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Emily Mason at Grey Art Gallery, NYU

Examining the New York art scene during the fertile years between the apex of Abstract Expressionism and the rise of Pop Art and Minimalism, Inventing Downtown: Artist-Run Galleries in New York City, 1952–1965 is the first show ever to survey this vital period from the vantage point of its artist-run galleries—crucibles of experimentation and innovation that radically changed the art world. With more than 200 paintings, sculptures, installations, drawings, photographs, ephemera, and films, the show reveals a scene that was much more diverse than has previously been acknowledged, with women and artists of color playing major roles. It features works by abstract and figurative painters and sculptors, as well as pioneers of installation and performance art. Artists range from well-known figures such as Jim Dine, Red Grooms, Allan Kaprow, Alex Katz, Yayoi Kusama, Claes Oldenburg, Yoko Ono, and Mark di Suvero, to those who deserve to be better known, including Emilio Cruz, Lois Dodd, Rosalyn Drexler, Sally Hazelet Drummond, Jean Follett, Lester Johnson, Boris Lurie, Jan Müller, and Aldo Tambellini.

Inventing Downtown is curated by Melissa Rachleff, clinical associate professor in NYU’s Steinhardt School.


Tanager Gallery (1952–1962), 51 East Fourth Street (May 1952–March 1953), 90 East Tenth Street (April 1953–June 1962) Louise Bourgeois, Charles Cajori, Lois Dodd, Perle Fine, Jean Follett, Mary Frank, Sidney Geist, Gloria Graves, Sally Hazelet Drummond, Angelo Ippolito, Al Jensen, Alex Katz, William “Bill” King, Fred Mitchell, Louise Nevelson, George Ortman, Philip Pearlstein

Hansa Gallery (1952–1959), 70 East Twelfth Street (November 1952–November 1954), 210 Central Park South (December 1954–June 1959) Robert Beauchamp, Jacques Beckwith, Lily Brody, John Chamberlain, Jean Follett, Miles Forst, Wolf Kahn, Allan Kaprow, Fay Lansner, Alfred Leslie, Dody Müller, Jan Müller, Felix Pasilis, Vaughan Rachel, Lucas Samaras, George Segal, Richard Stankiewicz, Myron Stout, Robert Whitman, Jane Wilson

Brata Gallery, 89 East Tenth Street (October 1957–April 1962) Ronald Bladen, Ed Clark, Al Held, Robert Kobayashi, Nicholas Krushenick, Yayoi Kusama, Nanae Momiyama, Sal Romano, George Sugarman

City Gallery, 735 Sixth Avenue (November 1958–May 1959) Robert Beauchamp, Gandy Brodie, Sari Dienes, Jackie Ferrara, Red Grooms, Mimi Gross, Joan Herbst, Budd Hopkins, Lester Johnson, Emily Mason, Jay Milder, Claes Oldenburg, Peter Passuntino, George Nelson Preston, Bob Thompson, Michaela Weisselberg (now Mica Nava)

Reuben Gallery (1959–1961), 61 Fourth Avenue (October 1959–June 1960), 44 East Third Street (November 1960–April 1961) Yvonne Andersen, Jim Dine, Rosalyn Drexler, John Cohen, Martha Edelheit, Red Grooms, Allan Kaprow, Claes Oldenburg, I. C. Rapoport, Robert Rauschenberg, Renée   Rubin, Lucas Samaras, Robert Whitman

Delancey Street Museum, 148 Delancey Street (October 1959–May 1960) John Cohen, Emilio Cruz, Lester Johnson, Marcia Marcus, Jay Milder, Bob Thompson

Judson Gallery, 239 Thompson Street (February 1959–January 1962) Dorothea Baer, Jim Dine, Martha Edelheit, Dan Flavin, Martha Holmes, Claes Oldenburg, Marcus Ratliff, Richard Tyler, Stan VanDerBeek, Tom Wesselmann, Phyllis Yampolsky

112 Chambers Street (December 1960–June 1961) Simone Forti, Robert Morris, Minoru Niizuma, Yoko Ono

79 Park Place (November 1963–March 1964) Mark di Suvero, Dean Fleming, Peter Forakis, Danny Lyon, Anthony Magar, Tamara Melcher, Forrest Myers, Edwin Ruda, Leo Valledor

March Group (1960–62) Stanley Fisher, Sam Goodman, Jean-Jacques Lebel, Boris Lurie, Kenneth van Sickle

Hall of Issues at Judson Memorial Church (December 1961–January 1963) Dave Heath, Peter Moore, Steven Schapiro, Peter Schumann, Phyllis Yampolsky

The Center  (1962–65) Ben Morea, Aldo Tambellini

Spiral Group (1963–65) Emma Amos, Romare Bearden, Reginald Gammon, Norman Lewis, William Majors, Hale Woodruff, James Yeargans

Green Gallery, 15 West Fifty-seventh Street (October 1960–June 1965) Richard Bellamy, Ronald Bladen, Rudy Burckhardt, Geoffrey Clements, Mark di Suvero, Dan Flavin, Sally Hazelet Drummond, Joan Jacobs, Donald Judd, Tadaaki Kuwayama, Lee Lozano, Robert McElroy, Robert Morris, Claes Oldenburg, Pat Passlof, Larry Poons, James Rosenquist, Lucas Samaras, George Segal, Richard Smith, Tom Wesselmann

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