Psychedelic Renaissance: Posters from the Family Dog & Bill Graham Presents, 1965-1967
Psychedelic Renaissance presents an overview and survey of the first birth of the San Francisco Poster Renaissance as it developed into a distinctive American art form.
Between 1965 and 1967, a new generation of artists reinvented poster art in San Francisco. Commissioned by promoters Bill Graham and Chet Helms to advertise rock concerts, these artists created a visual identity for the Haight-Ashbury that came to play a defining role in the nation’s counterculture movement. Psychedelic Renaissance takes a visitor through the exciting, colorful and tumultuous early days of psychedelic posters as a new generation of artists were reinventing the artform.
Fusing a disparate and eclectic array of themes and elements drawn from fine art to popular culture, the posters created a strikingly original body of work that illustrated the history of the city’s newest bohemia and celebrated its defining community ritual, the dance-concerts at the Fillmore Auditorium and Avalon Ballroom. The posters redefined and renewed the city’s public culture, revitalizing an artform with deep roots internationally and nationally.
The exhibition, open through May 15, features nearly 40 seminal images from this defining moment in modern American art by artists whose impact continues to unfold today. Works from the movement’s origins, including “The Seed” and “Can You Pass the Acid test”, to seminal posters from both the Family Dog and Bill Graham series and concluding with the Summer of Love’s “Joint Show” in 1967 will provide Gallery-goers historic insights into the rebirth of poster making in San Francisco.