DEDICATION: "The times have decreed the noise and insanity that rise from the streets and drop down from the skies, and as the times always do, they have inspired a group of artists to use this times own personality against itself. How right and necessary for us all!"—Seymour Krim, No/show 1963, Introduction
PREFACE BY JANOS GAT: NO!art is a truly American movement (by virtue of being doggedly International.) It is European by appearance, having retained the intellectual (intelligent) ulterior motives of every era's avant-garde (they all start with a NO!) NO!art sustains the relation between brain and eye, unlike contemporary movements that have discarded one to sell the other.
(1) A survey of VostelFs Object'graphics, a unique form of art distinctly his own, is planned for the next season at the Janos Gat Gallery.
Boris Lurie's Dismembered Women: Fighting on the Roof is one of the Ur-paintings of NO!art, a wall-size mural executed in 1952 - countering the then budding Abstract Expressionist movement.
Tompkins Square Park Police Riot and Spirit of Freedom: video, photographs, and Court-Action as Art by Clay ton Patterson, Lower East Side cultural organizer, archivist, activist and video-maker. (A 10th Anniversary Installation, comInforating the Homeless-Police-Riots of 1988. Events concurrent with this exhibition have produced a 10th anniversary arrest. Clay ton Patterson was charged with assaulting three officers, resisting arrest and trespassing due to his documenting a public land auction at One Police Plaza. A video of the event, entitled 10 Years After will also be shown, with related court documents added to the exhibition as they are being mailed by the authorities.)
Dietmar Kirves: NO!indicators. Recent conceptual cryptography by the Berlin Political-Action-Artist, university lecturer, designer, and compiler of the NO!art Archives.
Wolf Vostell: Spoon over the Berlin Wall, Only she the I (Nur die 1), Student wallpaper, Combs and My Lai. The first New-York gallery showing of (the Capitalist Realist) Object-graphics (1) by the recently deceased originator of happenings, Political Artist, and NO!art participant.
Also on view: Boris Lurie's Liberation, Railroad Collage and NO meat. These photo-collages mounted on canvas are some of the most relevant and shocking images of the early 1960s. Multiples based on these works conceived by the artist are on sale during the exhibition.
One cannot overstate the influence of NO!art on what is today considered the avant-garde cutting edge. Boris Lurie's Dismembered Women, Sam Goodman's political and societal reflection sculptures/assemblages, Stanley Fisher's Beat Poetry collage/paintings, and group manifestations and thematic events like the Vulgar Show and Shit Show;, forged the way for the present-day activities of artists such as Leon Golub, Hans Haake, Paul McCarthy, Bruce Nauman and Cindy Sherman. NO!art has long operated outside art-establishments and markets. Current and planned exhibitions, such as Kusama (2) at MOMA, Lurie at the former Buchenwald Concentration Camp and in Weimar, and the historical review of NO!art at the University of Iowa Museum, may correct this grave oversight.
(2) "I don't want to have anything to do with the NO-Art show, especially in New York. I would appreciate very much if you convey my feeling to Boris. Sincerely Yours, Yayoi Kusama" From a letter to G. S. by the noted NO!artist; signed, dated May 9, 1996.