Inventing Downtown, on display at the Grey Art Gallery, focuses on the irreversible shift within the New York art scene, as prompted by the influx of artist-run galleries beginning in the early 1950s. Curated by Melissa Rachleff, clinical associate professor at NYU Steinhardt, the two-floor exhibit offers a thoughtful lens into this transformative era via five thematic groupings: Leaving Midtown, City as Muse, Space and Time, Politics as Practice, and Defining Downtown.
Each of these groupings featured works from several galleries, all of which employed revolutionary practices in the art world. One of the most notable sections was “Politics as Practice” which explored the role of politics in the art world and the possibility of intersection between the two realms. This section included We are the Primitives of a New Era, from the Manifesto series by Aldo Tambellini. Tambellini was an artist who became known for his interest in combatting social issues, such as racism and poverty, in lower Manhattan.
Written by Camron intern Chandler Scyocurka.