September 9, 2016

Post No Bills: Public Walls as Studio and Source

Neuberger Museum of Art at Purchase College, SUNY
Jacques Mahé de la Villeglé, Quai Jean Compagnon, 27 novembre 1989, 1989. Decollage on canvas, 76 3/4 x 51 inches. Courtesy Alan Koppel Gallery, Chicago, IL.

Work by nine internationally renowned artists who use the urban landscape as inspiration will be on view at the Neuberger Museum of Art in the multi-media group show Post No Bills: Public Walls as Studio and Source, opening September 11, 2016. The artists in this fascinating and colorful exhibition explore a contemporary archaeological aesthetic, celebrating the marks made by anonymous hands and examining the evolving history of walls that have been layered over time with paint posters, and narratives.

“Urban walls layered with graffiti, posters, messages, paintings, and drawings hold the history of a place,” explains Avis Larson, curator of the exhibition. “In our daily lives we often pass them by, barely noticing what appears on their surfaces. Yet these very walls contain a record of human existence that serves as an inspiration for this multi-generational group of artists.”

There are 20 works on view by Blu (Bologna), Mark Bradford (Los Angeles), Burhan Dogançay (Istanbul), José Carlos Martinat (Lima, Peru), José Parla (Brooklyn), JR (Paris), Robin Rhode (Berlin and Johannesburg), Vhils a.k.a. Alexandre Farto (Lisbon), Jacque Villeglé (Paris), each of whom contributes to and captures the unique and public narrative. Their subject matter revolves around the collective human experience and is rooted in the people, and the culture and physical environment of the cities in which they live. “The artists share a humanistic philosophy and have a tremendous sense of social responsibility. In a sense, they archive society,” Ms. Larson notes.

The humble materials they employ—such as house paint, chalk, wheat paste, paper, and detritus replicate the elements they find on the walls that inspire them. Their tools are those of carpenters, house painters, and excavators, while their techniques, often borrowed from graffiti culture, are inextricably linked to their subject matter.

Post No Bills: Public Walls as Studio and Source is organized by the Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College, SUNY, and curated by Avis Larson, Assistant Curator. Support for this exhibition has been provided by ArtsWestchester with support from the Westchester County Government. Additional support has been provided by the Friends of the Neuberger Museum of Art and by the Purchase College Foundation.


Public programs
In conjunction with Post No Bills, the Neuberger Museum of Art has organized the following programs:

Wednesday, September 28, 12:30–2:30pm
Film screening: Megunica and Q&A with Director Lorenzo Fonda
Join award-winning Italian filmmaker Lorenzo Fonda for a special screening and conversation of his film, Megunica, which follows the muralist and animator BLU through Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Argentina.

Wednesday, October 26, 12:30–2pm
Posters, Politics, and Power in Communist Cuba: Screening and discussion of Wrinkles of the City 
Artist-made documentary Wrinkles in the City follows JR and José Parlá as they collaborate in Cuba for the Havana Biennale. Following the screening, Elizabeth Guffey, Purchase College Professor of Art and Design History and author of the book Poster: Paper in the Post-Digital Age, will discuss how JR and Parlá’s project builds off the poster tradition in Communist Cuba.

Wednesday, November 2, 4:30–5:30pm
Trespass Festival: Claiming Space panel discussion
As part of the campus-wide, three-day Trespass Festival, this panel probes issues of urbanism, vandalism, freedom of speech, and the ways in which groups and individuals lay claim to public space.


Tickets to public programs are free to Purchase College students, staff, and faculty, and Neuberger Museum of Art Circle Level Members. General admission: 10 USD.

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