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Feelin' Groovy: Rock and Roll Graphics, 1966-1970

July 8-Sept. 21, 2003

 

The free-wheeling spirit of the 1960s is illustrated in Feelin' Groovy: Rock and Roll Graphics, 1966-1970, on view from July 8 through September 21 at the Springfield Museum of Fine Arts. The exhibition features 100 rock music posters and handbills that show the development of the psychedelic style.

The 1960s are remembered for many things, among them a new wave of rock bands, centered in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco. Their concerts were advertised with posters illustrated with vivid colors, thick, distorted lettering, and bizarre imagery. The psychedelic posters show the influences of the flowing, organic Art Nouveau style; the bright colors and bold graphics of Pop Art; and the optical illusion of movement as created with line and color in Op Art.

The rock poster artists, including Wes Wilson, Rick Griffin, Stanley Mouse and Victor Moscoso, came up with original and intriguing images, from voluptuous women to Edwardian cowboys. Imaginative and visually dense, the posters often evoked the fanciful visions that sometimes accompanied an LSD "trip." (left: Rick Griffin, Greatful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service and others)

Posters played such an important role in the promotion of popular entertainment in the 1960s that the poster enjoyed a rebirth, merging with the American free speech tradition of political and social pamphleteering to create an exhilarating new art form. The impact of the psychedelic style on advertising and graphic design is still felt more than 30 years later.

Feelin' Groovy is a program of ExhibitsUSA, a national division of Mid-America Arts Alliance, and is generously supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the H&R Block Foundation, Cooper Foundation, Richard Florsheim Art Fund, Samuel H. Kress Foundation, Sprint, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the state arts agencies of Arkansas, Kansas, Illinois, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Texas.

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