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Decenter Opening

The original Armory Show opened 100 years ago, and was met with some serious criticism. Two curators, Andrianna Campbell and Daniel S. Palmer, are taking on the heady historical impact of the original 1913 show, and reinterpreting it as the art of today has been influenced by digital technology. Please join us Saturday for the opening!

DECENTER: An Exhibition on the Centenary of the 1913 Armory Show

Opening reception Saturday February 17, 6-8 pm

Abrons Art Center, 466 Grand Street Manhattan


February 17, 2013 – April 7, 2013

Organized by:

Andrianna Campbell, Daniel S. Palmer, and the Henry Street Settlement’s Abrons Arts Center


Artists: Cory Arcangel, Tony Cokes, Douglas Coupland, David Kennedy Cutler, N. Dash, Michael Delucia, Jessica Eaton, Franklin Evans, Amy Feldman, Andrea Geyer, David Gilbert, Ethan Greenbaum, Gregor Hildebrandt, Butt Johnson, John Houck, Barbara Kasten, Andrew Kuo, Liz Magic Laser, Douglas Melini, Ulrike Mohr, Brenna Murphy, John Newman, Gabriel Orozco, Rafaël Rozendaal, Seher Shah, Travess Smalley, Sara VanDerBeek

“Awful lack of technique, awful lot of paint, makes a Cubist picture look like what it ain’t!”

– The New York Sun, March 8, 1913


At the 1913 Armory Show, the Association of American Painters and Sculptors endeavored to showcase the “New Spirit” of modern art. A backlash of scathing criticism showed how baffled the general American public was by the Cubist artworks in the exhibition. However, Cubism quickly became a shorthand expression for the structural changes precipitated by modernity. These artworks not only redefined artistic practice, but also helped alter society’s conception of the process through which we perceive the world. On its 100th anniversary, we will celebrate the Armory Show’s Cubist paintings and sculptures with an exhibition featuring 27 contemporary artists that poses the question: What is the legacy of Cubism in the hundred years since the Armory Show’s radical display of modern art, and especially, how has this become relevant today?

The artworks exhibited in Decenter explore the changes in perception precipitated by our digital age of spatial virtualization, and they closely parallel the language of simultaneity, non-linearity, fragmentation, and decenteredness that the Cubists used to examine their era’s radical transformations. Albeit contemporary artists who evoke early modernist forms produce analogous digitally mediated work that differs from the formal innovations of the historic avant-garde. The way artists today are inspired by the inter-cultural exchange of images from a worldwide database diverges from the project of Cubists such as Pablo Picasso, who strove to create a universal language from a combination of archaic Western forms and appropriated exotica. The sweeping changes brought about by the digital revolution and ubiquitous computing have produced a profound social and psychological impact on our everyday life. Accordingly, this exhibition celebrates the centenary of the groundbreaking Armory Show by assembling artworks that analyze these changes and the way they have affected our perception of the world.

Although the far-reaching historical significance of the Armory Show was examined through a partial re-creation of the show on its fiftieth anniversary in 1963 (sponsored by Henry Street Settlement, at which point they created our show’s venue – the Abrons Arts Center), even then, scholars acknowledged that the exhibition’s social import could not be replicated simply by re-staging the show, which had become a historical marker. In order to honor that “New Spirit,” and the collaborative process through which the 27 members of the Association of American Painters and Sculptors organized this radical exhibit, our 2013 show will display a group of artworks in the gallery, and also feature a corresponding internet component of digital works. This web-based portion of the show will grow as artists invite others to contribute in a process that highlights the diversity and expansiveness of the 1913 show’s legacy as it relates to our world today.

1913 Armory Show Centennial Event

Date: 4-6 PM Sunday, February 17, 2013

Followed by opening reception of:

Decenter: An Exhibition on the Centenary of the 1913 Armory Show

Abrons Arts Center, 466 Grand Street, New York, NY

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