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THE NEW YORK TIMES: Joe Overstreet, Painter and Activist, Is Dead at 85

THE NEW YORK TIMES: Joe Overstreet, Painter and Activist, Is Dead at 85

By Holland Cotter

6/10/2019

Joe Overstreet, an artist and activist who in the 1960s took abstract painting into the sculptural dimension and later created a home in New York for art- ists who had been ignored by the mainstream, died on June 4 in Manhattan. He was 85.

ARTNEWS: Joe Overstreet Purposeful Painter Who Made Space for Artists of Color, is Dead at 85

ARTNEWS: Joe Overstreet Purposeful Painter Who Made Space for Artists of Color, is Dead at 85

By Andrew Russeth

June 5, 2019

My paintings don’t let the onlooker glance over them, but rather take them deeply into them and let them out—many times by differ­ent routes,” artist Joe Overstreet once said, describing viewing experiences that can be variously harrowing and exhilarating. “These trips are taken sometimes subtly and sometimes suddenly.”

Joe Overstreet in Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-1983

Joe Overstreet in Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-1983

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

April 26, 2020 - July 19, 2020

Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power shines a bright light on the vital contribution of Black artists to an important period in American history and art. Featuring the work of 60 artists and including vibrant paintings, powerful sculptures, street photography, murals, and more, this landmark exhibition is a rare opportunity to see era-defining artworks that changed the face of art in America.

Henry Chalfant: Art vs. Transit

Henry Chalfant: Art vs. Transit

Bronx Museum, New York

September 25, 2019—March 8, 2020

The Bronx Museum of the Arts is pleased to announce Henry Chalfant: Art Vs. Transit, 1977-1987, the first U.S. retrospective of the pioneering photographer, on view from September 25, 2019 to March 8, 2020. Recognized as one of the most significant documentarians of subway art, Chalfant’s photographs and films immortalized this ephemeral art form from its Bronx-born beginnings, helping to launch graffiti art into the international phenomenon it is today. The historic exhibition looks back at a rebellious art form launched in the midst of a tumultuous time in New York City history.  Chalfant’s graffiti archives are a work of visual anthropology and one of the seminal documents of American popular culture in the late twentieth century.

Joe Overstreet in Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-1983

Joe Overstreet in Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-1983

de Young Museum, San Francisco

November 9, 2019 - March 8, 2020

The internationally acclaimed exhibition Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power will travel to San Francisco this fall. Celebrating the works that African American artists created during two pivotal decades in American history (1963–1983), the exhibition—organized by Tate Modern, London—examines the very purpose of art and the role of artists in society. 

With Pleasure: Pattern and Decoration in American Art 1972–1985 | MOCA L.A.

With Pleasure: Pattern and Decoration in American Art 1972–1985 | MOCA L.A.

Featuring works by Miriam Schapiro

October 27, 2019 – May 11, 2020

With Pleasure: Pattern and Decoration in American Art 1972–1985 is the first full-scale scholarly survey of this groundbreaking American art movement, encompassing works in painting, sculpture, collage, ceramics, installation art, and performance documentation. Covering the years 1972 to 1985 and featuring approximately fifty artists from across the United States, the exhibition examines the Pattern and Decoration movement’s defiant embrace of forms traditionally coded as feminine, domestic, ornamental, or craft-based and thought to be categorically inferior to fine art. 

Miriam Schapiro in Pattern and Decoration: Ornament as Promise

Miriam Schapiro in Pattern and Decoration: Ornament as Promise

Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien, Vienna

February 23, 2019 - September 08, 2019

Ornament as Promise was the premise of the Pattern and Decoration movement in the United States (1975–1985). In this exhibition, mumok presents the rich collection of works from this movement of Peter and Irene Ludwig, in the largest presentation of Pattern and Decoration in German-speaking Europe since the 1980s.

Joe Overstreet in Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-1983

Joe Overstreet in Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-1983

The Broad Museum, Los Angeles

March 23 - September 1, 2019

Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power shines a bright light on the vital contribution of Black artists made over two revolutionary decades in American history, beginning in 1963 at the height of the civil rights movement. The exhibition examines the influences, from the civil rights and Black Power movements to Minimalism and developments in abstraction, on artists such as Romare Bearden, Barkley Hendricks, Noah Purifoy, Martin Puryear, Faith Ringgold, Betye Saar, Alma Thomas, Charles White, and William T. Williams.

Joe Overstreet in Into Form: The Rose Collection, 1957-2018

Joe Overstreet in Into Form: The Rose Collection, 1957-2018

Rose Art Museum, Waltham, Massachusetts

June 20, 2019 - August 25, 2019

Rarely seen works and recent additions to the museum's permanent collection.

Mimi Gross in Suspense: Key Moments in Midcentury Art

Mimi Gross in Suspense: Key Moments in Midcentury Art

Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine

May 30, 2019 - August 18, 2019

This exhibition explores the personal vision of iconic artists of the 1950s and 1960s. Many artists of the mid-twentieth century felt that academic traditions and the societal conventions they implied had become obsolete.

Without Boundaries: Fiber Sculptures and Paintings by Women Artists

Without Boundaries: Fiber Sculptures and Paintings by Women Artists

Featuring works by Marcia Marcus

July 28, 2018 - July 21, 2019

Painting and fiber art—artwork made with woven or nonwoven natural or synthetic fibers—have traditionally been viewed as distinct genres. This installation questions that division. It includes works by fiber artists whose formal art studies first centered on painting. There are also works by painters, some who have influenced fabric design, and others who have paid close attention to textile patterns and the relationship of clothing to the female body. Featuring many new additions to Mia’s collection, this display illustrates how artists often think and create outside the categories of art that museums generally like to employ. Among the thirteen artists included are Sheila Hicks, Yayoi Kusama, Marcia Marcus, Elizabeth Osborne, Christina Ramberg, and Shinique Smith.

Double Portrait: Mimi Gross and Marcia Marcus

Double Portrait: Mimi Gross and Marcia Marcus

Shirley Fiterman Art Center at BMCC, New York

July 28, 2018 - July 21, 2019

Iconic Figurative Artists Featured in Exhibition at Shirley Fiterman Art Center
On May 23 in the Shirley Fiterman Art Center, a reception will celebrate the opening of Double Portrait: Mimi Gross and Marcia Marcus. Gross and Marcus are innovative figurative painters whose work from 1958 to 2012 will be on display

Tseng Kwong Chi in Art after Stonewall, 1969–1989

Tseng Kwong Chi in Art after Stonewall, 1969–1989

Grey Art Gallery, New York University

April 24 - July 20, 2019

Art after Stonewall, 1969–1989 is the first major exhibition to examine the impact on visual culture of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) liberation movement sparked fifty years ago with the Stonewall Uprising. The show includes works by openly LGBTQ artists such as Scott Burton, Vaginal Davis, Lyle Ashton Harris, Greer Lankton, Catherine Opie, and Andy Warhol. Also considered are the practices of straight-identified artists such as Alice Neel, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Lynda Benglis, and Kiki Smith in terms of their engagement with the newly emerging queer subculture. Divided in two parts, the show is on view at the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, which primarily presents works from the 1970s, while here at the Grey Art Gallery, art from the 1980s is featured.

Tseng Kwong Chi in That 80's Show

Tseng Kwong Chi in That 80's Show

Nassau County Museum of Art curated by Eric Fischl

March 16 - July 7, 2019

When an international art star curates an exhibition revisiting one of the most dynamic eras in American art history, expect fireworks. Eric Fischl, master of the loaded group portrait, has been the curatorial advisor for a stunning show featuring more than a hundred works by all the great personalities of the Eighties, beginning with him and his wife April Gornik, along with Julian Schnabel, David Salle, Ross Bleckner, Bryan Hunt, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, Cindy Sherman, Robert Longo, Jenny Holzer, Robert Mapplethorpe, Annette Lemieux, Charlie Clough, Tseng Kwong Chi, Jonathan Lasker and others. The show also features a “hall of fame” of music and sports memorabilia, including Michael Jackson’s glove, Prince’s fashion, Madonna’s jewelry, and autographed items from the Islanders, Mets and the 1980 Olympic hockey team.

Mimi Gross: Lost Atlanta, 1981

Mimi Gross: Lost Atlanta, 1981

Atlanta Contemporary in collaboration with Institute 193, Atlanta, GA

June 20 - July 4, 2019

From 1979-1981, over twenty-eight children and young adults were abducted and murdered in the city of Atlanta. Collectively known as the Atlanta child murders, the killings drew the attention of the nation and altered daily life in the de facto capital of the South. The city imposed curfews. Some parents withdrew their children from school and forbade them from playing outside. On June 21, 1981, Wayne Williams was arrested and ultimately convicted of two murders and sentenced to two consecutive life terms. This past March, the Mayor of Atlanta, Keisha Bottoms, reopened the cases hoping to use modern technology to lead to further convictions. Williams maintains his innocence.

Less Is a Bore: Maximalist Art & Design | ICA Boston

Less Is a Bore: Maximalist Art & Design | ICA Boston

Featuring works by Miriam Schapiro

Jun 26 – Sep 22, 2019

Less Is a Bore: Maximalist Art & Design brings together works in painting, sculpture, ceramic, dance, furniture design, and more that privilege decoration, pattern, and maximalism.

Borrowing its attitude from architect Robert Venturi’s witty retort to Mies van der Rohe’s modernist edict “less is more,” Less Is a Bore shows how artists, including those affiliated with the Pattern & Decoration movement of the 1970s, have sought to rattle the dominance of modernism and minimalism. Encouraged by the pluralism permeating many cultural spheres at the time, these artists accommodated new ideas, modes, and materials, challenging entrenched categories that marginalized non-Western art, fashion, interior design, and applied art.

HYPERALLERGIC : Two Women in a Man's Art World

HYPERALLERGIC : Two Women in a Man's Art World

By John Yau

June 9, 2019

I was reminded of the phrase, Other Traditions (2001), the collective title John Ashbery gave to the publication of his six Charles Eliot Norton lectures at Harvard University, when I was looking at Marcia Marcus’s grisaille portrait of “Edwin Dickinson” (1972) in the timely exhibition, Double Portrait: Mimi Gross and Marcia Marcus, at the Shirley Fiterman Art Center at the Borough of Manhattan Community College (May 23–July 27, 2019), curated by Lisa Panzera.

Miriam Schapiro in Handmade: Women Reshaping Contemporary Art

Miriam Schapiro in Handmade: Women Reshaping Contemporary Art

The Westport Arts Center, Westport, Connecticut

March 23 - June 2, 2019

The medium of fiber is also weighted with gendered, socio-political signifiers that are imparted onto the final work of art.  To put it plainly, fiber is feminine. Weaving, embroidery, knitting and sewing are thought to be the domain of women, whose productions in these areas have long been relegated to the status of “decoration.” Objects described in these terms traditionally do not fall into the rarefied, male-dominated Pantheon of “Fine Art,” which has long been the province of painting, drawing, sculpture and printmaking.  But given the shift of values in contemporary culture, does this distinction hold true today?

ARTNEWS

ARTNEWS

Exhibitions Henry Chalfant, One of the Definitive Photographers of Early Subway Art, Will Return to the Bronx This Fall For His First US Retrospective

May 28, 2019

Forty-some years ago, Henry Chalfant trained his camera on the graffiti artists who turned New York’s streets, trains, and underground stations into their own personal canvases. Now, the photographer is returning to the Bronx—the place where it all began—for his biggest institutional outing yet.

Surface/Depth The Decorative After Miriam Schapiro | Museum of Arts + Design

Surface/Depth The Decorative After Miriam Schapiro | Museum of Arts + Design

March 22, 2018 - Sept.9 2018

In June of 2015, Miriam Schapiro, the pioneering feminist artist and founding member of the Pattern and Decoration movement, passed away at the age of ninety-one. Surprisingly, given her status as the elder stateswoman of the feminist art movement, the tremendous impact of her oeuvre on contemporary art has yet to be fully acknowledged or critically assessed. This exhibition seeks to redress this gap in the history of American art through an exploration of Schapiro’s signature femmages, the term she coined to describe her distinctive hybrid of painting and collage inspired by women’s domestic arts and crafts and the feminist critique of the hierarchy of art and craft.

 

The Brooklyn Rail

The Brooklyn Rail

Mimi Gross: Art as Social Entanglement, By Johanna Drucker

April 2019

Among Friends: 1958–63, the exhibition of Mimi Gross’s paintings and drawings from the early 1960s at Eric Firestone Gallery, is not only a sheer visual pleasure, it also adds to our understanding of American modern art. Like so many “re-discovered” bodies of work, usually by women, it reveals dimensions of artistic practice that were always present but never given critical attention within certain over-determined narratives of 20th-century art. 

Mimi Gross: Slab City Rendezvous

Mimi Gross: Slab City Rendezvous

Farnsworth Art Museum, Maine

April 13 2019 - February 9, 2020

Slab City Rendezvous, whose title comes from a 1964 painting by Red Grooms, features the work of a group of young New York-based avant-garde artists who in the years following World War II discovered the pleasures of summering and working in Maine. They became some of the most successful and important artists of their generation, charting new directions for contemporary art. Their work presented a return to realism and figuration in the face of Abstract Expressionism, the style then dominating the increasingly important center of international contemporary art in New York. Their accomplishments formed another chapter in the story of Maine’s ongoing role in American art.

The exhibition will include works by Rudy Burckhardt, Lois Dodd, Rackstraw Downes, Red Grooms, Mimi Gross, Yvonne Jacquette, Alex Katz, Neil Welliver, and Bernard Langlais, among others.

ARTNEWS

ARTNEWS

Six Superb Shows in New York: Jessi Reaves, Mimi Gross, Nolan Simon, ‘Strategic Vandalism,’ ‘Notebook,’ and Caroline Goe, By Andrew Russeth

March 28, 2019

Practically overflowing with radiant portraits, “Mimi Gross: Among Friends, 1958–63” at Eric Firestone Loft should be of the major crowd-pleasers of the moment, but it feels like it’s flying under the radar. Channeling a rare, quicksilver sense for detail, Gross was only in her late teens and early 20s when she made these pieces in crayon, paint, and pastel, working in New York, Provincetown, and Europe, where she and friends traveled northern Italy by horse-drawn carriage, doing shadow-puppet shows in small villages. (To think that young artists today believe a night at Berghain is bohemia!) Two highlights of many: Grand Street Boys and Grand Street Girls (both 1963), whose many young sitters look interesting enough to sustain a few seasons of prestige television about the Lower East Side during the Kennedy years. The show depicts an artistic life that was just getting started, and already being lived very well. 

Hyperallergic

Hyperallergic

The Radiant Fearlessness of Mimi Gross, By John Yau

March 16, 2019

The exhibition Mimi Gross: Among Friends, 1958-1963 helps to set the record straight: Gross was a strong, confident artist when she met Red Grooms at the age of 18, and that her work continued to grow right up to their marriage in 1964.

Joe Overstreet in Mapping Black Identities

Joe Overstreet in Mapping Black Identities

Minneapolis Institute of Art

February 21, 2019 - March 15, 2020

Taking inspiration from Mia’s recent acquisition of Frank Bowling’s map painting False Start(1970), “Mapping Black Identities” challenges the notion of Black identity as monolithic. Championing the diverse experiences of artists from America, Africa, and the diaspora, this exhibition seeks to amplify underrepresented voices and create connections around the concept of Blackness in contemporary art across time and place.

Miriam Schapiro in Pattern, Decoration, and Crime

Miriam Schapiro in Pattern, Decoration, and Crime

Musée D'Art Moderne Et Contemporain, Géneve, Switzerland

October 10, 2018 - February 3, 2019

MAMCO examined in this large group exhibition the “Pattern & Decoration” movement, formed in the 1970s and that enjoyed international success in the 1980s, before fading in the decades thereafter. 

 

Joe Overstreet in Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-1983

Joe Overstreet in Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-1983

Brooklyn Museum, New York

September 14, 2018 - February 3, 2019

Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power shines light on a broad spectrum of Black artistic practice from 1963 to 1983, one of the most politically, socially, and aesthetically revolutionary periods in American history. Black artists across the country worked in communities, in collectives, and individually to create a range of art responsive to the moment—including figurative and abstract painting, prints, and photography; assemblage and sculpture; and performance.

Miriam Schapiro in Pattern and Decoration: Ornament as Promise

Miriam Schapiro in Pattern and Decoration: Ornament as Promise

Ludwig Forum Aachen, Germany

September 9, 2018 - January 13, 2019

Patchworks and decorative patterns on the one hand and a political-emancipatory claim on the other – the Pattern and Decoration movement combines apparent contradictions. In the mid-1970s, the movement developed in the USA as one of the last art movements of the 20th century, brought forward by as many female artists as no other movement before. It was supported, among others, by feminist artists such as Joyce Kozloff, Valerie Jaudon, Robert Kushner and Miriam Schapiro. 

Henry Chalfant in Zeitgeist: The Art Scene of Teenage Basquiat

Henry Chalfant in Zeitgeist: The Art Scene of Teenage Basquiat

Maier Museum, Lynchburg, Virginia

September 20 – December 14, 2018

The period covered in the exhibition and film tells the story of Jean-Michel’s early work, peers, and creative community in gritty, pre-AIDS, downtown New York—before the rise of the 80s art and real estate juggernaut. It was a time when decay, drugs, and dissolution fueled a boom in creativity where the definition of fame, success, and power was not based on money, Facebook likes, and self-promotion. For these creators, to be a penniless published poet or a musician gigging at CBs was the height of success. In the rawness of the work, the focus on street art and graffiti, and the experimentation and cross-pollination of styles and disciplines, the era has become a flash point for younger generations seeking to learn about and understand the authenticity, closeness, and community expressed in the work of the artists in Zeitgeist.

Henry Chalfant: Una Mirada

Henry Chalfant: Una Mirada

The Centro de Arte Tomás y Valiente, Madrid

September 27 to November 18, 2018

Born on January 2, 1940 in Sewicley, Pennsylvania, Chalfant is a renowned and acclaimed photographer and cameraman dedicated to urban culture, renowned for his graffiti and photography and films about breakdancing. Distinguished by his knowledge of hip hop and underground culture, his photographs are in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Vulture

Vulture

See Martha Edelheit: Flesh Walls: Tales From the 60s, By Jerry Saltz

Nov. 7, 2018

This amazing Noho gallery is lighting up the past with the enormous “flesh wall” paintings of Martha Edelheit. Born in New York in 1931, she is still painting and, judging from what’s here, has one of the most mysteriously erotic-hot inner lives of any painter of the 1960s. Witness lounging female and male bodies and men with enormous erections performing acrobatics for women.

The New York Times

The New York Times

What to See in New York Art Galleries This Week: Martha Edelheit, by Martha Schwendener

Nov. 7, 2018

Martha Edelheit is yet another indication that 20th-century art history is still under construction, with large areas unfinished or invisible. Ms. Edelheit was included in last year’s “Inventing Downtown: Artist-Run Galleries in New York City, 1952-1965” at the Grey Art Gallery, which featured several artists unfamiliar to wider audiences. Now “Flesh Walls: Tales From the 60s” at Eric Firestone is devoted to Ms. Edelheit’s work from that era. She was part of the downtown, artist-run Reuben Gallery, where she had her first solo show in 1960. The “Flesh Walls” title is not metaphorical or accidental. Ms. Edelheit’s meaty, sexy paintings and drawings iterate tales of the sexually permissive ’60s. She approached the human body through the skin, inspired initially by the writings of the anthropologist Claude LeviStrauss, who suggested that the body was the original canvas for painting, in the form of tattoos. 

Joe Overstreet: Justice, Faith, Hope and Peace

Joe Overstreet: Justice, Faith, Hope and Peace

Mississippi Museum of Art, Jackson

Through November 2018

Joseph Overstreet is the 2018 recipient of the Governor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts presented by the Mississippi Arts Commission. Born in Conehatta, Mississippi, in 1933, Joe Overstreet is an artist with a record of accomplishments as an artist, arts promoter, and activist that spans 60 years. 

The Menil Collection

The Menil Collection

Joe Overstreet: Featured in Selections from the Permanent Collection

Fall 2018

The Menil’s growing collection, while not encyclopedic, spans the prehistoric era to the present day. Particular areas of strength include Byzantine art, West and Central African art, Surrealism, and 20th and 21st century American and European art. On September 22, 2018, the museum reopened with a year-long permanent collection initiative featuring many of the museum’s most well-known paintings and sculptures, as well as recent acquisitions and other works and promised gifts that have never before been on view in the museum. The installations will be changed several times over the course of the year-long period.

The opening installation in the African art galleries features more than 60 masks, figural sculptures and shrines, and vessels from regions of West and Central Africa. Introducing the galleries is a new presentation of paintings, works on paper, and sculptures that explore the shared histories Africa and Europe after 15th century.

Michael Boyd and Miriam Schapiro in True Colors

Michael Boyd and Miriam Schapiro in True Colors

Nassau Museum of Art

July 21-November 4, 2018

Nothing in art is more powerful than color. From Matisse to Mark Rothko and Frank Stella, and onward to the huge Color Field canvases and pulsing neon sculptures of today, color as a means of expression is the keynote for this wildly exuberant show.

Artforum

Artforum

Joe Overstreet at Eric Firestone Gallery, By Kaelen Wilson-Goldie

June 1, 2018

Joe Overstreet’s experimental paintings from the early 1970s were made to be suspended from ceilings and tied to floors using a system of ropes and grommets. As a result, they occupy a good deal of three-dimensional space, and by design their shapes change every time they are installed, depending on how they are stretched out, draped, or crumpled. In some works, such as St. Expedite II and Untitled, both 1971, and Untitled, 1972, Overstreet has painted squares of canvas in solid colors-red, green, navy blue, deep purple-edged in contrasting stripes. Other works, such as the enormous Boxes, 1970, play with vibrant patterns of geometric abstraction but, at the same time, appear haunted by the ghosts of earlier, more figurative gestures.

Miriam Schapiro in Women House: 36 Women Artists Deconstruct Domesticity

Miriam Schapiro in Women House: 36 Women Artists Deconstruct Domesticity

National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, D.C.

March 9 - May 28, 2018

Featuring work by thirty-six global artists, Women House challenges conventional ideas about gender and the domestic space. The exhibition is inspired by the landmark project Womanhouse, developed in 1972 by Judy Chicago and Miriam Schapiro. With works that disrupted traditional ideas about the home as a feminine realm, Womanhouse was the first female-centered art installation to appear in the Western world. In the new exhibition, Women House, women artists from the 1960s to today examine the persistence of stereotypes about the house as a feminine space.

The Nation

The Nation

Flight or Alchemy by Barry Schwabsky

May 24, 2018

“Abstraction represents self-determination and free will.” So avowed the painter James Little at a recent panel discussion held in conjunction with an exhibition of works by his fellow painter Joe Overstreet, but with the broader purpose of examining the question of “Black Artists and the Abstraction Idiom.” Little’s ringing declaration of aesthetic independence was couched in a language both explicitly political (self-determination being a right underwritten by the United Nations in its 1960 Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples, which held that “All peoples have the right to…freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development”) as well as theological (though the problem of free will has earlier roots, it became urgent when Christian thinkers had to explain the origin of sin and damnation in a world created by a perfect and benevolent God). The implication of Little’s statement is that abstract art, by eschewing the forms of representation through which political and religious narratives are conveyed, enacts and exemplifies a kind of self-emancipation.

Joe Overstreet in Way Bay

Joe Overstreet in Way Bay

University of California, Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive

January 17–June 3, 2018

Way Bay is a sweeping exploration of the creative energies that have emerged from the San Francisco Bay Area over the past two centuries. An innovatively organized exhibition of art and film, plus poetry, performance documentation, and archival materials, Way Bay features nearly two hundred works that reveal the depth and diversity of artists’ engagement with the region’s geographic, social, and cultural landscape.

ArtNews

ArtNews

Beyond the Surface: Miriam Schapiro’s Enduring Legacy Is on Full View at the Museum of Arts and Design, by Claire Selvin

April 24, 2018

In a 1989 interview, the artist Miriam Schapiro discussed her admiration for “heroines” like Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Plath, and Frida Kahlo. Noting their rather fraught lives, she said “that doesn’t stop you from expressing your point of view in whatever manner you choose to do it.” In the 1970s, Schapiro herself chose to make craft works that she termed “femmages” (a portmanteau of “feminine” and “collage”), which staked a claim for women, both in the art world and outside it, by centering the home as a site of resilience and subversion. And she certainly lived by these principles of resistance, deliberately situating her practice against artistic norms of her day.

Joe Overstreet in Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-1983

Joe Overstreet in Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-1983

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville

February 3, 2018 - April 23, 2018

Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power shines a bright light on the vital contribution of Black artists to an important period in American history and art. Featuring the work of 60 artists and including vibrant paintings, powerful sculptures, street photography, murals, and more, this landmark exhibition is a rare opportunity to see era-defining artworks that changed the face of art in America.

The New York Times

The New York Times

What to See in New York Art Galleries This Week: Joe Overstreet By, Roberta Smith

April 18, 2018

The history of postwar American abstract painting remains a work in progress. We are barely beginning to understand its sheer multiplicity in terms of the artists’ races and cultures and the works’ physical character. New information arrives in regular and humbling batches. The latest is Joe Overstreet’s stunning exhibition “Innovation of Flight, Paintings 1967-1972” at Eric Firestone. With 20 rarely seen works, it covers a brief period when Mr. Overstreet’s disavowal of painting’s usual standards and practices was unfolding rapidly in several directions, alongside efforts by Sam Gilliam, Harmony Hammond, Alan Shields and Howardena Pindell, among others.

Tseng Kwong Chi in Club 57: Film, Performance, and Art in the East Village, 1978–1983

Tseng Kwong Chi in Club 57: Film, Performance, and Art in the East Village, 1978–1983

Museum of Modern Art, New York

October 31, 2017–April 8, 2018

The East Village of the 1970s and 1980s continues to thrive in the global public’s imagination. Located in the basement of a Polish Church at 57 St. Marks Place, Club 57 (1978–83) began as a no-budget venue for music and film exhibitions, and quickly took pride of place in a constellation of countercultural venues in downtown New York fueled by low rents, the Reagan presidency, and the desire to experiment with new modes of art, performance, fashion, music, and exhibition. A center of creative activity in the East Village, Club 57 is said to have influenced virtually every club that came in its wake.

Art in America

Art in America

Marcia Marcus by Eric Sutphin

January 1, 2018

New York artist Marcia Marcus (b. 1928) emerged mid-century as a promising painter of portraits and figurative tableaux, depicting herself, friends, and acquaintances in scenes that often have a mythological or theatrical feel. In the early 1950s, she studied painting at Cooper Union, where her peers included Alex Katz and Lois Dodd, and shortly thereafter attended the Art Students League, where she absorbed the lessons of Edwin Dickinson. She collaborated on Happenings with Allan Kaprow and, in 1960, showed a series of self-portraits at the Delancey Street Museum, an alternative space run by Red Grooms. Despite an impressive exhibition record and a peer group of downtown luminaries, Marcus eventually fell into obscurity. The recent show at Eric Firestone included twenty-four paintings she made between 1958 and 1973, amounting to a small-scale retrospective for this audacious and fascinating artist.

West by Midwest | Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

West by Midwest | Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

Featuring works by Miriam Schapiro

Nov 17, 2018–Jan 27, 2019

Western art history is often viewed as a neat succession of individual artists and their singular masterpieces. This narrative runs parallel to the American story of westward expansion, propelled by the idea of individualism and independence. West by Midwest offers a messier alternative—one that illuminates the ways that contemporary art practices spread and develop by tracing the intersecting lives of artists who have migrated from the American Midwest to the West Coast since the mid-20th century. Lured by career opportunities, warmer weather, and the prospect of a better life promised by the postwar boom, artists in this exhibition attended art schools together, shared studios, exhibited work in the same galleries, collaborated on projects, engaged in activism, and dated. Following these crisscrossing lines of kinship, West by Midwest reveals social, political, artistic, and intellectual networks of artists and their shared experiences of making work and making a life.

The New York Times

The New York Times

What to See in New York Art Galleries This Week, by Roberta Smith, Martha Schwendener, Will Heinrich

Nov. 14, 2017

Marcia Marcus Through Dec. 2. Eric Firestone Gallery, 4 Great Jones Street. Art history is in constant flux, as you can see by the recent rise of artists who were left out of earlier narratives. This year, the exhibition “Inventing Downtown: Artist-Run Galleries in New York City, 1952-1965,” at the Grey Art Gallery, featured many overlooked artists whose contributions to mid-20th-century art are noteworthy. One of them is the painter Marcia Marcus, whose work is currently on view in “Role Play: Paintings 1958-1973” at Eric Firestone Gallery.

 

Joe Overstreet in Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-1983

Joe Overstreet in Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963-1983

Tate Modern, London

July 12 - October 22, 2017

The show opens in 1963 at the height of the Civil Rights movement and its dreams of integration. In its wake emerged more militant calls for Black Power: a rallying cry for African American pride, autonomy and solidarity, drawing inspiration from newly independent African nations.

ArtForum

ArtForum

Critics' Pick: Marcia Marcus, Eric Firestone Loft | New York by Kaelen Wilson-Goldie

October 2017

The twenty-three paintings by Marcia Marcushere deliver one knockout after another. In the oval portrait Nude with Mirror, 1965, a woman languorously appraises her own reflection. In Florentine Landscape, 1961, three ghostly, pale figures and a pumpkin patch appear like holograms beamed into an ancient garden. In Frieze: The Porch, 1964, three distinctly different pictures—a double portrait of the critic Jill Johnston and the painter Barbara Forst, a self-portrait of the artist in a billowing floral robe, and a picture of her as a child with her father—are all crammed together in a way that feels weirdly spacious.

Sidney Geist, Mimi Gross, and Marcia Marcus in Inventing Downtown: Artist-Run Galleries in New York City, 1952–1965

Sidney Geist, Mimi Gross, and Marcia Marcus in Inventing Downtown: Artist-Run Galleries in New York City, 1952–1965

Grey Art Gallery, New York University

January 10–April 1, 2017

Between the apex of Abstract Expressionism and the rise of Pop Art and Minimalism, the New York art scene was transformed by artist-run galleries. Inventing Downtown presents works from fourteen of these crucibles of experimentation, highlighting artists’ efforts to create new exhibition venues for innovative works of art—ranging from abstract and figurative painting, assemblage, sculpture, and works on paper to groundbreaking installations and performances.

ArtNews

ArtNews

REVIEWS Miriam Schapiro at National Academy and Eric Firestone’s Loft By, Kim Levin

3/22/2016

Two exhibitions offer a broad overview of the 60-year career of influential first-generation feminist artist Miriam Schapiro, who died last summer at the age of 91. With Judy Chicago she established the CalArts Feminist Art Program in 1970 and organized the legendary CalArts “Womanhouse.”

“Miriam Schapiro, A Visionary,” at the National Academy is the artist’s first survey in New York and ranges from her de Kooning–esque fleshy Abstract Expressionist paintings of the ’50s to her gorgeous hard-edge acrylics of the ’60s to her subversive crazy-quilt florals, pinwheels, and fan collages of the Pattern and Decoration ’70s and beyond. Dollhouse (1972), which was included in “Womanhouse,” contains soft Oldenburgian kitchen appliances, a witty endless column of wine corks, and a tiny cloth doll—wearing Barbie’s plastic cowboy boots—that could almost have been by Louise Bourgeois.

Artforum

Artforum

Critics' Picks: Miriam Schapiro by, Johanna Fateman

March 2016

“The California Years: 1967–1975” documents a momentous shift in Miriam Schapiro’s practice, from the wry, abstract feminist-futurism of her hard-edge paintings to the busy decadence of her mixed-media “femmages.” For her handsomely mod paintings in the former category, she used computer software to model and manipulate three-dimensional geometric structures. While the exhibition’s press release notes that these images are often “coded depictions of yonic forms,” we’re not talking about seashells and split melons here. In the pristinely painted Keyhole, 1971, a fiery red-orange and rose-colored mother ship approaches from a cloudless blue sky. The chic all-blue Horizontal Woman No. 2 from the same year slyly references a reclining nude with its blank virtual architecture. A kind of landscape, the painting depicts something resembling a compound of modernist bungalows built into a featureless hilltop.

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