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Guide to the The Exit Art Archive
1982 - 2011
 MSS 343

Fales Library and Special Collections
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012
Phone: (212) 998-2596

Fales Library and Special Collections

Collection processed by Rhyannon J. Rodriguez, 2012 - 2014.

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on December 22, 2015
Description is in English.

Historical Note

Founded by director Jeanette Ingberman and artist Papo Colo as an alternative art space in 1982, Exit Art was an interdisciplinary cultural center that presented innovative exhibitions, films and performances that reflected a commitment to contemporary issues and ideas. With a substantial reputation for curatorial innovation and depth of programming in diverse media, Exit Art was always changing.

During its first decade, Exit Art presented artists whose work challenged notions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and equality. It mounted a series of mid-career retrospectives which helped to bring wider public attention and critical acclaim to artists who are now firmly established, including Jimmie Durham, Willie Birch, Krzysztof Wodiczko, Tehching Hsieh, Martin Wong, Adrian Piper, David Wojnarowicz and David Hammons.

In its second decade, Exit Art identified a new generation of young, emerging artists with diverse backgrounds and organized a series of exhibitions, launching the careers of artists such as Shirin Neshat, Fred Tomaselli, Nicole Eisenman, Roxy Paine, Patty Chang, Julie Mehretu, Sue DeBeer, Rirkrit Tiravanija and Chakaia Booker. Fever (1992), the first exhibition in the series, was named one of the ten most important shows of the decade by Peter Plagens in Newsweek.

In its final decade, Exit Art became a leading voice in experimental art, producing exhibitions that illuminated the pressing issues of its time while supporting artists whose works reflected cultural transformations. By 2012, its 30th and final year, Exit Art had organized more than 200 exhibitions, events, festivals and programs featuring more than 2,500 artists.

Biographical information provided by the Exit Art website.