In the heady and hallucinogenic days of the 1960s and ’70s, a diverse range of artists and creative individuals based in the American West—from the Pacific coast to the Rocky Mountains and the Southwest—broke the barriers between art and lifestyle and embraced the new, hybrid sensibilities of the countercultural movement. The exhibition West of Center illuminates the unique works of these individuals through videos, photographs, drawings, ephemera and other original and re-created objects and environments. The countercultural movement has typically been associated with psychedelic art, but West of Center presents psychedelia as only one dimension of the larger, artistically-oriented, socially-based phenomenon. The wider integration of art practices, political action and collaborative life activities is foundational throughout contemporary art and culture.
Organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver. The exhibition is supported, in part, with funds provided by the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) and the National Endowment for the Arts. Sponsored locally by the Walter and Karla Goldschmidt Foundation.
Co-curated by Elissa Auther and Adam Lerner. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue, featuring nineteen authors, published by the University of Minnesota Press.