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Holy Barbarians: Beat Culture on the West Coast

Menil Collection, Houston

NOW CLOSED

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. Read more.

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Day of Bessie Smith (1962), George Herms. The Menil Collection, Houston, Gift of Caroline Huber and the estate of Walter Hopps. © George Herms

Day of Bessie Smith (1962), George Herms. The Menil Collection, Houston, Gift of Caroline Huber and the estate of Walter Hopps. © George Herms

August 25, 1959 (1959), Bruce Conner. Private Collection, Houston. © Estate of Bruce Conner / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

August 25, 1959 (1959), Bruce Conner.

John Doe (1959), Edward Kienholz. The Menil Collection, Houston. Copyright Kienholz. Courtesy of L.A. Louver, Venice, CA. Photo: George Hixson

John Doe (1959), Edward Kienholz. The Menil Collection, Houston. Copyright Kienholz. Courtesy of L.A. Louver, Venice, CA. Photo: George Hixson

Untitled (1961), John Altoon. The Menil Collection, Houston. © The Estate of John Altoon

Untitled (1961), John Altoon. The Menil Collection, Houston. © The Estate of John Altoon

After Image (1970), Jay DeFeo. The Menil Collection, Houston, Gift of Glenn Fukushima in honor of the artist. © The Jay DeFeo Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

After Image (1970), Jay DeFeo. The Menil Collection, Houston, Gift of Glenn Fukushima in honor of the artist. © The Jay DeFeo Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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