car. The charade is matched with a Mariachi soundtrack, accentuating the absurdity of both the city and the story.

Hovering somewhere between the experimental “art films” of the era and a Hollywood movie, Ruscha has remarked that Premium never fit nicely into any categories. In a 1973 interview he said:

“If it was a movie of me standing against the wall or doing push-ups or doing concept art things, it would be one thing. But it doesn’t fit the artist-statement category... They’re statements. Mine’s not like that. I don’t want people to look at the film like it’s a deep statement on my part. It’s just an excuse, the story, to make a movie... I don’t know where the movie fits in anywhere, and I can’t place it in my art at all.”

Beyond involving a gigantic salad, Ruscha’s film shares a deeper affinity with the Getty Salad Garden, a program that hovers somewhere between typical categories at a museum — not quite an exhibition, or a public lecture series, or a workshop. It too is just an excuse to tell stories, to connect with a variety of fascinating people in Los Angeles, and to serve as a platform for the playful exploration of wherever an idea may lead.