Acciones En La Calle: Street Works In New York and Latin America Circa 1970

Event date: 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015 (All day) to Friday, December 4, 2015 (All day)


Amelie A. Wallace Gallery, Campus Center
Exhibition at the Amelie A. Wallace Gallery



The Amelie A. Wallace Gallery at the State University of New York College at Old Westbury is pleased to announce the opening of “Acciones en la Calle: Street Works in New York and Latin America circa 1970,” a historical exhibition curated by Gillian Sneed, doctoral candidate in art history at CUNY Graduate Center, featuring documentation of street works by fourteen artists, related ephemera, and archival materials. Several important artworks will be re-presented and re-performed, including works by John Perreault and Eduardo Costa.
“Acciones en la Calle” considers the conceptual and performative strategies employed by artists in the 1960s and ’70s that rejected institutional spaces in favor of the street as the context and subject of their work. The exhibition’s point of departure is the six-part Street Works (1969-1970), a series of events during which numerous artists utilized urban public spaces in New York City’s streets as their performance and exhibition venues.
While New York is often considered the birthplace of this genre, street actions had also taken hold in Latin America, and relationships between Latin American and U.S. artists, critics, and curators developed. Latin American artists who sought exile from dictatorships or had been awarded grants came to New York, while many U.S. artists traveled to Latin America.
“Acciones en la Calle” demonstrates resonances and disjunctions between the works and their political, practical, and theoretical concerns. While the Civil Rights Movement and Vietnam War protests provided the backdrop against which street works emerged in the U.S., in Latin America limited art markets and repressive regimes left only the streets as venues for artistic intervention. These artists investigated the complex intersections of political repression, violence, and social marginalization in ways that challenged the traditional “center/periphery” model so often employed in canonical accounts of Latin American and U.S. conceptual art. Curator Sneed explains: “The relevance of these works could not be more urgent today, as activists across the Americas have returned to the streets to take action.”
The works in this exhibition revolve around three themes related to the urban setting: Site, Drift, and Debris. Site considers street works that mark or highlight the location where they unfolded; Drift engages works that wander through urban networks to produce dérives, or flows; and Debris explores what is revealed about a city’s inhabitants by the refuse that accumulates on their streets.
Participating Artists: Vito Acconci, Artur Barrio, Rosemarie Castoro, Eduardo Costa, Cris Gianakos, Victor Grippo, Stephen Kaltenbach, Leandro Katz, Rosemary Mayer, Ana Mendieta, Marta Minujín, Hélio Oiticica, John Perreault, and Regina Vater.

There will be a Opening Reception on Tuesday, October 27, 2015, from 5 – 8PM; an Exhibition Tour on Wednesday, November 4, 2015, from 1 – 2PM; and a Lecture by the Curator on Wednesday, November 18, 2015, from 4 – 5PM

The Amelie A. Wallace Gallery exhibits contemporary art by emerging and mid-career artists as well as works by the faculty and students of the Visual Arts Department. Lectures by and discussions with exhibiting artists are presented in conjunction with exhibition openings. The Gallery was formally dedicated to Amelie A. Wallace of Garden City on May 22, 1979. The late Mrs. Wallace, a member of the Old Westbury College Council from 1974 to 1980, was honored for her unflagging support of the College and her personal commitment to the arts at Old Westbury.
For further information about Acciones En La Calle, please contact gallery director Hyewon Yi at or 516-876-2709/646-421-5863.