Semina Culture.
Wallace Berman & His Circle.


Edited by Michael Duncan and Kristine McKenna. Essays by Michael Duncan, Kristine McKenna and Stephen Freedman.
Santa Monica Museum of Art / D.A.P., Santa Monica, 2005. 384 pp., 242 color and 250 b&w illustrations, 9x11".



Publisher's Description
The quintessential visual artist of the Beat era, Wallace Berman (1926-1976) remains one of the best kept secrets of the late 20th century. A crucial figure in California's postwar underground, Berman was a catalyst who traveled through many different worlds, transferring ideas and dreams from one circle to the next. His larger community is the subject of Semina Culture: Wallace Berman & His Circle, a catalogue to the exhibition organized by the Santa Monica Museum of Art including previously unexhibited works by 52 artists. Anchoring this publication is Semina, a free-form art and poetry journal that Berman published in nine issues between 1955 and 1964. Although privately made and distributed to a mere handful of friends and sympathizers, Semina is a brilliant compendium of the most interesting artists and poets of its time. Showcasing the individuals who came to define a still potent strand of post-war beat counter-culture, Semina Culture subtly outlines the energies, values, and foibles of this fascinating circle. Also reproduced here are works by various artists and writers who appear in Berman's own photographs-approximately 100 of which were recently developed from vintage negatives, and will be seen here for the first time.

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