Exit Art is an intimate portrait of an institution that from 1982 to 2012 challenged social, political, aesthetic and curatorial norms. Committed to experimenting at the intersection of disciplines, publications and design, the gallery Exit Art remained steadfast in its mission to provide new possibilities and opportunities for artists, curators and viewers through its expansive historical shows, exhibitions of emerging and under-recognized artists, experimental theater and performance works, as well as national and international film and video programs. Artists who exhibited at Exit Art include Chakaia Booker, Jimmie Durham, Nicole Eisenman, Jane Hammond, David Hammons, Tehching Hsieh, Julie Mehretu, Shirin Neshat, Roxy Paine, Adrian Piper, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Fred Tomaselli, Cecilia Vicuña, Krzysztof Wodiczko, David Wojnarowicz and Martin Wong.
“Something disruptive and transformative happened to art in New York in the early 1980s,” writes Holland Cotter. “What exactly that something was has yet to be identified, but it involved a chemical reaction between a new political conservatism and a nascent multiculturalism ... One thing is certain: however the historical picture gets sorted out, Exit Art will figure into it.”
Conceived by Exit Art’s founders, Papo Colo and the late Jeanette Ingberman, this volume is a resource on more than 200 exhibitions, events, festivals and programs featuring more than 2,500 artists, presented within the larger context of the art world. More than 70 eyewitness accounts and idiosyncratic recollections from artists, curators, critics and friends create a vivid sense of the exhibitions, performances, screenings, discussions, ideas and people that were part of Exit Art during its three-decade run.