Installation view of ‘Inventing Downtown: Artist-Run Galleries in New York City, 1952–1965.’
The NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) Art Gallery will launch its fifth digital archive, Inventing Downtown: Artist-Run Galleries in New York City, 1952–1965, as part of its TRACE: Archives and Reunions series, on July 28. 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.
Organised by NYU’s Grey Art Gallery, Melissa Rachleff’s Inventing Downtown exhibition traveled to The NYUAD Art Gallery in October 2017. Her research and the resulting catalogue for this exhibition marked a turning point in the art historical understanding of New York’s art scene. It examines the period between New York’s peak of Abstract Expressionism in the early 1950s and the rise of Pop Art and Minimalism in the early 1960s.
It was the first major museum exhibition to survey these vital years from the vantage point of fourteen key artist-run galleries. This live webinar will take place on July 28 at 8pm via Zoom. Tracing: Inventing Downtown marks the launch of the exhibition’s digital archive. The online archive will make available digital versions of the youth guide, exhibition brochure and photo archives.
The exhibition featured over 200 works by more than 50 artists, including, Yayoi Kusama, Alex Katz, Mark di Suvero, Claes Oldenburg, Yoko Ono, Ed Clark, Emilio Cruz, Lois Dodd, Rosalyn Drexler, Sally Hazelet Drummond, Jean Follett, Lester Johnson, Boris Lurie, Jan Müller, and Aldo Tambellini, showcasing the period’s diverse arts scene. Previous digital exhibition archives can be accessed by the public on TRACE: Archives and Reunion’s page.
Established in 2014, The NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) Art Gallery is the Gulf’s first and only university gallery with a program of scholarly and experimental museum exhibitions. The program seeks to map new territories and ideas through presenting exhibitions by internationally established artists, curators, and scholars at its main space. Its auxiliary venue, the Project Space, is an exhibition laboratory for the university community, and for emerging artists and curators.
Situated within NYU Abu Dhabi, the community of which hails from over 115 countries, The Art Gallery organizes free public programs and guided tours in conjunction with its groundbreaking exhibitions. It also produces scholarly publications, which are a core part of its curatorial frame and reflect its academic mission. Collectively, with the Gallery’s Reading Room, these welcoming, intimate spaces open up artistic opportunities and initiate regional and international dialogue.
NYU Abu Dhabi is the first comprehensive liberal arts and science campus in the Middle East to be operated abroad by a major American research university. NYU Abu Dhabi has integrated a highly-selective liberal arts, engineering and science curriculum with a world center for advanced research and scholarship enabling its students to succeed in an increasingly interdependent world and advance cooperation and progress on humanity’s shared challenges. NYU Abu Dhabi’s high-achieving students have come from 115 nations and speak over 115 languages. Together, NYU’s campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai form the backbone of a unique global university, giving faculty and students opportunities to experience varied learning environments and immersion in other cultures at one or more of the numerous study-abroad sites NYU maintains on six continents.
Meanwhile, The NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) Art Gallery has launched its fourth digital archive, Permanent Temporariness, as part of TRACE: Archives and Reunions on July 7. The series of 10 virtual events and archive releases enables viewers to digitally explore past NYUAD Art Gallery’s exhibitions every two weeks over the course of the summer. To mark each launch, The NYUAD Art Gallery hosts a special reunion with the artists. For this reunion, artists Sandi Hilal and Alessandro Petti came together with curators Salwa Mikdadi, Bana Kattan, and Executive Director of The NYUAD Art Gallery Maya Allison, to trace the exhibition from its origins to its re-staging at The NYUAD Art Gallery in 2018, to the Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven in 2019. The panel explored how context changes the meaning and relevance of the exhibition, as well as its intention and message.
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