I was not in the art world in the 60’s, 70’s or 80’s. I am not 40 yet and the age in which I was born wouldn’t have allowed for me to know a more raw New York. I often hear this period lionized and patronized. Apparently the entire “artworld“ would all show up at the same event, or so I have heard. I do not wish for a time machine or a magic wand. Everyone who made it out of this soot stained era or the art they left behind, allows us to look back. Granted, we look back in white cubes and new museums and their context is gone, but we still get a chance to look.
DIA: Chelsea recently re-imagined their Chelsea space as The Dream House. The Dream House still exists on Church Street. This is an odd thing because like most of DIA’s efforts to show large scale works from that era, they recreated a space rather than fostering/ babysitting an old one. Walter De Maria’s two pieces in NYC are good examples of this. The space evokes a trance like state between Le Monte Young’s atonal sound and the sculpture of Jung Hee Choi. It feels like the 70’s. It sounds like the 70’s. It even smells like the 70’s. I say all this as a second hand experience, as I spent most of the 70’s in diapers.
The Xerox Book, an exhibition at Paula Cooper, presented a trove of historic work by the group of 7 artists involved in the project created by curator/ dealer Seth Siegelaub in ‘68. The book was a catalog without a show, being created as an object that could be disseminated cheaply. The art was the book and vice versa. Cooper gives us the materials and the show that never existed. The group of artists overlaps with DIA’s core artists (LeWitt, Weiner, Andre) and highlights work that was born at the beginning of conceptual or concept driven art practices. The show is excellent. The reason for the exhibition, now a real space and a book, is evident in its viewing.
The E/AB fair opens next Thursday evening November 5th and runs through Sunday the 8th. Hope to see you there.