Some of the most desirable gallery announcement cards are those with a portrait of the featured artist. In this regard Franklin Furnaces’ Food for Thought card is an exceptional example of art ephemera because it displays two high profile artists, one on each side of the card. The question is, which side of the card will you want to display, Nancy Spero or Richard Prince?
Franklin Furnace, a radical downtown gallery that focused on performance, artists books, and art connected to social concerns was founded in 1976 by artist Martha Wilson. Food for Thought was a series of exhibitions where artists were recruited to choose objects from the gallery’s collection to create exhibitions. The ones by Spero and Prince were featured on a single card, but were in fact held in succession over an eight-month period bridging the years 1991 and 1992.
While one does not usually think about Spero and Prince as being connected, their individual efforts at Franklin Furnace show that both were responsive to the iconoclastic tendencies of the time. Spero’s exhibition Burning in Hell featured artists addressing the issues of the day, “AIDS, censorship, poverty…religious fundamentalism, war in the Gulf — you name it.” Richard Prince changed the theme of his exhibition after the card was printed: Feel Good became Good Revolution and included “some of the most provocative works from the Franklin Furnace collection.”
Learn more about Franklin Furnace at their website. Find other interesting examples of art ephemera at Gallery 98.