Announcement for “Three Geniuses: Judy Rifka, Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg” at Beauzo, 1987.
Announcement for “Keith Haring and Mark Kostabi” at Milk Bar, 1988.
Announcement for “Post-Modernism: the Nostalgic Nineties” at Uddoh Gallery, 1990.
Baird knew how to curate exhibitions in unusual and challenging ways, making evocative and puzzling pairings of artists.
Judy Rifka’s grouping with the better-known Warhol and Rauschenberg might not be so incongruous. In Rene Ricard’s 1981 Artforum essay “The Radiant Child” (widely considered to have launched the East Village art scene), she was a prominent figure along with Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat. 2016 has seen a resurgence of interest in her work.
The presentation of two “Contenders for the Downtown Heavyweight Crown,” Keith Haring and Mark Kostabi, perhaps took inspiration from the famous boxing poster of Warhol and Basquiat (1985).
Here, Baird includes two lesser-known artists: Ed Schlossberg, whose marriage to Caroline Kennedy had made front-page news in 1986, and Hoop, a close friend of Baird’s whose garishly decked-out “Hoopmobiles” could often be found parked outside Baird Jones parties.