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Mark Bloch

Mark Bloch is a writer, public speaker and pan-media artist from Ohio living in Manhattan since 1982. His archive of Mail/Network/Communication Art is part of the Downtown Collection at the Fales Library of New York University.

General Idea in Perspective

The Estate of General Idea (1969-1994) had their first exhibition with the Mitchell-Innes & Nash Gallery on view in Chelsea through January 13, featuring several “ziggurat” paintings from the late 1960s, alongside works on paper, photographs and ephemera that highlight the central importance of the ziggurat form in the rich practice of General Idea.

PLEASE SEND TO REAL LIFE: Ray Johnson Photographs

Johnson shot three thousand 4 by 6 inch consumer-grade photos in thirty-five months on 137 single-use, point-and-shoot Fujicolor Quicksnap cameras.

Federico Solmi: Joie De Vivre

Solmi’s solo exhibition Joie de Vivre at the Morris Museum traces his journey from Bologna, Italy, as the son of a butcher born in 1973, to his latest turn as a societal voyeur in the United States, transforming this elegant outpost of the Smithsonian, a little known but spacious museum in deepest Northern New Jersey, into a digital space truly worthy of the term “metaverse.”

Yasunao Tone: Region of Paramedia

The sonorous rumblings of Artists Space’s deep, overdue investigation into the work of performance, sound, and digital composition pioneer Yasunao Tone takes us from the early 1960s to the present via the artist’s examinations into emerging technologies, and their use and misuse in the creation of sound. Curator Danielle A. Jackson has compiled a comprehensive exhibition of rare ephemera, ranging from Tone’s irreverent graphic scores to manipulated sound objects and gizmos to performative actions imaginatively documented.

Ay-Ō’s Happy Rainbow Hell

Ay-Ō’s Happy Rainbow Hell is the first American museum show for the ninety-two year old, Tokyo-based Fluxus artist who ceased art-making in 2017, though he is a veteran of tributes in his native Japan. Centering around eighty rainbow serigraphs the museum has acquired, this treasure trove creates an ideal port of entry for a presentation by Assistant Curator of Japanese Art, Kit Brooks, to the little-explored, contemporary yet timeless Ay-Ō Flux-story.

New Dawns of the Samurai Spirit

Settangeli pledged to devote his considerable gifts and career to the ideals of the Samurai, Japanese warriors from the 10th through 19th centuries, and their six virtues: filialness, loyalty, fidelity, justice, charity, and courtesy.

Forsaking Pop: A New Art Generation from Japan

The Great East Japan Earthquake of 2011 pounded the souls of many young Japanese artists.

Art-Rite Book Launch

I have often wondered: how is it that so many of the post-conceptual, post-minimalist, performance, and video artists that have made up New York’s vibrant downtown arts scene over the last three decades all seem so familiar to each other?

Mary Bauermeister: Live in Peace or Leave the Galaxy

Best known for her intricate and enigmatic multimedia assemblages, Mary Bauermeister (b.1934), long defied categorization. She matured amidst Pop and Minimalism but instead echoed explorations of the very personal and a multi-layered maximalism.

JACK SMITH: Art Crust of Spiritual Oasis

Had intolerance not been rampant in 1963, the deserved anti-heroic notoriety Jack Smith received when Flaming Creatures appeared, following screenings for initiated friends in ’62, might have been for fearless dedication to his vision; instead it made him a gay icon.

T.C. Cannon: At the Edge of America

T.C. (Tommy Wayne) Cannon painted Native American portraits outside against skies with potato-shaped clouds and in interiors against “magical circle” wallpaper patterns with unlikely color combinations. He transformed the garments and neckwear of his subjects to bring out the gravitas from their faces and posture, creating jolting, psychedelic yet monumental tributes, political in their mere existence and as solid and American as Mount Rushmore.

Jonas Mekas: Notes from Downtown

The understated exhibition, Notes From Downtown is a victory lap around the tail end of a divine comedy for Jonas Mekas’s.

Boyle Family: Nothing is more radical than the facts

In their first solo presentation in New York in over 40 years, the Boyle Family’s “earthprobes” are disorienting re-creations of randomly selected areas of the earth’s surface, made from resin, fiberglass, and found materials, that combine Robert Smithson’s earthiest visions with the uncanny eeriness of a Duane Hanson clone.

Shut Up: Joe Massey’s Messages From Prison

These 42 mostly black and white works, the original “thug life” drawings, have a lovable but menacing charm—a deep wrongness that somehow looks right.

Peter Moore: 1968

Coinciding with MoMA’s Judson Dance Theater: The Work Is Never Done and Paula Cooper Gallery’s 50 Years: An Anniversary exhibition, Peter Moore: 1968 is just that: a collection of photographs taken in a single remarkable year by the ubiquitous Moore (1932 – 1993) of Judson artists such as Yvonne Rainer and Steve Paxton as well as a number of their downtown bohemian peers ranging from Philip Glass to Charlotte Moorman and others.

Gutai: 1953 –1959

This show unwraps the early years (1953 – 1959) of Japan’s influential post-war avant-garde art collective, Gutai, with a tale of innovation that presents prescient pre-Pop and pre-performance captured in its earliest moments.

John Willenbecher: Works from the 1960s

John Willenbecher’s work is an art of anticipation. His precise forms anticipate the seriousness of Minimalism, while his paradoxically playful objects beg to be handled, a quashed call to participation impossibly choreographed behind glass.

Life is Good

Johan Wahlsrom’s recent show, Life Is Good, is smaller than last year’s Distorted Happiness.


Jeffrey Perkins’s George is an important new addition to the twin canons of art and anti-art.

On the Make

I have often felt I was crazy as an artist who doesn’t feel the need to make art. I’ve received so much of it over the years I don’t care if I ever see or make another image. That is why I write.

The Deep Roots and Airborne Particulars of Judson Dance Theater

Something in the air wafted into New York’s cultural scene as the 1950s became the 1960s with the dance world no exception.

Ray Johnson and William S. Wilson: Frog Pond Splash

This beautiful and well-researched book joins a selection of the artist’s collages with texts by his friend, the late critic William S. Wilson. But the star of this show is Johnson, whose magnificent, uncanny, and sublime collages require little explanation that he himself did not provide in abundance during his self-truncated lifetime.

A Tribute to Steve Dalachinsky

Steve was a force of Nature, driven by compassion & curiosity. He was opened to everything & everyone. He was naked inside & outside with no boundary between.


The Brooklyn Rail

NOV 2023

All Issues