Inventing Downtown

Artist-Run Galleries in New York City, 1952–1965
10 January 2017 to 1 April 2017

Public reception Monday, January 9, 7–9pm

Grey Art Gallery, NYU
100 Washington Square East
10003 New York , NY
United States
Phone: 212-998-6780
New York US
Examining the New York art scene during the fertile years between the apex of Abstract Expressionism and the rise of Pop Art and Minimalism, Inventing Downtown: Artist-Run Galleries in New York City, 1952–1965 is the first show ever to survey this vital period from the vantage point of its artist-run galleries—crucibles of experimentation and innovation that radically changed the art world. With more than 200 paintings, sculptures, installations, drawings, photographs, ephemera, and films, the show reveals a scene that was much more diverse than has previously been acknowledged, with women and artists of color playing major roles. It features works by abstract and figurative painters and sculptors, as well as pioneers of installation and performance art. Artists range from well-known figures such as Jim Dine, Red Grooms, Allan Kaprow, Alex Katz, Yayoi Kusama, Claes Oldenburg, Yoko Ono, and Mark di Suvero, to those who deserve to be better known, including Emilio Cruz, Lois Dodd, Rosalyn Drexler, Sally Hazelet Drummond, Jean Follett, Lester Johnson, Boris Lurie, Jan Müller, and Aldo Tambellini.
 
Inventing Downtown is curated by Melissa Rachleff, clinical associate professor in NYU’s Steinhardt School.

Inventing Downtown: Artist-Run Galleries in New York City, 1952–1965 is organized by the Grey Art Gallery, New York University, and curated by Melissa Rachleff. Its presentation is made possible in part by the generous support of the Terra Foundation for American Art; the Henry Luce Foundation; The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; the S. & J. Lurje Memorial Foundation; the National Endowment for the Arts; the Boris Lurie Art Foundation; the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation; the Art Dealers Association Foundation; Ann Hatch; the Oded Halahmy Foundation for the Arts; Arne and Milly Glimcher; The Cowles Charitable Trust; and the Japan Foundation. The publication is supported by a grant from Furthermore: a program of the J.M. Kaplan Fund. Additional support is provided by the Grey Art Gallery’s Director’s Circle, Inter/National Council, and Friends; and the Abby Weed Grey Trust.

review

 

Selected press coverage for Inventing Downtown: Artist-Run Galleries in New York City, 1952–1965 Grey Art Gallery, New York University January 10–April 1, 2017

Print

The New York Times, January 4, 2017: “The ‘10th Street Scene’ Has Its Own Show,” preview article with exhibition photos by Roberta Smith, p. AR4 https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/04/arts/design/the-10th-street-scene-has-its-own-show.html

The New York Times, January 10, 2017: “‘Inventing Downtown’ Recalls When Artists Ran the Galleries,” feature with exhibition photos by Randy Kennedy, p. AR24 https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/10/arts/design/inventing-downtown-grey-art-gallery.html

The New York Times, January 13, 2017: “When Artists Ran the Show: ‘Inventing Downtown,’ at N.Y.U.,” review with exhibition photos by Holland Cotter, p. C19 https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/12/arts/design/when-artists-ran-the-show-inventing-downtown-at-nyu.html?_r=0

The Art Newspaper, January 27, 2017: “A bridge to something better: on artist-run galleries in mid-century New York,” review with exhibition photos by Pac Pobric http://theartnewspaper.com/comment/reviews/exhibitions/a-bridge-to-something-better-on-artist-run-galleries-in-mid-century-new-york/

The New Yorker, February 13 & 20: “The Invention of the Downtown Art Scene,” Goings on about Town review with exhibition photos by Peter Schjeldahl, p. 17 http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/02/13/the-invention-of-the-downtown-art-scene

Art Ltd, February 23, 2017: “New York: A new exhibition called “Inventing Downtown” looks at the artist-run alternative and performance galleries that nurtured the city’s art scene in the 1950s and ‘60s,” feature with photos by Robert Ayers http://artltdmag.com/2017/02/report-new-york/

London Review of Books, March 30, 2017: “At the Grey Art Gallery,” feature with photos by J. Hoberman, p. 30 https://www.lrb.co.uk/v39/n07/j-hoberman/at-the-grey-art-gallery

Web

The Wall Street Journal, January 11, 2017: “‘Inventing Downtown: Artist-Run Galleries in New York City, 1952–1965’ Review: The Good Old Days,” review with exhibition photos by Peter Plagens https://www.wsj.com/articles/inventing-downtown-artist-run-galleries-in-new-york-city-1952-1965-review-the-good-old-days-1484167779

Financial Times, January 13, 2017: “When artists ruled: the fearless spirit of 1950s and 60s New York,” review with exhibition photos by Ariella Budick https://www.ft.com/content/0de70c44-d750-11e6-944b-e7eb37a6aa8e

Hyperallergic, January 15, 2017: “No point of View Is the Best View of All: Artists Working Between 1952–65, Many of Whom Are Forgotten,” review with exhibition photos by John Yau http://hyperallergic.com/351444/no-point-of-view-is-the-best-view-of-all-artists-working-between-1952-1965-many-of-whom-are-forgotten/

Observer, January 16, 2017: “When Artists Ruled the Galleries (For a While),” review with exhibition photos by David D’Arcy http://observer.com/2017/01/when-artists-ruled-the-galleries-for-a-while/

Artsy, January 16, 2017: “How Artist-Run Galleries Shaped New York’s Downtown Art Scene,” review and interview with curator Melissa Rachleff by Casey Lesser https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-artist-run-galleries-shaped-new-yorks-downtown-art-scene

Guernica, February 9, 2017: “Cranky, Creative, and Controversial: Recalling artists’ collectives of the late ‘50s and early ‘60s,” feature with photos by Roslyn Bernstein https://www.guernicamag.com/cranky-creative-and-controversial/

Village Voice, February 28, 2017: “Exploring New York’s Mid-Century Bloom of Artist-Run Galleries,” feature with photos by Jennifer Krasinski http://www.villagevoice.com/arts/exploring-new-york-s-mid-century-boom-of-artist-run-galleries-9721021

New York Review of Books Daily, March 14, 2017: “Raucous, Disorderly Downtown,” feature with photos by Richard Hell http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2017/03/14/raucous-disorderly-downtown-art-galleries/

The New Yorker, March 28, 2017: “Thirteen Crucial Years for Art in Downtown New York,” article with photos by Louis Menand http://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/thirteen-crucial-years-for-art-in-downtown-new-york

Other Media

WNYC, January 13, 2017: Review: “Remembering the Tenth Street Galleries,” on air and web review with exhibition photos by Deborah Solomon https://www.wnyc.org/story/review-remembering-tenth-street-galleries/


Press coverage for Inventing Downtown: Artist-Run Galleries in New York City, 1952–1965Grey Art Gallery, New York University January 10–April 1, 2017

Art in America, August 2016: “2016 Guide to Museums, Galleries, Artists,” print listing of exhibition in Art in America’s fall preview issue

The New York Times, September 16, 2016: “Art Fall Preview: From East Coast to West Coast. From Concrete to Ethereal,” online listing in The New York Times’s Fall Preview by Martha Schwendener https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/18/arts/design/art-fall-preview-from-east-coast-to-west-coast-from-concrete-to-ethereal.html?_r=0

The New York Times, September 18, 2016: “From Concrete to Ethereal,” print listing in The New York Times’s Fall Preview by Martha Schwendener, p. AR84 https://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/18/arts/design/art-fall-preview-from-east-coast-to-west-coast-from-concrete-to-ethereal.html?_r=0

NYU Arts Digest, September 2016: “The Definition of Downtown,” feature with photos by Exra Glinter, p. 25

ARTnews, January 2017 (print and web): “Then and Now: You Can Always Go Downtown,” timeline of Lower Manhattan art world circa 1959–2015 with photos by The Editors of ARTnews, p. 142–144 http://www.artnews.com/2017/01/06/you-can-always-go-downtown-the-lower-manhattan-art-world-through-the-years/

WNYC, December 15, 2016: “Winter Culture Scene: Art,” WNYC art critic Deborah Solomon talks with Brian Leherer about upcoming 2017 exhibitions https://www.wnyc.org/story/winter-culture-calendar-art/

artnet news, December 27, 2016: “New York Museum Shows to Get Excited About in 2017,” preview listing with photo by Ben Davis https://news.artnet.com/art-world/new-york-museum-shows-to-get-excited-about-in-the-first-half-of-2017-791408

Artforum, January 2017: “Previews: Inventing Downtown: Artist-Run Galleries in New York City, 1952-1965” print and online preview listing with photo by Annie Ochmanek. https://www.artforum.com/index.php?pn=museums&id=65488&view=print

The New York Times , January 4, 2017: “The ‘10th Street Scene’ Has Its Own Show,” online preview article with exhibition photos by Roberta Smith https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/04/arts/design/the-10th-street-scene-has-its-own-show.html

Mutual Art, January 4, 2017: “10 Exhibitions Opening This Week,” listing with image by Mutual Art https://www.mutualart.com/Article/10-Exhibitions-Opening-This-Week/6DF7472AA64A53FC

The New York Times, January 8, 2017: “The Week Ahead: Creator, Show Thyself,” print preview article with exhibition photos by Roberta Smith, p. AR4 https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/04/arts/design/the-10th-street-scene-has-its-own-show.html

Blouin ArtInfo, January 9, 2017: “‘Inventing Downtown’ at Grey Art Gallery, New York,” listing with image by Blouin ArtInfo http://enfr.blouinartinfo.com/photo-galleries/inventing-downtown-at-grey-art-gallery-new-york

ArtFCity, January 9, 2017: “This Week’s Must-See Art Events: Rejoice! Our Times are Intolerable and Nasty Women Are Front-and-Center,” listing with image by Michael Anthony Farley http://artfcity.com/2017/01/09/this-weeks-must-see-art-events-rejoice-our-times-are-intolerable-and-nasty-women-are-front-and-center/

ARTnews, January 9, 2017: “9 Art Events to Attend in New York City this Week,” listing of Inventing Downtown opening reception by The Editors of ARTnews http://www.artnews.com/2017/01/09/9-art-events-to-attend-in-new-york-city-this-week-88/

The New York Times, January 10, 2017: “‘Inventing Downtown’ Recalls When Artists Ran the Galleries,” online article with photos by Randy Kennedy https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/10/arts/design/inventing-downtown-grey-art-gallery.html

ArtDaily, January 11, 2017: “Landmark exhibition examines transformative era in New York City art scene,” article with photos by Jose Villareal http://artdaily.com/news/92946/Landmark-exhibition-examines-transformative-era-in-New-York-City-art-scene#.WMLqPtIrLcs

The Wall Street Journal, January 11, 2017: “‘Inventing Downtown: Artist-Run Galleries in New York City, 1952–1965’ Review: The Good Old Days,” article with exhibition photos by Peter Plagens https://www.wsj.com/articles/inventing-downtown-artist-run-galleries-in-new-york-city-1952-1965-review-the-good-old-days-1484167779

The Village Voice, January 11, 2017: “Anthology Celebrates a Storied Era of New York Artists Who Broke Boundaries,” article on Inventing Downtown programming by Melissa Anderson http://www.villagevoice.com/film/anthology-celebrates-a-storied-era-of-new-york-artists-who-broke-boundaries-9549937

The New York Times, January 12, 2017: “When Artists Ran the Show: ‘Inventing Downtown,’ at N.Y.U.,” online review with exhibition photos by Holland Cotter https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/12/arts/design/when-artists-ran-the-show-inventing-downtown-at-nyu.html?_r=0

The New York Times, January 13, 2017: “When Artists Ran the Show: ‘Inventing Downtown,’ at N.Y.U.,” print review with exhibition photos by Holland Cotter, p. C19 https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/12/arts/design/when-artists-ran-the-show-inventing-downtown-at-nyu.html?_r=0

WNYC, January 13, 2017: “Review: Remembering the Tenth Street Galleries,” on air and written review with photos by WNYC art critic Deborah Solomon https://www.wnyc.org/story/review-remembering-tenth-street-galleries/

Provokr, January 13, 2017: “How Artists Invented Downtown,” article with photos by Liz MacDonald http://provokr.com/art/artists-invented-downtown/

The Lo-Down, January 2017: “Lower East Side Links,” listing http://www.thelodownny.com/leslog/2017/01/lower-east-side-links-264.html

Financial Times, January 13, 2017: “When artists ruled: the fearless spirit of 1950s and 60s New York,” review with exhibition photos by Ariella Budick https://www.ft.com/content/0de70c44-d750-11e6-944b-e7eb37a6aa8e

The New York Times, January 15, 2017: “‘Inventing Downtown’ Recalls When Artists Ran the Galleries,” print article with exhibition photos by Randy Kennedy, p. AR24 https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/10/arts/design/inventing-downtown-grey-art-gallery.html

Hyperallergic, January 15, 2017: “No point of View Is the Best View of All: Artists Working Between 1952–65, Many of Whom Are Forgotten,” article with photos by John Yau http://hyperallergic.com/351444/no-point-of-view-is-the-best-view-of-all-artists-working-between-1952-1965-many-of-whom-are-forgotten/

Wall Street International, January 16, 2017: “Inventing Downtown,” article with photos http://wsimag.com/art/22901-inventing-downtown

Observer, January 16, 2017: “When Artists Ruled the Galleries (For a While),” article with photos by David D’Arcy http://observer.com/2017/01/when-artists-ruled-the-galleries-for-a-while/

Artsy, January 16, 2017: “How Artist-Run Galleries Shaped New York’s Downtown Art Scene,” interview with curator Melissa Rachleff with photos by Casey Lesser https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-artist-run-galleries-shaped-new-yorks-downtown-art-scene

Art Haps, January 20, 2017: “Hall of Issues 2017: New York #J20 Art Strike,” program listing with photo https://www.arthaps.com/show/hall-of-issues-2017-new-york-1

NYU Steinhardt At a Glance, January 20, 2017: “Behind the Scenes of Inventing Downtown: An Interview with Curator Melissa Rachleff,” interview with photos http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/site/ataglance/2017/01/inventing-downtown-melissa-rachleff.html

Art Zealous, January 2017: “Inventing Downtown: Artist-Run Galleries in New York City, 1952–1965, at the Grey Art Gallery NYU” listing http://artzealous.com/events/inventing-downtown-artist-run-galleries-in-new-york-city-1952-1965-at-the-grey-art-gallery-nyu/

French Embassy in the United States, January 2017: “Inventing Downtown: Artist-Run Galleries in NYC, 1952–1965,” listing with photo http://frenchculture.org/visual-and-performing-arts/events/inventing-downtown-artist-run-galleries-nyc-1952-1965

Washington Square News, January 23, 2017: “View Now: Art Around Campus,” listing by Natalie Whalen https://www.nyunews.com/2017/01/23/01-23-arts-on-view/

Washington Square News, January 23, 2017: “Grey Gallery Gives Credit to Post-WWII Revolutionaries,” article with photos by Jessica Tien https://www.nyunews.com/2017/01/23/grey-gallery-gives-credit-to-post-wwii-revolutionaries/

The Art Newspaper, January 27, 2017: “A bridge to something better: on artist-run galleries in mid-century New York,” article with photos by Pac Pobric http://theartnewspaper.com/comment/reviews/exhibitions/a-bridge-to-something-better-on-artist-run-galleries-in-mid-century-new-york/

The Huffington Post, January 27, 2017: “Discovering John Cohen—Again,” article by Regina Weinreich http://www.huffingtonpost.com/regina-weinreich/-discovering-john-cohen_b_14432756.html

Hyperallergic, January 29, 2017: “The Second Generation Abstract Expressionist, Ed Clark,” article by John Yau http://hyperallergic.com/353673/the-second-generation-abstract-expressionist-ed-clark/

The Daily Beast, January 29, 2017: “The Galleries that Made Manhattan Cool,” photo slideshow by The Daily Beast http://www.thedailybeast.com/galleries/2017/01/29/the-galleries-that-made-manhattan-cool.html

Travalanche, January 30, 2017: “Inventing Downtown: Artist-Run Galleries in New York City, 1952–1965,” article by Trav S.D. https://travsd.wordpress.com/

Art in America, February 2017: “Books in Brief,” print catalogue listing, p. 55

artnet news, February 1, 2017: “Martha Edelheit, Another Postwar Talent Left Out of Art History’s Storyline,” The Daily Pic by Blake Gopnik https://news.artnet.com/opinion/martha-edelheit-grey-gallery-840995

The New York Times, February 3, 2017: “Fine Arts | Listings,” print listing by Holland Cotter, p. C24

The New Yorker, February 13 & 20: “The Invention of the Downtown Art Scene,” Talk of the Town print and online review by Peter Schjeldahl http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/02/13/the-invention-of-the-downtown-art-scene

artnet news, February 6, 2017: “In the 1950s, New York Couldn’t Handle Andy Warhol’s Gay Art,” The Daily Pic by Blake Gopnik https://news.artnet.com/opinion/andy-warhol-gay-tanager-grey-gallery-847427

Artforum, February 6, 2017: “Must See New York,” listing with image https://www.artforum.com/guide/show=mustsee

Arteidolia, February 2017: “Inventing Downtown: Artist-Run Galleries in New York City, 1952–1965,” article with photos by Ron Morosan http://www.arteidolia.com/inventing-downtown-ron-morosan/

Guernica, February 9, 2017: “Cranky, Creative, and Controversial: Recalling artists’ collectives of the late ‘50s and early ‘60s,” article with photos by Roslyn Bernstein https://www.guernicamag.com/cranky-creative-and-controversial/

New York Magazine, February 9, 2017: “Design News: Downtown Rebels,” Cool Hunting listing by Gabe Cohn

Hyperallergic, February 2017: “Spring 2017 New York Art Guide,” listing in printed seasonal guide

RU Residency, February 2017: “RU Field Trip: Inventing Downtown: Artist-Run Galleries in New York City, 1952–1965 at the Grey Art Gallery,” blog post with photos http://residencyunlimited.org/process/ru-field-trip-inventing-downtown-artist-run-galleries-in-new-york-city-1952-1965-at-the-grey-art-gallery/

tribes.org, February 20, 2017: “Inventing Downtown Reviewed,” article with photos by Norman Douglas http://www.tribes.org/web/2017/2/20/inventing-downtown-reviewed

Art Ltd, February 23, 2017: “New York: A new exhibition called “Inventing Downtown” looks at the artist-run alternative and performance galleries that nurtured the city’s art scene in the 1950s and ‘60s,” article (web and print) with photos by Robert Ayers http://artltdmag.com/2017/02/report-new-york/

Off the Grid, February 24, 2017: “The Blog of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, Private Tour of ‘Inventing Downtown’ Exhibit for GVSHP Members,” blog post with photos by Lannyl http://gvshp.org/blog/2017/02/24/private-tour-of-inventing-downtown-exhibit-for-gvshp-members/

Art Haps, February 28, 2017: “Gallery Conversation with curator Melissa Rachleff,”program listing with photo https://www.arthaps.com/show/gallery-conversation-with-curator-melissa-rachleff-1

Art in America, March 2017: “Backstory: Character Study by Aldo Tambellini,” print backstory article with photo by Leigh Anne Miller, p. 57

Apollo Magazine, March 2017: “Self-made in Manhattan” It’s about time New York’s early artist-run spaces were re-evaluated,” print article by Allison Young, p. 182

Bijutsu Techo, March 2017: “New York: Inventing Downtown: Artist-Run Galleries in New York City, 1952–1965,” print article with photos by Miwako Tezuka, p. 128 – 129

Village Voice, February 28, 2017: “Exploring New York’s Mid-Century Bloom of Artist-Run Galleries,” article with photos by Jennifer Krasinski http://www.villagevoice.com/arts/exploring-new-york-s-mid-century-boom-of-artist-run-galleries-9721021

New York Review of Books Daily, March 14, 2017: “Raucous, Disorderly Downtown,” article with photos by Richard Hell http://www.nybooks.com/daily/2017/03/14/raucous-disorderly-downtown-art-galleries/

The Brooklyn Rail, March 1, 2017: “Melissa Rachleff: Inventing Downtown: Artist-Run Galleries in New York City, 1952–1965,” catalogue review by Wendy Vigroux http://brooklynrail.org/2017/03/art_books/Melissa-RachleffInventing-Downtown-Artist-Run-Galleries-in-New-York-City-19521965

Mousse Magazine, March 13, 2017: “Conversations: ‘Inventing Downtown: Artist-RunGalleries in New York City, 1952–1965’ at Grey Art Gallery, New York,” article withphotos by Eva Fabbris http://moussemagazine.it/inventing-downtown-artist-run-galleries-new-york-city-1952-1965-grey-art-gallery-new-york-2017/

Arteidolia, March 2017: “Interviews” Edelheit & Milder,” interviews with Inventing Downtown artists Martha Edelheit and Jay Milder with photos by Ron Morosan http://www.arteidolia.com/interviews-edleheit-milder-ron-morosan/

The Nation, March 16, 2017: “When Downtown Was Up: A new exhibition of New York’s artist-run galleries reminds us of a vibrant but now distant past,” print and online article with photos by Barry Schwabsky, p. 35–37 https://www.thenation.com/article/when-downtown-was-up/

4 Columns, March 17, 2017: “Inventing Downtown: Cop-ops, tin cans, and baby carriages: the Grey Gallery surveys a period of marvelous experimentation,” article with photos by Judith Stein http://www.4columns.org/stein-judith/inventing-downtown

New York, March 30, 2017: “Weekend Agenda,” online listing http://nymag.com/nightlife/barbuzz/weekend-agenda-03-30/

The London Review of Books, March 30, 2017: “At the Grey Art Gallery,” print and online article with photo by J. Hoberman, p. 30 https://www.lrb.co.uk/v39/n07/j-hoberman/at-the-grey-art-gallery

The New Yorker, March 28, 2017: “Thirteen Crucial Years for Art in Downtown New York,” article with photos by Louis Menand http://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/thirteen-crucial-years-for-art-in-downtown-new-york

Spike Art Quarterly, Spring 2017, “Views: Inventing Downtown: Artist Run Galleries in New York City, 1952–1965,” print interview with Melissa Rachleff with photos by Harry Burke, p. 172

Burlington Magazine, April 2017, “Inventing Downtown,” article with photos by Anne Blood, p. 346–347 http://www.burlington.org.uk/current-issue

The Shin Bijutsu Shinbun, April 10, 2017, article (print and web) with photos by Reiko Tomii
http://www.art-annual.jp/column-essay/essay/65383/