Psychedelic Drawings, 1967–1982
Curated by Norman Hathaway & Dan Nadel
March 6 — April 25, 2015
Opening reception: Friday, March 6th, 6–8 PM with Victor Moscoso
The Andrew Edlin Gallery is excited to announce a retrospective of drawings by Victor Moscoso, one of the pre-eminent graphic artists of the 20th century, and widely renowned for his 1960s psychedelic posters and comics. The gallery will publish a 96-page catalog to accompany the exhibition.
This exhibition is the first to present the full range of Moscoso’s drawings for posters and comics, including original renderings for his renowned cover of Zap Comix #4 (1969), the Hocus Pocus story, posters for The Doors and The Who, and other seminal published editions. These works, executed as production art for printed pieces, reveal Moscoso’s dedication to expert draftsmanship in the service of graphics, as well as a sure and graceful approach to drawing everything from dinosaurs to spaceships to humans.
Victor Moscoso’s impact on the visual culture of the psychedelic era belies his modernist training (he studied with Josef Albers at Yale in the late 1950s), which he used to delineate images, posters and comics that explore geometric space, animation, and cartoon icons. In 1966, while living in San Francisco, Moscoso began designing posters for rock shows in the city, and by 1967 had developed his signature style, in which opposite hues of the same intensity sit next to each other to create a visual “vibration” effect and lettering is designed for its form instead of function. Moscoso’s lettering was all hand-drawn; his approach to letterforms gave negative space as much weight as the positive. This spatial confusion, along with color vibrations and Moscoso’s mysterious imagery, made his work instantly recognizable.
Between 1967 and 1970, Moscoso designed over one hundred posters for everyone from the Grateful Dead to Jimi Hendrix to Allen Ginsberg. In doing so, he revolutionized the worlds of graphic design, typography, and rock ‘n’ roll imagery. In 1968, Moscoso was invited by Robert Crumb to join him in Zap Comix. Moscoso’s abstract and lyrical comics debuted in issue 2 and he has remained a driving force of the Zap collective through to its final iteration, a 2014 “Complete Zap Comix” box set that sold out immediately upon its release.
Victor Moscoso was born in La Coruña, Spain in 1936, and moved to Brooklyn in 1940. He attended the New York High School of Industrial Art and then Cooper Union and Yale University, where he earned a BA in 1959. He completed a master’s degree at the San Francisco Art Institute in 1961. Moscoso, who resides in Marin County, California, has also completed album covers, billboards, animations and posters for artists including Jerry Garcia, Primus, Herbie Hancock, The Who and many others. His work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art (New York), The Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum (New York), the Victoria and Albert Museum (London), The Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Library of Congress (Wash DC), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Louvre (Paris), the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York), and the Tate Modern (London).
Norman Hathaway is a graphic designer, design historian, and lecturer. He is the author of Overspray: Riding High with the Kings of California Airbrush Art and co-author (with Dan Nadel) of Electrical Banana: Masters of Psychedelic Art and Dorothy and Otis: Designing the American Dream.
Dan Nadel is a writer and curator whose most recent exhibition What Nerve: Alternative Figures in American Art, 1960 to the Present was presented at the RISD Museum in Providence, RI. He is the author of books including Art Out of Time: Unknown Comics Visionaries and co-author (with Norman Hathaway) of Electrical Banana: Masters of Psychedelic Art and Dorothy and Otis: Designing the American Dream.
Andrew Edlin Gallery 134 Tenth Avenue, NYC
Have you been out to San Francisco International Airport yet to see “When Art Rocked: San Francisco Music Posters, 1966 — 1971″? Well, if the 162 posters and 100 or so postcards and handbills on display there are not enough to entice you, how about a free panel discussion and reception with some of the artists in the show? That’s what’s happening on Saturday February 21 at 3pm, when SFO will host an afternoon devoted to late-1960s rock posters at its Aviation Museum and Library, located in the International Terminal, just steps away from the “When Art Rocked” exhibition itself. The panel will feature artists Stanley Mouse, Victor Moscoso, Lee Conklin, and David Singer —“When Art Rocked” guest curator and TRPS vice-president Ben Marks will attempt to moderate. After the panel, visitors will be invited to hang around, sip and snack, and check out the exhibition.
Space is limited, and parking will be validated, so RSVP today! Simply send an email to email@example.com or call 650–821-6783.
For directions, visit www.flysfo.com
Thank you to all the people who joined us on October 25, 2014 at the Hall of Flowers (San Francisco County Fair Building) in Golden Gate Park for our annual celebration The Festival of Rock Posters with some of the most talented artists around the country, and across the pond!
This year was our best yet, with a record number of visitors thanks to your participation! Thank you for coming out and supporting the arts.
We hope you enjoy these pictures taken at the event by Loretta Baraona.
Dates for the 2015 Hall of Flowers will (hopefully) be announced soon! Watch this space for details or join our mailing list to stay in the loop. (sign up at the sidebar)
If you have any feedback or comments about this year’s event, please send them to us using our contact page. Thank you!
When Art Rocked:
San Francisco Music Posters 1966–1971
Departures — Level 3 — Pre-Security
September 2014 — March 2015
From 1966 to 1971, an unprecedented quantity of extraordinary graphic art was produced in the San Francisco Bay Area. This resulted from the demand for posters, handbills, and flyers advertising rock concerts in San Francisco. The two main patrons of this proliferation of posters were Bill Graham — who promoted concerts at the Fillmore and Chet Helms, leader of an organization called the Family Dog, which produced concerts at the Avalon Ballroom.
Poster artists were often inspired by Art Nouveau masters such as Alphonse Mucha whose blocky lettering was made psychedelic by Wes Wilson. Alton Kelley and Stanley Mouse were further drawn to advertising art and appropriated images. Mouse and a Southern California artist named Rick Griffin were also infatuated with the artwork that grew out of hot-rod car culture. Victor Moscoso, on the other hand, created posters that nearly vibrated before the viewer’s eyes.
This exhibition features over 150 posters created by these five artists along with many lesser-known artists who designed posters for shows at the Fillmore and Avalon featuring bands such as the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and the Thirteenth Floor Elevators.
Guest curator Ben Marks is the Senior Editor of CollectorsWeekly.com and the Vice-President of The Rock Poster Society, whose members kindly loaned all of the posters, postcards, handbills, tickets, and other ephemera for this exhibition.
View the exhibition online.
When Art Rocked is located pre-security in the International Terminal Main Hall Departures Lobby, San Francisco International Airport. The exhibition is on view to all Airport visitors from September 29, 2014, to March 22, 2015. There is no charge to view the exhibition.
About SFO Museum
SFO Museum was established by the Airport Commission in 1980 for the purposes of humanizing the Airport environment, providing visibility for the unique cultural life of San Francisco, and providing educational services for the traveling public. The Museum was granted initial accreditation from the American Association of Museums in 1999, reaccredited in 2005, and has the distinction of being the only accredited museum in an airport. Today, SFO Museum features twenty-five galleries throughout the Airport terminals displaying a rotating schedule of art, history, science, and cultural exhibitions, as well as the San Francisco Airport Commission Aviation Library and Louis A. Turpen Aviation Museum, a permanent collection dedicated to the history of commercial aviation. To browse current and past exhibitions, research our collection, or for more information, please visit www.flysfo.com/museum.