Gallery 98

ART EPHEMERA 1960s – 1990s

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The Night Time Is The Right Time – N.Y.C. Nightclub Ephemera, 1980s

By Marc H. Miller


Marcia Resnick (photographer), Lawyer Roy Cohn and Studio 54 Club-Owner                 
Steve Rubell watching a performance by Victor Hugo at the Mudd Club, 1979.

“The Night Time is the Right Time” was the title of a published discussion between art writer Edit DeAk and curator Diego Cortez about the New York/New Wave exhibition Cortez organized in 1981 at P.S. 1. The title alluded to a key element in the culture of the times  — the rise of nightlife and nightclubs as the context for the radical new forms of art in the exhibition.  This mix of ambitious high art with popular entertainment and performance emerged first when two clubs, CBGB and Max’s Kansas City, helped launch Punk in all its many and varied creative directions in the late 1970s. By the 1980s dozens of new nightclubs and bars including Area, Club 57, Danceteria, Limelight, Mudd Club, Palladium, Paradise Garage, Pyramid and the Tunnel consciously strove to be part of the art world by presenting new music, art, film, video, fashion, and performance.  It was a period in art not unlike that of Paris in the 1890s when the cafés of Montmartre helped mold the fin-de-siècle aesthetic.

Gallery 98 presents here a selection of nightclub invitations and posters from this exhilarating moment in the 1970s and 80s. For artists and performers it was a golden age with clubs needing to book events seven-days-a-week.  To attract the trendy crowd, artists were recruited to paint murals and design publicity; curators were hired to organize exhibitions; photographers were booked to present slide shows and document events; filmmakers and video artists were paid for screenings; and performers were engaged to make music, stage cabaret shows and host interactive events involving audience participation.  Out of this milieu, stars were born: performers Ann Magnuson, John Sex, Joey Arias, Phoebe Legere; artists Colette, Nan Goldin, Keith Haring, Mark Kostabi; curators Baird Jones, Neke Carson, Carlo McCormick, Michael Alig.  And in the wake of all this activity came the thousands of cheaply produced but creatively designed cards and posters that the artists and clubs created to publicize events in this pre-Internet era. Presented here is a small sampling of nightclub ephemera available through Gallery 98.  All items are for sale.

Invitations (arranged alphabetically by nightclub)

(Please click individual items for price and full description)

semaphore gallery postcard front

8 BC, Party For Nancy Dwyer Following Her Opening At Semaphore Gallery, Postcard,1983

Susan Tremblay poster

8 BC, Susan Tremblay & M. Henry Jones, Film Showing, Flyer, c. 1985

A’s , Arleen Schloss, News And Calendar, Silkscreen Poster, 1981

American Highway postcard

AREA, American Highway, Postcard, 1986

Paintings By Josh poster for Beulah land

Beulah Land, Paintings by Josh, Postcard, 1985

invitation for Beulah Land's second anniversary party

Beulah Land, Second Anniversary Party Invitation, Postcard, c. 1985

Disco Death poster

Cat Club, Disco to Death With Wendy Wild, Postcard, 1985

Wise Blood poster

Cat Club, Fingered By Richard Kern Starring Lydia Lunch, Poster, 1986

Cat Club - JOHN SEX, New Year's Eve invitation

Cat Club, John Sex, New Year’s Eve Performance, Folded Card, 1986

Club 57 - "Mail Art Show" organized by VALERY OISTEANU & RAY JOHNSON, 1981

Club 57, Mail Art Show Organized by Valery Oisteanu & Ray Johnson, Card, 1981

Club 57 - The Bloods, Janet Hamill, Xerox handbill, 1981

Club 57, The Bloods, Janet Hamill, Flyer, 1981

postcard one of two for Colette

Danceteria, Colette, Beautiful Dreamer, Card, 1980

Danceteria, Benefit Party For Internation Graffiti Times, Card, 1984

Danceteria - "The Family!" with JOEY ARIAS (Charlie) & ANN MAGNUSON (Squeaky), 1985

Danceteria, The Family! With Joey Arias (Charlie) & Ann Magnuson (Squeaky), Postcard, 1985

Danceteria - JOEY ARIAS and ANN MAGNUSON present "Dali & Gala," 1985

Danceteria, Joey Arias And Ann Magnuson Present Dali & Gala, Card,1985

Girl Bar - Every Wednesday, Dancing for Women, c. 1988

15 St. Marks Place, Girl Bar, Card, c. 1988

DinosaursofEastVillage poster

Kamikazi, Dinosaurs of the East Village Art Exhibition And Anya Phillips Tribute, Card, 1985

"POLY PORN" Postcard, Xerox on card stock, 6 1/4 x 4 1/4 in., November 3, 1987.

Knitting Factory, Political Satire, Legs McNeil, Flo Kennedy, Victor Bockris, Card, 1987

Neke Carson, Folded invitation for Life Drawing Classes

La Rocka, Neke Carson, Real Life Sketching Party, Card, 1981

Fashion Moda, poster for “Street Style VIPS;” Limelight

Limelight, Street Style VIPS With Walter Steading, Poster, 1984

invitation for White Trash, At Limelight

Limelight, White Trash Leaves London With Performance by Marilyn, Folded Card, 1985

Limelight Poster/ mailer, Two color offset print

Limelight, Deb Parker & Jean Caffeine Present Baci Italiani, With Joey Arias, Poster, 1986

Queer Nation Presents Voguing Superstars of Paris is Burning, At Limelight invitation

Limelight, Queer Nation Presents Voguing Superstars Of Paris is Burning, Card, 1991

Poster announcement for Complete Havoc! with "memorial services" and Fear of Ordinary Life

Limelight, Complete Havoc!, Poster, 1986

Poster by MARK KOSTABI, benefit party of The ARChive of Contemporary Music, with LAURIE ANDERSON

Limelight, Mark Kostabi, Party For The Archive Of Contemporary Music With Laurie Anderson, Poster, 1986

Jayne County, at Limelight invitation

Limelight, Jayne County Performance, Card, 1992

Safe Sex is Hot Sex, Celebration to Benefit Red Hot + Blue invitation

Limelight, Celebration To Benefit Red Hot & Blue, Folded Card, 1991

invitation for High Times Magazine Christmas Party, At Lismar Lounge

Lismar Lounge, High Times Magazine Christmas Party, Card, 1988

Party for the NY Debut of Serial Killers by Richard Kern, At Madam Rosa's invitation

Madam Rosa’s, Serial Killers by Richard Kern, Flyer, 1987

Party in honor of Derek Jarman, Mars

Mars, Party In Honor Of Filmmaker Derek Jarman, Card, 1989

Phoebe Legere in Concert, at Mike's American Bar & Grill

Mike’s American Bar & Grill, Phoebe Legere Performance, Card, late 1980’s

arole London sings She's Fit for Space at Mudd Club invitation

Mudd Club, Carol London Performance, Flyer, 1981

Anders Graftstrom, flyer for the film "The Long Island Four;"

Mudd Club, Benefit For Long Island Four, A Film By Anders Graftstrom Starring Klaus Nomi, Flyer,1980

War games poster

Mudd Club, Legs McNeil, Arturo Vega and Tina L’Hotsky, War Games, Flyer 1979

Just Another Asshole benefit party and film screening, at  Mudd Club

Mudd Club, Just Another Asshole Benefit Party, Flyer, 1979


Palladium, Promotional Handout, 1980’s


Keith Haring, Third Annual Party of Life, Silk Screen A-Shirt, Shorts and Pinback, 1986


Palladium, Baird Jones, 43rd Birthday Party Invitation, 1998

LLBB postcard

Paradise Garage, Keith Haring, Birthday Party for DJ Larry Levan, 1986

Kambra Pfahler invitation

Pompeii, Kembra Pfahler Performance, Card, 1985

invitation for The Taylor Mead Show, at Pyramid Club

Pyramid Cocktail Lounge, Taylor Mead, John Giorno & Richard Hell, Card, 1982

invitation for Low Meato, at Pyramid

Pyramid, Invitation for Low Meato, Card, 1989

Pyramid invite to Wendy Wild cancer benefit event - front

Pyramid, Wendy Wild Cancer Benefit, Card

HELEN WHEELS Band, at the Ritz

Ritz, Helen Wheels Band, Flyer, 1981

poster for Coctails for peace

Roxy, Artist Call, Cocktails for Peace, Video By Martha Rosler, Card, 1984

Roxy, Grand Opening Celebration of Burn Baby Burn, Folded Card, 1985

Jimmy DeSana for Art-Uncensored at Tunnel, curated by Baird Jones

Tunnel, Jimmy DeSana, Invitation for “Art Un-Censored”, 1987

poster for Police State, the World Premier of at New Film by Nick Zedd  at Tunnel

Tunnel, Premier Of Nick Zedd’s Film Police State, Card, 1987

invitation for Giorno Poetry Systems, Record Release Party for Smake My Crack

Tunnel, Giorno Poetry Systems Record Release Party For Smack My Crack, Card, 1987

Tunnel Invitation, Two color offset print on card stock

Tunnel, Salvador Dali In Person! An Exhibition Of Forgeries; A Performance By Joey Arias, Card,1988

Michael Alig invititation to  A New Year's Tradition, The Third Annual Filthy Mouth Contest, at Tunnel

Tunnel, Michael Alig Presents Third Annual Filthy Mouth Contest” with Judge Michael Musto, Card, 1988

Flyer for Little Music by Y Pants

TR3, Little Music By Y Pants, Two Xeroxes Combined Into One Flyer, 1979

photograph of the band by Michael Halsband

TR3, Lydia Lunch’s Eight Eyed Spy, Flyer, c. 1980’s

Twilight Zone - MICHAEL ALIG and JAMES ST. JAMES Invite

Twilight Zone, Michael Alig And James St. James Invite The Chosen Few, Flyer, 1988

Blood Suckers from Outer Space with Karen Black, at Zone DK

Zone DK, Blood Suckers From Outer Space With Karen Black, Card, 1990

Project X magazine, Issue #12

Project X, Issue #12, Night Life Publication by Michael Alig, Julie Jewels & Rudolf, Late 80s/Early 90s

Project X magazine, Issue #13

Project X, Issue #13, Night Life Publication by Michael Alig, Julie Jewels & Rudolf, Late 80s/Early 90s