STORIES

The Godfathers of Psychedelic Art

By David Jenison on July 21, 2017

"They are travelers all, from faraway cultural shores, still looking beyond and seeking within. Itinerant in their wandering, with no map but uncanny in their sense of direction, they carry songs from beyond like minstrels and can tell you stories so exotic they seems spun of dreams."

Acclaimed art and culture critic Carlo McCormick wrote these words about Isaac Abrams, Tony Martin, Michael Callahan and Gerd Stern who appear in an art exhibit titled Distant Horizons: Pioneers of Psychedelic Art. McCormick guest curated the show, which is on display at the Carl Solway Gallery in Cincinnati through September 16. 

McCormick continued, "Each of these artists found their voice during the Sixties at a time when social upheavals and a progressive spirit of enlightenment in our society made their work central to popular culture. This moment, radical and transitory like lightning in a bottle, has been labeled Psychedelia for the seminal role that psychedelic drugs played in the musical, visual and spiritual developments of that era."

The guest curator added that drugs and art are both mind expanding and manifesting, but Distant Horizons highlights the diversity and individuality present in psychedelic art. 

Anyone in the Cincinnati area should check out the show. Otherwise, visit the gallery website to view several of the pieces that we have also highlighted below. 

Images (left to right): Ira Cohen's Jimi Hendrix (1968) and Ed Cassidy (1966), Tony Martin's Five Stanzas (1967-2003) and You Me We (1968), USCO's (Gerd Stern, Stephen Durkee, Michael Callahan) Shiva (1965) and Universal Spheres Blue and Silver (1963), and Isaac Abrams' Spring Again (2013) and Cosmoerotico (1969).

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