Inventing Downtown:

Artist-Run Galleries in New York City, 1952–1965

January 10–April 1, 2017

Inventing Downtown:
Artist-Run Galleries in New York City, 1952–1965

Related Programs

Past Programs

Webinar<br>Tracing: Inventing Downtown
Jul 28, 2020 | 12:00 pm - 01:00 pm

For this special TRACE event, co-hosted with the NYU Grey Art Gallery, Inventing Downtown curator Melissa Rachleff reunites with the Director of the NYU Grey Art Gallery, Lynn Gumpert, and the Executive Director of The NYUAD Art Gallery, Maya Allison. Starting with the landmark exhibition Inventing Downtown as a point of departure, the speakers will explore the history of the famed New York “downtown” art scene, and explore how art scenes form today, even in a time of physical separation.

Conversation<br/>Downtown Forever: Artists and Conservators in Conversation
Jun 22, 2017 | 06:00 pm - 08:00 pm

Please note: This program was originally scheduled for Thursday, February 9, 2017, but was postponed due to inclement weather. Join artists Mimi Gross and Robert Whitman (both included in Inventing Downtown) in conversation with conservators Kate Lewis (MoMA), Kendra Roth (Metropolitan Museum of Art) and Jennifer Hickey (Private Practice) about preserving their work and legacy. The discussion […]

Lecture<br/>Alt O’Hara: Coterie and Counter-Institution
Mar 29, 2017 | 07:00 pm - 08:30 pm

Placing Frank O’Hara’s writing in relation to the development of alternative art galleries in the early 1960s, this lecture by Lytle Shaw, professor of English, NYU, will explore the ways that O’Hara’s cultivation of a coterie served an analogous function in terms of both the social world and literary history. Co-sponsored by NYU’s Department of […]

SOLD OUT Walking Tour<br/>Exploring East Tenth Street and Beyond
Mar 25, 2017 | 11:00 am - 01:00 pm

Note: Tickets for this program have sold out.  Lucy Oakley, head of education and programs, Grey Art Gallery, NYU, and Grey interns will lead a walking tour of East Tenth Street and environs, focusing in particular on the sites of artist-run galleries in Inventing Downtown and evoking the rich cultural landscape of avant-garde New York […]

Gallery Conversation<br/>Brian Bentley
Mar 22, 2017 | 06:30 pm - 07:30 pm

With Brian Bentley, graduate curatorial assistant, Grey Art Gallery, and PhD student, Institute of Fine Arts, NYU.

Panel Discussion & Screening<br/>Downtown on the Beach: Exploring 1950s–’60s Provincetown
Mar 09, 2017 | 06:00 pm - 08:00 pm

Panel Discussion & Film Screening Downtown on the Beach: Exploring 1950s–’60s Provincetown Thursday, March 9, 6:00-8:00 pm The Renee and Chaim Gross Foundation 526 LaGuardia Place   In this panel discussion, artists will consider the vibrant Provincetown art scene in the 1950s and after, focusing in particular on the Sun Gallery and the HCE Gallery. Also […]

Conversation<br/>Tenth Street Days
Mar 06, 2017 | 07:00 pm - 08:30 pm

Moderator Irving Sandler, art historian and critic, in conversation with artists Lois Dodd and Philip Pearlstein, will reflect on their early days at the Tanager Gallery. Co-sponsored by the Department of Art & Art Professions (Steinhardt) and Grey Art Gallery.

CANCELLED Panel<br/>Artist Collectives Today
Mar 03, 2017 | 06:30 pm - 08:00 pm

THIS PROGRAM HAS BEEN CANCELLED. In this panel discussion, speakers will focus on how artist collectives today are advocating for artists’ rights, and how artists and galleries are working to prevent the displacement of longtime neighborhood residents, businesses, and organizations. Moderated by ACE members, with speakers to be announced. Organized by Advocates for Cultural Engagement […]

Panel<br/>Exhibition, Environment, Performance
Feb 28, 2017 | 06:30 pm - 08:00 pm

This roundtable discussion will consider how artists in New York expanded both modes of artmaking and varieties of presentation in the alternative art spaces of the 1950s and ’60s. Moderated by Bruce Altshuler, director of Museum Studies, NYU, with speakers Claire Bishop, professor of Art History, The Graduate Center, CUNY; André Lepecki, associate professor of Performance Studies, NYU; […]

Conversation<br/>John Cohen and Thomas Crow
Feb 22, 2017 | 07:00 pm - 09:00 pm

John Cohen, photographer, musician, filmmaker, artist, and professor emeritus of visual arts, SUNY Purchase College; and Thomas Crow, Rosalie Solow Professor of Modern Art, Institute of Fine Arts, NYU, and author of The Long March of Pop: Art, Music, and Design 1930–1995, will discuss Cohen’s role in the downtown art and music scene in the 1950s and […]

Panel<br/>Reverberations: Historical and Art Historical Collisions
Feb 15, 2017 | 07:00 pm - 08:30 pm

Exploring pressing social issues around art in New York during the 1950s and ’60s—a moment in American history that is both transitional and transformative—this roundtable discussion will examine the proliferation of art and other visual images relating to the Holocaust, the Cold War, civil rights, free speech, and access to, separation from, and collision of […]

Lecture<br/>Revisiting the 1960s, Globalization, Monopoly, and Art Outlaws:  Yayoi Kusama and the Rise of the Leo Castelli Gallery
Feb 13, 2017 | 07:00 pm - 08:30 pm

Artist Yayoi Kusama and art dealer Leo Castelli both launched their careers in the multicultural downtown scene of the 1950s. In this lecture, Midori Yamamura, JSPS Postdoctoral Fellow, Tokyo National Research Institute for Cultural Properties, and author of Yayoi Kusama: Inventing the Singular (MIT Press, 2015), will examine how, with the rise of the global […]

Lecture<br/>Perspectives on the Holocaust in the Postwar Era
Feb 08, 2017 | 06:30 pm - 08:00 pm

Hasia R. Diner, Paul S. and Sylvia Steinberg Professor of American Jewish History and Director, Goldstein-Goren Center for American Jewish History, NYU, will explore how and why American Jews in the decade or so after the end of World War II engaged with the memory of the Holocaust. She is the author of We Remember with Reverence and Love: […]

Feb 01, 2017 | 06:30 pm - 08:30 pm

Founded by Amos Vogel in 1947, the Cinema 16 film society attracted downtown artists to its landmark programs of documentary and avant-garde films—including the medley of shorts to be screened: Arne Sucksdorff, A Divided World (10 min.), Oskar Fischinger, Allegretto (3 min.), Kenneth Anger, Fireworks (15 min.), Weegee and Amos Vogel, Weegee’s New York (33 […]

Film Screenings<br/>John Cohen
Jan 29, 2017 | 05:30 pm - 09:30 pm

John Cohen, photographer in Inventing Downtown, will introduce his films: 5:30 pm (95 min.): Mountain Music of Peru (centuries-old music of the Andes); Carnival in Q’eros (Andean Indians); 8:00 pm (90 min.): Roscoe Holcomb from Daisy Kentucky (banjo/guitar player and coal miner); and Visions of Mary Frank (portrait of artist in Inventing Downtown). Co-organized by […]

Film Screenings<br/>John Cohen
Jan 28, 2017 | 06:00 pm - 09:00 pm

John Cohen, photographer in Inventing Downtown, will introduce his films: 6:00 pm (65 min.): Dylan (first film footage of young Bob Dylan in New York City); The High Lonesome Sound (music of rural poor in Kentucky); The End of an Old Song (ballad singers in North Carolina). 8:00 pm (60 min.): Musical Holdouts (survey of American […]

Hall of Issues 2017: New York<br/>#J20 Art Strike
Jan 20, 2017 | 11:00 am - 06:00 pm

An open call to anyone who has any statement to make Grey Art Gallery, NYU, 100 Washington Square East Friday, January 20, 11 am–6 pm The Fales Library, Bobst Library, NYU, 70 Washington Square South, Third Floor Friday, January 20, Monday, January 22–Friday, January 27, 10 am–5 pm “Sensing that today’s events, large and small, […]

Panel<br/>Outliers, Mavericks and Risk-takers: The Emergence and Legacy of Downtown
Jan 19, 2017 | 06:00 pm - 08:00 pm

Examining downtown’s further evolution—from the opening of commercial art galleries in SoHo in the late 1960s to the emergence of the Lower East Side as a new art hub—this panel will focus on the adventurous risk-takers who helped make downtown the epicenter of the New York art scene. Moderated by Grace Glueck, journalist, with speakers […]

Film Screening: Inventing Downtown<br/>Artists Make Movies
Jan 15, 2017 | 07:30 pm - 09:00 pm

Artists Make Movies (105 min.): The Last Clean Shirt (Leslie) and The Medium is the Medium (Kaprow, Paik, Tambellini, et al.). Co-organized by Anthology Film Archives and NYU’s Grey Art Gallery. Tickets and complete film listings:  

Film Screenings: Inventing Downtown<br>Lives of Artists 1 and Lives of Artists 2
Jan 14, 2017 | 05:00 pm - 09:30 pm

5:00 pm: Lives of Artists 1 (90 min.): House of the White People (Kuchar on Segal) and Kusama’s Self-Obliteration (Yalkut on Kusama). 7:30 pm: Lives of Artists 2 (110 min.): Encyclopedia of the Blessed (Kuchar on Grooms) and Hats, Bottles and Bones (Edelheit on Dienes) Co-organized by Anthology Film Archives and NYU’s Grey Art Gallery. Tickets and complete film listings: […]

Film Screening: Inventing Downtown<br/>Exhibition as Stage
Jan 13, 2017 | 07:30 pm - 09:30 pm

Exhibition as Stage (100 min.): Meat Joy (Schneemann), What’s Happening (with Kaprow, Lamont Young, Dick Higgins, et al.), and Doomshow (Wisniewski) Co-organized by Anthology Film Archives and NYU’s Grey Art Gallery. Tickets and complete film listings:

Film Screening<br/>Aldo Tambellini II
Jan 12, 2017 | 07:30 pm - 09:30 pm

Thursday, 7:30 pm (90 min.): Black Video 2 (study of light and real-time transmission); Black Spiral (a modified television sculpture); Black TV (contemporary violence on TV); and Inauguration, from the series A Day in the Life of Television—TV About TV.

Film Screening<br/>Aldo Tambellini I
Jan 10, 2017 | 07:30 pm - 09:30 pm

Experimental short films, mostly from the 1960s, by Aldo Tambellini, artist in Inventing Downtown. Tuesday, 7:30 pm (highlights): Black Film Series Plus (includes opening of Black Gate Theatre, New York’s first “electromedia” space); Black Is (abstract images painted directly on clear film base); Black Trip 2 (American psyche seen through eye of a black man); […]