Chicago

Bob Ross, Cactus at Sunset, 1986, oil on canvas, 18 × 24". From “New Age, New Age: Strategies for Survival.”

Bob Ross, Cactus at Sunset, 1986, oil on canvas, 18 × 24". From “New Age, New Age: Strategies for Survival.”

“New Age, New Age: Strategies for Survival”

DePaul Art Museum

What’s your sign? No, this is not merely a flower-power phrase uttered with a knowing glance, nor a disco-era pickup line retooled at your favorite queer bar. As deployed in “New Age, New Age: Strategies for Survival,” this question, asked of the twenty-seven participating artists, was but one crucial approach to rethinking the confluence of politics, environmentalism, spirituality, and “wellness” that characterized the New Age movement of the 1960s and ’70s. Chief curator and museum director Julie Rodrigues Widholm’s decision to identify artists by their birth signs in the exhibition materials (a gallery guide designed by the artist and professional astrologer Whit Forrester even coordinated the sign of the viewer with those of particular artists) emblematized the kitsch sensibility that permeated the galleries. Introduced to an international group of artists through information beyond

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