The Squares and the Beats
The exhibition "The Squares and the Beats: The Lane Gift" playfully explores American values from the 1950s and 1960s through works of art by Jeremy Anderson, Sidney Gordin, Knud Merrild, John Bernhardt, George Herms, and Gordon Wagner.
The terms “square” and “beat” are taken from the era of the 1950s and 1960s and applied loosely here. The term Beat has its origins in music, the beat, particularly in American Jazz and Blues, as well as its colloquial meaning of being tired or down as in, “I’m beat.” “You’re square” was a derogatory term used by the Beats to describe the values of conventional mainstream culture, which they were rejecting and reacting against. For the Beats, the art that came the generation before them would have been considered square or out of date as well.
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