Join us for a celebration of Art in General’s incredible work over the past 40 years. Panelists will include Dean Daderko, Eleanor Heartney, Chris Larson, Paul Pfeiffer, Jacob Proctor, Aliza Shvarts, Robin Tewes and founders Teresa Liszka and Martin Weinstein. The conversation will be led by Charlotte Kent and Art in General Executive Director Irene Mei Zhi Shum. We’ll conclude with a poetry reading from Caits Meissner.
In this talk
CLOSING THOUGHTS & SIGNS OF CHANGE
From Art in General
After careful deliberation and long discussions over the past six months, the Board of Directors and the Executive Director have arrived at the difficult decision to close Art in General, upon reaching the milestone of our 40th anniversary. Although we have taken critical measures to adjust to the new normal, the financial constriction due to the COVID-19 pandemic has proved formidable, severely affecting our ability to fulfill our mission of presenting new work by emerging and mid-career artists to the New York area.
Since 1981, Art in General has proudly shown over 2,000 artists who have gone onto greater success, including Dorothea Rockburne, Joan Jonas, Kay WalkingStick, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Glenn Ligon, Byron Kim, Elizabeth Peyton, Marina Abramovic, Gabriel Orozco, Paul Pfeiffer, William Pope.L, Pipilotti Rist, Francis Alys, Walid Raad, Sharon Hayes, Patty Chang, Allora & Calzadilla, Pierre Huyghe, among many others. Our roster of artists reflects our deep and long-standing commitment to diversity and equity in the arts. To secure this legacy, we have donated our archives to the Smithsonian Archives of American Art, where students and scholars may find materials about our past programs, as well as founding documents and the entirety of Holly Block’s papers during her 18-year tenure as Art in General’s pioneering first director. To complement the papers at the Smithsonian, we also donated a complete set of publications by Art in General to New York University Special Collections — Fales Library, Downtown Collection. Our remaining inventory of books and printed materials were gifted to Art Resources Transfer, a nonprofit organization committed to the egalitarian access to the arts and literacy. Through their Distribution to Underserved Communities Library Program, A.R.T. will disperse Art in General’s publications free-of-charge to rural and inner-city public libraries, schools, prisons, and alternative education centers nationwide.
Join us for a celebration of the incredible 40 year history, accomplishments, and people part of Art in General.
From 2010-2020, Dean Daderko was a Curator at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston, where they worked with artists including LaToya Ruby Frazier, Paul Ramírez Jonas, Joan Jonas and Gina Pane, Wu Tsang and Fred Moten, and Haegue Yang among others. Daderko’s writing has appeared in Mousse and in publications by the Studio Museum in Harlem, Americas Society, and Rutgers University. Daderko has organized programming for Art in General, Artists’ Space, The Kitchen, and Visual AIDS in New York; the Center for Contemporary Art in Vilnius, Lithuania; and has instructed courses at Yale University in New Haven and Centro de Investígaciones Artisticas in Buenos Aires. They are the recipient of a 2020 Curatorial Fellowship from the Étant Donnés/French American Cultural Exchange. Their work is informed by queer and feminist concerns.
Eleanor Heartney is well known as a curator and critic, a long-time contributing editor of Art in America and the author of numerous books, including Art & Today, Postmodernism, and After the Revolution: Women Who Transformed Contemporary Art. Her latest study looks at the ways in which a Catholic heritage and sensibility infuse the works of many major artists of the last 50 years. We may think of Andy Warhol, Robert Mapplethorpe, Vito Acconci, Karen Finley, and Andres Serrano as iconoclastic figures, eager to raise the hackles of the establishment and upend the status quo. But as Heartney points out in the recently re-issued edition of her book Postmodern Heretics: The Catholic Imagination in Contemporary Art (Silver Hollow Press), these artists also grappled with the legacy of their religious upbringings, reconciling the sacred and the profane and paying homage in unusual ways to typically Catholic themes—the Crucifixion, the nature of the body vs. the spirit, and a preoccupation with death—that have run through sacred art since the Renaissance. Her most recent book is Doomsday Dreams: The Apocalyptic Imagination in Contemporary Art (Silver Hollow Press, 2019). She is an Editor-at-Large at the Brooklyn Rail.
Charlotte Kent, PhD is Assistant Professor of Visual Culture in the Department of Art and Design at Montclair State University. She received her PhD in Comparative Literature (CUNY Graduate Center), with a certificate in critical theory. Her dissertation focused on the narratives and rhetoric of art writing, with grant funded research at Tate Modern, to contextualize the problematics of the Homeland Security Agency’s claim “if you see something, say something.” Currently, she is co-editing a collection on the absurd in contemporary art. Beyond scholarly contributions to essay collections and journals, Charlotte produces exhibition reviews for Brooklyn Rail, opinion pieces for Clot, and feature articles as well as monthly column for Artists Magazine. In 2019-2020, she was the Guest Editor for the Creative Research Center, producing a series of posts on the topic of Collaboration.
Chris Larson is a multi-media artist that lives and works in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He is an Associate Professor of Art at the University of Minnesota and also the publisher of INREVIEW, a print publication presenting critical responses to art in the Twin Cities. Since receiving his MFA in sculpture from Yale University in 1991, Larson has received numerous awards including a New Work Project Grant from The Harpo Foundation, a Louis Comfort Tiffany Award, and most recently a 2018 Guggenheim Fellowship. Larson has had solo exhibitions at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, MN, Katonah Museum of Art in Katonah, NY, The View Contemporary Art Space in Switzerland, and his work was included in the 2014 Whitney Biennial. In 2018, Larson’s work was included in the 11th Bienal do Mercosul in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and a solo 10-year survey exhibition at the Contemporary Art Center in Cincinnati, OH. In 2019, he co-founded Second Shift Studio Space of St. Paul, a nonprofit residency program and gallery serving women and gender non-conforming artists in the Twin Cities.
Founded by artists Martin Weinstein and Tereza Liszka in 1981, Art in General has provided space and funding to local and international artists to realize new work. From 1981 to 2015, Art in General was located at 79 Walker Street in Manhattan, in a six-floor building owned by General Hardware Manufacturing Inc. (formerly General Tools & Instruments LLC), hence the organization’s name. Located at the intersection of three neighborhoods in New York City (Tribeca, SoHo, and Chinatown), Art in General has since its founding been committed to presenting new work by artists of color, women, immigrants and visiting artists. In 2003, Gerry Weinstein, CEO of General Tools & Instruments LLC, donated the storefront to Art in General for use as a gallery. In 2006, the sixth-floor gallery underwent a major renovation by Steven Learner Studios and was re-opened in January 2007 with Le Musée Minuscule, created in honor of New Langton Arts’ former space of the same name. After the building was sold and changed ownership, Art in General temporarily moved to 20 Jay Street/145 Plymouth Street in DUMBO from 2016 to 2020. Since 2015 Tereza and Martin have been co-chairs of the Friends of AIM at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, overseeing the creation of The Block Gallery and Residency at 80 White St. in Tribeca.
Irene Shum is the Executive Director of Art in General in Brooklyn. Prior to this, Shum served as the Associate Curator of Contemporary Art at the Menil Collection in Houston, Texas (2018-2020) and the inaugural curator for the Philip Johnson Glass House, a site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation in New Canaan, Connecticut (2007-2018). She explores the intersection of architecture and art. Notably, she organized the large-scale, site-specific exhibitions Fujiko Nakaya: Veil (2014) and Yayoi Kusama: Narcissus Garden (2016), as well as a highly acclaimed sound performance by composer Ryuichi Sakamoto and visual artist and musician Carsten Nicolai (Alva Noto), that was recorded and released as Glass (Noton, 2018). Her projects have been published in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Artforum, Galerie, Artnet, Cultured, Wallpaper, Metropolis, Architecture, Architectural Review, World Architecture, Interior Design, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Town & Country, W, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Resident Advisor, among others.
Shum holds a Master’s in Architecture from Yale University; a certificate of architecture from the École des Beaux-Arts of the Ecoles d’Art Américaines de Fontainebleau, where she was awarded the Prix de Ville de Fontainebleau; and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Architecture and Art History from Barnard College, Columbia University. Earlier in her career, she worked at New York’s New Museum of Contemporary Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, and The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), where she co-organized MoMA’s first survey of landscape architecture, Groundswell: Constructing the Contemporary Landscape (2005). She has worked with emerging and mid career artists, such as Tauba Auerbach, E.V. Day, and Trenton Doyle Hancock; as well as legendary masters, including Frank Stella, Julian Schnabel, and Bruce Nauman.
Paul Pfeiffer is a visual artist living and working in NYC. He was born in 1966 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Known for his innovative manipulation of digital media, Pfeiffer recasts the visual language of pop spectacle to explore how images shape the perception of ourselves and the world. Pfeiffer earned a B.F.A. in printmaking from the San Francisco Art Institute, an M.F.A. from Hunter College, and was a participant in the Whitney Independent Study Program. He is the recipient of a number of awards, most notably an Alpert Award for Visual Arts from CalArts in 2009, a United States Artist Fellowship in 2015, and the inaugural Bucksbaum Award from the Whitney Museum in 2000. Pfeiffer’s work has been seen in numerous national and international group exhibitions including the Whitney Biennial, PS1’s Greater New York, the Sydney Biennial, the Honolulu Biennial, and the Venice Biennale of Art. Museum solo shows and projects include Inhotim Institute, Brazil, 2019; Bellas Artes Outpost, Manila, 2018; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, 2017; Honolulu Museum of Art, Hawaii, 2016; Museum of Contemporary Art and Design, Manila, 2015; Artangel, London, 2014; Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, Texas, 2012; Sammlung Goetz, Munich, 2011; and Nationalgalerie Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin, 2009. He is represented by Paula Cooper Gallery, NYC; Thomas Dane Gallery, London; and Carlier Gebauer Gallery, Berlin.
Jacob Proctor is the Gilbert and Ann Kinney New York Collector at the Smithsonian Institution’s Archives of American Art. He was previously a curator at the Museum Brandhorst in Munich, where his exhibition “Lucy McKenzie: Prime Suspect,” a mid-career survey of the Brussels-based Scottish artist is currently on view. Prior to his tenure in Munich, Proctor was founding curator of the Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society at the University of Chicago, a position he held from 2013 through 2017. He has also served as curator at the Aspen Art Museum (2011-2014), associate curator of modern and contemporary art at the University of Michigan Museum of Art (2007-2011), and the Ruth V.S. Lauer Curatorial Assistant in the department of prints at the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University (2005-2007), where he also studied. He has served as a curatorial advisor to the Frieze Art Fair in both London and New York, and his critical and art historical writings have appeared regularly in Artforum and numerous monographs and exhibition catalogues.
Dr. Aliza Shvarts is an artist and theorist who takes a queer and feminist approach to reproductive labor and language. Her current work focuses on testimony and the circulation of speech in the digital age. Her artwork been shown across Europe, Latin America, and the US at venues including the Tate Modern in London; Centre for Contemporary Art FUTURA in Prague; the Athens Biennale; Universidad de los Andes in Bogota; SculptureCenter, Art in General, and Participant Inc in New York; LACE in Los Angeles; and the Slought Foundation in Philadelphia.
Shvarts’ writing has been published in Whitechapel Documents in Contemporary Art: Practice, The Feminist and Queer Information Studies Reader, TDR/The Drama Review, Women & Performance, and The Brooklyn Rail. She has given talks at numerous institutions including The Whitney Museum, The Brooklyn Museum, Harvard University, McGill University, Stanford University, and UCLA. Not content with appearing only at revered seats of learning, she has also written liner notes for the drone metal band SunnO))) and appeared She has also been a guest commentator on MTV.
Shvarts received her BA summa cum laude in Fine Art and English from Yale University and her PhD in Performance Studies from New York University, where her dissertation, “The Doom Performative: Aesthetics in the Space of Interdiction,” received the Monroe Lippman Memorial Award for Distinguished Doctoral Dissertation. Shvarts was a 2014 recipient of the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant, a 2014-2015 Helena Rubinstein Fellow at the Whitney Independent Study Program, a 2017 Critical Writing Fellow at Recess Art, a 2019-20 Fellow at A.I.R Gallery, and a 2020 Artist Fellow at the National Arts Club. She was also a Joan Tisch Teaching Fellow at the Whitney Museum of American Art from 2015-2019, and has served as Faculty in the Leslie-Lohman Museum Queer Artist Fellowship Program since 2019.
Robin Tewes is a New York painter and educator. Born and raised in Queens, New York, Tewes graduated from the High School of Art and Design in 1968, received her BFA from Hunter College in 1978 and MST/Visual Arts at Pace University in 2012. Tewes was an original member of P.S. 122 Painting Association and founded the Fifth Street Gallery which operated on the Lower East Side in the late 1970s. Tewes has taught at several colleges and universities around New York City including Bard College MFA Program, Hunter College and Pace University. She has received numerous awards some of which are The Pollock Krasner Foundation Fellowship, N.Y.F.A and The Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation Award for Painting. She has shown in numerous museums and exhibitions, both domestically and internationally and reviewed in many periodicals and magazines, some of which include, The New York Times, Artforum, Artnews, Tema Celeste, Time Magazine, New York Magazine, Art in America. In 2016 she was included in the Smithsonian Archives of American Art.
The Rail has a tradition of ending our conversations with a poetry reading, and we’re fortunate to have
Caits Meissner is the author of the illustrated poetry book Let It Die Hungry. Her latest projects include the comix poetry zine Pep Talks For Broke(n) People and the series, New York Strange. She is currently the Prison and Justice Writing Program Director at PEN America.