In Orange Mood (1966), Helen Frankenthaler (1928 – 2011) thinned acrylic paint to the consistency of watercolor in order to create larger, curving expanses of color through which the weave of the canvas remains visible. Like Jackson Pollack, she placed her canvas directly on the floor and poured paint from above, largely without the aid of a brush. Frankenthaler used color as her painterly language, but she never entirely abandoned representation. Although the references can be subtle, her paintings consistently evoke nature. The undulating forms in Orange Mood relate to a simplified landscape, with zones of color recalling different emotional states. Hue and shape convey place and feeling. “I think of my pictures as explosive landscapes, worlds and distances, held on a flat surface,” Frankenthaler once stated.
Photographed as Part of The Exhibit Spilling Over: Painting Color in the 1960s, On View Through August 2019 at the Whitney Museum in NYC.
Paco Rabanne presented his first fashion collection in 1966. It was entitled 12 Dresses in Unwearable Materials and included garments made from links of plastic fastened with metal hoops. Rabanne had proven that fabric, needle and thread were not altogether necessary to clothing design, and he quickly gained fame for his defiance of tradition.
Ready-to-wear Dress Circa 1966: Silver and Black Plastic Discs, Metal Hoops. Photographed in the Museum at FIT in Manhattan.
Paco Rabanne was first known as an accessories designer and his work was regularly featured in the pages of magazines such as Elle and Harper’s Bazaar. This bag was likely made after the designer has started his clothing line. It shows how his idea of “futuristic armor” was translated into an eye-catching accessory
John Baldessari (b. 1931) never touched this painting. He did not paint it. He did not write the text. “There is a certain kind of work one could do that didn’t require a studio,” Baldessari said, “it’s work that is done in one’s head. The artists could be the facilitator of the work; executing it was another matter.” This concept – that an artist could present an idea rather than a material object from their own hand – was a way for Baldessari to take apart the notion of what art could be. In 1966 art meant painting, sculpture, or drawing, and with wry humor, Baldessari challenges this expectation. The viewer receives a painting in Tips for Artists Who Want to Sell (1966 – 68), but the painting is completed by sign painters. The viewer is presented with a painting’s content, but the content is text taken from an art trade magazine dictating what content should be. Clever!
Built from a 1966 Yamaha Catalina (YDS-3) 250, the Batcycle features a side car with a portable go-cart resting on it for Batman’s sidekick, Robin. The entire Batcycle and side car are handsomely customized in black and white colors with a Batshield molded into the fairing (the shell placed over the frame) and fender guard. Not only is the Batcycle a hugely modified Yamaha Catalina 250, but Robin’s cart, which is an integral part of the Batcycle rig, is powered by a 55cc, electric start, Yamaha three speed engine. The bike was designed by Tom Daniel and built in 5 days in April 1966 by Richard “Korky” Korkes and Daniel Dempski, doing business as Kustomotive. Yamaha gave them three black motorcycles, so they could build one “hero” bike and two copies. The basic design of the fairing came from a Yamaha.
Photographed at the Amazing Automobiles Exhibit at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.
On This Date, August 11th In 1966: John Lennon apologized at a press conference in Chicago for his comment that “The Beatles are more popular than Jesus.” I love Jesus and everything, but if I could find a reasonably priced, high quality T-shirt that says “The Beatles: More Popular Than Jesus” on it, I would buy it in a heartbeat.
On This Day, May 16th in 1966: The Beach Boys released the controversial album Pet Sounds, which is considered by many to be one of the best and most influential albums in popular music history. I confess that I haven’t listened to this album in a couple of years, but I am going to put it on right now, because it really is just amazing.