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Category: Punk

The Downtown Decade: NYC 1975-1985


Curator Lauren Miller has put together an interesting show of art, photographs and club ephemera from 1975 through 1985 – what is now looked back as “The Downtown Decade”. I’m sure you know that downtown of the seventies/eighties was far from the upscale shopping paradise it has now become. New York was broke and downtown had no police presence to really speak of. This translated into low rents and left the residents free to create and to amuse themselves as they wished.

This “poverty” (both real and municipal) led to an artist creative class that stretched across multiple practices and brought oblique influences into new ideas that would end up creating new art forms. A few years later – the “Reagan Eighties” would start and the money would pour into downtown. Helping put an end to a decade of unprecedented creativity in lower Manhattan.

Rare at Glen Horowitz Bookseller
17 West 54th Street
New York, NY 10019

Exhibition Dates: Thursday, September 10–Saturday, October 10, 2015


Photos of the end of CBGB’s & OMFUG

I stumbled over these at the amazing blog “Dangerous Minds” and thought it might have some interest to anyone who might be looking. Normally I would shy away from someone who just took a bunch of photos – these are a bit different seeing as they are by Chris Stein (of Blondie, Adolph’s Dog and TV Party fame – I know I probably could have stopped at Blondie…). I think the source in this case is worth mentioning seeing as he was there for pretty much the entire run of Hilly’s bar.

Eventually these will interest anthropologists as they find layers and layers of counter-cultural graffiti and stickers creating a historical layer of exactly what happened at 315 Bowery

Visit Chris Stein’s blog at


“the Bathroom”

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Anthony Wilson is still missed.

Factory Records founder Anthony H Wilson died in August 2007. Just over three years later, a memorial headstone designed by Wilson’s long-term collaborators Peter Saville and Ben Kelly was unveiled in The Southern Cemetery in Chorlton-Cum-Hardy, Manchester.

The black granite headstone carries a quote, chosen by Wilson’s family, from The Manchester Man, the 1876 novel by Mrs G Linnaeus Banks (aka Isabella Varley Banks), the story of one Jabez Clegg and his life in Victorian Manchester.

Tony Wilson’s coffin is “Fac 501”.

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Accessories To An Artwork, an exhibition by Peter Saville.

Saville’s “Accessories To An Artwork” provides a framework for a collaborative exhibition. It is an artwork which transfers the power of curatorial decision-making to others, namely the individual artists in the exhibition, but also to the individual collector. Saville once observed that, ‘it all looks like art to me now.’

This artwork recognizes that cultural authority is an increasingly do-it-yourself enterprise; the accessory is an accessory for the individual who has chosen to “curate” the world for him – or herself. By placing something atop the accessory one makes a statement as to what is worth looking at.

Peter Saville is famous for the design (and visual brand) of Factory Records. I’ve discussed this more than once on this blog. So I won’t bother you with a recap.

Peter Saville: Accessories To An Artwork

Glenn Horowitz Bookseller
87 Newtown Lane
East Hampton, NY 11937

August 14th – September 26th, 2010

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Punk Art Exhibition – The Catalogue Washington Project For The Arts, Washington, DC, 1978

I stumbled over a link for this at of all places “Brightest Young Things” website, it has a link to the 98 Bowery website (Marc H. Miller’s website and address for the 20 years or so that he lived there from 68 – 89)

Alice Denney, the mastermind of this show, was the kind of agent provocateur the DC area has missed for the last 20 or so years. Her vision that helped define the Washington Project For the Arts has yet to be surpassed and really it only ever came close during the era that Jock Reynolds helmed the WPA in the early eighties. Since then, it’s pretty safe to say that the WPA has been asleep pretty much since the mid to late 80’s. Here’s hoping that with a new approach we will see some more exciting things come it’s way.

A punk show in DC without mention of harDCore?

That’s right because this show was put on in 1978 (just during the birth of the DC scene, and the fact it was primarily curated with an eye towards the East Village and Lower East Side of Manhattan as a visual guide.

In digging through the catalog I was shocked – literally by Tom Otterness’s inclusion in this – I’ve always thought of his work as just those friendly little sculptures, etc. – this will show a dark side that will surprise you.

I really enjoyed the ephemera that helped make and provide insight into the exhibit – a lot of things that are mostly forgotten now are given a bit of life in this presentation.

If you haven’t gone there yet – here’s the link


Top: Punk Art Catalogue Back cover: Scott B & Beth B, Max Karl, 1978

Bottom: Punk Art Catalogue front cover: Miller, Ringma & Hoppe, “Smashed Mona,” 1978

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