High Times, Hard Times: New York Painting 1967-1975 brings together over forty significant works by thirty-seven artists living and working in New York between 1967 and 1975.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s the New York art world was an exciting place to be. “Painting is dead!” was a popular slogan. New mediums such as performance and video art were developing, and sculpture was quickly expanding in many different directions. However, experimental abstract painting actually was thriving, energized by a diverse group of New York artists. Influenced by new artistic freedoms and the tumultuous political and social changes of the time, these pioneering artists created paintings of great joy, fury, and intellect.
High Times, Hard Times also reflects the impact on the art world of the civil rights struggle, student and anti-war activism, and the beginning of feminism. The works included in this exhibition represent some of the most experimental art of the time. These artists’ re-examination of art through new approaches to the medium of painting was very much in keeping with the era’s radical aesthetics and politics.
Half of the artists in the exhibition are women, several are African-American, and some are artists from other countries who lived temporarily in New York; many of whom were not recognized at the time or, conversely, were excluded from paintings’ canonical history. These artists’ identities are not incidental but essential to grasping the possibilities of the period. (Perhaps part of the reason painting at this time has been left out of the history books; subsequent painting revivals have been adamantly male-as Joan Snyder, a National Academician, complained about macho neo-expressionism’s sudden revival of painting, “It wasn’t ‘neo’ to us.”)
Jo Baer, Lynda Benglis, Dan Christensen, Roy Colmer, Mary Corse, David Diao, Manny Farber, Louise Fishman, Guy Goodwin, Ron Gorchov, Harmony Hammond, Mary Heilmann, Ralph Humphrey, Jane Kaufman, Harriet Korman, Yayoi Kusama, Al Loving, Lee Lozano, Ree Morton, Elizabeth Murray, Joe Overstreet, Blinky Palermo, Cesar Paternosto, Howardena Pindell, Dorothea Rockburne, Carolee Schneemann, Alan Shields, Kenneth Showell, Joan Snyder, Lawrence Stafford, Pat Steir, Richard Tuttle, Richard Van Buren, Michael Venezia, Franz Erhard Walther, Jack Whitten, Peter Young