Presented by Thor Equities and curated by Jeffrey Deitch and Joseph J. Sitt, Coney Art Walls is an outdoor museum of street art featuring the work of 34 celebrated artists including legends such as Lady Pink, Crash, Daze, John Ahearn and Mister Cartoon, leading artists of the new generation including How and Nosm, Pose and D*Face, and major artists not usually associated with street art but known for ambitious public murals, Jessica Diamond, Nina Chanel Abney and Sam Vernon.
September 17 - October 22, 2016
18 Wooster Street
During the summer of 1974, only a few weeks after I began working as the all purpose assistant at the John Weber Gallery in SoHo, Walter Robinson and Edit deAk walked in with a pile of Art-Rite magazines and deposited them on the office counter. The art world was a small community in those days and the most effective distribution system for a vanguard art magazine was just to leave stacks of them on the reception desks or in the offices of the six major galleries. There was no need to send them out in the mail to subscribers or to sell them on newsstands. Almost every relevant reader would be likely to come around and pick up a copy.
Every few years there is a new art magazine that is able to position itself at the center of the dialogue around new art. In the mid 1970s, the magazine was Art-Rite, printed on the cheapest possible newsprint and edited by Walter and Edit and their friends in their Wooster Street communal loft. Art-Rite had no veneer of intellectual snobbery. Artists, writers and hangers on were welcome to drop in to the Art-Rite loft almost any time of day or night. You could always enter an interesting conversation, some of which were transformed into texts for the magazine.
The conversation with Walter Robinson that began when he and Edit dropped off the stack of Art-Rites continues to this day, more than forty years later. My first art critical essay, on the work of my first real artist friend, Christopher D’Arcangelo, was written for Art-Rite but unfortunately it never ran in the magazine because Carl Andre, who Chris and I looked up to as our art guru, insisted that it was problematic. (Luckily I kept a copy and it was finally published to some acclaim several years ago.) Walter and I kept the dialogue going through the Times Square Show in 1980, during his early exhibitions at Metro Pictures, and most recently during my Unrealism exhibition in Miami where for many of the visitors, Walter was the major re-discovery.
Walter has been at the center of the art discourse through Art-Rite, his pioneering art work, and his many years of astute commentary in Art in America, Art Net and on his legendary underground TV show with Paul H-O, Gallery Beat. When I found out that Barry Blinderman had not been able to find a New York venue for his Walter Robinson retrospective exhibition, I
volunteered that this would be the ideal project to inaugurate my return to my Wooster Street gallery. I am very pleased to host this lively exhibition that documents Walter’s exceptional artistic achievements. Walter painted Nurse Paintings before Richard Prince and Spin Paintings before Damien Hirst. He has long been at the center of the art community but his modest manner and his disdain for aggressive careerism have left his work less recognized than it should be. I am looking forward to presenting this sensitively curated overview of Walter’s work to the New York art community.
-- Jeffrey Deitch
76 Grand Street
New York, NY 10013
Open Tuesday – Saturday
12 – 6 PM
+1 (212) 343-7300
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