A piece of Gordon Matta-Clark’s graffiti truck, from 1973. Matta-Clark was inspired by graffiti in the early ’70s — before it had caught on with the mainstream art world. (Photo by C-M.)
The 1970s were not kind to New York. There was a middle class exodus to the suburbs. The Son of Sam was terrorizing the town. The city was bankrupt. Which, in a way, made the place an ideal spot for artists — who could take over empty SoHo warehouses for dance performances and attack derelict buildings in the Bronx with chainsaws, all without anybody batting an eyelash. The current David Zwirner exhibit 112 Greene Street: The Early Years (1970-74) examines this history — specifically, the story behind the alternative arts spot that gave rise to a number of figures, among them sculptor and conceptualist Gordon Matta-Clark. (Most interestingly, he was able to make a real live cherry tree grow in 112′s by-all-accounts-nasty basement.)
For those who relish examining a period when the city was entirely bereft of velvet ropes and gaggles of Sex and the City wannabes, this is definitely the show for you. It is heavy on Matta-Clark, containing evidence of some of his early building slicing experiments, but also has some compelling sculptures by Richard Nonas and Alan Senet. In addition, to anyone interested in the history of graffiti, the show is an absolute must-see. Matta-Clark had a heavy duty interest in the art form — letting Bronx teens tag up his van and documenting early tags on the subways in pieces he called Graffiti Photoglyphs. (See the photos below.)
You’ve got until the end of the week to catch the show. 112 Greene Street runs through this Saturday, Feb. 12.
The Wall, 2009, by Marlene Dumas. Part of the artist’s solo exhibit, Against the Wall, at David Zwirner Gallery in NYC, opens Thursday at 6pm. (Image courtesy of Zwirner.)
- In L.A.: Mark Grotjahn, Seven Faces, at Blum & Poe, through April 3.
- In L.A.: Judy Fiskin, Guided Tour, at Angles Gallery, through April 3.
- In NYC: Sounds from the Black Box: The Music of Philip Miller for the Films of William Kentridge at the World Financial Center, starting this Sunday at 8pm.
- In NYC: Eva Hesse at Hauser & Wirth, opens today at 6pm.
- In NYC: Twilight Visions: Surrealism, Photography and Paris, at the ICP, through May 9.
- In NYC: The AIPAD Photography Show, at the Park Avenue Armory, opens Thursday.
- In NYC: Nature, Once Removed: The (Un)Natural World in Contemporary Drawing, at the Lehman College Art Gallery in the Bronx, through May 4.
- In NYC: Franck de Las Mercedes, Marc Baptiste, Betty K, and many others, in a group show and charity auction to support the Edeyo Foundation and the Harlem Academy, at the French Consulate, this Thursday at 7pm.
- In London: Barti Kher, inevitable, undeniable, necessary, at Hauser & Wirth, opens Saturday.
- In Liverpool: Mark Rothko, the Seagram Murals, at the Tate Liverpool, through March 21.
- In Paris: Sex, Death and Sacrifice in the Mochica Religion, at Musée du Quai Branly, opens today.
- In Paris: Crime and Punishment, at the Musée de Orsay, opens today. (The Art Newspaper.)
Untitled, 1969 by Doug Wheeler at David Zwirner Gallery. Part of the exhibit Primary Atmospheres: Works from California 1960-1970, on display until Feb. 6. Gallery Beat has a report, as does the always awesome 16 miles. (Image courtesy of 16 miles.)
- In NYC: Christian Hellmich, The Array/Transfer-Domino, at Lehman Maupin, opens Thursday.
- In NYC: Amy Greenfield, Untitled Nude, at creativethriftshop in Williamsburg, opens Friday at 6 p.m.
- In NYC: Eddie Martinez, New Works, at ZieherSmith, opens Thursday at 6 p.m.
- In NYC: An ArtTable panel about blogging, with Ed Winkleman, Paddy Johnson, Barry Hoggard, William Powhida and Kelly Shindler, this Friday at X Initiative, at 6:30 p.m. Be sure to RSVP.
- In NYC: The Devil You Know, featuring the marionettes of Erik Sanko, at La Mama’s Ellen Stewart Theatre, through Jan. 24.
- In NYC: Marvelous Color, a comic art exhibit, at the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute, through Feb. 26.
- In Seattle: Wet and Leatherhard at the Lawrimore Project, through Feb. 13.
- In S.F.: Emigre, an exhibit on typography, at Gallery 16, through Jan. 29.
- In London: Emily Prince, American Servicemen and Women Who Have Died in Iraq and Afghanistan (But Not Including the Wounded, Nor the Iraqis Nor the Afghans), at the Saatchi Gallery, through May 7.
Telle mère tel fils, 2008 by Abdel Abdessemed at David Zwirner. (Photo by C-M.)
Airplane, 1980. Thank God it’s only a motion picture!