The vertigo of psychedelic aesthetics

The vertigo of psychedelic aesthetics

“Green. Have I seen it? Too fleetingly seen? I know there’s going to be green, there’s a surge of green, there’s green frantically reaching into existence a green that couldn’t be greener” Henri Michaux, Miserable Miracle

How did this conquest come about? How did those who were its architects experience it? How did this artistic research evolve with mass consumption? Jean-Jacques Lebel remembers “Already in the 1960s, we were involved in a completely international movement called the happenings movement, that is to say the movement of those who tried to make the work of art, the image, is not in 2 or 3 dimensions but in 4 dimensions, it means that the painting comes out of the canvas and enters life”.

The Mandala collective, pioneer of the light-show in France, draws its references from the symbolists, the surrealists and from oriental spirituality, while the poster designers of San-Francisco revisit Art Nouveau… It is for everyone to break the codes and to embrace a daily experience that transforms them into explorers. Besides, Elise Grandgeorge relativizes the subject of LSD and says that “In Sainte-Anne, a protocol was carried out by a young doctor called René Robert who will bring together 27 artists and have them create works of art under Psilocybin. They realize that the works produced do not show hallucinations. They couldn’t draw!

With :

  • Elise Grandgeorgeart historian
  • Jean-Claude Baillypublisher, light-show pioneer in France
  • Stephane Schouflikirbookseller and gallery owner
  • Philippe Thieyrejournalist and author of numerous works on psychedelia
  • Jean Jacques Lebelartist
  • Gilbert Sheltoncartoonist
  • Aymon de Lestrangecollector, publisher
  • Jais Elaloufcollector
  • Renee Taponierseamstress, curator of the Pierre Cardin museum

A documentary series of Marie Chartronproduced by Diphy Mariani

This documentary first aired on 9/17/19


  • Henri Michaux, wretched miracleEditions du Rocher, 1956
  • The years Current, The word and the rest, 2010 Perrine Kervran, Anaïs Kien
  • Philippe Thieyre, The psychedelic years, Desinge and Hugo et Cie, 2011
  • Philippe Thieyre, Psychedelic Vinyls 1965-1973, Stephane Baches, 2010


  • Article by art historian Elise Grandgeorge: Psychedelic art: an invention of psychiatric discourse? HISTORY OF ART N°76 2015/1

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