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‘One Step Further’: An exhibition of psychedelic art, past and present

Submitted to The Union

 

If there was ever a seminal moment in the history of psychedelic art, “One Step Further” — the inaugural group show at the new The Chambers Project space — is it. On Nov. 12, the gallery will become a professional and serious refuge, a sanctuary of credibility for New Psychedelia in a chaotic art world.

The exhibition represents the first public showing of what is considered one of the most important collections of psychedelic art in existence. Chambers project has partnered with Towr Media to provide a state-of-the-art live stream gallery experience as well as art projections on the external walls of the new building.

Curator Brian Chambers has firmly staked his claim in the history of the genre by showing treasures from early rock music and psychedelic art: rare paintings by rock gods Jerry Garcia, and Jimi Hendrix, and original works by genius Fillmore poster designer Rick Griffin. Canvases from contemporary artists will immerse spectators in visionary landscapes of tumbling colors and shapes, toppling through space and, at times, spilling from the frames.



Chambers said, “The show ties the contemporary psychedelic world to the godfathers of the scene. A blend of the new school and the old school. It’s a celebration of all the major influences that have combined to shape new psychedelia.”

Heavy hitters of the new psychedelic art scene Mars-1 and Oliver Vernon will dominate the space, as the two artists take to the canvas to paint new works for a live audience. Mars-1’s style is sensual, delicate, surging out of two-dimensional surfaces into three-dimensional worlds. His sophisticated classical touch and a comforting sense of color invite his audience to enjoy the sensual compositions he creates.



Oliver Vernon’s work began in the traditions of 1950s abstraction, but the psychedelic experience transformed his work, ushering in an intense and colorful freshness. Vernon’s work marks an evolution in the history of all-over painting. Vernon said, “The psychedelic experience was a key to unlocking a crazy force. Uninterrupted, no hesitation, pouring, shifting gears, and changing modes rapidly, without having to stop and contemplate what they should be. It was a revelation.”

This inaugural showcase is timed to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Hunter S. Thompson and Ralph Steadman’s collaboration on “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” the seminal gonzo story of Thompson’s hallucinatory journey to the heart of the American dream. Chambers said, “It was the marriage of art and word in ‘Fear and Loathing’ that sent me on the journey of my life’s work, to become the prime collector and dealer of contemporary psychedelic art.”

Chambers included two of Steadman’s original drawings from ‘Fear and Loathing’ in the show, Vintage Doctor Gonzo, and The Hitchhiker. The show will also feature the unveiling of the newest bronze Chambers has produced for Steadman, the fourth since they began working together in 2014.

It is also an important anniversary for Roger Dean, who celebrates fifty years of designing iconic cover art for the progressive rock band YES. His cracked world album cover for the album Fragile was released on the 21st of November 1971. Dean is showing two paintings at the exhibition: the gorgeous original painting for the band’s most recent album The Quest, and Inland Sea 2.

Gallerist and art collector Jacaeber Kastor, whose rare drawings are also included in the exhibit, sums it up best: “Psychedelic art is inclusive art. It’s a process of refining. It’s trying to clarify. It’s thrilling. It tends to be a more encompassing vision, with an expanded view. We’re always amazed that we see so much more, and we feel so much more.”

The exhibit will be open to the public from Nov. 12 through Jan. 11, 2022.

Artists include: Jerry Garcia, Jimi Hendrix, Roger Dean, Rick Griffin, Ralph Steadman, Jacaeber Kastor, Mars-1, Oliver Vernon, Zoltron, Jud Bergeron, 1010ZZZ, MEAR ONE, Sebastian Wahl, Colin Prahl, Isaac Abrams, Kris Kuksi, Justin Lovato, Nome Edonna, Leans, Ricardo Chavarria, Freyja Dean, Dan Lam, Candace Thatcher, Jessie Thatcher, Sean Smokovich, Julian Vadas.

KNOW & GO

WHAT: “One Step Further”: An exhibition of psychedelic art, past and present

WHEN: Opening 5 p.m. on Nov. 12. Open through Jan. 11, 2022

WHERE: The Chambers Project, 627 East Main St., Grass Valley

MORE INFO: Call 530-470-3297

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