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Inspirational Times at Sotheby’s London

LONDON, ENGLAND.- INSPIRATIONAL TIMES - a major international exhibition tracing the history of one of the most influential periods through the Rock Art poster and graphic design in the 20th Century – will be held at Sotheby’s, Olympia from Sunday, January 5 through to Sunday, January 19, 2003. Based on the collection of fashion impresario Peter Golding, who is credited with creating the first stretch Jean in 1978, it is one of the largest archives of original rock and roll art in existence today.

Peter began the collection after picking up a poster from a protest concert in Hyde Park, London in 1967 and has since amassed an extensive collection of original pieces of quintessential work by key artists and designers of the time ranging from sketches and illustrations to paintings, printing plates and first edition posters. Approximately 300 of these will be included in the exhibition.

As well as having an impressive art collection, Peter Golding also owned the famous ACE boutique in London’s Kings Road, which during the 1970s and 1980s, catered to an international celebrity clientele of stage, screen and rock and roll stars. He is also an avid musician, very much dedicated to Blues and Jazz, and launched his CD “Stretching the Blues” in 1997 to a star studded audience at London’s Café de Paris.

As well as a diverse kaleidoscope of original artwork, the exhibition includes early Rolling Stones posters; original artwork from the Doors concerts; original artists proofs for the “The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics” by Alan Aldridge; 1960s concert posters for the Who and Cream; rare photographs from The Beat Hotel, Paris and the Kings Road, London, and an extensive collection of printing plates and their corresponding ‘uncut’ posters from the American West Coast.

Peter Golding said: “The roots of the exhibition can be found in the early 1960s when a new social and political radicalism gradually took hold on both sides of the Atlantic. Such breaking of old styles and liberalization in turn brought a profound new energy in music, art and fashion the effects of which continue to resonate today.


“A visit through Inspirational Times will bombard ones senses with a plethora of stunning imagery and art alongside captions and Illustrated text panels with editorial giving an insight into the era.


“Much of the original work from the artists included in the Inspirational Times Exhibition sheds light on the origins of design found today from club flyers to logos, fashion magazines to recent psychedelic car commercials! Such monumental inspiration illustrated both in the artwork and social movement has had a huge effect on today’s New Establishment, not only shaping and influencing the movers and shakers of the fashion, design and music industries but affecting the very basis of our everyday lives.”

Key protagonists of the art form represented in the exhibition include Rick Griffin, Stanley Mouse, Victor Moscoso, Wes Wilson, Gary Grimshaw, Hapshash, Michael English, Nigel Weymouth, Alton Kelly, David Singer, Alan Aldridge, Randy Tuten, Dennis Larkin among many others.


Inspirational Times brings together for the first time the largest single collection of RICK GRIFFIN’S WORK including original drawings, paintings and posters.


The late Rick Griffin is revered as the original Grand Master of this art form and a selection of his best works have been included in the exhibition.


His most famous poster, the Flying Eyeball commissioned for Bill Graham’s Fillmore East 1969 concert featuring Jimi Hendrix, John Mayall and Albert King, has been a recurring icon and is regarded by peers and the public as one of the most perfectly executed pieces of psychedelic art created during the Fillmore era. This stunning piece of original artwork is over 6 feet high.


The work of British designers Michael English and Nigel Weymouth, aka Hapshash and The Coloured Coat whose surreal illustrations were at the forefront of UK design will also be exhibited. Their pioneering techniques in silkscreen pushed the boundaries of printing to new heights creating

a difference between the more sophisticated European printing techniques and the older plate method used by the American designers.


The Exhibition also looks at some of the artwork commissioned by the Beatles including works by British artist Alan Aldridge and the Dutch collective ‘The Fool’. The latter design house became part of the Beatles entourage designing clothes, the band’s boutique in London and John Lennon’s Rolls Royce.


Perhaps the biggest band in US rock history, the Grateful Dead were avid commissioners of new artwork for their numerous projects. A section of the exhibition: ART OF THE DEAD will feature artwork from a range of different artists who were inspired to create some of the most recognizable icons in the history of graphic design, laying the foundations for the future development of the “band logo” and its development.


A key figure was Stanley Mouse whose combination of the Grateful Dead’s skull and roses may be the most famous single visual image linked with any rock group. Mouse Studios set the standards, producing posters, paintings, drawings, albums, logos and creating some of the most distinctive rock art ever. He worked very closely with Alton Kelly, who is also well represented with several magnificent pieces.


The final section, AFTERGLOW, will include some later work from the main protagonists of the exhibition along with an impressive display of original strip advert artwork from the prolific Randy Tuten, alongside original artwork from the punk era. Also included are posters commissioned by The Rainbow Theatre - London’s infamous music venue of the ‘70s.

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