NYC's Met Breuer Gets Psychedelic With "Delirious: Art at the Limits of Reason"

Writer Samuel Beckett examined the bleaker parts of life. His work informed the selection of pieces for “Delirious: Art at the Limits of Reason, 1950-1980,” at the Upper East Side’s Met Breuer through January 14.

Ana Mendieta (1948–1985), Untitled (Glass on Body Imprints—Face), 1972. Gelatin silver print. Courtesy of the Princeton University Art Museum and Art Resource.

The exhibition examines what was created in the era’s unstable circumstances: the perceived governmental irrationality around the world coinciding with the rise of psychedelic drug use. Bruce Nauman’s verbal wall sculpture erratically flashes its neon lights, Paul Thek’s tidy yellow acrylic box contains a grotesque sculpture, and Ana Mendieta’s gelatin silver print distorts a woman’s face.

Paul Thek (American, 19331988), Untitled from the series Technological Reliquaries, 1966, in wax, paint, polymer resin, nylon monofilament, wire, plaster, plywood, melamine laminate, rhodium-plated bronze, and acrylic. Courtesy of the Estate of George Paul Thek and Alexander and Bonin, New York.
Mira Schendel (Brazilian, 19191988), Graphic Object (Objeto grafico), 1973. Letterset on paper and acrylic laminate. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Bruce Nauman (American, born 1941), Human Nature/Life Death, 1983. Neon tubing with clear glass tubing suspension frames. Courtesy of the Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, and Art Resource.
Robert Smithson (American, 1938–1973), Three Mirror Vortex, 1965. Stainless steel and mirrors. Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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