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Stan VanDerBeek

American Contemporary
4 East 2nd Street, 347.789.7072
East Village / Lower East Side
July 12 - August 17, 2012
Reception: Wednesday, July 18, 6 - 8 PM
Web Site

Artist: STAN VANDERBEEK Opening: July 18, 2012 Exhibition dates: July 12 – August 17, 2012 Opening Hours (summer): Tuesday to Saturday 11 – 6 pm Address: 4. E. 2nd Street New York NY 10003 between Bowery and 2nd Avenue Subway: 2nd Avenue F train, or the Bleeker Street station for the 6 train Contact: [email protected] / +13477897072 Other Info: Free and open to the public

I should like to share with you a vision I have had concerning motion pictures. This vision concerns the immediate use of motion pictures or, expanded cinema, as a tool for world communication and opens the future of what I like to call “Ethos Cinema”. Motion pictures may be the most important means for world communication. At this moment motion pictures are the art form of our time. We are on the verge of a new world/new technology/a new art. When artists shall make motions pictures into an emotional experience tool that shall move art and life closer together. All this is about to happen And it is not a second too soon. We are on the verge of a new world New technologies New arts. It is imperative that we quickly find some way for the entire level of world human understanding to rise to a new human scale This scale is the world…. (Stan VanDerBeek, Culture Intercom 1963 – 65)

American Contemporary is delighted to present an exhibition of works by Stan VanDerBeek (1927-1984), organized in collaboration with The Stan VanDerBeek Estate. The exhibition includes a number of previously unseen works.

The show will explore VanDerBeek’s visionary approach to the world through a juxtaposition of his adroit collages and his poetic and intensely thoughtful writings and drawings, bringing focus to the depth and fluidity of his visual and written poetics as well as the wit, intelligence and foresight inherent in his work and process. VanDerBeek used all of the collages in this exhibition in his films; the writings and drawings are taken from the fifties and sixties when he was exploring the multiple possibilities for the still relatively untried medium of film. He was excited by the opportunities presented to artists by film (as he remained for the rest of his life with this and other technologies) as well as how film affected and could affect quotidian existence. He was interested in the way people communicated and the scale at which they were able to do so. VanDerBeek wanted to harness the scientific possibility of technology and put it in the hands of artists so they could converse to their full potential globally.

This sense of scale and communication is perhaps best explored in his manifesto the Culture Intercom and his seminal installation the ‘Moviedrome’. The latter will be restaged at The New Museum as a major component of the exhibition “Ghosts in the Machine” opening July 17, 2012. The original installation utilized a thirty-foot grain silo dome that VanDerBeek transformed into an immersive moving image environment. He choreographed multiple projectors of varying kinds, each illuminating slides and films, to create an auditorium of the mind as well as a prototype for mass communication, foreseeing the global sharing of images and information. The restaging will recreate the experience (with a variety of media including original materials) based on his writings, drawings, first hand accounts and documentation of the original.

VanDerBeek has been described as an illusionist, a collagist, the father of underground film and a visionary and has exhibited internationally for over fifty years. In 2011 the List Visual Arts Center, MIT, MA, and Contemporary Art Museum Houston, TX presented a retrospective of the artist’s work which included a focus on his profound explorations in early media and computer technologies. The exhibition was accompanied by a career encompassing catalogue, beginning with his time at Black Mountain Collage, alongside peers and collaborators such as John Cage, Robert Rauschenberg and Merce Cunningham, and finished with his steam screenings at the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY. VanDerBeek’s work is currently included in “The Historical Box” at Hauser and Wirth, London until July 28th. Please contact the gallery or visit for further information about the artist.
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