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Psychedelic: Optical and Visionary Art since the 1960s (MIT Press) Hardcover – March 5, 2010

4.3 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

A treasure trove of visionary delights, and his essay provides a convincing analysis of the altered state of art since the '60s.

(Ken Johnson New York Times)

This is a beautiful book to hold in one's hands and its ability to capture the eye, through such diverse means, is a great testament to both editor and artists alike. Sumptuous wonderlands indeed.

(The Psychedelic Press UK)

About the Author

David S. Rubin is The Brown Foundation Curator of Contemporary Art at the San Antonio Museum of Art.

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Product Details

  • Series: MIT Press
  • Hardcover: 138 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press; First Edition ~1st Printing edition (March 5, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262014041
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262014045
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.8 x 12 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,312,081 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dr. Debra Jan Bibel TOP 500 REVIEWER on July 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Accompanying an exhibition at the San Antonio Museum of Art, this splendid, well-selected collection of 74 plates and three critical essays offers the reader the spectrum of optical, illusional, and drug-influenced Western art that has explored perception, mind realities, and popular technological culture since the early 1960s. Visionary and even spiritual, the fine reproductions dazzle and stimulate. The group oddly, but understandably, does not include any of the popular advertising posters for Fillmore or Avalon Ballrooms in San Francisco or any of the E.C. Escher mind-twisting illustrations. The precision in the collection of 'serious' art advances the bright contrasts of Fauvists and the dreamlike world of Modernists. Curator David Rubin's first essay provides the historical introduction, mentioning precedents and early approaches, and describes each featured artist's background and the particular representative art. Robert Morgan's essay is somewhat diffused and goes deeper into the counterculture, hippies, and the use of entheogens, such as LSD, mescaline, and cannabis. Mind and alternative realities were core to the movement and art and rock music (versus Beat literature, poetry and jazz) were the communicative and ritual media. The later examples are less scientifically direct and show a return toward psychological allegory and personal cultural and societal criticism. The final essay of Daniel Pinchbeck is more ideological with its discussion of the cultural ramifications of these mind-effecting art. He focuses on spiritual transformation and transcendence, the pioneers of R. Gordon Wasson in Mexico in pursuit of mushrooms and William Burrough's ayuhuasca experiences in the Amazon.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was hoping for some print quality versions of the visionary art you can easily find online by searching "visionary art" and the galleries and shows that show this type of art. There is a lot of great stuff out there. Unfortunately, this volume comes in short, with an overall vision of the book that doesn't quite deliver. There is a story of visionary art evolving from the 60s to today, but the art in this book don't do a good job of expressing it.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a most scholarly look at optical and visionary art since the 1960's. The essays by David S. Rubin and others offer fascinating and new points of view on art work that is far more considered and complex than most would have imagined. The book is complete with rich and beautiful reproductions. Much is offered in this intellectual and visual publication.
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By ben on July 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is a great book with beautiful reproductions of a wide variety of art carefully chosen by David Ruben. I highly recommend it not only for the images but the insightful writings describing how each artists work fit into this category.
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