The 1960s was a decade when all kinds of crazy stuff slipped into the mainstream, but many artists who championed the use of hallucinogenic drugs as “an artistic tool” were quickly popped into the file named “psychedelic” and then promptly forgotten about. As a result, psychedelic art has largely fallen by the wayside in favour of more conventional makers and thinkers (presumably ones who weren’t high as a kite or seeing unicorns and wizards when they took to their easels) and unfairly shunned from art for nigh on half a century now.
Reflections from Damaged Life, the new exhibition by Raven Row looks to pull back the kaleidoscopic veil which has covered psychedelic art, reassessing its unfair dismissal as whimsical and ungrounded and instead focusing on the experimental spirit and conceptual fluidity which underpins it. The collection combines work by Pierre Huyghe and The Otolith Group in a joyous celebration of a counterculture which marked a huge transition in contemporary art.
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