One thing that bugged me about that story is it never says why the gallery is closing. Isn't that the first question that pops in your head when you read "gallery is closing"? It's almost as if Johnson had a contract to do the story that prohibited him from mentioning certain facts.
I did go to the gallery a few months ago and it has some tour de force Grey paintings but the everything-but-the-new-age-kitchen-sink overload gets annoying.
I think the article is pretty lame overall, maybe due to editing.
Johnson briefly got my interest here:
"A well-kept secret of the mainstream art world is the role that psychedelic drugs have played in shaping and altering the course of art since the 1960s."
But then I start sawing logs:
"Visionary art is not new — see Bosch, Blake, Redon and others — but in Western society before the 1960s, it was the province of isolated individuals. Then LSD became widely available, and anyone could have mystic revelations for the small price of a little pill."
By the end of this next paragraph he might as well be referring to his own article:
"Two recent, disappointingly flawed exhibitions inadequately addressed the subject: “Summer of Love” at the Whitney Museum of American Art last year, and “Ecstasy: In and About Altered States” at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art in 2005. For the most part, mainstream discourse about art goes on as if the psychedelic revolution were just a minor, tangential distraction."
Nice to see Grey's stuff featured though.
Ha ha--yes, those are log-sawing quotes. I wonder if this is the first time the Times covered the gallery--on the eve of its closing.
As for tiptoeing around "entheonic" substances, yes, you wonder why they write articles like this for imagined easily shocked kindergartners in Terre Haute when the audience for the article is quite familiar with Terrence McKenna and Daniel Pinchbeck, thank you very much.
Hello, conventional wisdom and ritual scolding of "hippies."
Oh I know Im late in the day on this, as usual...Only today was I informed about this article. By Phlilp T.in fact...
Now, at the risk of sounding self- serving (first time for everything!) Im going to have to saw you boys up a bit...
First of all Alex Grey basically sucks. His imagery and execution are 3rd rate at best and I know you guys know it.(paging Dr. Wilson...!) However his devotion to his chosen subject is quite admirable, not to mention his interior design sensibility. Seriously. Who wouldnt want a hall like that in their apartment.
Essentially Grey and Ken Johnson are performing the same function: to keep the ideas and significance of the psychedelic in the flow of culture, mutual ineptitude not withstanding. Not to mention "mainstream" culture. Why get all micro bitchy just because you--(me..whoever) knows more about what its supposed to sound like when some one talks about this stuff. Ok, I admit that is the province of the blog. Yeah, sure
these things are written in a generally compromised and disappointing manner, but ultimately its better that its out there than not, dont you think?
And I do believe there was a big old nutty Times article on Alex Grey and family a few years ago that I m sure mentioned his Temple.. and the fact that they took acid with their kid a two yr old or something....No? Cool.
And wha? Papi dont get no luv from the tree?
The Tree loves Steve Dib.
OK, since you are basically making the same argument I was when we debated Ken Burns, I have to agree.