Gallery 98 features art and ephemera from the radical fringes of downtown New York during the 1970s and ’80s. These were the years when artists turned away from abstraction and began to confront real-life issues, including politics and sexual identity. 98 Bowery, the parent site of Gallery 98, tells this history as witnessed by artist and curator Marc H. Miller from the top-floor Bowery loft he lived in for the years 1969–’89.
The Punk Art exhibition took place at the Washington Project for the Arts in 1978, bringing together for the first time the visual artists connected to the new music scene at CBGB and the Mudd Club. Grounded more by passion and attitude than by any single stylistic tendency, the exhibition revealed a post-Pop underbelly encompassing personal angst and blatant commercialism. Artists included: John Holmstrom and Legs McNeil of Punk Magazine; X Magazine contributors Tom Otterness, Jimmy de Sana, Marcia Resnick, and Tina L’Hotsky; artist/musicians Alan Vega (Suicide) and Pat Place (Contortions, Bush Tetras); and others.
The Punk Art catalogue is just one of three online publications that can be found on 98 Bowery. The other two publications are “Lives,” an exhibition catalogue by Jeffrey Deitch (1975); and “ABC No Rio Dinero: The Story of a Lower East Side Art Gallery”(1985). Read together, these publications provide a grassroots history of art as it evolved in the 1970s and ’80s.