WRITER: TRISH LOGGINS
CONTACT: PETER ALEXANDER
300 Plaza Centre One
Iowa City IA 52242
(319) 384-0072; fax (319) 384-0024
Release: April 19, 2002
NO!art exhibition at UI Museum of Art April 27-June 23
NO!art and the Aesthetics of Doom, the first North American retrospective
exhibition devoted to a pivotal mid-century collective of activist artists,
will be on display at the University of Iowa Museum of Art April 27-June 23.
Admission to the museum and to the exhibition will be free.
The NO!art collective was active in New York in the late 1950s and early
60s. Founded by Buchenwald survivor Boris Lurie, along with Sam Goodman
and Stanley Fisher in late 1959, the groups confrontational works of
art draw on commercial images, pin-up nudes and photographs of war atrocities.
These disturbing and powerful works were created in response to the contrast
between the superficial consumer culture of the postwar era and the horror
of the recent past, including the Holocaust and the atomic crises of the cold
Originally identified as the March Gallery Group, the members of the NO!art
collective espoused street art, graffiti, Beat poetry and what they described
as violent expressionism. While NO!art artists were described
as the new Social Realists by some contemporary critics, the collective
has been largely overlooked by art history.
NO!art and the Aesthetics of Doom and its accompanying catalogue
feature some of the collectives most important works, in which political
and social protest are critically linked to the development of assemblage
art and happenings. By stressing the influence of these activist artists,
the exhibition and the publication casts a new light on the history of postwar
modernism, which traditionally presented the New York art world of the early
1960s as largely apolitical.
Concentrating on the years 1959-64, the exhibition presents a cross-section
of collages, assemblages and installations by Lurie, Goodman, and Fisher.
The exhibition also includes important artworks by Allan DArcangelo,
Herb Brown, Dorothy Gillespie, Esther Gillman, Allan Kaprow, Yoyoi Kusama,
Suzan Long, Jean-Jacques Lebel, Lil Picard, Michelle Stuart, and Wolf Vostell,
and other artists associated with the NO!art collective.
NO!art and the Aesthetics of Doom was organized by the Mary and
Leigh Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University, where it was previously
shown, and organized by Estera Milman, director of Alternative Traditions
in the Contemporary Arts at the UI. In addition to the brief catalogue accompanying
the exhibition, an anthology of scholarly papers on NO!art will be published
by Northwestern University Press. Milman will serve as a contributing author
and guest editor.
The UI Museum of Art, located on North Riverside Drive in Iowa City, is open
noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday, and noon to 10 p.m. Thursday
and Friday. Admission is free. Public metered parking is available in UI parking
lots west and north of the museum.
For more information in the UI Museum of Art visit http://www.uiowa.edu/uima.edu
on the World Wide Web. Information on other UI arts events is available at