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East Village comes to Mann Island in new exhibition

The vibrant arts scene of 1980s New York is being celebrated in a new exhibition on Mann Island to coincide with a major new show at Tate Liverpool.

New York Scene/Unseen is curated by New Yorker Suzie Zabrowska and features rarely seen-images from four photographers who charted the people, places and culture of the decade in the city’s East Village.

It runs until Jily 7 and complements a major exhibition of the work of American artist Keith Haring currently running at Tate. It also aims to connect with the Open Eye Gallery’s current show Kinship.

Zabrowska, who was a fashion model and artist in the East Village during the 80s, has drawn together photographs from April Palmieri, Ben Buchanan, Robert Carrithers and John Simone.

She says: “Each of us was involved in our own way, individually and collectively, and contributed to this significant art scene. Something truly inexplicable and mystical happened in this one decade. The blocks of the East Village world, with its scuzzy glamour, real danger and decaying low rent tenements, gave birth to an explosion of expression.

“These highly personal photographs provide an authentic glimpse into the streets, clubs and galleries inhabited by Keith Haring and his friends. Many of these photos were taken on the fly, in the centre of the action, without the knowledge we were experiencing and documenting an important part of history.

“The result is a snapshot of the enthusiasm of youth, caught up in a vortex in a time of extreme creativity.”

New York Scene/Unseen runs until July 7 at the Winter Garden outside Open Eye Gallery on Mann Island and is free.

Photo: Keith Haring first exhibition, Westbeth gallery NYC, Robert Carrithers, 1981


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