Drop City

This series of drawings and watercolours is based on Clark Richert’s photographs of Drop City commune (http://www.clarkrichert.com/dropcity) near Trinidad, Colorado, that was started in 1965. Besides Richert, founding members included Gene and JoAnn Bernofsky, and Richard Kallweit. It functioned as an artist’s community with members producing psychedelic and geometric systems paintings as well as sculptures and films. One of the more complex works was “The Ultimate Painting”, 1961 (http://clarkrichert.com/node/111), a collaboratively produced tondo of polychromed geometric forms appearing to expand outwards. It would sometimes be shown spinning vertically, lit with strobes.

It’s worthwhile considering the entire commune as a community artwork, with its idiosyncratic multicoloured geodesic domes incongruously spread across the desert landscape like an alien utopia. These structures were recognised as remarkable in their own time, and in 1967 won a Buckminster Fuller innovation award, including a $500 prize that was immediately put towards finishing the large Complex Dome.