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Seattle Art Museum’s newest exhibit explores West Coast 1960s-70s counterculture

“Poke in the Eye” is a playful collection of artworks showcasing the irreverent humor used by counterculture artists to make fun of the more mainstream works.

This painting displayed at the Seattle Museum of Art depicts several women of varying ethnicities posing next to each other in bright clothing.

This painting, titled “Les Demoiselles d’Alabama: Vestidas,” is one of several that Colecott used to point fingers at the appropriation of African culture in mainstream art.

Photo by SEAtoday Staff, Artwork by Robert Colescott

Feeling a little rebellious? If so, then you’d fit right in with the West Coast artists of the ‘60s and ‘70s featured in Seattle Art Museum’s “Poke in the Eye: Art of the West Coast Counterculture.”

Debuting on Friday, June 21, the new exhibit showcases how artists of that time used bold color and humor to poke at the East Coast art scene’s mainstream dialogue, which was alsoheavily exclusionary for women, Queer folks, and artists of color.

Some of the pieces you’ll find at the exhibit include:

  • A bright, multi-colored toilet with a surprise in the bowl
  • Ceramic portrayals of “dirty dishes”
  • An entirely handmade crochet tent displaying “funktonial design” concepts
  • A giant sculpture of a legless, mannequin-esque figure reminiscent of the “Where’s Waldo?” character backed by a wall of unnervingly shaped clown masks (coulrophobiacs, you’ve been warned)

The exhibit will be on display through Monday, Sept. 2.

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