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Come Closer

New Museum, New York

Art Around the Bowery, 1969-1989. Drawing upon the New Museum's Bowery Artist Tribute archive and the online archive of Marc H. Miller, the exhibition features original artwork, ephemera, and performance documentation by twenty artists who lived and worked on or near the Bowery in New York.

comunicato stampa

curated by Ethan Swan

New Museum to Present “Come Closer: Art Around the Bowery, 1969–1989,” Featuring Original Artwork, Ephemera, and Performance Documentation by Twenty Artists Who Lived and Worked in New York’s Infamous Bowery Neighborhood

New York, NY...This September, the New Museum will present “Come Closer: Art Around the Bowery, 1969–1989,” an exhibition that takes the Bowery as subject, site, and center for creative ingenuity in the 1970s and 1980s. Drawing upon the New Museum’s Bowery Artist Tribute archive and the online archive of Marc H. Miller,, this exhibition features original artwork, ephemera, and performance documentation by twenty artists who lived and worked on or near the Bowery in New York. The exhibition will be on view on the Fifth Floor from September 19, 2012–January 6, 2013, and is curated by Ethan Swan, Education Associate.

During the 1970s and 1980s, the Bowery was commonly identified with the furthest extremes of metropolitan decline— municipal neglect, homelessness, and substance abuse. As landlords and civil services abandoned the neighborhood, the subsequent cheap rents and permissive atmosphere drew artists downtown. The Bowery’s lofts provided a social network where painters, photographers, performance artists, musicians, and filmmakers exchanged ideas and drew inspiration from this concentration of creative activity.

Propelled by this nourished, insurgent spirit, many artists downtown turned their attention towards the Bowery, inviting a re-examination of this neglected zone through their works: subjective, deeply personal portraits documented points of sympathy between neighbors; unsanctioned public art marked territory and adjusted the landscape; and DIY and collective practices pushed generations of institutional rigidity aside for a diversification of materials, gestures, and voices. As this influx of artists helped shaped the Bowery, the neighborhood helped shape generations of artists.

This exhibition will include works by artists including Barbara Ess, Coleen Fitzgibbon, Keith Haring, John Holmstrom, Curt Hoppe, Colette Lumiere, Marc H. Miller, Adrian Piper, Adam Purple, Dee Dee Ramone, Joey Ramone, Marcia Resnick, Bettie Ringma, Christy Rupp, Arleen Schloss, Charles Simonds, Eve Sonneman, Billy Sullivan, Paul Tschinkel, Arturo Vega, and Martin Wong.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the New Museum will publish the third volume of the Bowery Artist Tribute publication. Both a celebration and exploration of the Museum’s neighborhood, the Bowery Artist Tribute is a vibrant resource for visitors and neighbors to tap into the history of the neighborhood, its creative residents, and their contributions to contemporary culture. Visit the online Bowery Artist Tribute:

Public Programs

Thursday October 4, 7PM: Graffiti/Post Graffiti (1984, 28 min) screening and panel discussion Participants include: Patti Astor, Fab 5 Freddy, Marc H. Miller, and Paul Tschinkel
This film was made at a critical moment in the history of New York graffiti—the year after the MTA introduced a new graffiti abatement program, which drove many artists from the trains to the galleries. The video captures this transition, including interviews with artists, gallerists, and collectors—such as Keith Haring, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Tony Shafrazi—all seeking to mitigate this transition.

Friday October 5, 7PM: Alternatives in Retrospect: Artist Run Spaces in the 1970s and 1980s
Participants include Stefan Eins (3 Mercer), Coleen Fitzgibbon (5 Bleecker Street), and Becky Howland (ABC No Rio). A part of COLAB SOLO WEEKENDS.

Thursday October 18, 7PM: Arleen Schloss: an evening of Super 8 Film and Hi8 Video
Program to include How She Sees It By Her (1981/1983), Glenn Branca – Symphony #4/Physics (1983), and Windows of Chance/Change (1981).

Friday November 30, 7PM: Get Weird: Arto Lindsay
In conjunction with his forthcoming career retrospective, Lindsay (DNA, Lounge Lizards, Ambitious Lovers, etc.) will perform selections from his four-decade career.

Thursday December 6–Sunday December 9: Amos Poe’s New York: Four Films, Four Decades A four-day event will present four films by No Wave pioneer Amos Poe, who will introduce and screen one film from each decade of his career. All four films were made within a fifteen-block radius of Houston and Bowery, conjuring a kind of cinematic portrait of his turf. Through this program, viewers will be presented with the physical, architectural, cultural, and emotional change on the Lower East Side.

Thursday December 6, 7PM: The Foreigner (1978)
Friday December 7, 7PM: Alphabet City (1984)
Saturday December, 3PM: Frogs For Snakes (1998)
Sunday December, 3PM: Empire II (2007)

Thursday December 13: Parallel Lines: Visual Art, CBGB and Downtown Nightlife
By considering the activity and location of CBGB, this panel discussion explores the ways in which the creative outburst of American punk and New Wave music reflected and informed concurrent developments in art. Participants: John Holmstrom, Marcia Resnick, and Arturo Vega.

Exhibition Support
“Come Closer: Art Around the Bowery, 1969–1989” is presented as part of the Bowery Artist Tribute.
The Bowery Artist Tribute is made possible by an endowment established by Hermine and David Heller.

Exhibition support for “Come Closer” is generously provided, in part, by the Robert Mapplethorpe Photography Fund.

About the New Museum
The New Museum is the only museum in New York City exclusively devoted to contemporary art. Founded in 1977, the New Museum is a center for exhibitions, information, and documentation about living artists from around the world. From its beginnings as a one-room office on Hudson Street to the inauguration of its first freestanding building on the Bowery designed by SANAA in 2007, the New Museum continues to be a place of experimentation and a hub of new art and new ideas.

Image: Arturo Vega, Photo Booth Self-Portraits, ca. 1974. Black-and-white photographs, 8 1/4 x 9 1/2 in (20.9 x 24.1 cm). Courtesy the artist

Gabriel Einsohn, Communications Director
Andrea Schwan, Andrea Schwan Inc.

special preview: Wednesday September 19 10 AM to 11 AM, 10:15 AM Remarks

New Museum
235 Bowery -New York, NY 10002
Hours & Admission
Public Hours:
Wednesday 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
Thursday 11 a.m.–9 p.m.
Friday–Sunday 11 a.m.–6 p.m.
Museum Night: Free Admission on Thursday Evenings from 7 p.m.–9 p.m.
General $14 Under 18 Free
Seniors $12 Members Free
Students $10
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Jim Shaw
dal 6/10/2015 al 9/1/2016

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