In Dreams Unreal the poster art that gave visual life to the amazing music scene that sprang up across the Bay Area from 1965 to 1970 lives on. Bands needed theaters to play in, music promoters needed to get the word out about the shows, and a group of talented young artists producing dreamy, free-form work needed a medium of expression. Thus was born the psychedelic rock poster, one of the most explosively inventive, instantly recognizable, and profoundly influential aesthetic movements of the last century. A group of young visual artists provided perfectly trippy visuals to accompany soundtracks by bands like the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, Santana, the Doors, and many more. These artists--including Lee Conklin, Rick Griffin, Alton Kelley, Bonnie Maclean, Victor Moscoso, Stanley Mouse, the recently deceased Wes Wilson, and others created a new artistic genre: the collectible rock concert poster. Some are household names today while others are largely forgotten.
The New-York Historical Society presents the rock & roll world of Bill Graham (1931–1991), one of the most influential concert promoters of all time. Bill Graham and the Rock & Roll Revolution explores the life and work of the legendary music impresario who worked with the biggest names in rock music. Showcasing more than 300 objects—including rock memorabilia, photographs, and concert posters with a site-specific installation of “The Joshua Light Show,” the trailblazing liquid light show conceived in 1967 by multimedia artist Joshua White that served as a psychedelic backdrop to Graham’s concert productions in New York. On view February 14 – August 23, 2020.