Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Village Voice Archive: Conflicts of Interest and Gallery Ads


Advertisement in the Village Voice, January 17, 1974

While hunting around for essays by the late critic David Bourdon earlier today, I had the happy pleasure of discovering that Google has kindly scanned a good chunk of the Village Voice's archive. It's not complete, and it's not searchable, but it's still a wonderful resource.

It turns out that Bourdon, who earned a spot in art history by helping Warhol make Elvis silk screens in 1963, was also a hell of a writer, capable of free-spirited whimsy and deadpan humor. In a 1976 column, more than 30 years before the recent New Museum debacle, he reports on the Guggenheim's decision to feature work by eight artists Castelli artists in "20th-Century American Drawing," as the show's lone contemporary artists. "Diane Waldman's husband is a painter who also happens to be represented by Castelli," he notes. "In some sectors of the business world, this would be called conflict of interest."

That bit of history-repeating-itself aside, it's amazing to see the amount of space the Voice once gave to criticism, classifieds, and gallery advertisements. Even Gordon Matta-Clark's 112 Greene Street space (which later became White Columns) was placing ads, like this one for a series of "video performances" at its SoHo space in 1974. Classy line-up: Acconci, Beuys, Burden, etc. Classy start time: 9 p.m., when even the heartiest of today's openings are being brought to a close. Keith Sonnier, of course, one-ups everyone with a formidable 10:30 p.m. start.

11 comments:

Greg Allen said...

"for information call Avalanche"

Young John Perrault reviews, here I come!

JS said...

nice find

david john said...

great find! i could spend some serious hours looking at back issues of the voice.

bless google.

Donald Frazell said...

Whats happened to artistes? Too delicate to venture out and enjoy and discover the city? NYC doesnt get going till after 9pm. When visiting in the 70s and 80s, always got up and visited the parks, then museums, then galleries, then jazz clubs til at least 4am, sometimes til 6 as came out of an after hours joint with the marathon going by me. And the city was tough back then.Life everywhere, not sterizlied even in SoHo, which was on its way to being a daycare center already.

Night time is work time in the city,as its ugly in the daytime most of the year. Are you too busy starving in overpriced restaurants and coffee shops talking nonstop,as thats all contempt art does these days? Get out, the world is out there.

art collegia delenda est

Donald Frazell said...

Good to see you have Romare Bearden on your twitter, on of the most overlooked and underappreciated American artists ever, one of the five best easily. He and Alston were far more advanced than most of the overhyped AbEx crowd, having far better art knowledge of all cultures. With great cubist foundations. We must go back to fundamentals, and art that bonds humanity, not splinters it for marketing and commercialism. It can, and has, been done, and now once more, needed.

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