George Herms and Bruce Conner


Diane di Prima and George Herms
Haiku, 1966
LOVE Press, Topanga, California.
Woodcut, 36 individual leaves and hand-stitched and inscribed suede satchel.

Highly esteemed as a sculptor specializing in assemblage works made of found items, George Herms also collaborated with Beat poets, notably Diane di Prima and Michael McClure, on a number of publications. His LOVE Press, operated from his studio in Topanga Canyon, California and featured hand-printed works with a low-tech, funky feel.

Michael McClure
Muscled Apple Swift, 1968
LOVE Press, Topanga, California
Cover by George Herms
Robert A. Wilson Collection

Diane di Prima
L.A. Odyssey, 1969
Cover by George Herms. Poet’s Press, New York.
Signed by the author

Bruce Conner
LSD 3:X:65, For Ramon Sender, Hallucinogram by Bruce Conner, cover for Andrew Hoyem, The Music Room, 1965. Dave Hasselwood, San Francisco.

An assemblage artist and filmmaker, Bruce Conner began making his “hallucinograms” under the influence of hallucinogenic drugs. Frequently exploring the form of the mandala, the hallucinograms offer a way for viewers to lose themselves in the seemingly endless maze-like intricate patterns made with an ink-cartridge pen.

Michael McClure and Bruce Conner
Self-published. Robert A. Wilson Collection

In a series of related projects artist Bruce Conner paired his mandala designs with Michael McClure’s poetry. This limited edition portfolio of twenty-five printed cards with Conner’s mandalas on one side and McClure’s “word sculptures,” or “variable poems,” on the other is an example of their collaboration. The cards can be rearranged in countless sequences of juxtapositions.

Bruce Conner
Legal Tender, 1968
Thirty double-sided offset lithographs. Edition for S.M.S. No. 2, 1968.
In 1968 artist Bruce Conner satirically used his hallucinatory drawings to adorn paper currency, calling the work Legal Tender. The artwork suggests the absurdity of money to a youth culture whose true currency was mind-expansion.