Art in General
79 Walker Street
New York, NY 10013-3523
Tel.: (212) 219-0473
Anthony Marcellini, Curatorial Assistant
Hours open to the public
Tuesday through Saturday, 12:00–6:00 p.m.
History of the Institution
Art in General is a nonprofit organization that assists artists with the production and presentation of new work. It changes in response to the needs of artists and informs and engages the public about their work.
Art in General was founded in 1981 by artists Martin Weinstein and Teresa Liszka in the General Hardware building—hence the name "Art in General." Weinstein and Liszka aimed to create a space where artists could exhibit unconventional work and exchange ideas with their peers. The first exhibition took place in 1982. In its twenty-five years, the organization has emerged as one of New York City's leading nonprofit arts organizations.
Today, Art in General fulfills its mission through a variety of ways, including the organization and presentation of exhibitions, hosting a national and international artist residency program, and through educational in-school art training, regular public programs and membership events. Beginning in 2005, its exhibition program has focused on the commissioning of new work from artists.
Scope and Content
The records at Art in General document the history of this alternative art space, which has promoted international contemporary art since its foundation. Their website lists all archived programs since the formation of Art in General.
The archives of Art in General consist mainly of operational records such as exhibition files and photography documenting exhibitions and programs. The gallery files start in 1982, although there are no Latino or Latin American artists until 1987. Art in General has published catalogues and brochures documenting the work of many Latin American and Latino artists.
Overall holdings of archives and research material: Fifty-four linear feet
Overall holdings of archives and research material related to Latino art: Ten linear feet
Inclusive dates of files: 1982–present
Bulk dates: 1987–present
Languages in which records are written:
English (85%); Spanish (10%); other (5%)
Holdings: Primary Sources
Archives of institution's history and operation related to Latino art:
Ten linear feet
The operation records from 1982 to 2002 are located on the fourth floor. Those from 2003 to the present are located in the office space on the sixth floor. Most of these records are gallery files documenting exhibitions that have taken place at Art in General. Within the gallery records artist sub-files can be found. They are organized using a coding system developed by Art in General based on the location of the exhibition in their space (i.e. Audio in the Elevator, Window Installation/Project Space, Gallery 4, and Gallery 6). Records in those categories are classified chronologically by exhibition history.
Exhibition files include records from solo shows by artists Alberto Casado, María Elena González, César Paternosto, and Cecilia Vicuña. Art in General also has the archival records of group shows that included Latino and Latin American artists such as Abel Barroso, Tania Bruguera, Los Carpinteros, Sandra Ceballos, Claudio Nolasco, Carlos Garaicoa, Silvia Gruner, Nadín Ospina, Manuel Piña, and Lázaro Savaadra. These exhibitions included Adiós Columbus: Vistas Latinas Part IV (Sept.–Nov. 1992), Domestic Partnerships: New Impulses in Decorative Arts from the Americas (April–June 1996), 1990s Art From Cuba (May-June 1998), Re-Drawing the Line (Sept.–Oct. 2000) and Between Two Cities/Punto de vista: entre dos ciudades (Nov. 1999–Jan. 2000). Various Latino and Latin American artists and scholars, such as Mónica Amor, Charles Byasini-Rivera, Ernesto Pujol, Yasmín Ramírez, Juana Valdés, and Raul Zamudio, have collaborated in some of these exhibitions as curators, organizers, and writers.
Archival holdings pertaining to Latino art also include the records of exhibitions organized as part of the Artists in Residency program. These have included: Carlos Garaicoa (1996); Aimée García, Embracing the Earth/Abrazando la Tierra, Gallery 4 (May–June 1998); Flavia Gandolfo, A Contemporary Fresco Mural/Mural Contemporáneo al Fresco (Aug.–Oct. 2001), Anna Maria Maiolino, N Times One/N Vezes Um (Dec. 2001–Feb. 2002); José A. Toirac with collaborator Meira Marrero Díaz, Think Different (April–May 2002), Javier Téllez, Blind Data *Oct.–Dec. 2002); Luis Gómez (Jan–Mar. 2004); Rubén Ortiz Torres (Sept.–Nov. 2004), and Chemi Rosado (Oct.–Dec. 2005).
Newsletters and magazines published in-house:
Art in General has published Inside, a quarterly newsletter/invitation, since 1990. Past copies are available at the institution.
Slides and photographs:
Thirty-four binders with slides and photographs document the work of artists that Art in General has showcased. Photographs include general pictures representative of the artists' production, as well as the works that have been exhibited at Art in General.
Recent artist and exhibition files may have some digital images on CDs.
Art objects and artifacts available for research:
The artwork available for research consists of Art in General's "Limited Editions," series of signed and numbered prints, photographs, sculptures, and objects created by contemporary artists who have donated their work to support exhibitions and programs by emerging artists and public and educational programs. As of January 2005 the Limited Editions have included works by Allora & Calzadilla, Maria Elena González, and Carlos Garaicoa. For current information, please visit the institution's website.
Exhibition catalogues published in-house that include work by Latino artists:
Some titles include 1990s Art from Cuba: A National Residency and Exhibition Program (1997); Cloud-net (2000); Tonel: Lessons of Solitude (2001); Un real estates: Maria Elena González (2003); Alberto Casado: todo clandestino, todo popular (2005). Art in General has also published brochures documenting the work of its artists in residence. Among these are Flavia Gandolfo (2001); Aimée García (1998); Luis Gómez (2004); Anna Maria Maiolino (2002); Javier Téllez (2002); and José A. Toirac and Meira Marrero Díaz (2002).
Vertical file materials related to Latino art: artist files, brochures, pamphlets, clippings:
Artist sub-files can be found within the gallery files.
The current finding aid consists of an exhibition history. At the present, Art in General is cataloguing its archival holdings using a catalog system provided by Franklin Furnace. This catalog will eventually be accessible online.
Currently, there is no space designated for researchers who wish to consult Art in General's records. Nonetheless the institution's staff will be happy to arrange desk space upon availability for scheduled researchers.
Researchers can access records by appointment.
The archives of Art in General document the history of this important alternative art space in New York. The gallery records are of particular interest, due to the importance of Art in General as a jumping-off point for many contemporary Latino and Latin American artists. Exhibitions such as Domestic Partnerships, curated by Yasmin Ramírez, and 1990s Art from Cuba, co-directed by Holly Block and Bettie-Sue Hertz, were among the first shows in the U.S. to give exposure to the 1990s generation of artists from Cuba.
The systematic organization of these archives makes them easily searchable.
Relations to other Latino and Latin American organizations:
The gallery has collaborated with other Latino and Latin American art organizations such as the Centro Wifredo Lam, the Ludwig Foundation in Cuba, and Havana Art & Idea in Mexico City Centro.