Barbara Gladstone Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition based upon the archives of Vito Acconci, his first show with the gallery in six years.
For the first time, Vito Acconci will exhibit never-before-seen selections of his archive from the years 1969 through 1973, the period in which he created landmark body works such as Trade Marks, Seed Bed, and Following Piece. The original project descriptions, notes, and related materials trace the development of the almost three hundred projects, performances, actions, films, and installations created during this period from concept to finished action or object, allowing even those already familiar with the work a direct insight into the thinking behind these seminal works.
In 1969, Vito Acconci’s practice gradually turned from poetry to action and photo-based conceptual pieces. Using himself and the space around him, these works sought to examine the surrounding social and physical dynamics, mining the implications of the singular, personal body in action. Whether trailing an unsuspecting New Yorker throughout a day’s journey or documenting the growth of sores on his forearm caused by his continual rubbing, the true locus of the investigation was always the body: stalking as bodily violation of social code; wounding as harness for physical mutability. Adding the mediums of video and installation, Acconci preferenced the actions of the body, from simple movements such as jumping and falling to more complex feats of rigorous athletics, as the prime method to explore, record, and dismantle preconceptions not only of the work of art, but social interaction. From his days as a poet, through his performance and installation work in the late sixties and seventies, the page has been an important space for Vito Acconci, a nexus where thoughts written in concrete space have possibility as bodily actions. In a unique and personal voice reflecting his charismatic diction, the multiple drafts of notes and descriptions that will be exhibited for each project not only reveal Acconci’s foregrounding thoughts, but also show the evolution of his artistic motivations to explore his body, the space around it, and the binds on its potential energy.
A catalogue designed by the artist will be published by Charta and includes Acconci’s complete body of project notes, descriptions, and materials related to the work of this period. Vito Acconci has been the subject of numerous one-person exhibitions, including those at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. His work will also be the subject of a forthcoming retrospective organized by the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, opening this summer at the Musée des Beaux-Art de Nantes before continuing to Spain and additional venues. Acconci Studio was the subject of the exhibition “Acts of Architecture,” organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Houston, and traveled to the Milwaukee Art Museum, Aspen Art Museum and Miami Art Museum. This summer the studio opened the acclaimed public space Island in the Mur in Graz, Austria. Vito Acconci was born in 1940 and lives and works in New York.