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Art of the 1960s at the Blanton Museum of Art

David Novros, “4.24,” Acrylic paint and metallic powder on canvas, four parts, 1965. Courtesy the Blanton Museum of Art

Two new exhibitions opening September 28, 2008 and running through January 18, 2009 at the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, Texas explore an overlooked chapter in regional art history. Reimagining Space: The Park Place Gallery Group in 1960s New York and The New York Graphic Workshop: 1964-1970 are meant as counterparts in the investigation of this period.

According to the press release, Reimagining Space “presents a groundbreaking exhibition of work by artists associated with the Park Place Gallery, a prominent artists’ cooperative space in 1960s New York. With their commitment to space, the group was often at odds with the predominant aesthetics of many artists of the era, and as a result, their work has largely been ignored in chronicles of 1960s art.” The exhibition features approximately 40 works by this group of artists, including Mark di Suvero, Peter Forakis, Robert Grosvenor, Anthony Magar, Forrest Myers, Dean Fleming, Tamara Melcher, David Novros, Edwin Ruda, and Leo Valledor. It is comprised of major works, as well as photographs and documents, not seen since the era in which these artists worked . The group was connected to Texas both through its members as well as its patrons. The exhibition’s guest curator is Linda Dalrymple-Henderson, David Bruton, Jr. Centennial Professor, Department of Art and Art History, College of Fine Arts, The University of Texas at Austin.

The New York Graphic Workshop: 1964-1970, in the words of the press release, “examines the Conceptualist movement of the 1960s and ’70s through the printmaking practices of the New York Graphic Workshop (NYGW).” The workshop was founded in 1964 by Luis Camnitzer, José Guillermo Castillo, and Liliana Porter, three Latin American artists living in New York. Included in the exhibition will be 70 prints, drawings, and mixed media works by Camnitzer, Castillo, and Porter, as well as Michael Snow, Max Neuhaus, José Luis Cuevas, and Salvador Dalí, because the workshop produced some of their work as well. Curator Gabriel Perez-Barreiro, Director of the Coleccíon Patricia Phelps de Cisneros and former Curator of Latin American Art at the Blanton comments, “the New York Graphic Workshop represents a key moment in the history of both American and Latin American Conceptual art, yet this is the first comprehensive exhibition of the group since it disbanded in the early 1970s. The exhibition will provide a unique opportunity to understand the important contributions of this group of artists, and their pivotal role in the history of art of the 1960s in New York. It will also be the first time many of these artworks have been shown in over three decades.”

If you find yourself in Austin, don’t miss what look to be very exciting and compelling exhibitions at the Blanton. For further information about the exhibitions and for related programming please visit the Museum’s website.

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