SOUNDS IN THE DISTANCE focuses on the extensive and diverse influence of the East Village art movement and the dialogue between proponents of the 1980’s/early 1990’s and a younger generation of artists who are currently at the helm of the “downtown” creative scene. The Dorian Grey Gallery provides the perfect stage for this visual discourse, as the gallery location and space hark back to many of the East Village 1980’s spaces, such as The Fun Gallery, International With Monument, Gracie Mansion, and 51×.
Through a juxtaposition of iconic works by more tenured and established artists such as Nan Goldin, Kenny Scharf and David Sandlin, with works by younger emerging artists such as Wes Lang, Aurel Schmidt and Max Snow, the exhibition seeks to highlight a series of aesthetic and conceptual threads fusing generational attitudes, perceptions and the artists’ contributions to the New York social-cultural milieu.
The exhibition touches upon some of the sociological changes occurring during the tumultuous and innovative period in the mid-1980’s as well as its legacy. The works represent how punk culture of the former East Village and the aesthetics that developed from it have impacted the generations that followed. The show also hints at the encompassing role of club-culture and how this affected the production, display and promotion of artwork. It highlights various sub-cultures in music, performance and art, and how these engaged new audiences and encouraged unexpected and original collaborations.
The impact of AIDs, the commodification of East Village culture, the outward migration of artists and the commercial development of SoHo galleries all contributed to the waning of the East Village’s unique artistic voice, and to a transitory period in the 1990’s that left a sense of disconnection amongst these generations. However, the imprint and influence of this rich history on a subsequent generation of artists in the exhibition reflect the confluence of symbiotic associations that are undeniable.
We would like to extend our thanks and appreciation to Carlo McCormick, Leonard Abrams, Fab 5 Freddy, Michel Auder and Alan Steele for their input and contributions to It’s All True.
It’s All True is a tribute to the East Village Eye, and offers a snapshot of the East Village in the 1980’s in the form of a “zine.” It celebrates the strong influence of the movement upon contemporary culture through memories and impressions offered by the contributors.