Six Art Announcements and Their Stories
The right piece of ephemera can spark an endless conversation about art history and art-world gossip. Gallery 98 has previously shown vintage pieces in the online exhibitions “The Night Time Is the Right Time: NYC Nightclub Ephemera, 1980s” and “40 Top Art Events of the Downtown Era: A Timeline, 1974–1992.”
Here are some more unusual examples from Gallery 98’s inventory of announcements and posters. For more information, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
David Wojnarowicz/James Romberger, “7 Miles a Second,” P.P.O.W., 1993
One of David Wojnarowicz’s last efforts was the graphic memoir “7 Miles a Second,” illustrated by James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook. P.P.O.W.’s exhibition came between Wojnarowicz’s death (in 1992) and the book’s publication (in 1996). Now considered a classic, the book was reissued by Fantagraphics in 2013.
Suzanne Mallouk at Vox Populi, 1985
Mallouk’s exhibition (reviewed in the New York Times) consisted of portraits of famous figures—George Washington, Malcolm X, Dagwood and Blondie—all depicted with black faces. Mallouk’s life in the ’80s, and her close personal relationship with Jean-Michel Basquiat, is the subject of Jennifer Clement’s book Widow Basquiat (2001).
“Art around the Park” at Tompkins Sq. Park, 1992
The “biggest live action painting event ever,” Art around the Park débuted in 1992, and was later revived for the Howl! Festival. For the first installment (advertised here), Ron English, Futura 2000, Judy Glantzman, Richard Hambleton, Kwok, Martin Wong, and 100+ other artists simultaneously painted on canvas wrapped around the park’s perimeter.
Paul McMahon at White Columns, 1987
These polka dots aren’t by Yayoi Kusama or Damien Hirst, but by Pictures Generation artist Paul McMahon, who has also repeated the motif in multiple formats (even clothing). McMahon first adopted the polka dot in the late ’70s, perhaps inspired by the red dots next to sold artworks in galleries.
Mike Bidlo & David Blair, “Not Andy Warhol’s Factory,” Private Eyes, February 28, 1985
Mike Bidlo became known in the 1980s not only for his appropriationist paintings—of Picasso and others—but for performances re-enacting historical scenes from artists’ lives. This announcement promotes a video installation of footage from Bidlo’s re-creation (in the attic of P.S. 1) of Andy Warhol’s Factory
Senga Nengudi, “Vestige,” at Just Above Midtown, 1981
Senga Nengudi has worked in a variety of media, but her best-known work might be performances involving handmade costumes. Her exhibition “Vestige – ‘The Discovery of America by Christopher Columbus’ S.D.” was held at Just Above Midtown, the pioneering gallery founded by Linda Goode Bryant. Both Nengudi and JAM are featured in the Brooklyn Museum’s current exhibition “We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965–1985.”