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

Overview

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. Often created through radically collaborative artistic practices, such works as Paolo Soleri’s earth homes, the hand-built architecture of the Drop City and Libre communes, Yolanda López’s ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (16) from $19.62   
  • New (10) from $24.57   
  • Used (6) from $19.62   
Sending request ...

Overview

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. Often created through radically collaborative artistic practices, such works as Paolo Soleri’s earth homes, the hand-built architecture of the Drop City and Libre communes, Yolanda López’s political posters, the multisensory movement workshops of Anna and Lawrence Halprin, and the immersive light shows and video-based work by the Ant Farm and Optic Nerve collectives were intended to generate new life patterns that pointed toward social and political emancipation.

In West of Center, Elissa Auther and Adam Lerner bring together a prominent group of scholars to elaborate the historical and artistic significance of these counterculture projects within the broader narrative of postwar American art, which skews heavily toward New York’s avant-garde art scene. This west of center countercultural movement has typically been associated with psychedelic art, but the contributors to this book understand this as only one dimension of the larger, artistically oriented, socially based phenomenon. At the same time, they reveal the disciplinary, geographic, and theoretical biases and assumptions that have led to the dismissal of countercultural practices in the history of art and visual culture, and they detail how this form of cultural and political activity found its place in the West.

A companion to an exhibition originating at the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, this book illuminates how, in the western United States, the counterculture’s unique integration of art practices, political action, and collaborative life activities serves as a linchpin connecting postwar and contemporary artistic endeavors.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
One of a number of recent publications on West Coast art, this book examines various expressions of the 1960s and '70s counterculture, from happenings and communes to political posters and protests. As editors Auther (contemporary art, Univ. of Colorado, Colorado Springs; String, Felt, Thread: The Hierarchy of Art and Craft in American Art) and Lerner (director, Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver) explain, this volume seeks to invest the counterculture with a renewed significance. Decades of abuse—accusations from the left of political escapism and from the right of moral degeneracy—have reduced it in the minds of many to empty cliché. Moreover, despite a current artistic interest in the experiential and the interdisciplinary, countercultural art has received little scholarly attention. In response, many of the book's contributors seek to forge new links between this moment and the present day. For example, curator and writer Erin Elder places the Drop City commune in relation to contemporary participatory, project-based art, while other writers question received notions about anarchistic, countercultural politics. VERDICT A well-conceived and thought-provoking essay collection, highly recommended for any enthusiast or scholar of American art of the 1960s.—Jonathan Patkowski, CUNY Graduate Ctr.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780816677269
  • Publisher: University of Minnesota Press
  • Publication date: 11/2/2011
  • Pages: 448
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.90 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Elissa Auther is associate professor of contemporary art at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. She is the author of String, Felt, Thread: The Hierarchy of Art and Craft in American Art (Minnesota, 2010).

Adam Lerner is director of the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver and chief animator in the Department of Fabrications.

Lucy R. Lippard is an internationally known writer, activist, and curator. She is the author of eighteen books on contemporary art and has written art criticism for Art in America, The Village Voice, and Z Magazine, among other publications.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Contents

Foreword: Memory as Model
Lucy R. Lippard Introduction. The Countercultural Experiment: Consciousness and Encounters at the Edge of Art
Elissa Auther and Adam Lerner I. Communal Encounters
1. How to Build a Commune: Drop City’s Influence on the Southwestern Commune Movement
Erin Elder
2. Collective Movement: Anna and Lawrence Halprin’s Joint Workshops
Eva J. Friedberg
3. The Farm by the Freeway
Jana Blankenship
4. San Francisco Video Collectives and the Counterculture
Deanne Pytlinski II. Handmade Worlds
5. Handmade Genders: Queer Costuming in San Francisco circa 1970
Julia Bryan-Wilson
6. Libre, Colorado, and the Hand-Built Home
Amy Azzarito
7. Craft and the Handmade at Paolo Soleri’s Communal Settlements
Elissa Auther
8. Pond Farm and the Summer Craft Experience
Jenni Sorkin
9. Expanded Cinema in Los Angeles: The Single Wing Turquoise Bird
David E. James
10. Paper Walls: Political Posters in an Age of Mass Media
Tom Wilson III. Cultural Politics
11. The Print Culture of Yolanda M. López
Karen Mary Davalos
12. The Countercultural "Indian": Visualizing Retribalization at the Human Be-In
Mark Watson
13. Goddess: Feminist Art and Spirituality in the 1970s
Jennie Klein
14. The Revolution Will Be Visualized: Black Panther Artist Emory Douglas
Colette Gaiter
15. Out of the Closets, Into the Woods: The Post-Stonewall Emergence of Queer Anti-urbanism
Scott Herring IV. Altered Consciousness
16. Naked Pictures: Ansel Adams and the Esalen Institute
Suzanne Hudson
17. Techniques of Survival: The Harrisons and the Environmental Counterculture
Amanda Boetzkes
18. Countercultural Intoxication: An Aesthetics of Transformation
Mark Harris
19. Everywhere Present Yet Nowhere Visible: Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche and Dharma Art at the Naropa Institute
Bill Scheffel
20. Signifying the Ineffable: Rock Poster Art and Psychedelic Counterculture in San Francisco
Scott B. Montgomery

Acknowledgments Contributors Index

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)