Gallery 98

ART EPHEMERA 1960s – 1990s

Gallery 98 is for collectors and researchers. We specialize in announcement cards, posters, publications and other art ephemera from the 1960s - 1990s. For all inquiries: | Sign up for our Newsletter    

Linus Coraggio, Toyo Tsuchiya, and the Rivington School, 1983–95

The Rivington School Sculpture Garden, 1985–1987. Two photos from a scrapbook page assembled by Linus Coraggio.

Last year’s publication of Rivington School: ’80s New York Underground (Istvan Kantor, ed.; London: Black Dog, 2016) surprised many who thought they knew the history of art in downtown New York. At the height of the Rivington School’s anarchic art activity in the 1980s, few critics were covering it. Decades later, the new book revealed the surprising appeal of the youthful, anti-commercial, anti-aesthetic, drug-and-alcohol-fueled creative tumult. Its first printing quickly sold out, and the Rivington School suddenly looked like one of New York’s most authentic and interesting punk art strains.

The so-called “School” was less an art movement than a social circle. It got its start in 1983, when Ray Kelly opened the club No Se No in a dilapidated storefront at 42 Rivington Street, launching it with a summer performance marathon, “99 Nights.”

In 1985, No Se No artists took over the empty lot on the corner of Rivington and Forsyth, transforming it into a crammed, junkyard-like Sculpture Garden that would become the Rivington School’s best-known manifestation. Over the next two years, the squatted Garden grew into a dense thicket of metal, incorporating all of the group’s wildest impulses, as sculptors chaotically added to it. Lawless and threatening, the garden was destined to be demolished by police in 1987.

Gallery 98’s online exhibition spans the Rivington School’s first 13 years, from the opening of No Se No to the closing of the studio and exhibition space The Gas Station (1995). In creating this exhibition, we have worked closely with two key figures, Linus Coraggio and Toyo Tsuchiya. Other Rivington School artists also make appearances, most notably “Cowboy” Ray Kelly and Ken Hiratsuka.

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No Se No started hosting exhibitions in 1984, using the name “Rivington School” as both a reference to the abandoned schoolhouse across the street and a self-parodying bid for art-historical recognition. The name has since also been used for the art shown at the galleries Casa Nada (later just Nada) and Freddy the Dreamer, both of which opened in 1984 at 40 Rivington, next door to No Se No.

Linus Coraggio was a central player: an artist, mischievous instigator, and curator. As a sculptor, Coraggio took inspiration equally from the abstract sculpture of David Smith and Mark di Suvero, from Simon Rodia’s massive Watts Towers in Los Angeles, and from the graffiti and street art that pervaded 1970s New York. His street-metal aesthetic found its perfect expression in the salvaged-metal assemblage of the Rivington School Sculpture Garden. During the same period, Coraggio also transformed an abandoned gas station at Second Street and Avenue B into a “scrap-metal studio” and exhibition space. Variously called the Gas Station and 2B, the eccentric art space continued to embody the Rivington School aesthetic in the years following the destruction of the original Sculpture Garden (and its short-lived successor down the block on Forsyth Street). The Gas Station lasted most of a decade, but was demolished in 1995.

Toyo Tsuchiya, an outsider with a New York art dream, arrived in New York from Japan in 1980. He made his way with the help of the Chinese artist Kwok Mang Ho, who ran the storefront Kwok Gallery on Mott Street. It was Kwok who brought Toyo to No Se No, in time for the opening of “99 Nights.” In Toyo’s words, “The strong pull of the underground art within those walls attracted me: exactly what I’d been seeking.” No Se No became a big part of his life, dominating his diaristic photography practice. He shot each night’s performance, and mounted the photographs on the wall the following day. After “99 Nights,” Toyo turned his lens to the construction of the Sculpture Garden, whose first anniversary he marked by painting the entire structure white. In 1985, he became one of the leaders running No Se No, designing posters and organizing (among other projects) an exchange between No Se No and the Japanese group Art Unidentified.

A highlight of this online exhibition is a newly created portfolio of Toyo’s Sculpture Garden photographs. Toyo has signed and annotated each of the 13 digital prints, including a panorama on the portfolio cover that shows the lost landmark in its entirety.

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Exhibition Items

(Please click individual items for price and full description)

Toyo Portfolio

A portfolio containing 12 digital photographs with notations by the artist

Rivington School poster

Silkscreen poster printed at the Lower East Side Print Shop; writing by Ray Kelly, 1988

Crowd outside No Se No

Digital print, signed and annotated by Toyo. Available individually or as part of the Rivington School portfolio, 2017

Toyo 85 poster no se no

No Se No, A large poster for an exhibition of Toyo’s “99Nites” photos

No se No poster august 29th

No Se No, Kembra Pfahler, Erotic Psyche, and Diane Moonmade, Calendar

Toyo poster for See Saw show

No Se No, Xerox flyer for Toyo’s exhibition of photographs

Jackie Curtis poster of James Dean

No Se No, In “James Dean,” part of the 99 Nights series


Toyo Tsuchiya, 99 Nites photographs, published by Howl! Happening, New York. Signed by artist.


Freddie the Dreamer Gallery, Linus Coraggio with Friends on Rivington Street, Photo, 1986

A hand-cut and engraved color photograph by Linus Coraggio shows Ray Kelly's car illegally parked on Forsyth Street near the Rivington Sculpture Garden, c. 1987. Linus had welded the rack atop the car for transporting salvaged pieces of metal. The cut-out words "No Se No" refer to the social club where the Rivington School artists hung out.

No Se No, Hand-Cut Photo by Linus Coraggio—Ray Kelly’s Van, c. 1987

Ray Kelly in Corraggio photo

Linus Coraggio with Ray Kelly and Buster, Signed Photo, 1990

Rivington School Press Release

No Se No, The Rivington School, Press Release, 1985

Poster for Rivington School exhibition

No Se No, Rivington School Exhibition, Xerox flyer signed by Toyo, 1985

No Se No poster street art show

No Se No, Rivington School (II) Exhibition, Flyer signed by Linus Coraggio

No Se No poster for Exchange Show Japan

No Se No, Exchange Show Japan with Art Unidentified, Flyer, 1987

Poster for Ken Hiratsuka show

A’s and No Se No, Ken Hiratsuka Two-Gallery Exhibition, Flyer, 1984

Hiratsuka photograph

Nada Gallery, Ken Hiratsuka, One Line in Nada, Card, 1984

Hiratsuka Fossil photograph

Toyo Tsuchiya, Ken Hiratsuka confronted by police, Vintage Photograph inscribed by Toyo, 1984

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toyo photograph - before garden

Digital photograph, signed and annotated by Toyo. Available individually or as part of the Rivington School portfolio, 2017 Copy

toyo photo of Hiratsuka's carved stone

Digital photograph, signed and annotated by Toyo. Available individually or as part of the Rivington School portfolio, 2017

view-from-rivington of the sculpture garden toyo

Digital photograph, signed and annotated by Toyo. Available individually or as part of the Rivington School portfolio, 2017

Corraggio photos

Linis Coraggio, Rivington School Sculpture Garden, Four Color Photographs, Late 1980’s

toyo shadows

Shadows (Rivington Sculpture Garden), photograph

Toyo Poster for sculpture garden

1st Anniversary Show, poster, designed and signed by Toyo

toyo first anniversary

Digital photograph, signed and annotated by Toyo. Available individually or as part of the Rivington School portfolio, 2017

Toyo photograph last day

Digital photograph, signed and annotated by Toyo. Available individually or as part of the Rivington School portfolio, 2017

Forged at the Rivington School workshop by Robert Parker

Corraggio welding poster

Rivington School, Linus Coraggio, Signed Woodcut Print for Benefit Auction, 1984

Corraggio poster for Watts Tower

Rivington School, Linus Coraggio, Watts Tower, Signed Woodcut Print for Benefit Auction, 1984

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Corraggio scrapbook page

Linus Coraggio, Scrapbook Page with 9 Photos, 1989

Linus Coraggio’s 2B hosted parties, exhibitions, and art flea markets.

Linus Corraggio scrapbook page

Linus Coraggio, 9 Photos of the Gas Station (a.k.a. 2B), c. 1990

Welding studio ad for classes

Gas Station (a.k.a. 2B), Welding Classes, Flyer

Location poster

Gas Station (a.k.a. 2B), Available For Film Shoots And Party Rentals, Flyer

Flyer for the Gas Station's anti-eviction party, 1995. Part of Gallery 98's

Gas Station (a.k.a. 2B), Anti-Eviction Party, Poster, 1995