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Art and Architecture: Eye of the Sixties | Judith Stein, Miles Bellamy, Mark di Suvero, Rosalyn Drexler, Alfred Leslie, Richard Nonas | An Art Book Series Event

October 19, 2016

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FREE — Auditorium doors open to public at 5:30PM.

In celebration of the publication of Judith E. Stein’s Eye of the Sixties, Richard Bellamy and the Transformation of Modern Art, the first-ever biography of one of the twentieth century’s most influential and enigmatic art dealers, and of Miles Bellamy’s Serious Bidness, a selection of his dad’s hitherto unpublished letters, artists Mark di Suvero, Alfred Leslie,  Richard Nonas and Rosalyn Drexler join the authors in a conversation about the legacy of Dick Bellamy.

Book cover for Eye on the SixtiesBorn to an American father and a Chinese mother, Dick Bellamy (1927-1998) was a poetry-loving beatnik when he arrived in New York in 1950. With the covert support of America’s first celebrity art collectors, Robert and Ethel Scull, he gained his footing just as pop art, minimalism, and conceptual art were taking hold and the art market mushroomed around him. At the fabled Green Gallery (1960-65) on Fifty-Seventh Street, Bellamy launched the careers of Mark di Suvero, Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, George Segal, Claes Oldenburg, James Rosenquist, Lucas Samaras, Robert Morris and Larry Poons among others. A man uninterested in profiting from the sale of art, Bellamy was the first to show Andy Warhol’s pop art, and was a pioneer of “off-site” exhibitions and the new genre of installation art. Based on decades of research and on hundreds of interviews with Bellamy’s artists, friends, colleagues, and lovers, Judith E. Stein’s Eye of the Sixties recovers the lost history of the elusive art dealer.

Miles Bellamy’s Serious Bidness:  the Letters of Richard Bellamy vividly conveys the humor and mischievousness of his eccentric father.

Serious Bidness coverCopies of the books Eye of the Sixties, Richard Bellamy and the Transformation of Modern Art (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016), Serious Bidness: the Letters of Richard Bellamy  (Near Fine Press, 2016)and Rosalyn Drexler: Who Does She Think She Is? (Gregory R. Miller & Co., 2016) are available for purchase and signing at the end of the event.

Judith E. Stein, the author of Eye of the Sixties, is a Philadelphia-based writer and curator specializing in postwar American art. For the Pennsylvania Academy of the Arts she curated the award-winning I Tell My Heart, The Art of Horace Pippin, an exhibition seen in New York at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. A former arts reviewer for NPR’s Fresh Air and Morning Edition, she has written for Art in America, The New York Times Book Review, and numerous museum publications. She is the recipient of a Pew Fellowship in the Arts in literary nonfiction and a Creative Capital/Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant. A graduate of Barnard College, she holds a doctorate in art history from the University of Pennsylvania.

Miles Bellamy was born in Manhattan and was raised in its cacophonous art-world. His parents nurtured in him a great love for books, music and visual art. After attending Bennington college, majoring in Literature, he cut his teeth working bookshops and galleries on both coasts, including his own Upaya Gallery in San Francisco (1990-93). During the last five years of Richard Bellamy's life, Miles worked beside his father at Oil & Steel Gallery. Since 1999 he has helmed Spoonbill & Sugartown, Booksellers in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Dick with Myron Stout’s oil painting Hierophant, Oil & Steel Gallery, c. 1983. Photo by Dianne Blell.
Dick with Myron Stout’s oil painting Hierophant, Oil & Steel Gallery, c. 1983. Photo by Dianne Blell.

Born in 1933 in China to parents of Italian heritage, Mark di Suvero was the first artist to show at the Green, exhibiting monumental assemblages incorporating salvaged steel implements and wood. During his recovery from a near-fatal accident, he refined his steel-working skills. Among many firsts, di Suvero was the first living artist to have his work shown in the Tuileries Gardens in Paris in 1975, when he also exhibited at the Whitney Museum and in outdoor settings around the New York metropolitan area. In 1995, his work was again shown in Paris and in the Venice Biennale. He is the first artist to have three major exhibitions at Storm King.

 Sculpture, October 18 – November 6, 1960, Hankchampion (1959-1960), Barrel (1959), destroyed.  2015 Estate of Rudy Burckhardt / Artists Rights Society ARS, New York.
First exhibition at Green Gallery, Mark di Suvero: Sculpture, October 18 – November 6, 1960, “Hankchampion” (1959-1960), “Barrel” (1959), destroyed. 
© 2015 Estate of Rudy Burckhardt / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Rosalyn Drexler, a noted Pop painter, sculptor, novelist, three-time Obie Award-winning playwright, and Emmy Award-winning screenwriter, was born in the Bronx in 1926. Rosalyn Drexler: Who Does She Think She Is?, published in 2016 by Gregory R. Miller & Co, and edited by Katy Siegel, with texts by Hilton Als, Jonathan Lethem, Michael Lobel, Kalliopi Minoudaki, Caitlin Rubin, and Allison Unruh, brings us up to speed on her extraordinary career. Dick Bellamy was a friend of hers and her late husband, painter Sherman Drexler, and helped bring her early work to the attention of collectors. George Segal used Rosalyn Drexler as a model for one of his major sculptures. She is represented by the Garth Greenan Gallery, New York.

 Alfred Leslie, Richard Bellamy, graphite on paper, 1973. Courtesy of Alfred Leslie.

Alfred Leslie, Richard Bellamy, graphite on paper, 1973. Courtesy of Alfred Leslie.

An artist of diverse talents and prodigious energy, Bronx-born Alfred Leslie was still a teenager in the 1940s when he began making paintings, sculptures and films, as well as taking photographs and writing music and short stories. His practice remains multidisciplinary, and today includes graphic novels and works painted on the computer and printed as photographs. Leslie was internationally celebrated as an abstract expressionist.   As a filmmaker his collaborations with  Frank O’Hara on The Last Clean Shirt  (1964) and with Jack Kerouac and Robert Frank on  Pull My Daisy (1959), became classics of their kind. By the early sixties, he began a signature sequence of influential grisaille portraits executed in a cool, anti-naturalistic but realist style. Richard Bellamy was one of his dealers and a lifelong friend. He is represented by the Janet Borden Gallery, New York. His website, is a major resource on his art and writing. Alfred Leslie, The Toast Is Burning, a series of digitally painted portraits of characters from literature, opens at Bruce Silverstein Gallery in Chelsea on September 22 and is on view throught November 12, 2016. 

Richard Nonas was born in New York in 1936. Trained in literature and anthropology, Nonas did  field-work on American Indians in Northern Ontario, Canada, and in Northern Mexico and Southern Arizona before turning to sculpture in the mid-1960s. In the following decade, Nonas was a part of an intrepid group of New York artists and curators who found alternative places to show. Many of his works – made of such materials as timbers, linear beams, granite curbstones, and steel planes – rest directly on the ground and function less as formal aesthetic objects, and more as spatial markers. He has exhibited extensively throughout the world, making floor-based and wall-mounted works that range in scale and are situated both indoors and out. Richard Nonas: The Man in the Empty Space exhibition is view through September 5, 2016 at MassMoCA. He lives and works in New York and is represented by Fergus McCaffrey.

In its eighth year the program series An Art Book, initiated and organized by Arezoo Moseni, is a celebration of the essential importance and beauty of art books. The events showcase book presentations and discussions by world 
renowned artists, critics, curators, gallerists, historians and writers.

The event is free and advanced registration is recommended. 

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