Above: Al Loving, Untitled, 1976. Acrylic and paper collage. 53 × 30 inches (134.6 × 76.2 cm)
Gray is pleased to present the group exhibition Reframing Minimalism:McArthur Binion and his Contemporaries in New York, 1973 – 1992. Opening Thursday, October 22, Reframing Minimalism inaugurates Gray’s new space on the second floor of 1018 Madison Avenue in New York.
Looking to McArthur Binion’s (b. 1946) circle of peers in the 1970s and 80s, Reframing Minimalism examines the rich and varied artistic output of New York artists during a period largely defined by Minimalism. Early works by David Hammons, Al Loving, Howardena Pindell, Joanna Pousette-Dart, and Stanley Whitney, whose burgeoning practices and social circles overlapped and thrived during the early 1970s, will be shown alongside works by Sol LeWitt, Brice Marden, Agnes Martin, and Robert Ryman. The exhibition includes a selection of paintings, sculpture, and works on paper, and highlights the artists who shaped the discourse of this era and those who expanded it thereafter.
Reframing Minimalism captures a period of both artistic exploration and social camaraderie: living and working in close proximity to one another, many of the artists included in this exhibition taught at the same art schools, worked alongside each other in museums, and socialized at the same bars, parties, and alternative art spaces. McArthur Binion’s address book—a catalyst for the exhibition, and a record which he diligently maintained during his nearly twenty formative years in New York—points to the vibrancy of the social network in New York at this time. In Binion’s words, “you could stand on one corner of West Broadway and Spring Streets in Soho and see the entire art world walk by in two hours.”
In this animated moment of creative exchange, many artists who were steadfast in developing their individual practices avoided categorization into contemporaneous movements. Exemplified by David Hammons’s 1976-77 assemblage sculpture made of found materials, a shredded paper composition from 1976 by Al Loving, Judy Pfaff’s adhesive drawings, and a dynamic Autobiography collage by Howardena Pindell, this constellation of artists embraced the unconventional in both their methods and material choices. The artists in Reframing Minimalism expanded the then-dominant understanding of art-making and influenced the discourse of abstraction in a way that continues to reverberate to this day.
Reframing Minimalism coincides with the gallery’s first solo exhibition with McArthur Binion, DNA:Work and the Under:Conscious Drawings, on view at Gray Warehouse in Chicago from September 10 through October 31, 2020.