1920: The Subtlety of Subversion/The Continuity of Intervention

3/6/1993 – 4/17/1993

Curator(s): Papo Colo and Jeanette Ingberman

Artists: Laurie Anderson, Ida Applebroog, Lutz Bacher, Lillian Ball, Louise Bourgeois, Kathe Burkhart, Mary Carlson, Maureen Conne, Mary Ellen Croteau, Nicole Eisenman, Fierce Pussy, Barbara Friedman, Leslie Fry, Ava Gerber, Judy Glantzman, IIona Granet, Nancy Grossman, Beth Haggart, Jerelyn Hanrahan, Eva Hesse, Rachel Harrison, Lisa Hoke, Jenny Holzer, Kate Howard, Rebecca Howland, Robin Kahn, Kit Keith, Samm Kunce, Zoe Leonard, Lilla LoCurto, Marcia Lyons, Marlene McCarty, Ana Mendieta, Charlotte Moorman, Portia Munson, Cara Perlman, Adrian Piper, Rona Pondick, Pike Powers, Monique Safford, Carolee Schneemann, Cindy Sherman, Elise Siegel, Amy Sillman, Nancy Spero, Chrysanne Stathacos, Jude Tallichet, Joy Taylor, Kerry Vander Meer, Carrie Mae Weems, Hannah Wilke, Sue Williams, Martha Wilson

Exhibition: 1920 was a group exhibition of over fifty contemporary women artists. 1920 showcased a younger generation of women artists emerging in the 1990s whose work dealt with issues of feminism, gender, and identity. It put their work in context by exhibiting these artists with those of an older generation of women artists who had addressed similar concerns in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. The exhibition took its title from the year in which the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was passed and women won the right to vote in the United States.

Event: May 13, 1993, LIBIDO, a panel discussion moderated by Elizabeth Hess and with panelists Maureen Conner, Coco Fusco, Liz Kotz, Marlene McCarty, Celeste Olalquiaga, and Martha Wilson. These artists, writers and cultural critics explored contemporary issues of gender, sexuality, sexual identity and the body and how these issues are addressed in the work of contemporary women artists. May 19, 1993, Woman as Protagonist: The Art of Nancy Spero, screening. This event was an invigorating look at the 40 year career of acclaimed feminist artist Nancy Spero who, in her own words, was concerned with “rewriting the imaging of women through historical time.”

In her 45-minute color video documentary, filmmaker Irene Sosa juxtaposed Spero’s past and present work, shifting between her 1950s oil painting, her 1960 graffiti-like “War Series” on paper, her innovative room-length paper scrolls of the 1970s and 1980s and her installation work. Sosa included some rarely seen 1972 footage of the artist at a polemical meeting of A.I.R., the feminist gallery of which Spero was a founding member.

OPIUM DEN: Desires & Disappointments


Curator(s): Bradley Eros and Jeanne Liotta

Artists: Donna Cameron (16mm film loops); Ebon Fisher (computer slide projections); Bradley Eros / Jeanne Liotta (Super 8mm and slide projections); Tom Zummer (stereopticon installation); Bill Morrison (Death Train – double screen, 16mm); Opium Smoking in Malaysia (16mm, found film, maker unknown); Lana Lin (I Begin To Know You – 16mm); Zoe Beloff (Echo – 16mm); Emily Breer (Superhero – video); Jen Reeves (Nine Ways to Taste It – 16mm); Ericka Beckman (Hiatus – 16mm); Leslie Thornton (The Great Invisible – video); Peter Tscherkassky (Parallel Space: Interview – video); Rick Rue (A Raise of the Eyebrow – sound); Lord Buckley (The Unconscious Mind/The Gasser – sound); Carl Stone (Shin Baku – sound); Kohondo Style (Japanese Rock – sound); Clara Rockman (The Swan – sound); Suso / Glass (The Screens – sound); Dimi Mint Abba (Moorish Music From Mauritania – sound); Hassan el Asmar Y’Alla (Hitlist Egypt Dervish Music – sound); The Bosley Sisters (The Old Man in the Mountain – sound)

Event: Opium Den was a collective of film and video makers and viewers who gathered together once a month to show new work and works in progress. Opium Den provided a forum for discussion among experimental filmmakers.

THE DESIGN SHOW: Exhibition Invitations in the U.S.A., 1940 – 1992

5/1/1993 – 7/24/1993

Curator(s): Jean-Noel Herlin

Exhibition: The Design Show was a comprehensive presentation of exhibition invitations produced by museums, galleries, and alternative spaces in the United States from 1940 to 1992. This was the first of a series of exhibitions that Exit Art presented exploring issues of graphic design. Over 230 exhibition invitations covering five decades were selected from several private collections and the archives of The Museum of Modern Art in New York. The Design Show explored how the history of exhibition invitations expanded our graphic vocabulary. The works in the exhibition displayed a remarkable diversity of materials from paper to cloth, metal, rubber and plastic and showed the innovative use of forms from napkins to matchbooks, bandanas, buttons and slides.

Event: Talking Design, Panel Discussion

SHELAGH KEELEY: In Vivo, Drawings and Objects

5/1/1993 – 6/12/1993

Curator(s): Papo Colo and Jeanette Ingberman

Exhibition: In Vivo was a major exhibition of the drawings and objects of Shelagh Keeley, a Canadian born artist who had resided in the U.S. since 1984. Inspired by the physical body, Keeley’s drawings were a dissection, excavation and archeology of the body as a vehicle to explore conceptual, formal, and intuitive considerations. She translated gestures of the body into a wide range of markings, unleashing a treasure of associations: primeval, sexual, organic, historical, archaeological. Her drawings were frequently referenced with texts or photographs. Using imagery with medical, sexual, and anatomic references, she fragmented, abstracted, abbreviated and removed these insinuations from our usual considerations of the body. The presentation included drawings from 1985 to 1992 on paper and vellum, drawings on large pieces of sheet metal, a handmade book, and sculptural objects.

Publication: A catalog was published in Fall 1994 with a major essay by Johanna Drucker, Assistant Professor of Art History at Columbia University, and documentary photographs of Keeley’s work.

MICHAEL JAMES O’BRIEN: Assembling Gender, Photographs, 1990-1993

5/1/1993 – 7/24/1993

Curator(s): Stuart Anthony and Papo Colo

Exhibition: Assembling Gender was a series of photographs of men and women in drag and butch drag taken by Michael James O’Brien over the previous three years. The photographs were taken in New York, Paris, London, Berlin, Rio de Janiero, Miami, and Los Angeles. They ranged from outdoor photographs of men and women celebrating Carnival in Rio, Halloween in Los Angeles, and Wigstock in New York, to more intimate portraits of his subjects in their homes.

The striking images of people in drag confronted the viewer with the reality that one’s identity — male and female, straight and gay — is not fixed or exclusive. Drag is seen as a revolutionary act that points to the transformative power that an individual has over one’s identity, by creating his or her own persona. These adaptations of ‘flexible identities’ create a type of cultural pressure that subverts the status quo by coexisting with the attitudes, dress codes and consciousness of different collective groups in our metropolises, confirming the vitality of the spectrum of identities in contemporary public life.

CÉSAR PATERNOSTO: Abstraction as Meaning: Painting and Sculpture

6/15/1993 – 7/24/1993

Curator(s): Papo Colo and Jeanette Ingberman

Exhibition: This exhibition of paintings and sculptures by César Paternosto presented an important series of work made during the 1980s that had not been seriously examined. Paternosto, an Argentinean born artist living in New York since 1967, had maintained a commitment to abstract painting for over thirty years. Initially the abstraction in Paternosto’s work was inspired by the early European Modernist movements, especially Russian Constructivism. In 1977, Paternosto traveled to Peru, a journey that profoundly changed his work. In Peru, Paternosto found a meaning for the use of abstraction based on the tradition of pre-Columbian art from the Incas. The forms found in Incan stone carvings and weaving were abstract and geometrical. This basis provided a cultural identification for Paternosto’s abstraction that legitimized his continued production of abstract paintings. The palate of the paintings reflected the South American landscape using pigments from the earth which links Paternosto’s work to nature. For Paternosto, the Peruvian influence was also important in expanding a gender issue of male art; because he was exploring weaving, traditionally a “female” art form, Paternosto referred to an ancient cultural tradition that actually included entire communities.



Event: An evening of music with While You Wait, from Vienna, Austria, and Edward Ratliff’s Rhapsodalia featuring Michael Attias (saxophones), Tony Corsano (drums), Evan Gallagher (keyboard bass/keyboards), Heather Paauwe (violin), and Edward Ratliff (brass and accordion).

COMIC POWER: Independent/Underground Comix, U.S.A.

9/18/1993 – 10/30/1993

Curator(s): John Carlin and Carlo McCormick

Artists: Doug Allen, Peter Bagge, Isabella Bannerman, Lynda Barry, Mark Beyer, Jim Blanchard, Vaughn and Mark Bode, Chester Brown, Charles Burns, Steven Cerio, Howard Chaykin, Russell Christian, Dan Clowes, Sue Coe, Joe Coleman, R. Crumb, Howard Cruse, Scott Cunningham, Dame Darcy, Georganne Deen, Kim Deitch, Evan Dorkin, Julie Doucet, Pascal Doury, Eric Drooker, Dennis Eichhorn, Tim Fielder, Mary Fleener, Drew Friedman, Phoebe Gloeckner, Justin Green, Bill Griffith, Rick Griffin, Sabrina Jones, Glenn Head, Ric Heitzman, Danny Hellman, Gilbert Hernandez, Jaime Hernandez, Stephen Holman, Jarrett Huddleston, Brad Johnson, Ben Katchor, Kaz, J.D. King, Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Stephen Kroninger, Krystine Kryttre, Peter Kuper, Carol Lay, Gary Leib, Steve Marcus, Mark Marek Mariscal?Paul Mavrides, David Mazzucchelli, Heather McAdams, Patrick McDonnell, Richard McGuire, Pat Moriarity, Victor Moscoso, Mark Newgarden, Diane Noomin, Gary Panter, Savage Pencil, The Pizz, Mimi Pond, Kevin C. Pyle, P. Revess, Bruno Richard, Trina Robbins, Spain Rodriguez, Jonathon Rosen, Jonathan Royce, Richard Sala, David Sandlin, Dori Seda, P. Shaw, Gilbert Shelton, R. Sikoryak, Siobhan, Art Spiegelman, Leslie Sternbergh, S.M. Taggart, Seth Tobocman, Ray Tompkins, Lance Tooks, Carol Tyler, Chris Ware, Wayne White, J.R. Williams, Robert Williams, S. Clay Wilson, Jim Woodring, Angela Wyman, Thomas Zummer

Exhibition: Comic Power focused on the emergence of underground and independent comics, commonly referred to as “comix,” in the United States. Unlike the commercial comic industry, underground comics were designed primarily for an adult audience. The themes and issues engaged by underground comic artists were explicitly personal, with powerfully idiosyncratic sexual, social and political themes. Also, underground comic art was strongly visual, putting forth an innovative approach to graphic design and artistic expression that is built upon and challenges traditional comic strip form and content.

Comic Power considered underground comics in the context of its hybrid nature: as an art form and as an instrument of popular culture. The exhibition highlighted the innovative design that formed the basis for all comic art, providing audiences with an understanding of the relationship between art and text, subject matter and audience.

Comic Power consisted of over 250 examples of work by comic artists from the past 30 years. It included original drawings published in independent comic books and a reading area consisting of hundreds of comic books, anthologies, and other independent publications from across the U.S., Canada, and abroad providing an important context for which to understand the artwork presented. Comic Power included four special curatorial projects: Newspaper Comic Strips, 1898-1945, curated by Patrick McDonnell; Back to the Future: Politically Blacklisted Cartoons, curated by Sue Coe; Cheap Laffs: The Art of the Novelty Item, curated from the collection of Mark Newgarden, and ZAP, curated by Jacaber Kastor.

Event: Autonomy / Anarchy: Cross Conversations; Comic Power Free Lunchtime Talks

Travel: Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MA (January 20 – February 20, 1994); Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada (April 15 – June 15, 1994); Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina, Canada (July 7 – September 18, 1994)



Event: This screening of work by Charlie Ahearn featured three of his artist video portraits: Jane Dickson, Kiki Smith and John Ahearn. All of the artists and the filmmaker were present.

POVERTY POP: The Aesthetics of Necessity

11/13/1993 – 1/8/1994

Curator(s): Papo Colo and Jeanette Ingberman

Artists: Ron Baron, Ken Butler, Nicole Carstens, John Drury, Vincent Garguilo, Ava Gerber, Daryl Graff, Beth Haggart, Rachel Harrison, Kate Howard, Barry Hylton, Charles LaBelle, Kevin C. Pyle, Joy Taylor, Fred Tomaselli, Sergio Vega

Exhibition: Poverty Pop was a definition of a body of work that Exit Art had encountered in artist studios over the previous few years. Out of economic necessity, a generation of artists were recycling found objects and transforming this refuse into visual metaphors. The work reflected the economic times that we were living in and demonstrated the artists’ ingenuity to make art from discarded products.

MAPPING INTERIOR SPACES: Video at the Edge of the Millennium

11/17/1993 – 11/19/1993

Curator(s): Electronic Arts Intermix

Artists: Lawrence Andrews, Cheryl Donegan, Tom Kalin, John Lindell, Julie Zando, Sadie Benning, Cheryl Dunye, Mike Kelley, George Kuchar, Eder Santos, Shelly Silver

Event: Organized by Electronic Arts Intermix, these two evenings presented a selection of recent videos by artists engaged in the evolving dialogue of contemporary identity. Holding up a mirror to reflect interior and social spaces, using video to map out intimate terrain, these artists revealed profoundly subjective yet highly politicized visions of the body and the self.