Palm Springs Exhibition of Vintage Blacklight Posters from the American Pop Era at Swank Modern Design

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Day-glo Dreamscapes: Vintage Blacklight Posters of the American Pop Era, will be on exhibit during Palm Springs Modernism Week at Swank Modern Design, February 15 to March 24, 2013

This branch of pop art has been largely overlooked for its powerful contribution to culture.

Concurrent with Palm Springs Modernism Week, Swank Modern Design presents an exhibition of American pop and psychedelic black light posters from the late 1960s and early 1970s. Fifteen classic examples of trippy, hyper-graphic mindscapes are collected together for public viewing in one of the period, mid-century modern ranch homes that Palm Springs is famous for.

Day-glo Dreamscapes: Vintage Blacklight Posters of the American Pop Era, is curated from the ephemeral, mass-produced art that swept "flower power" culture into teen-age bedrooms across the nation. These exuberant, eye-popping images were created using fluorescent inks that were especially vivid in normal light (earning the nickname of "day-glo" colors), but appeared to magically electrify when viewed under ultra-violet lamps known commonly as black lights.

Part of the great graphic design revolution of the pop era, these posters mimicked the hallucinogenic effects of mind-expanding drugs and featured images culled from nostalgic turn-of-the-century graphics, Op Art, fairy tales, underground comics or popular cartoon characters; incorporating themes of sexual liberation, social freedom and rebellion against the buttoned-up 1950s.

"In many ways, blacklight posters were precursors to the graphic experimentation of punk, new wave, skater and rave art," says gallery owner, John Goss. "With its roots in cheap, mass-production and super-graphic scale, this branch of pop art has been largely overlooked for its powerful contribution to culture."

Dan Donahue, author of the 2009 compilation of blacklight art, Ultra Violet, comments, "The intense imagery found in blacklight art has been burned into the teenage psyche and continues on as outsider art still inspiring the modern design world."

The exhibition features works by well-known artists like Robert Crumb and Charles Shultz, along with lesser known wizards of fantastical mindscapes like Robert Walker, George Goode, E. A. Mattila, Lloyd Sepulvago, and Ron Costa. Yet, many of these striking, iconic images are by anonymous creators yet to be identified.

There will be a public reception with UV black light, period music, and refreshments on Saturday, February 16, from 6-8pm. The exhibition runs from February 15 to March 24, 2013, with open viewings on Saturday Feb 23, Mar 2, 9, 16 and 23, from 2-5pm (and by appointment on other dates and times).

See the show preview at http://www.swankmoderndesign.com for the address, phone number and map.

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