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Holy Barbarians: Beat Culture on the West Coast

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Holy Barbarians: Beat Culture on the West Coast

November 17, 2016
Menil Collection
1515 Sul Ross
Houston,TX 77006
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The Menil Collection presents Holy Barbarians: Beat Culture on the West Coast.  Nov 18, 2016 – Mar 12, 2017. Opening Reception Thursday, November 17, 7pm-9pm.

This exhibition brings together a selection of California artists who emerged following the Second World War and took advantage of the region’s permissive atmosphere to help create a thriving new art scene.

Artists like John Altoon, Wallace Berman, Bruce Conner, Jay DeFeo, George Herms, and Edward Kienholz were part of a “Beat” generation, whose social critiques would eventually be incorporated into the counterculture and social protest movements that shaped the second half of the 20th century.

Operating outside of established schools, galleries, and museums, artists and writers in the Los Angeles region and the Bay Area combined influences from jazz, poetry, and popular culture and stressed experimentation and self-exploration.

Questioning the optimism and conformity of the Eisenhower era and opposed to the illusion of perfection manufactured and sold by Hollywood, they formed their work from the detritus of everyday life.

Loosely affiliated by personal friendships and shared actions, publications, interests, and ideals, these artists produced a visually diverse array of objects that emphasize spontaneity and innovation over aesthetic or technical concerns. Often the works are imbued with an enigmatic spirituality and possess an iconography that is mysterious, at times cryptic.

Holy Barbarians: Beat Culture on the West Coast brings together a powerful group of works on paper and assemblages from 1955 to 1970. Drawn primarily from the Menil’s permanent collection, the exhibition highlights seldom-seen yet fascinating artists in the Menil Collection’s holdings. Carefully selected loans from other institutions and private collections complement the selection.

This exhibition is generously supported by Suzanne Deal Booth; Susan and Francois de Menil; John R. Eckel, Jr. Foundation; Linda and George Kelly; Marilyn Oshman; and the City of Houston.

Pictured: Jay DeFeo, After Image.

District provided services such as safety patrols by off-duty HPD officers, graffiti abatement, trash pick-up, maintenance of esplanades, among other services outlined in the Districts’ Assessment Plan, that are supplemental to services provided by the City of Houston, had been reduced in Mid-November and ceased completely as of December 11. The District had to cease the services due to unpaid assessments from some of the commercial property owners within the District. Delinquent assessments for 2016 and prior years are being collected for services that were delivered in 2017. The current lawsuit status does not affect the collection of delinquent assessments due for 2016 and prior years for services rendered for calendar year 2017. Please direct questions regarding the cessation of services to Executive Director, Ben Brewer at BBrewer@MontroseDistrict.org. We are committed to helping our neighborhood remain the safe, vibrant and attractive place to live and do business and would like to hear from you on how we can continue to work together in this effort.