Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia / Walker Art Center, Minneapolis / october 24 , 2015 – february 28, 2016.

The Walker Art Center is pleased to present Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia, a traveling exhibition that examines the intersections of art, architecture and design of the counterculture of the 1960s and early 1970s on view October 24, 2015 through February 28, 2016 in Galleries 1, 2, 3, and the Perlman Gallery.

Organized by the Walker with the assistance of the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archives, the exhibition charts the evolution of one of the most fertile periods of recent cultural history that witnessed a variety of radical experiments that challenged convention, overturned traditional hierarchies, explored new media and materials, and formed alternative communities with new ways of living and working together. Many artists, architects and designers began a search for a new kind of utopia—technical, ecological, political—and with it offered a critique of society.

Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia also considers how the counterculture of the period, once dismissed as both a social and aesthetic failure, embraced many artistic themes and ideas that persist today, including ecological awareness, social practice, and audience participation. It also resonates in a plethora of today’s social arenas, whether the resurgent interest in yoga and spirituality, organic foods, local agriculture, marijuana legalization, climate change, alternative energy, or social protest movements such as Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter, to name a few.

Loosely assembled around Timothy Leary’s famous mantra, “Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out,” Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia features a variety of art forms and artifacts, from experimental furniture to alternative living structures, immersive environments, media installations, alternative magazines, experimental books, printed ephemera, and archival films.

Following the Walker’s presentation, Hippie Modernism: The Struggle for Utopia will travel to the Cranbrook Art Museum and the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive.



Images : 1- Kent yellowsubmarine 1967 / 2- isaacs superchair 1967 / 3- Superstudio Superonda Sofa, Archizoom Associati (1966). Archive Centro Studi Poltronova. Courtesy Dario Bartolini (Archizoom Associati 1966 / copyright Walker Art Center

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