Richard Smith, Lee, 1961 Oil on canvas, 48.2 x 45.7 cm, 19 x 18 in
Grey Art Gallery
New York University, 100 Washington Square East, NYC 10003
Tuesdays/Thursdays/Fridays: 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
OPEN LATE Wednesdays: 11:00 am – 8:00 pm
Saturdays: 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
Closed Sundays and Mondays. Also closed Thanksgiving Weekend, Memorial Day Weekend, and Independence Day.
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.
Artist-run galleries shaped American art irreversibly. After 1965, New York’s uptown and downtown art scenes increasingly diverged, which led to the flowering of nonprofit downtown alternative spaces. Although more than half a century has passed since the era of Inventing Downtown, many of the issues mined in the exhibition still resonate in today’s art world—split as it is between the booming commercial market for contemporary art and ever more pluralistic models of artistic production, promotion, and display.