STONE FREE. THE SUMMER OF LOVE 50TH AND THE PSYCHEDELIC POSTER ART.



STONE FREE. THE SUMMER OF LOVE 50TH AND THE PSYCHEDELIC POSTER ART.

date June 15 > September 10, 2017
place Wall Of Sound Gallery. Alba

Here at Wall Of Sound Gallery we’re happy to celebrate the “Summer of Love” 50th anniversary presenting a selection of original american, british and european posters.

Many revolutions and revelations of the five years between 1966 and 1970 still have a surprisingly huge appeal and cross-generational relevance. As the Beatles sang in All You Need Is Love (“there’s nothing you can do that can’t be done”), this was a “revolution in the head” that created a pioneering cross-pollination of all of the arts, music, films, fashion, design and media. New concepts like consumerism, environmentalism, individualism and mass communication, became common while a utopian idealism provided both collectivity and connectivity via the underground press, pirate radio stations, political protest groups, way before mobile phones, personal computers and Internet.

Psychedelia, they called it. It was all about imagination, nonconformity, individuality and freedom. Art, music, design, drugs, multimedia events and concert light-shows created a unique aesthetic that promoted an expanding consciousness, a state of sensory overload (Dr Leary’s “Turn On! Tune In! Drop-Out!”) and a utopian belief in a better future at hand. All You Need Is Love! We Are Golden, We Are Stardust! Let The Sunshine In! Get Together! Imagine!

Musicians were crucial in all this. Music had indeed the power to change the world and it happened on June 16-18, 1967, at the Monterey International Pop Festival, where Jimi Hendrix got fired to his Stratocaster, changing the rock history. The psychedelic revolution also marked a new golden age of poster design, which originated in San Francisco. Rock music and posters fed off each other, as the latter were filled with freewheeling shapes, bright acid colours and all sorts of ornamental patterns from Art Nouveau to Pop Art.

Stone Free is a selection of art from different designers who collaborated with the new temples of sound, Bill Graham’s Fillmore West and Fillmore East, Chet Helms‘ Avalon Ballroom and Russ Gibb’s Grande Ballroom in Detroit: Victor Moscoso, Rick Griffin, Wes Wilson, Stanley Mouse and Alton Kelley, Lee Conklin, David Singer, Randy Tuten, Bonnie MacLean, David Byrd, Gary Grimshaw, John Van Hamersveld. Even Milton Glaser, the Godfather of graphic design, gave his blessing to the movement, designing the iconic Dylan poster that was featured in Dylan’s Greatest Hits album, in 1966. The exhibition and the book also shows the british Michael English and Nigel Waymouth, collectively known as Hapshash And The Coloured Coat, Alan Aldridge, the Sydney-born Martin Sharp and the Germans Mati Klarwein and Gunther Kieser.

Of course, nowhere was the effect of psychedelics on design more clear than in album sleeves, from The Beatles’s Sgt Pepper, the Rolling Stones Their Satanic Majesties’ Request to the legendary yellow banana invented by Andy Warhol for the Velvet Underground & Nico album cover. Herb Greene photographed Jefferson Airplane against a wall of hieroglyphics for their Surrealistic Pillow album cover.

Genius lens-man Art Kane created icons of the era’s most glorious rock stars, from Dylan to Janis Joplin, Cream, the Stones, Jefferson Airplane and the Who. Photographers Jim Marshall, Bob Seidemann, Gene Anthony, Baron Wolman, Robert Altman, Ed Caraeff, Joel Brodsky, Guy Webster, Stephen Paley, Henry Diltz, Amalie R. Rotschild, Elaine Mayes, Lisa Law, all contributed to documenting this “long, strange trip” for posterity.

Guido Harari, Wall Of Sound Gallery

Wall Of Sound Editions has published an exhibition catalogue, 48 pages, softcover, 30x30cm, 25 Euros plus shipping, you can order it emailing us at info@wallofsoundgallery.com.

The exhibition will be open Tuesday to Friday 10:30am-12:30pm / 3:30pm-7pm. Saturday and Sunday 3:30pm-7pm on appointment. Monday closed. Free entrance. Please give us a call at 0173362324 to check possible hour variations.

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