Nicholas Krushenick: Iron Butterfly

Mar 23, 2019 — Jun 2, 2019

A one hit wonder,” Iron Butterfly was a 1960’s psychedelic rock band remembered for their song In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida,” a churning stew of pounding drums, reedy organ, and primitively chanted lyrics. Artist Nicholas Krushenick appropriated the band’s contradictory name for his 1968 print series, which is on view along with one other work of his in GRAM’s collection.

Like a lead zeppelin, an iron butterfly would never get off the ground. Perhaps Krushenick was poking fun at his own less-than-subtle Pop Abstract” style, which he developed in the early 1960s. In a 1968 interview, Krushenick stated, I think that every painter, whether he’s conscious of it or not, acquires a mass vocabulary of forms and shapes and ideas that he keeps juggling for the rest of his life from, say, 30 until he dies.” More than fifty years later, the artist’s interactions of high-keyed color, formal rigor, and sheer graphic intensity still looks fresh and modern.