$25,000 for the Adopt-A-Mural program to uncover and restore the 1939 mural Abstraction. Sponsored by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), it is located in the Coler-Goldwater Memorial Hospital (formerly the Hospital for Chronic Diseases) on New York’s Roosevelt Island. The mural-covered by layers of paint for nearly two decades-represents the early efforts by American Abstract Artists’ member, Bolotowsky, to advance “non-objective” art in the United States.
Grant Recipients in 1999
$14,000 to acquire the 1986 sculpture, The Philosophical Nail, for its permanent collection. The Philosophical Nail is a gold-plated iron nail encased in an austere reliquary-like, freestanding wooden cabinet with glass panes. Byars produced work in Japan, Europe and America from the 1950s to the 1990s in a manner that frequently blended conceptual installation art with flamboyant self-performance.
$11,000 for the artist’s estate to publish The Yanomami Way of Life, a book on the life and art of Juan Downey. Inspired by his experience living among the Yanomami people of the Amazon Rain Forest during 1976 and 1977, Downey wrote extensive travelogues, created documentary photographs of the natives and made spiraling, mandala-like drawings based on his meditations and the Yanomami’s view of the universe.
$20,000 toward Moira Dryer, a touring retrospective exhibition and accompanying catalogue with essays by David Moos and Gregory Salzman as well as selections from the artist’s own writings. Canadian-born Dryer worked in New York in the 1980s and 1990s creating large abstract paintings that feature process-oriented compositions with thinly painted horizontal strips, blending, curving and dripping from the pull of gravity.
$10,000 to inventory and catalogue documents of art installations by the artist team Ericson and Ziegler, and to ultimately publish a monograph by curator Susan Harris. From the late 1970s until her death in 1995, Ericson and Ziegler created witty and stimulating installations and outdoor environments using everyday objects. These included, for example, Camouflaged History (1991), an entire Charleston, South Carolina house painted in a U.S. Military camouflage pattern with 72 commercial paint colors certified as historic by a local preservation group.
$11,000 toward William Gedney, a touring exhibition organized by curator Sandra Phillips, and to acquire works by the photographer. Gedney was a documentary photographer who created photographs from the 1960s to the 1980s. His direct, honest and intimate style is exemplified in his eastern Kentucky work that captured the spirit of small coal mining towns and also in his photographs of the “hippies” of San Francisco during the Beat Era.
$7,500 toward Icon Culture: The Late Paintings of Simon Gouverneur, organized by exhibitions director Andrea Pollan with a catalogue and lead essay by Dan Cameron. Gouverneur was born in New York City yet he painted and taught in several European and East Coast cities from the 1960s through the 1980s. His hard-edged abstract and patterned paintings exploring communication and symbolic language have been called the equivalent of a “visual Esperanto.”
$15,000 to document and inventory paintings and prints, as well as to organize his writings on art. Born in Brooklyn, McNeil trained as a painter at the Pratt Institute and the Art Students League as well as with Hans Hofmann. McNeil’s work ranges from classic, geometric Cubism to later figural abstraction and printmaking-all distinguished by an expressive and confident use of color and gesture.
$10,000 to acquire a series of ten photo etchings from 1981, Rupestrian Sculptures, for the Museum’s permanent collection. Born in Cuba and raised in the United States, Mendieta made the photo etchings to document a series of female figures that she carved into Cuban cliffs and cave walls. They are often interpreted as exploring primal and personal relationships between her body, the earth and art.
$15,000 toward the acquisition of the 1975 sculpture, Coil Piece, for the Museum’s permanent collection. Ree Morton created her art in New York and California in a relatively short period from 1971 to 1977. Unorthodox in both form and material, her work has been described as being situated between the disciplines of painting and sculpture. Coil Piece is one of her floor sculptures, brightly colored and hand-crafted, made of wire and celastic, a clay-like plastic material.
$15,000 for scholars Louise Jackson and Daniel Paul to organize records and artifacts documenting “Grandma” Prisbrey’s life’s work, the Bottle Village in Ventura County, California. In the 1950s “Grandma” Prisbrey took the wheels off the family trailer and began to build the Village, a site that , would ultimately grow to over a third of an acre. The Village is a complex of 13 small houses and other structures constructed of concrete and bottles, decorated by mosaics, dolls, pencils and other found, discarded objects.
$10,000 to complete production of Yield to Total Elation: The Life and Art of Achilles Rizzoli, a video by producer/director Pat Ferrero. Rizzoli worked by day as a draftsman in San Francisco and in his free time created fantastically complex architectural renderings of imaginary buildings and cities. These visionary Beaux-Arts plans were often overtly religious and hallucinatory with occasional erotic overtones, inspired by and dedicated to specific individuals.
$15,000 toward Jon Schueler: Time and Change, a touring exhibition and accompanying catalogue on the painter, organized by director Rebecca Massie Lane and catalogue essayist Diane Degasis Moran. Schueler attended art school in San Francisco in the late 1940s and returned to New York where he created large-scale atmospheric, abstract paintings that evoke images of water, clouds and sky, reminiscent of the Scottish coast that he visited each year.
$13,000 for estate advisor Ce Roser and consultant Sylvie Myerson to inventory and catalogue the artist’s paintings, collages and papers. Von Wiegand worked in New York City from the 1940s until the early 1980s and her work displays a life-long commitment to geometric abstraction and neo-plasticism. Her paintings and collages often depict grids filled in with primary colors, as well as other symbolic forms influenced by her interest in Buddhism and her friendship with Piet Mondrian.
$20,000 toward Fever: The Art of David Wojnarowicz, an exhibition organized by curator Dan Cameron, including a catalogue with essays by Cameron, Mysoon Rizk, and John Carlin. Wojnarowicz was a member of New York’s first wave of East Village artists in the early 1980s. His diverse body of work integrated painting, drawing, collage, sculpture and photography with poignant autobiographical details, frequently drawing upon political and tragic aspects of human experience such as the AIDS epidemic.
$12,500 toward the organization and preservation of hundreds of hours of the artist’s film and video footage given to New York University’s Fales Library by the Wojnarowicz estate. Once preserved and duplicated, the films, largely unseen and unknown, will be shown to the public at selected venues.
$10,000 to the artist’s estate to create a complete catalogue of Francesca Woodman’s photographs and negatives. Pursuing photography since the age of thirteen, Woodman’s self-portraiture incorporates highly personal raw images in timeless, spare interiors. Her naked figure is often posed with mirrors, shells, masks, and other props.