This eye-popping book offers a visual history of the psychedelic sensibility. In pop culture, that sensibility is associated with lava lamps, album covers, and "teashades," but it first manifested itself in the extreme colors and kaleidoscopic compositions of 1960s Op Artists. The psychedelic sensibility didn't die at the end of the 1960s; Psychedelic
traces it through the day-glo colors of painters Peter Saul, Alex Grey, and Kenny Scharf, the pill and hemp leaf paintings of Fred Tomaselli, the intensified palettes of Douglas Bourgeois and Sharon Ellis, and mixed-media and new media works by younger artists in the new millennium.
Although the term "psychedelic" was coined to describe hallucinatory experiences produced by drugs used psychotherapeutically, the story these images tell is about the influence of psychedelic culture on the art world—not necessarily the influence of drugs. As contemporary art evolved into a diverse and pluralistic discipline, the psychedelic evolved into a language of color and light. In Psychedelic,
more than seventy-five vivid color images chart this development, exploring the art chronologically, from early Op Art through recent work using digital technology. The book, which accompanies an exhibition organized by the San Antonio Museum of Art, includes three essays that set the works in historical and cultural context.