Of all the factors propelling the cultural revolution of the 1960s, you could argue that none was more pervasive and profound than the music — and integral to its appeal was the visuals that went with it. The psychedelic avant-garde in the era's iconic album covers, posters and magazine illustrations threatened the status quo as much as anything on the airwaves, as the artists and designers of the time tapped into the broad desire for revolution, peace, beauty, adventure, freedom and the absolutely new. Among the greatest of these greats is the prolific John Van Hamersveld. His more than 50-year career included stints as art director of Surfer Magazine and Capitol Records, and he's responsible for a graphics pantheon that includes album art for The Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour and The Rolling Stones' Exile on Main Street, the Grateful Dead skull, indelible rock images of Jimi Hendrix, Cream, and Bono, and pieces of surfer heaven for Billabong and Endless Summer. CSUN's sensitive and exhaustive exhibition, John Van Hamersveld: Drawing Attention, chronicles these and many more accomplishments, placing a premium on the artist's vast archive of original drawings both as artifacts of his stellar output and documents of his private creative process. Hamersveld himself takes us deeper down the rabbit hole at both a reception on Saturday, Sept. 7 (4-7 p.m.) and a gallery talk on Monday, Sept. 9, at 10 a.m. But there's no reason not to drop by now and let his work blow your mind. CSUN Art Galleries, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge; Aug. 26-Oct. 12, Mon.-Sat., noon-4 p.m., Thurs., noon-8 p.m.; free. (818) 677-2226, csun.edu/artgalleries.
Mondays-Saturdays. Starts: Aug. 26. Continues through Oct. 26, 2013
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