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West Coast Art (Not Laid-Back) A California ‘State of Mind,’ Circa 1970, NYTimes Review

Posted on July 11, 2013

Sound Of Ice Melting

West Coast Art (Not Laid-Back)
A California ‘State of Mind,’ Circa 1970, at Bronx Museum
by Holland Cotter

If you’re even just a little weary of the well-made, no-risk, eye-on-fashion fare in so many Manhattan summer group shows, consider a trip to the Bronx Museum of the Arts, where the exhibition “State of Mind: New California Art Circa 1970” has breezed in from the West Coast, bringing with it a tonic of gawky rawness and moral purpose.

California in the 1970s was one of the weirder spots on the planet, home to radical strains of politics on both the right and left. It was a hub of the nation’s defense industry and a feeder for the Vietnam War, to which disproportionate numbers of Latinos and blacks were consigned. Teachers at the state’s universities were required to take loyalty oaths. Dissidents and deviants of various stripes were under the gun.

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