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Gallery 98, An Online Source for Art Ephemera, 1960s-1990s
There are so many engaging items among the 5,000 examples of art ephemera posted on Gallery 98 that it is sometimes difficult to decide what to feature in our weekly newsletter. This assortment of favorites was chosen to appeal to a broad range of tastes and interests. Each of these items tells a story. For collectors of art ephemera, cards and flyers like these are a part of what art history looks like forty years out.
Soho Center for Visual Artists, Glenn Ligon, Text Out of Context, Card, 1991
An internet search reveals very little about this early exhibition by Glenn Ligon, now a successful, multi-media conceptual artist famous for text-based works that explore race and identity. But we can learn much from the card. The exhibition title “Text Out of Context” and Ligon’s appropriation of Russell Lee’s 1939 photograph showing a woman teaching children through a porch screen reveals that Ligon was already engaged with his signature concerns about language and imagery. View our Glenn Ligon artist page.
Postcard for David Wojnarowicz’s exhibition of early and recent work at P.P.O.W., 1990. Front of card features Wojnarowicz’s In The Garden.
The full title of this photo collage by David Wojnarowicz explains it’s content: “In the Garden (sub-species Helms Senatorius) found in North Carolina and Washington, D.C.; this arachnid is responsible for cutting all Federal funding for safer-sex education designed to inform Lesbians and Gay Men, thereby leaving scores of the population atrisk of contracting AIDS.” In the Garden was created in the wake of the scandal following the withdrawal of support by the National Endowment for the Arts for the Artist Space exhibition Witnesses: Against Our Vanishing curated by Nan Goldin.
FILE Magazine, Press Preview, Photocopy Flyer, 1977
This photocopy flyer was created for the press preview of the “Punk Til You Puke” issue of File Magazine, published by the Toronto art collective General Idea (Felix Partz, Jorge Zontal and AA Bronson). In 1977 Punk music and art were still largely confined to New York and London, and this special issue of File was guest edited by three savvy downtown New Yorkers, Diego Cortez, Any Phillips and Jimmy DeSana.
Palladium, Caravaggio Movie Premiere Party, Folded Card, 1986
This was independent filmmaker Derek Jarman’s first major feature. It tells the story of Caravaggio, the Italian Baroque painter notorious for drunken street brawls and sleeping with both his male and female models. At key moments in the film Jarman recreates some of Caravaggio’s famous paintings using his actors. The invitation for a party at the Palladium celebrating the film’s New York release displays Jarman’s tableau vivant of Caravaggio’s “Musicians.“
Downtown Magazine, Cindy Sherman on Cover, Full Magazine, September 1987
By 1987 Sherman was already an art-world star who regularly exhibited in galleries, prestigious museums, and art fairs. Yet unlike contemporaries such as Keith Haring, Laurie Anderson and Robert Longo, Sherman was never considered the sort of popular celebrity whose image could sell magazines. That’s what makes this Sherman cover story unique and prescient. Downtownwas a trend oriented weekly newspaper aimed at the youthful downtown scene. View our Cindy Sherman artist page.
One World Trade Center, World Views, Studio Residency Program Exhibition Card, 2000
This invitation for two days of open studios at the World Trade Center imitates the look of the security passes used at the building. Providing free studios at the WTC for selected artists was an initiative of the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. The card’s 2000 date is an instant reminder of 9/11 and the destruction of the World Trade Center the following year. African-American sculptor Michael Rolando Richards who was part of that year’s studio program lost his life in the attack.
New Observations (NYC), Adrian Piper (guest editor), “Color” Issue with Lorraine O’Grady, Senga Nengudi, David Hammons, Sam Gilliam, Magazine, 1993
New Observations is an independent publication dedicated to bringing artists’ voices to the public forum through the use of guest editors and changing themes. This issue edited by conceptual artist Adrian Piper is titled “Color” and includes articles on artists of color by critics of color “that may or may not color your perceptions.”