Many of the artists who rose to fame in the 1970s and 80s continue to flourish today. This week the Gallery 98 newsletter focuses on seven such artists each of whom has either a major New York City exhibition currently on view, or one scheduled to open in the next few weeks. Drawing from our collection of vintage announcement cards and posters, Gallery 98 has selected examples of art ephemera that recall some of the key moments that originally brought these artists to fame.
Front of card
David Zwirner Gallery has ambitiously reassembled the famous 1972 MoMA retrospective that posthumously transformed Diane Arbus into a giant of photography. An Arbus photo that MoMA titled “A Very Young Baby, NYC” deserves attention. The same image can also be seen on an announcement card for the Robert Miller Gallery’s 1985 exhibition Diane Arbus: Portraits on Assignment that is part of Gallery 98’s collection of Arbus ephemera. Here the baby is more fully identified as “Anderson Hays Cooper, son of Gloria Vanderbilt & Wyatt Emory Cooper, 1968.” Yes, that is none other than CNN news anchor Anderson Cooper! The not-to-be-missed Zwirner exhibition closes on 22 October.
Unfolded front and back
Barbara Kruger, Back to the Future, folded card, Mary Boone Gallery, 2004. Size: 7 x 7 inches.
Barbara Kruger has exhibited consistently since the late 1970s leaving behind an impressive collection of announcement cards and other art ephemera some of which is now assembled on the Barbara Kruger page at Gallery 98. Kruger currently has a large-scale, site-specific exhibition at MoMA that runs through January 2, 2023.
David LaChapelle, Facility of Movement, card, Tomoko Liguori Gallery, 1991. Size: 8 x 10 inches.
In the 1980s David LaChapelle’s brightly-colored, photographs of staged tableaux were displayed on art galleries walls, in publications, and on flyers promoting nightclub events. Critics called his fun, sexy pictures “Pop Surrealism.” LaChapelle is currently having an exhibition at Fotografiska New York, a new photography venue that also strives to be a nightlife destination. The LaChapelle exhibition runs through January 8, 2023.
Robert Colescott, Dear Bob, We Loved Your Show, poster, Semaphore Gallery, 1984. Size: 8.5 x 14 inches.
Gallery 98 has an exceptionally large collection of ephemera connected to the black satirical artist Robert Colescott. This Colescott poster advertises his 1984 exhibition at Semaphore Gallery. The image, which makes fun of friends and fans ready to stab the controversial artist in the back, was also used on a large billboard advertising the exhibition. Colescott currently is the subject of a major retrospective at the New Museum which closes on October 9.
Gallery 98 looks forward to the retrospective Swagger and Tenderness: The South Bronx Portraits by John Ahearn and Rigoberto Torres opening at the Bronx Museum on October 26. Our collection of Ahearn and Torres ephemera includes this very rare invitation for the closing party for The South Bronx Hall of Fame at Fashion Moda. This was Ahearn’s first foray into plaster casting and all the casts made over the previous month were on display. It was at this exhibition at Fashion Moda that Ahearn met Bronx resident Rigoberto Torres who became his long-term collaborator.
Linda Goode Bryant’s gallery Just Above Midtown (JAM) is now celebrated for its role in opening up opportunities for artists of color, women and others working outside the mainstream. Gallery 98’s collection of JAM ephemera mostly dates from the 1980s when the gallery was located in Tribeca. Monthly calendars and announcement cards spotlight Senga Negudi, David Hammons, Howardena Pindell and others. Just Above Midtown will be the subject of a MoMA exhibition opening October 9.
Front of card
Jimmy DeSana, invitation for Art Un-Censored, card, Tunnel, 1987. Size: 8.5 x 5.5 inches.
When Jimmy DeSana: Submission opens at the Brooklyn Museum on November 11, there will certainly be “viewer discretion is advised” warnings. The image featured on this 1987 card from the Tunnel nightclub shows a censored version of one of DeSana’s most controversial photos. At the Tunnel event nightclub impresario Rudolf ceremoniously removed the red dot that had been strategically placed on the photograph when it was displayed a few months earlier at the Nassau County Museum.