new-york

Arch Connelly, Culture and Landscape, 1985, acrylic, faux pearls, and chain on silk,
42 x 42".

Arch Connelly

La MaMa Galleria

Arch Connelly, Culture and Landscape, 1985, acrylic, faux pearls, and chain on silk,
42 x 42".

This small show of works by Arch Connelly was uplifting in the spirit sensible all through it and at the same time tremendously sad. I don’t think you had to have known Connelly, who died in 1993, to have that second response, though it might have helped to have lived in New York in the 1970s and ’80s, when the gay culture that held him and that he helped to shape went through first a dramatic, ecstatic flowering and then the brutal reduction imposed by the AIDS crisis. The show immediately summoned that history for those who lived through it, and also the shorter moment when Manhattan’s East Village was the center of an artist community and of a constellation of art and performance spaces and galleries, notably including the Fun Gallery, where Connelly exhibited. His show made me think, not for the first time, of how radically the decimation of the AIDS generation has altered

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