Art Spaces Archives Project at CAA 2005 [Press Release]

Posted August 05, 2010 by admin

Art Spaces Archives Project
Announces a Panel Discussion
“Buried Treasure: Art Spaces Archives Project”
to be held at the
College Art Association’s 93rd Annual Conference
In Atlanta, on February 17, 2005

The Art Spaces Archives Project [AS-AP] is pleased to announce a panel discussion entitled “Buried Treasure: Art Spaces Archives Project,” to be held at the College Art Association’s 93rd Annual Conference on February 17, 2005, from 5:30 to 7:00 PM at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis, 265 Peachtree Center Avenue, Atlanta, Georgia.

The panel will feature Julie Ault, Marella Consolini, Yasmin Ramirez, Irving Sandler, and Marvin Taylor and will address the topic of archiving and recognizing the alternative, or avant-garde, movement in America from the 1950s to the present from the viewpoint of creators, presenters, historians, and archives of the vital histories of emerging Contemporary Art in all of its manifestations. Moderating the panel will be David Platzker, the Project Director of AS-AP, an emerging non-profit initiative founded in 2003 to assess and survey the state of the archives of art spaces throughout the United States.

Irving Sandler will speak on artist venues, beginning in the 1950s with the Arts Club, which was founded in 1949 by the pioneering Abstract Expressionists and whose panels he arranged from 1956 to 1962 at the infamous Cedar Street Tavern, and the artists cooperatives on Tenth Street, including Tanager Gallery, which Sandler managed from 1956 to 1959. Additionally, Sandler’s presentation will provide a history of the alternative spaces founded in New York City in the 1970s—such as Artists Space, which he co-founded in 1972 and on whose board he still serves. His primary focus will be on the historic and contemporary importance of these spaces in the careers of artists and the evolution of recent American art.

Marella Consolini of The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture will discuss the practical, legal, and ethical issues surrounding a seven-year initiative to digitize and transcribe Skowhegan’s archive of over 400 lectures given by its faculty from 1952 to the present. This process, included evaluating the material and its condition; determining the best method of preservation for the six hundred original reel-to-reel tapes; researching what form the transfer of the tapes would take; fundraising for the project; contacting the artists or their estates for permission to make these lectures available for public access; working with lawyers on the documents going to the artists as well as to the institutions housing the archive; and maintaining the on-going development of the archive and its preservation.

Julie Ault will outline the conditions, growth, and decline of the alternative arts network of the 1970s and 1980s in New York City, which is the subject matter of the book she edited, “Alternative Art New York 1965–1985” (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press and The Drawing Center, 2002). Ault will also discuss some of the problems she encountered while researching the field of alternative spaces and group structures, which raise issues in and around the politics of archiving and historicizing.

Yasmin Ramirez will present “Mi Casa Es Tu Casa: Identifying the Spaces and Places of Latino Art Archives,” which will give an overview of recent initiatives to catalog and archive Latino art spaces and artists in New York and California. She will discuss strategies that the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College, The Smithsonian, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Center for Chicano Studies at the University of California at Los Angeles are implementing to archive Latino alternative spaces, resources, and materials for the study of artists and artist spaces that are currently available.

Based on ten years experience documenting the Downtown New York Arts scene of the 1970s and 1980s, Marvin J. Taylor will give an overview of the issues alternative spaces and academic institutions need to consider when discussing the acquisition of archives. Among the topics he will discuss, are intellectual property rights, copyrights, retention policies, issues of access, exhibition loans, and other legal and financial matters.

About AS-AP

Art Spaces Archives Project [AS-AP] is a non-profit initiative founded by a consortium of alternative art organizations, including Bomb Magazine, College Art Association, Franklin Furnace Archive, New York State Council on the Arts [NYSCA], New York State Artist Workspace Consortium, and The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, with a mandate to help preserve, present, and protect the archival heritage of living and defunct for- and not-for-profit spaces of the “alternative” or “avant-garde” movement of the 1950s to the present throughout the United States.

With funding provided by NYSCA, The National Endowment for the Arts, and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, AS-AP has a mandate to begin the documenting process by rooting out both a national index of the avant-garde—assessing the needs for archiving and preservation—and helping to establish universal standards for archiving the avant-garde.

AS-AP’s belief is beyond simply identifying the whereabouts of centers of activity. There is an underlying need to assess, catalogue, and preserve important formative materials for study by historians with a critical distance from the creation of the material itself.

AS-AP’s website——is a virtual resource and finding aid for locating the places and spaces of alternative and avant-garde activity. A central location for information pertaining to reservoirs of archives, tools to assist in archiving, and other aids for scholars interested in the alternative or avant-garde movement in the United States as well as for the locations of activity themselves.

About the Panelists

Julie Ault is an artist who independently and collaboratively organizes exhibitions and multiform projects. In 1979, Ault co-founded Group Material, the New York City-based collaborative which until 1996 produced installations and public projects exploring the interrelationships between politics and aesthetics. She is also the editor of “Alternative Art New York 1965–1985” (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press and The Drawing Center, 2002).

Marella Consolini is the Executive Director of Development & Administration of The Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Prior to Skowhegan she was the Director and Vice President of Knoedler Gallery in New York City, the Senior Vice President of, the Associate Director at Laura Carpenter Fine Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and the Administrator for Petersburg Press, a publisher of Contemporary Master Graphics in London and New York. Ms. Consolini has a B.A. from Bard College and completed additional course work at the Rhode Island School of Design.

Yasmin Ramirez is a PhD graduate of the City University of New York and the recipient of the 2002 SSRC Dissertation Research Fellowship on the Arts and Sciences and the 2003-2004 Mellon Dissertation Fellowship. Ms. Ramirez was a consulting curator at El Museo del Barrio from 1999-2001 and the curator of Taller Boricua from 1996-1998. She has written for publications such as “Art in America” and “Art Nexus.” Her exhibition catalog essays include: “Parallel Lives, Striking Differences: Notes on Chicano and Puerto Rican Graphic Arts of the 1970s,” “Timeline of El Museo del Barrio,” and “La Vida: The life and writings of Miguel Piñero in the art of Martin Wong.” Her dissertation was on “Nuyorican Vanguards: Political Actions / Poetic Visions, A History of Puerto Rican artists in New York, 1964-1984.”

Irving Sandler received a B.A. from Temple University, a M.A. from University of Pennsylvania, and a PhD from New York University. In 1956, Sandler became the director of the Tanager Gallery, Program Chairman for the Artists' Club, and a reviewer for “Art News” and “Art International” magazines and from 1960 to 1965 at the “New York Post.” He is the author of books that synthesized his collection of interviews and reviews into broad surveys of contemporary art, including “The Triumph of American Painting: A History of Abstract Expressionism” (1970), “The New York School: The Painters and Sculptors of the Fifties” (1978), “American Art of the 1960s” (1988), “Art of the Postmodern Era: From the Late 1960s to the Early 1990s” (1996), and “A Sweeper-Up After Artists: A Memory” (2003). In addition, he has written monographs on individual artists such as Alex Katz and Mark Di Suvero. Sandler was a John Simon Guggenheim Fellow in 1965, and a National Endowment of Arts Fellow in 1977. He is also Professor Emeritus of Art History at the State University of New York at Purchase, where he has taught since 1972.

Marvin J. Taylor is the Director of the Fales Library and Special Collections at New York University. In 1994 Taylor founded the Downtown Collection at the Fales Library. The Downtown Collection, which contains over 12,000 printed books and 7,500 linear feet of manuscripts and archives, documents the post-1975 outsider art scene that developed in New York City’s SoHo and the Lower East Side neighborhoods. It is the only collection of its kind in a major research university and contains works by such artists and writers as Kathy Acker, Lynne Tillman, David Wojnarowicz, Dennis Cooper, Keith Haring, and many others. Taylor holds a BA with honors in Comparative Literature from Indiana University, where he also received a MLS. He also holds an AA Masters in English from New York University. He is currently editing a book titled “The Downtown Book: The New York Scene 1974-1984,” which will be published by Princeton University Press later this year.

David Platzker is the Project Director of Art Spaces Archives Project. From 1998 through 2004 he was the Executive Director of the non-profit institution Printed Matter, Inc. He is also the co-author, and co-curator—with Elizabeth Wyckoff—of “Hard Pressed: 600 Years of Prints and Process” (New York: International Print Center New York & Hudson Hills Press, 2000); and—with Richard H. Axsom—the book and exhibition entitled “Printed Stuff: Prints, Posters, and Ephemera by Claes Oldenburg: A Catalogue Raisonné 1958-1996” (Madison, Wisconsin: Madison Art Center & New York: Hudson Hills Press, 1997), which was awarded the George Wittenborn Award for Best Art Publication of 1997 by the Art Libraries Society of North America. Platzker is also the president, an on-line arts bookstore.

For additional information regarding the panel or AS-AP please contact David Platzker at or at (212) 330-7688..

For additional information regarding the College Art Association’s 2005 Annual Conference please visit CAA’s website:

A complete transcript of the panel is available by clicking here.