LA TRADICION: Performing Painting

3/22/1997 – 4/26/1997

Curator(s): Papo Colo and Jeanette Ingberman

Artists: Lisa Beck, Susanna Coffey, Papo Colo, David Humphrey, Sam Gordon, Christopher Knowles, Sean Mellyn, Yigal Ozeri, Joyce Pensato, David Scher, Nicole Eisenman, Ave Gerber

Exhibition: La Tradicíon: Performing Painting was an exhibition that explored the theatricality of painting and the poetry of constructing a metaphysical object. Ten painters transferred their studios to Exit Art for five weeks. Each artist, while engaged with his/her own work, simultaneously contributed to a larger, collective creation – a living, working, interactive installation exploring the artists’ behavior and creative processes.

The exhibition brought the usually private and sacred realm of the studio to view, providing the public with the unique opportunity to watch painters in action – surrounded by their media, influences, and inspirations – and to see their work unfold. In addition to work in progress, La Tradicíon included an exhibition of finished paintings by each of the artists. The exhibition thus involved multiple layers of contemplation – the painters of their work, the painters of one another, the public of the painters and vice versa. It became a study of the performance of painting, with a portrait of the painter emerging as aspects of behavior, information about predilections, methods of working, etc. revealed a living work in progress.

IN THE EYE OF THE TIGER: A Survey of Contemporary Korean Artists

5/28/1997 – 7/5/1997

Curator(s): Yu Yeon Kim

Artists: Tae Jin Yook, Sung Min Hong, Young Sun Lim, Dong Chun Yoon, Seung Teak Lee, Young Jin Kim, Choong Sup Lim, Sook Jin Jo, Myoung Hye Kim, Hwa Young Park

Exhibition: As the inaugural exhibition of Exit Art’s new yearly international program involving artists and curators from around the world, In the Eye of the Tiger presented the work of ten contemporary Korean artists exploring the quest for personal, spiritual, and social identity within a traditional culture, but an increasingly global and commercial society.

In the present decade, Korean artists had been quick to embrace new technologies of communication and the culture of mass media. The explosive mass-cultural feed of the new information age brought a new kind of awareness and demanded a reassessment of national and personal identity. Much of recent Korean art explored the problems of displacement and social alienation, and confronted the cultural stereotypes and preconceptions of “Orientalism.”

The work often juxtaposed new technologies against traditional Korean iconography in order to explore the complex nature of this contemporary, increasingly global identity.

Travel: ILMIN Museum of Art, Seoul, South Korea

FIRST THURSDAYS: A Monthly Reading Series


Artists: Barry Stopfel, William Leckie, Debra Weinstein, Deborah Glazer, Sarah Levin

Event: Boys and Girls Together was the subtitle of this reading and referred to same-sex couples. Openly gay priest Barry Stopfel and his companion William Leckie read from their book Courage to Love. Poet Debra Weinstein and her partner, psychotherapist Deborah Glazer, read from a pregnancy journal, their record of the making of their daughter. Sarah Levin also spoke; a medical student, she sued Albert Einstein Medical School for rejecting her application for married student housing on the basis of her being a lesbian.


7/18/1997 – 9/30/1997

Curator(s): Joseph Backstein and Elena Elagina

Artists: Andrei Monastyrsky, Nikita Alexeev, Georgii Kizevalter, Nikolai Panitkov, Igor Makarevich, Elena Elagina, Sergei Romashko, Sabine Haensge

Exhibition: Collective Action featured over fifty poster sized black and white photographs, wall texts, and a video program documenting works by the influential Russian performance group, Collective Actions. Under the leadership of theoretician Andrei Monastyrsky, Collective Actions was an important influence in the development of contemporary conceptual and performance art in the Soviet Union.

Formed in 1976, the work of Collective Actions was vital to the development of Conceptualism as one of the most influential movements in Soviet art. As stated by curator Joseph Backstein, “The Collective Actions group was influenced by the work of Joseph Beuys and John Cage, the peculiarity of Soviet performance lies in its attempt to demonstrate the conditional mood of the perception as such and the evolution of various stereotypes of human behavior against the background of official ideology. This ideology aimed at monopolizing the very right to interpret all manifestations of the Real including its reflections in art. Collective Actions insists on multiple interpretations.”

All of Collective Actions’ performances took place outdoors, primarily in the country, and endure in the form of black and white photographs, video, and commentaries written by the viewers documenting their impressions of the performances. Linking performance with ritual, the Collective Actions performances were spiritual acts aimed to create an atmosphere of unanimity among the participants and to serve as a vehicle for directing consciousness outside the boundaries of intellect. The photo images in the exhibition documented representative scenes of various performances from 1976 to 1990, recreating the atmosphere, spirit, and significance of the performative actions of the Collective Actions group.

PUBLIC NOTICE: Art and Activist Posters 1951-1997

10/4/1997 – 11/30/1997

Curator(s): Papo Colo, Jeanette Ingberman, Cesar Trasobares

Exhibition: Public Notice was an exhibition examining innovative poster design in art and culture from the post-War years to the present. Considering the poster form as a strategy to communicate information, Public Notice highlighted the intersection of graphic design, the fine arts, and political activism. This exhibition included materials created by artists and graphic designers to be posted in the street and mailed as invitations announcing art exhibitions and expressing views on social causes and issues.

Posters embody an urgency in method to get the message out forcefully, and a directness in design, to have an immediate impact. The posters included represented a broad spectrum of graphic approaches, from spray-paint and stencil to sophisticated computer techniques. Through the presentation of these often ephemeral materials, Public Notice called attention to a rich history of poster design.

Travel: Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA; Indiana University, Bloomington, IN; College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, IL



Event: A reading of the Obie Award Winning Play “Bad Penny” by Mac Wellman, featuring readers Mac Wellman, Joanna P. Adler, Rod McLucas, Nicole Putter, Godfrey L. Simmons Jr., Frank Wood, Brett Cramp, Todd Davis, Margot Ebling, Leslie Jones, Laura Kachergus, Luke Leonard, Nicholas Martin-Smith, and Masha Obolensky.