Independent Curators International
Catalogue cover image: Lynda Benglis working with poured pigmented latex for project commissioned by the University of Rhode Island, Kingston, 1969
Independent Curators International
High Times, Hard Times:
New York Painting 1967-1975
A traveling exhibition that explores a time of
radical new directions in abstract painting
Organized and circulated by iCI
(Independent Curators International), New York
In the late 1960s the New York art world was, famously, an exciting place to be. New mediums such as performance and video art were developing, and sculpture was quickly expanding in many different directions. Recapturing the liveliness and urgency of this important moment, High Times, Hard Times: New York Painting 1967-1975 delves into the field of experimental abstract painting at a time when it was beginning to be pressed to its limits. Organized and circulated by iCI and curated by Katy Siegel with David Reed as advisor, the exhibition brings together over forty works by thirty-eight artists living and working in New York from 1967 to 1975. A 176-page publication accompanies the exhibition, which captures the work, the scene, and the spirit of this crucial but overlooked period in New York painting.
The exhibition premiered at the Weatherspoon Art Museum at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, North Carolina, on August 6, continuing there through October 15, 2006. The exhibition travels through August 2008 and will also be presented by the American University Museum, Katzen Arts Center, Washington, D.C. (November 21, 2006 January 21, 2007) and the National Academy Museum, New York City (February 15 April 22, 2007).
High Times, Hard Times not only captures a tumultuous period of political and social change, but also reflects the impact on the art world of the civil rights struggle, student and anti-war activism, and the beginnings of feminism. Painting is the one element usually left out of this complex narrative, remembered only as a regressive foil to the various new mediums. But this version of the story greatly oversimplifies the situation, effacing painting that earned a place among the most experimental work of the moment, very much in sympathy with the eras radical aesthetics and politics.
The artists in this exhibition range from well-known figures like Mel Bochner, Yayoi Kusama, Elizabeth Murray, Blinky Palermo, and Richard Tuttle, to now less-familiar names such as Dan Christensen, Harmony Hammond, Ree Morton, and Alan Shields, who were extremely important and influential at the time. High Times, Hard Times recovers the thrilling innovations of the period, as well as their social context. Half of the included artists are women, and several are African-American (including Al Loving, Joe Overstreet, Howardena Pindell, and Jack Whitten); these identities are not incidental but essential to grasping the possibilities of the period.
About the Publication
The first book to capture the work, the scene and the spirit of this crucial yet overlooked era in the history of New York painting, this 176-page catalogue features a major essay by Siegel, and an introductory text by painter David Reed on the artistic and political context of the work. Additional essays, written by Dawoud Bey and Anna Chave, focus, respectively, on African-American and women artists in the New York art world during this period. Statements from 17 artists in the exhibition are also featured, as are texts by critic Robert Pincus-Witten and curator Marcia Tucker who each reflect on the art, its meaning, and the social scene of the New York art world. Color illustrations of each work in the show, along with numerous historic photographs from the period, are also included.
High Times, Hard Times: New York Painting 1967-1975 is a traveling exhibition organized and circulated by iCI. The guest curator is Katy Siegel, with David Reed as advisor. The exhibition, tour, and catalogue are made possible in part with support from the Peter Norton Family Foundation, the Dedalus Foundation, Inc., the iCI International Associates, and the iCI Exhibition Partners, Kenneth S. Kuchin, and Gerrit and Sydie Lansing.
Artists in Exhibition
Jo Baer | Lynda Benglis | Mel Bochner | Dan Christensen | Roy Colmer | Mary Corse | David Diao | Manny Farber | Louise Fishman | Guy Goodwin | Ron Gorchov | Harmony Hammond | Mary Heilmann | Ralph Humphrey | Jane Kaufman | Harriet Korman | Yayoi Kusama | Al Loving | Lee Lozano | Ree Morton | Elizabeth Murray | Joe Overstreet | Blinky Palermo | Cesar Paternosto | Howardena Pindell | Dorothea Rockburne | Carolee Schneemann | Alan Shields | Kenneth Showell | Joan Snyder | Lawrence Stafford | Pat Steir | Richard Tuttle | Richard Van Buren | Michael Venezia | Franz Erhard Walther | Jack Whitten | Peter Young
Other traveling iCI exhibitions Beyond Green: Toward a Sustainable Art, curated by Stephanie Smith, co-organized with the Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago
The Paper Sculpture Show, curated by Mary Ceruti, Matt Freedman, and Sina Najafi, co-organized with Cabinet magazine, and the SculptureCenter
Shoot the Family, curated by Ralph Rugoff
Situation Comedy: Humor in Recent Art, curated by Dominic Molon and Michael Rooks
Space is the Place, curated by Alex Baker and Toby Kamps
What Sound Does a Color Make?, curated by Kathleen Forde
Will Boys Be Boys? Questioning Adolescent Masculinity in Contemporary Art, curated by Shamin M. Momin
For more information about iCIs exhibitions, please call 212-254-8200 or visit iCI’s Web site www.ici-exhibitions.org