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THE NO!art MOVEMENT IN NEW YORK, 1960-1964

By SIMON TAYLOR (Final Draft 7/21/95)

German version published in: NO!, catalog, Berlin, 1995
  Download complete essay, 23 pages
We are the first victims of American fascism. —Ethel Rosenberg, 1953

Your exhibition focuses on NO! art (1960-1964), an obscure New York art movement founded by the artists Boris Lurie, Sam Goodman and Stanley Fisher, which coincided with the Beat Generation and the emergence of Neo-Dada. The fact that this movement ever existed has been suppressed in the canonical accounts of post-war American art, so this introduction will provide an overview of the NO! artists, within the social and historical context of the late fifties and early sixties. NO! art was first presented at the March Gallery, an artists' cooperative on Tenth Street, in 1960, where the “Vulgar Show” (1960), the “Involvement Show” (1961), and the “Doom Show” (1961) were held. Later on, “The NO! Show” (1963) and the “NO! Sculpture Show” (1964) were held at the uptown Gallery Gertrude Stein, which was under the control of the NO! artists. Like the Situationists and Affichistes in Europe, the anti-capitalist work of the NO! artists exposed the fallacies of consumer society.

CHAPTERS FOR CATALOG ESSAY:
The Age of Atrocity
Art/World/Politics
The Banality of Evil
NO!-artists
NO!art exhibitions
Sexual Politics
"Dirty Tricks" and "Tricky Dick"
Same old Shit
SIMON TAYLOR (born 1965) art historian and writer. Lives in New York.
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