DILEXI ● Totems and Phenomenology

1326 South Boyle Avenue
Jun 22, 4 PM - 7 PM — ends Aug 10, 2019
Parrasch Heijnen Gallery is pleased to participate in the multi-venue Dilexi Gallery retrospective with a historic presentation of works by Arlo Acton, Tony DeLap, Deborah Remington, Charles Ross, and Richard Van Buren.

The Dilexi gallery began out of necessity--a deep-seated need to have a serious space for counterculture artists in the heart of vibrantly active beatnik San Francisco. In 1958, Jim Newman and Bob Alexander filled this void championing free-spirited and nonconformist artists. Dilexi, which derives from Latin “to select, to value highly, to love,” was the conduit necessary for these disparate artists to experiment with new materials and non-traditional techniques that eventually became their individual styles outside any singular art movement. Pivotal museum exhibitions such as Primary Structures (1966: Jewish Museum, New York, NY) as well as the locally founded ArtForum brought Dilexi artists international recognition.

Reverberating in the cultural and emotional displacement of their time, these artists pursued a spiritual pilgrimage that burst forth in dramatically new forms of art. Urgent and improvisational “happenings,” experimental media, and the adaptation of cottage industry production reinvented the art scene on the West Coast. The proximity of San Francisco to Los Angeles allowed artists a free interchange of ideas between the two centers. Contrasting with the echoing density in the Bay area, the lack of infrastructure and slow pace in Los Angeles gave parallel rise to serious exploration where artists were supported by similarly groundbreaking galleries such as Ferus, Dwan, and Wilder. Newman, keen on this porous exchange, opened a second Dilexi location in Los Angeles in 1962, which included solo exhibitions by Deborah Remington, Joe Goode, and H.C. Westermann.

In 1969, Newman left the gallery and began the Dilexi Foundation with Ralph H. Silver, the mission of which was to promote artists’ loose avant-garde projects with a broader reach through a television series aired on KQED. The first of the groundbreaking series was Arlo Acton’s and Terry Riley’s ‘Music with Balls.’ Following a successful television run, Newman and Silver organized 35 artist happenings around San Francisco titled September 1970.

This exhibition includes works by Arlo Acton, Tony DeLap, Deborah Remington, Charles Ross, and Richard Van Buren, who all exhibited within Dilexi’s immense roster. These artists embody the radical aesthetics that came out of the resounding counterculture activity.

Organized with Laura Whitcomb in association with Label Curatorial. There is a forthcoming publication by Label Curatorial on the history of the Dilexi Gallery.