THE FAST RISE OF METRO PICTURES Some Early Announcement Cards 1980-1982
The recent announcement that Metro Pictures art gallery will close at the end of 2021 stirs memories about how this once small gallery, founded in 1980 by Janelle Reiring and Helene Winer, got off to a roaring start with a quick succession of exhibitions featuring now famous artists whose work continues to command art-world respect.
Countering the trend of new expressionist painting prevalent at the time, the artists at Metro Pictures created thought-provoking paintings and photographs that explored mass-media imagery using strategies drawn from conceptual art. Metro Pictures helped popularize appropriation and led the way in elevating the status of photography into fine art. Today the term Pictures Generation is used to describe many of the artists associated with the gallery.
Gallery 98 has a large collection of announcement cards from Metro Pictures’ earliest years on Mercer Street in Soho. The cards track the gallery’s impeccable record in discovering talent. The artists they showed — Jack Goldstein, Cindy Sherman, Robert Longo, Richard Prince, Sherrie Levine, Walter Robinson, James Welling, Laurie Simmons, Louise Lawler, Michael Kelly — continue to grow in popularity. The announcement cards may be under-stated in design, but their content is impressive. Metro Pictures will surely be missed.