31 May - 27 July 2012
SCREW YOU. , curated by David Platzker of Specific Object, shines a light on the intersection of counterculture publishing, tabloid pornography and the art world which occurred in the creatively fertile years of the late 1960s and early 1970s. The exhibition will be on view at Susan Inglett Gallery 31 May to 27 July.
SCREW YOU. draws its title and inspiration from the notorious pornographic tabloid Screw: The Sex Review, which came onto the New York scene November 29, 1968.
Initially as a sly means to justify prurient sexual content, Screw and like-minded publications included literary and fine art to skirt the censors. While not a particularly successful subterfuge, as the editors were prosecuted repeatedly throughout the early years, the juxtaposition made for titillating journalism.
Nestling porn and fine art side by side between the sheets, content ranged from spreads of large breasted women illuminating such erudite articles as “The Art of Buying Dirty Books” to centerfolds conceived by and featuring artist Yayoi Kusama.
Issues of Screw throughout the late 1960s and the early 1970s embraced a cultural breadth spanning art, advertising and editorial. Contributors from the realm of visual culture included leading movers and shakers Dan Graham, Andy Warhol, John Lennon and Yoko Ono. A journalistic standard was set with the inclusion of content addressing the important issues of the day such as freedom of speech, while simultaneously raising pornographic standards with the quality of imagery.
While Screw, Kiss, Pleasure, and Kusama’s own tabloid, Kusama’s Orgy of Nudity, Love, Sex Beauty, played to the strengths of the genre, contemporaneous periodicals such as New York Review of Sex and Politics, Other Scenes, The East Village Other and artist Les Levine’s Culture Hero favored a merging of literature and art in addition to its pansexual content. Notable contributors to these loftier publications included the writers Gregory Battcock, Allen Ginsberg and Charles Bukowski and artists Brigid Berlin, R. Crumb, John Chamberlain, Claes Oldenburg, Carolee Schneemann, Bob Stanley, Walasse Ting, and Tadanori Yokoo, along with many others working in the realm of sex and sexual identity.
SCREW YOU. unsheathes the aforementioned periodicals, rescuing them from the literal and metaphorical trash bin to sit side by side with the original art and films that filled the page and informed an era. These publications open a window onto an enlightened generation and the art and influences which gave rise to the counterculture.
Artists in the exhibition include Brigid Berlin, John Chamberlain, Dan Graham, Peter Hujar, Yayoi Kusama, Mel Ramos, Pablo Picasso, Carolee Schneemann, Robert Stanley Betty Tompkins, and Andy Warhol.
The exhibition will be on view at Susan Inglett Gallery located at 522 West 24th Street Tuesday to Saturday 10 AM to 6 PM, starting summer hours 18 June Monday to Friday. The Gallery will be closed for the Fourth of July holiday beginning 4 July and reopening Monday 9 July.
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