new-york

Gordon Matta-Clark, Open House, 1972, still from a film in 16 mm transferred to DVD, 41 minutes. From “112 Greene Street: The Early Years (1970–1974).

“112 Greene Street: The Early Years (1970–1974)”

David Zwirner/Salomon Contemporary

Gordon Matta-Clark, Open House, 1972, still from a film in 16 mm transferred to DVD, 41 minutes. From “112 Greene Street: The Early Years (1970–1974).

112 Greene Street helped catalyze SoHo in the 1970s. The artist-run gallery occupied a building owned by Jeffrey Lew, with Gordon Matta-Clark as resident imp and impresario; artists and dancers working there comprised a friendship circle that was also a post-Minimal Who’s Who. Like that of any legend, the history of this wild incubator—where site-specific, collaborative artmaking bloomed—poses curatorial problems now. Whose memories get sanctioned? How can re-created objects, archived ephemera, and grainy video in commercial white cubes capture what participants loved: no-holds-barred play?

Two shows, separately conceived, told parallel versions of the story. Both were inside jobs. “112 Greene Street: A Nexus of Ideas in the Early ’70s,” at Salomon, was curated by Ned Smyth, who joined the party in 1971 when Keith Sonnier and Dickie Landry picked him up hitchhiking. “112

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.