New York

East Village USA

New Museum
235 Bowery
December 2–March 19

The East Village scene of the early ’80s—a roiling stew pot of artistic endeavors and a cesspool of degradation, intentional or otherwise—still exerts a powerful hold on the imagination of those who lived through its glories and excesses and those born circa 1985, the year Carlo McCormick declared the whole shebang dead in the East Village Eye. Opening at the New Museum’s temporary Chelsea location, this survey outlines counterculture antecedents and attempts to encompass the full spectrum of Alphabet City with more than eighty artists, from avatars of graffiti art and punk expressionism to pencil-sharpening practitioners of the neo-geo and “Pictures” typology. Will Fun Gallery proprietor and underground-film star Patti Astor attend the opening? I sure hope so.