Born in the 1960s, psychedelic art is thriving in the capable hands of contemporary artists who have been inspired and influenced by a variety of mid-20th century art styles, including Op Art (Optical Art) and Color Field paintings.
“Altered States: A Psychedelic Legacy,” which is on exhibit at David Richard Gallery through January 28, features contemporary interpretations of psychedelic art alongside pieces from the 1960s through the 1980s.
“If art of the 60s can be defined by a particular style, it is certainly not the coolness of Minimalism or the intellectual distance of Conceptual Art,” says David Richard Gallery’s director David Eichholtz. “It is the swirling, highly-keyed hallucinatory imagery born of the Counter Culture. Psychedelic art sought to capture the kaleidoscopic experience brought on by LSD and other hallucinogens.”
Among the historic pieces on exhibit are mid-1960s acrylic works on board, linen and canvas by Ed Mieczkowski, Rakuko Naito and Paul Reed, watercolors on paper created in the 1970s by Tom Green and Oli Sihvonen’s oils on canvas from the late 1980s. Several beautifully preserved posters advertising rock concerts at the Fillmore West in San Francisco also are on display.
Heather McGill is among the contemporary artists whose work is on exhibit. “The colors I use are influenced by many Pop artists, especially the paintings of Rosenquist, but also the candy colors of customized cars,” explains McGill, who grew up in California in the 1960s. “Much of my work investigates various ways to create an illusion of space through color build up and pattern.”
Other contemporary artists exploring psychedelia in this show include Daniel McCoy, Jr., Jennifer Joseph, Martin Rixe and Caity Kennedy.
“Altered States: A Psychedelic Legacy” is a perfect fit for David Richard Gallery, which is a dedicated proponent of post-1960s abstraction.