New York

Robert Ryman, Classico 6, 1968, acrylic on six sheets of handmade watermarked Classico paper mounted on foamcore, each sheet approx. 30 x 22 1/2". From “50 Years: An Anniversary.”

Robert Ryman, Classico 6, 1968, acrylic on six sheets of handmade watermarked Classico paper mounted on foamcore, each sheet approx. 30 x 22 1/2". From “50 Years: An Anniversary.”

“50 Years: An Anniversary”

Paula Cooper Gallery | 524 W 26th Street

Robert Ryman, Classico 6, 1968, acrylic on six sheets of handmade watermarked Classico paper mounted on foamcore, each sheet approx. 30 x 22 1/2". From “50 Years: An Anniversary.”

Summarizing the activities of a major art gallery in a single exhibit would seem an impossible task, especially if the gallery happens to be the one opened by a young woman named Paula Cooper a cool fifty years ago. Originally the proprietor of the Paula Johnson Gallery and subsequently director of the collective Park Place Gallery during the mid-1960s, Cooper, one of SoHo’s first “settlers,” launched her eponymous space on an upper floor of a loft building on New York’s Prince Street in October 1968. (She would later move to nearby Wooster Street and ultimately to a cathedral-like space on West Twenty-First Street in Chelsea.) The program at Cooper has encompassed entire schools and generations and could easily be the subject of a museum exhibition. This anniversary show, staged at Cooper’s temporary space on West Twenty-Sixth Street, had a more precise aim; it sought to reconstruct

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