Psychedelic: Optical and Visionary Art since the 1960s

Psychedelic: Optical and Visionary Art since the 1960s

by David Rubin (Editor)


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The history of an aesthetic sensibility that began with Op Art and album covers; with more than seventy-five stunning color images.

This eye-popping book offers a visual history of the psychedelic sensibility. In pop culture, that sensibility is associated with lava lamps, album covers, and "teashades," but it first manifested itself in the extreme colors and kaleidoscopic compositions of 1960s Op Artists. The psychedelic sensibility didn't die at the end of the 1960s; Psychedelic traces it through the day-glo colors of painters Peter Saul, Alex Grey, and Kenny Scharf, the pill and hemp leaf paintings of Fred Tomaselli, the intensified palettes of Douglas Bourgeois and Sharon Ellis, and mixed-media and new media works by younger artists in the new millennium.

Although the term "psychedelic" was coined to describe hallucinatory experiences produced by drugs used psychotherapeutically, the story these images tell is about the influence of psychedelic culture on the art world—not necessarily the influence of drugs. As contemporary art evolved into a diverse and pluralistic discipline, the psychedelic evolved into a language of color and light. In Psychedelic, more than seventy-five vivid color images chart this development, exploring the art chronologically, from early Op Art through recent work using digital technology. The book, which accompanies an exhibition organized by the San Antonio Museum of Art, includes three essays that set the works in historical and cultural context.

Artists include
Isaac Abrams, Albert Alvarez, Richard Anuszkiewicz, Chio Aoshima, Kamrooz Aram, Jeremy Blake, Richie Budd, Gordon Cheung, Judy Chicago, George Cisneros, James Cobb, Steve DiBenedetto, Carole Feuerman, Jack Goldstein, Alex Grey, Peter Halley, Al Held, Mark Hogensen, Constance Lowe, Erik Parker, Ed Paschke, Lari Pittman, Ray Rapp, Deborah Remington, Bridget Riley, Susie Rosmarin, Alex Rubio, Sterling Ruby, Julian Stanczak, Jennifer Steinkamp, Frank Stella, Philip Taaffe, Barbara Takenaga, Fred Tomaselli, Victor Vasarely, Michael Velliquette, Andy Warhol, Robert Williams

Essays by
David S. Rubin, Robert C. Morgan, Daniel Pinchbeck

Copublished with the San Antonio Museum of Art

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780262014045
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 03/05/2010
Series: The MIT Press
Pages: 138
Sales rank: 533,730
Product dimensions: 7.90(w) x 12.20(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

David S. Rubin is The Brown Foundation Curator of Contemporary Art at the San Antonio Museum of Art.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"A treasure trove of visionary delights, and his essay provides a convincing analysis of the altered state of art since the '60s." Ken Johnson New York Times

The MIT Press

"This is a beautiful book to hold in one's hands and its ability to capture the eye,through such diverse means, is a great testament to both editor and artists alike. Sumptuous wonderlands indeed." The Psychedelic Press UK

The MIT Press

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