Psychedelia is a state of mind. It is a particular mode of perception that upends our assumptions about the way that the world works. It is about heightened color, glimmering patterns, and swirling constellations of form that challenge gravity and the very boundaries between discrete objects.
The exhibition Psychedelic: Optical and Visionary Art Since the 1960's at the San Antonio Museum of Art takes these ideas as a net to gather a wide range of artists. The 1960's, as the well-worn story of post war America goes, was a moment of civil unrest driven by a youth culture that was suspect of authority and newly intoxicated by sex, drugs and rock and roll. It also was a time when artists were riffing on the newly invented methods of image making that Surrealism and hard edged abstraction introduced. As a result, artists such as Richard Anuszkiewicz and other Op Art innovators explored pattern and abstraction to create hallucinatory visual paintings.