West of Center: Art and the Counterculture Experiment in America, 1965-1977

JACK FULTON, Zomeworks Bus (1973), 2011, Chromogenic print, 21 x 14 4/5 in, Courtesy the artist

ROGER ARVID ANDERSON, Johnny, 1972, Archival pigment print, 18 x 27 in, Courtesy the artist

West of Center: Art and the Counterculture Experiment in America, 1965-1977

February 09, 2013 to April 28, 2013

In the heady and hallucinogenic days of the 1960s and ’70s, a diverse range of artists and creative individuals based in the American West – from the Pacific coast to the Rocky Mountains and the Southwest – broke the barriers between art and lifestyle and embraced the new, hybrid sensibilities of the countercultural movement. West of Center explores their unique integration of art practices, political action, and collaborative life activities. Featuring videos, photographs, drawings, ephemera and other artifacts, the exhibition relates an exciting story of collaboration, indeterminate processes, an emphasis on experience - all exploring the various ways in which art was integral to countercultural efforts to instigate personal growth and social transformation, everywhere visible in contemporary art practice.

Key components of the exhibition include:

• Video presentation of expanded cinema, featuring the multi-media light show The Single Wing Turquoise Bird;

• Recreation of the tondo The Ultimate Painting, created by the communards of Drop City, once exhibited at Robert Rauschenberg’s Experiments in Art  and Technology (EAT) at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, now lost;

• Dome and video environment presenting the hand-built architecture of Drop City commune, in Colorado, including historical film footage;

• Video and photographic documentation of the improvisational, task-oriented dance of Anna Halprin;

• Video and photographic documentation of performances by The Cockettes and The Angels of Light as well as costumes and other artifacts;

• Videos, photographs, ephemera and other documentation of the collective Ant Farm, including inflatable;

• Ephemera from Lesbian Feminist Communes in Southern Oregon.

West of Center: Art and the Counterculture Experiment in America, 1965-1977 is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver. The exhibition is supported, in part, with funds provided by the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) and the National Endowment for the Arts. It is made possible at the JSMA by the Coeta and Donald Barker Special Exhibitions Endowment Fund and JSMA members. This project is supported in part by a grant from the Oregon Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency.

West of Center Programs