Robin Winters, “Landlords Do Not Supply Adequate Services and Maintenance,” Real Estate Show poster/circular, 1980; Xerox print from Todd’s Copy Shop, 8 ½ x 11 in.
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COLAB broke new ground when on New Year’s eve 1980 artists associated with the group illegally squatted a city-owned building on Delancey Street and mounted The Real Estate Show, an exhibition about housing and real estate exploitation. The guerrilla exhibition was the catalyst for the birth of the art space ABC No Rio when a city agency helped end the building seizure by bargaining with the artists and giving them control of a smaller building at nearby 156 Rivington Street. The confrontational spirit of The Real Estate Show is evident in this work by Robin Winters. It was originally made in the late-1970s when Winters enlarged with distortions a small hand-lettered sign that he found posted in the neighborhood. For The Real Estate Show he photocopied it and distributed it as a poster circular. Like many downtown artists in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Winters made his Xerox prints at Todd’s Copy Shop on Mott Street run by the artist Todd Jurgenson.