Camden Arts Centre

Wallace Berman

26 Sep - 23 Nov 2008


This is the first retrospective exhibition of American artist Wallace Berman (1926 – 1976), considered by many to be the ‘father’ of Californian assemblage. He was hugely influential on a group of artists and poets to emerge from the legacy of the Beat generation in the late 1950s and 1960s.

It includes early drawings for Jazz record covers; his mail-art publication Semina containing poetry and images by Berman and his friends; his signature Verifax collage work as well as paintings such as 'Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag' and his 'Portrait of Kenneth Anger'.

Look out for Berman’s only surviving sculpture, 'Homage to Herman Hesse' - it was made for his first exhibition which was prematurely closed by police. Shown alongside are his fragile rock boxes and photographs he took throughout his life. His 16mm film 'Aleph' is screened as well as posters, book covers and postcards.

Berman’s influence is far reaching, Peter Blake included his portrait on the cover of The Beatles' 'Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' and he appeared, with a punning reference to his publication Semina, as a seed-sower in the film 'Easy Rider'.

Tags: Kenneth Anger, Wallace Berman, Peter Blake