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Current Exhibitions

Heart and Torch: Rick Griffin’s Transcendence
June 24 to September 30, 2007
Main level

Rick Griffin (1944-1991)
Pacific Vibrations original art for poster, 1969
Oil on masonite, 43 x 29 inches
Collection of Jay Gould

Heart and Torch: Rick Griffin’s Transcendence, the artist’s first major retrospective and solo museum exhibition, opens on June 24, 2007. A cult figure that set the iconographic terrain for the 1960s and 1970s counterculture, in his art Griffin expressed idealism and hope along with a darker side that perfectly embodied the contradictions of the era with its mixture of hedonism, politics, and avant-garde expression.

The exhibition, which includes some 140 paintings, drawings, posters, album covers, and artifacts, surveys thirty years of Griffin’s work from the 1960s until his death in 1991. The accompanying 156-page catalogue, published in association with Gingko Press, is the first publication to address Griffin’s impact on the surf, psychedelic rock, and born-again Christian movements.

Heart and Torch is organized for Laguna Art Museum by Susan M. Anderson, and co-curated by guest curators Greg Escalante and Doug Harvey with curatorial consultant Gordon McClelland.

Laguna Art Museum would like to thank all of the sponsors of the exhibition Heart and Torch: Rick Griffin’s Transcendence for all of their generosity in making this important contribution to the scholarship of this under-recognized artist possible.

The exhibition and book were made possible through the generous support of presenting sponsor Hurley.

Additional support was provided by the Segerstrom Foundation; the Gillespie Foundation; Juxtapoz Art and Culture Magazine; Mark Parker; Jeff Smith; Bernie Chase; Flat Bread Company, Paia, Maui and the Classic Surf Gallery; and Cindy and Joe Knörnschild.

Major media sponsorship provided by Surfer Magazine.

See who was at the Griffin Opening Reception!

Visit Griffin's blog site

Griffin Lecture Series

  Order your copy of Heart and Torch: Rick Griffin’s Transcendence Now  

Sunday, June 24, 2007 - 1:00 p.m. Psychedelic Moment: The Big Five and Zap Comix in the 1960s

This panel on Griffin and San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury features the artist’s widow and internationally respected artists who initiated the psychedelic art and underground comix movements. With Ida Griffin, Alton Kelley, Stanley Mouse, Spain Rodriguez, and Robert Williams. Moderated by Jacaeber Kastor, founder of Psychedelic Solution Gallery, New York.

Sunday, July 15, 2007 - 1:00 p.m
Chronicles of a Subculture: Rick Griffin, Murphy, and Surfer Magazine

This panel highlights Griffin’s popular cartoon character, Murphy, featured in Surfer magazine in the 1960s, with artists and designers Art Brewer, Jim Evans, Hyatt Moore, Randy Nauert, John Van Hamersveld, and Mike Salisbury. Moderated by Steve Pezman, publisher of The Surfer’s Journal.

Sunday, August 19, 2007 - 1:00 p.m.
Typographical Transcendence: Tales from the Griffin Vault

Carl Rohrs, artist and instructor at Cabrillo College, discusses Griffin’s unique contribution to graphic design featuring rarely seen works by the artist.

Sunday, September 16, 2007 - 1:00 p.m. Evangelism, Music, Art, and Visual Faith: A Confluence in the Art of Rick Griffin.

Chuck Fromm, publisher of Worship Leader magazine and patron of Griffin’s The Gospel of John, discusses the influence of the born-again Christian movement on the artist’s life and art.