Just Above Midtown: Changing Spaces

Artwork slides sent to Just Above Midtown. Slideshow and 35mm slides, each 2 x 2" (5.0 x 5.0 cm). Collection Linda Goode Bryant, New York. Installation view of the exhibition *Just Above Midtown: Changing Spaces* (September 10, 2022–February 18, 2023). Photograph by Emile Askey

Artwork slides sent to Just Above Midtown. c. 1973–83 376

Slideshow and 35mm slides, each 2 x 2" (5.0 x 5.0 cm). Collection Linda Goode Bryant, New York

Linda Goode Bryant: At JAM, we learned how little artists knew what the business of art was. They didn’t understand how business affected who got in galleries and who didn’t get in galleries.

And so from my perspective, starting The Business of Being an Artist—the BBA workshop, as we called it—was to provide artists with an opportunity to figure out how they wanted to work around that business within their sense of integrity, and be discerning about, who do you want to represent you? You’re just clamoring to be in a gallery so people see your work and somebody’s selling it. The Business of Being an Artist at JAM was meant to weaponize artists so that they were deciding their fate and not this market that they knew nothing about.

I hope that there are aspects of this show that cause both artists and the public that comes to MoMA—to stop and consider. You’re in this space because there is an infrastructure that is supported to provide you with an opportunity to experience art. You need to know what that infrastructure is. Because in knowing what that infrastructure is, you’re gonna be better able to say, this infrastructure includes and excludes. And if I want a more expansive sense of creativity in what’s being produced from artists outside of this infrastructure, I now know I’ve gotta go seek that out.

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