Summer of Love? Images from 1967
Exhibition runs June 2nd 2017 – July 8th 2017
Tuesday – Saturday 10.30am – 5.30pm
Protest meets pop culture in this international show celebrating the art of liberation, popular resistance and outrage. Looking behind the myth of the Summer of Love, the exhibition features work by Jana Zelibska, Martin Sharp, photographer Michael Cooper, and Fuses, a short movie by Carolee Schneeman. There are also poster images from the West Coast, from the Black Panthers, and from Cuba and Japan.
In 1967, protest and rebellion was everywhere – from London to the West Coast of America and from Czechoslovakia to Japan. There was widespread resistance to nuclear weapons, and the war in Vietnam. The US civil rights movement was achieving real progress. There were new cultural icons from Jimi Hendrix to Mohammed Ali. A counterculture defined itself through recreational drug use. In revolutionary Cuba, a young generation of artists looked on from the sidelines, as the state sent Che Guevara to build a revolutionary guerilla army in Bolivia.
Women artists and filmmakers produced work that began to reflect their own lives and experiences. Artists like Carolee Schneeman took over as both ‘the image and the image-maker’ and outraged the western art world. Jana Zelibska worked in Slovakia, producing a series of extraordinary feminist ‘pop art’ images from behind the Iron Curtain.
In London, the art and music scenes connected through photographer Michael Cooper. As 1967 came to an end, their Satanic Majesties the Rolling Stones, busted and publicly reviled, released their psychedelic album, a counterpoint to early summer’s optimistic ‘Sergeant Pepper ‘ from the Beatles – also photographed by Cooper. The exhibition features a unique edition of ‘Satanic Majesties’ photographs of the Rolling Stones at work on the set created by Cooper.
Martin Sharp was one of the most celebrated image makers of psychedelia. Working from London he set up Oz magazine in 1967 with Richard Neville, having left Australia after both were prosecuted for obscenity. His work with Oz and his poster designs were keynote graphic works of the period, for which he received international acclaim.
While many posters of the time were made to advertise gigs, or for direct sale to the public, posters from particular communities became an important means of mobilisation. The exhibition features a small selection of images from the West Coast including civil rights posters reflecting community concerns by Sister Mary Corita and Eugene Hawkins.
We are grateful for help and support from Adam Cooper, Richard Adams, Slovak National Gallery, Oakland Museum.
Curated by Jane Goodsir, exhibition design by John Phillips.