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"This book is published by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art on the occasion of the exhibition Bruce Conner: It's All True, co-curated by Stuart Comer, Rudolf Frieling, Gary Garrels, and Laura Hoptman, with Rachel Federman"--Colophon.
"This book is published by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art on the occasion of the exhibition Bruce Conner: It's All True, co-curated by Stuart Comer, Rudolf Frieling, Gary Garrels, and Laura Hoptman, with Rachel Federman"--Colophon.
"This book is published by the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art on the occasion of the exhibition Bruce Conner: It's All True, co-curated by Stuart Comer, Rudolf Frieling, Gary Garrels, and Laura Hoptman, with Rachel Federman"--Colophon.
In a career that spanned five decades, most of them spent in San Francisco, Bruce Conner (1933--2008) produced a unique body of work that refused to be contained by medium or style. Whether making found-footage films, hallucinatory ink-blot graphics, enigmatic collages, or assemblages from castoffs, Conner took up genres as quickly as he abandoned them. His movements within San Francisco's counter-cultural scenes were similarly free-wheeling; at home in beat poetry, punk music, and underground film circles, he never completely belonged to any of them. Bruce Conner belonged to Bruce Conner. Twice he announced his own death; during the last years of his life he produced a series of pseudonymous works after announcing his "retirement." In this first book-length study of Conner's enormously influential but insufficiently understood career, Kevin Hatch explores Conner's work as well as his position on the geographical, cultural, and critical margins. Hatch finds a set of abiding concerns that inform Conner's wide-ranging works and changing personas. A deep anxiety pervades the work, reflecting a struggle between private, unknowable, interior experience and a duplicitous world of received images and false appearances. The profane and the sacred, the comic and the tragic, the enigmatic and the universal: each of these antinomies is pushed to the breaking point in Conner's work. Generously illustrated with many color images of Conner's works, Looking for Bruce Conner proceeds in roughly chronological fashion, from Conner's notorious assemblages ( BLACK DAHLIA and RATBASTARD among them) through his experimental films (populated by images from what Conner called "the tremendous, fantastic movies going in my head from all the scenes I'd seen"), his little-known graphic work, and his collage and inkblot drawings.
The Rat Bastard Protective Association was an inflammatory, close-knit community of artists who lived and worked in a building they dubbed Painterland in the Fillmore neighborhood of midcentury San Francisco. The artists who counted themselves among the Rat Bastards—which included Joan Brown, Bruce Conner, Jay DeFeo, Wally Hedrick, Michael McClure, and Manuel Neri—exhibited a unique fusion of radicalism, provocation, and community. Geographically isolated from a viable art market and refusing to conform to institutional expectations, they animated broader social and artistic discussions through their work and became a transformative part of American culture over time. Anastasia Aukeman presents new and little-known archival material in this authorized account of these artists and their circle, a colorful cultural milieu that intersected with the broader Beat scene.
Commemorating the 40th anniversary of the artist’s accidental death at age 50, this volume offers the first substantial survey of the entire oeuvre of Wallace Berman (1926–76) from the late 1940s until 1976. Berman has been long heralded as one of the most significant and influential artists to emerge in Southern California. Spiritually inclined yet steeped in popular culture and the political events of the day, he conducted reconnaissance far beyond the borders of California, mining the American psyche and broadcasting his ideas through mail art, publications, photographs and multilayered art works. Berman intersected with several intriguing cultural moments, starting with his first Los Angeles solo show in 1957 at Ed Kienholz and Walter Hopps’ Ferus Gallery. He also participated in an important 1966 group exhibition in London at the legendary Robert Fraser Gallery, whose other artists included Richard Hamilton, Bruce Conner and Peter Blake--who put Berman’s face among the notable crowd in his cover for the Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. As interest in West Coast art has increased over the past 40 years, scholars have viewed Berman as a quintessentially Californian artist whose entourage of likeminded friends was essential to the formation of his creative vision. This volume takes a broader view, reassessing Berman’s significant contributions to the history of 20th-century American art.
Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia accompanies an exhibition of the same title examining the art, architecture and design of the counterculture of the 1960s and early 1970s. The catalogue surveys the radical experiments that challenged societal and professional norms while proposing new kinds of technological, ecological and political utopia. It includes the counter design proposals of Victor Papanek and the anti-design polemics of Global Tools; the radical architectural visions of Archigram, Superstudio, Haus Rucker Co and ONYX; the media-based installations of Ken Isaacs, Joan Hills and Mark Boyle and Helio Oiticica and Neville DAlmeida; the experimental films of Jordan Belson, Bruce Conner and John Whitney; posters and prints by Emory Douglas, Corita Kent and Victor Moscoso; documentation of performances staged by the Diggers and the Cockettes; publications such as Oz Magazine and The Whole Earth Catalog and books by Marshall McLuhan and Buckminster Fuller; and much, much more. While the turbulent social history of the 1960s is well known, its cultural production remains comparatively under-examined. In this substantial volume, scholars explore a range of practices such as radical architectural and anti-design movements emerging in Europe and North America; the print revolution in the experimental graphic design of books, posters and magazines; and new forms of cultural practice that merged street theater and radical politics. Through a profusion of illustrations, interviews with figures including Gerd Stern and Michael Callahan of USCO, Gunther Zamp Kelp of Haus Rucker Co, Ken Isaacs, Ron Williams and Woody Rainey of ONYX, Franco Raggi of Global Tools, Tony Martin, Clark Richert and Richard Kallweit of Drop City, and new scholarly writings, this book explores the hybrid conjunction of the countercultural ethos and the modernist desire to fuse art and life.

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