One thing seems pretty clear about both groups: they separated themselves from mainstream culture, including the art world. This is practically unheard of today.
The Secret Paintings of a Hermetic Filmmaker
Jordan Belson wanted the viewer to see only what was in front of his or her face — to scrutinize his paintings from up close.
Jay DeFeo and the Anarchic Spirit of Surrealism
For DeFeo, Surrealism was not a technique, but a state of seeing and experiencing everyday life.
When Art Refuses to Let Go
Delirious at the Met Breuer is an exhibition filled with beautiful but comparatively polite works by habitually transgressive artists.
A Celebration of the Rat Bastards: Joan Brown, Bruce Conner, Jean Conner, Jay DeFeo, George Herms, Wally Hedrick, and Others
Shortly after coming to San Francisco, Conner formed what he christened the “Rat Bastard Society.” Conner told the curator Peter Boswell that the name was fitting for “people who were making things with the detritus of society, who themselves were ostracized or alienated from full involvement with society.”
Looking Back at the Strange and Surly History of Bay Area Funk Art
It is disheartening to see this 50th anniversary of the seminal exhibition Funk pass by without so much as a nod from the art world.
A Multimedia Jungle of Moving Images
The Whitney Museum’s Dreamlands gathers a century of immersive moving image art, cutting across time and technology.
It is Important to Let Someone Know
Throughout his life, Bruce Conner believed that even if you could not beat them, that didn’t mean you had to join them.
The Early Life of Bruce Conner and His Rat Bastard Bohemia
To say that Conner was an outsider who also wanted to belong is to barely scratch the surface of his paradoxical persona.
Blurred Boundaries and Other Connections
A mix of blue-chip names and energetic younger artists on the Lower East Side is further evidence of the increasingly blurred boundaries among Manhattan’s art districts.
Tracking the Beat Generation Across Three Continents
PARIS — Though almost entirely lacking a female presence — artist Jay DeFeo and poet Diane Di Prima being the exceptions that prove the rule — the Centre Pompidou’s airily laid out retrospective of the Beat Generation is otherwise flawless.
An Artist Who Possessed a Third Eye
Working in painting, drawing, assemblage, film, photography, photograms, performance, collage, and printmaking, Bruce Conner (1933–2008) made more discrete bodies of work across more mediums than any other postwar artist.