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H OO R AY FO R HOLLY WOO D! C E LE B R ATI N G H O LLY SO LOMO N

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H O O R AY F O R H O L LY W O O D : C E L E B R AT I N G H O L LY S O L O M O N Co-presented by Mixed Greens Gallery & Pavel Zoubok Gallery 531 West 26th Street January 9 - February 8, 2014

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When Holly Solomon was setting up her first gallery in Soho in 1975, the artist Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt suggested “she change the name from the Holly Solomon Gallery to The Ellis Island Gallery.” Solomon rejected Lanigan-Schmidt’s metaphor of the artist as a new-world immigrant, but she understood its meaning. The commercial representation her gallery offered certain artists such as Richard Nonas, Tina Girouard, Donna Dennis, Kim MacConnel, Robert Kushner, Laurie Anderson, among others, gave them the opportunity to build their careers as they moved into the mainstream art world. But having her name on the window of her gallery represented more to Solomon than just having her name up in lights. The creation of the Holly Solomon Gallery was, at that point, the culmination of a “life-long interest and love in acting, art collecting and alternative performance spaces.” These three areas all came into one focus when she opened her gallery. Holly Solomon was born Hollis Dworkin in 1934, and grew up in a Jewish, middle-class, area in Bridgeport, Connecticut. During her college years at Sarah Lawrence, she studied acting and minored in art history. She married Horace Solomon in June 1954 and moved to New York City. There, she studied acting at The Actor’s Studio and later with Lee Strasberg. She auditioned for parts in plays using the stage name Hollis Belmont. During these years she also raised her sons, Thomas and John. A pivotal moment came in 1962 when Holly and Horace Solomon began collecting Pop Art. Solomon was fortunate at this time to meet Richard Bellamy, Director of The Green Gallery, and Leo Castelli, who were both instrumental in exhibiting and establishing the Pop Art genre. Bellamy’s gallery, in particular, became one of the most important galleries for Solomon to see the “new art” from 1960 to 1965. Solomon would hang out at The Green Gallery, “just learning, talking to artists. . . . I would look at the shows, look through the racks. . . . I really wanted to learn.” It became her “second home.” When her father died in 1964, Solomon inherited six thousand dollars, which became the monetary basis for building her collection. Being known as a collector gave Solomon a “public presence,” but Warhol’s 1966, nine-panel portrait of Holly Solomon made her a pop icon. This certainly idealized her image in the public mind, but as Ned Smyth remarked, “portraits of Holly Solomon are self-acknowledgements of her social status and celebrity.” She appeared in not only Warhol’s portrait, but also Roy Lichtenstein’s portrait, I’m Sorry, 1964; Robert Rauschenberg’s Polaroid portrait, 1966; Christo’s Wrapped Portrait of Holly, 1966-67; Richard Artschwager’s Portrait of Holly, 1971; Robert Mapplethorpe’s photographic triptych of Solomon reclining and smoking in bed, 1976; Ned Smyth’s Greco-Roman mosaic portrait, 1983; and Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt’s annunciation picture, Holly Solomon Arriving on 57th Street, 1983. 5


These portraits of Holly Solomon all demonstrate an aspect of her theatrical side. Solomon understood the art world at large to be a form of theater and she comprehended how the presentation of an artist’s work can be equated with stage design. Solomon’s theater training helped develop her ability to arrange an exhibition and highlight the true merit of the work. Beginning in the late 1960s, Solomon’s collecting focus changed. She encountered “the experimental pieces of Dennis Oppenheim and work by Italy’s Arte Povera group, works by Walter De Maria, Bruce Nauman, Joseph Kosuth, and conceptual art.”1 The Solomons began collecting the “next generation of artists…” ••• The Solomons opened the 98 Greene Street loft, designed and built by Gordon MattaClark, concurrent with 112 Greene Street. It was a way of supporting artists and giving them a space where they could perform or exhibit work. She remembers, “When I opened the space at 98 Greene Street at the end of 1969, I was a theater person who collected art. The theater no longer interested me, and I felt that it was about time I did something that I could do.”2 The Solomons invited poets from Saint Marks Church to read there; filmmakers to exhibit their films; performance artists to perform; and visual artists to create installations. It was primarily a performance space but a number of artists had their first, one-person shows there such as George Scheenman, Denise Green, Thomas LaniganSchmidt, among others. During the three years of its existence, it offered artists and poets an opportunity to create works in an uncensored venue. Solomon’s patronage of young, downtown artists was the “starting point” in her development toward becoming a dealer. Solomon tirelessly visited the studios of then unknown artists. The dealer John Gibson, for example, first took her to the studio of Gordon MattaClark, who in turn would introduce her to Ned Smyth. The poet Ted Greenwald took Solomon to the studio of Denise Green, who in turn took Solomon to Donna Dennis’s studio and so forth. Jeffrey Lew mentioned how Solomon “would come to your studio and make your work feel important.” During this time, Holly Solomon was learning to be involved in “the artist’s process.” She deeply cared about the artists’ motivations, intentions, and perspectives behind the works, and wanted to support the artists by more complex means than just money. According to Richard Nonas, Solomon “unlike most collectors, understood what the artist was doing because she was an artist herself.” She was clearly more than a financial patron – she was a driving force that helped artists continue making work. ••• On September 6, 1975, Solomon opened a new gallery space at 392 West Broadway. The mid-1970s was also the period of second-wave feminism. This historical movement coincided with Solomon’s gallery opening and her push to be emotionally and financially independent. In a 1981 interview, Solomon said: “It was also important for me in that it opened up my own sense of myself as an independent person. It contributed to my sense of being a capable human being, and as a woman that it was okay to make a living and help others make a living…”3 By opening the gallery, Solomon was merging two aspects

A Dealer’s Education. From Living With Art. Holly Solomon & Alexandra Anderson. Rizzoli. New York. 1988. pg. 203.  8 Greene Street. From ALTERNATIVES IN RETROSPECT. AN HISTORICAL OVERVIEW, 1969-1975. Jacki Apple, guest curator. 9 Essay by Mary Delahoyd. THE NEW MUSEUM. 1981. pg. 28. 3 98 Greene Street. From ALTERNATIVES IN RETROSPECT. AN HISTORICAL OVERVIEW, 1969-1975. pg. 28 1 2

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of her life: first, as a Park Avenue matron and secondly as an influential art world patron who enjoyed the company of downtown artists. With thirteen years of experience collecting art and running the 98 Greene Street loft, she was prepared to take on the responsibilities and demands of operating a professional, commercial art gallery. The roster, which included Richard Nonas, Gordon Matta-Clark, Tina Girouard, Mary Heilmann, Ned Smyth, Donna Dennis, Thomas Lanigan-Schmidt, and Laurie Anderson, was a mixture of newly met artists and others who were already involved at 98 and 112 Greene Street. Within the first two years of the gallery’s opening, the subsequent success of the Pattern & Decoration style of work made The Holly Solomon Gallery a “must see” gallery. Solomon wasn’t the sole proponent of Pattern & Decoration, but her efforts to promote and exhibit works by some of the core artists of this style – such as Tina Girouard, Kim MacConnel, Robert Kushner, Valerie Jaudon, Brad Davis, Robert Zakanitch – in both Europe and America, certainly opened a door for the multicultural diversity in the art world that would follow. Ned Smyth believes Holly Solomon was confronting the prevailing aesthetic taste of the New York School by “moving away from Pop art, Minimalism and Conceptual Art, and presenting work that was off the canvas, and decorative.” Certainly, Solomon’s efforts were significant in fostering the pluralist styles of art that partly defined the 1980s art world. Along with her commitment to Pattern & Decoration, Solomon also mounted a range of important exhibitions at 392, including a 1977 exhibit of Robert Mapplethorpe’s photographs; a 1977 exhibit of Marcel Duchamp: Selected Works on Paper; Sigmar Polke’s first New York exhibition in 1980; and important, early exhibitions of Nam June Paik’s video installations. Even after the gallery moved uptown in 1983 to 724 Fifth Avenue, Solomon maintained her stylistic independence. By 1990, her gallery relocated once again to 172 Mercer, back in Soho. The gallery would remain there for almost ten years as Solomon continued exhibiting a wide range of both established and young, unknown artists. She gave shows to Julia Jacquette and Melissa Meyer, among others. Solomon was a maverick and a trendsetter who strongly believed in discovering unknown artists and giving them the opportunity to present their work to the public. She died in 2002, well recognized for her achievements.

—Erik La Prade Erik is currently working on the biography Holly Solomon: The Art of Living

Thanks to Richard Nonas, Brice Brown and Don Joint.

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PORTR AITS

NICOLAS AFRICANO Dear Holly, 1991-2 painted glass 10 x 8 inches Collection of Thomas Solomon and John Solomon

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ED BAYNARD 5 from 98 Greene Street Loft, 1971 film still 8¾ x 10½ inches each Collection of Thomas Solomon and John Solomon

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CHRISTO Study for Portrait of Holly, 1966 charcoal and paint on paper on Masonite, plastic, twine 29 x 19 inches Collection of Thomas Solomon and John Solomon

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ARCH CONNELLY Holly Sparkling, 1988 acrylic, photograph, glitter, sequins on cardboard 19 x 16 inches Collection of Thomas Solomon and John Solomon

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PETER HUTCHINSON Portrait of Holly, 1995 color photograph and acrylic mounted on mat board with pen 31 x 40 inches Collection of Thomas Solomon and John Solomon

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ELISA JIMENEZ Portrait of Holly in Sketchbooks, 1995-9 mixed media on sketchbook, monofilament, assorted gems, music, healing oil dimensions variable Courtesy of the artist

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JOSEPH KOSUTH Definition of Holly, 1968 newsprint and graphite on paper 5½ x 4½ inches Collection of Thomas Solomon and John Solomon

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ROBERT KUSHNER Portrait of Holly, 1984 acrylic, ink, wallpaper collage on paper 29 x 22½ inches Collection of Thomas Solomon and John Solomon

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THOMAS LANIGAN-SCHMIDT Holly Solomon Arriving on 57th Street, 1983 mixed media with photographs 42 inch diameter (tondo); 72 inch diameter (tondo with photos) Collection of Thomas Solomon and John Solomon

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ROBERT MAPPLETHORPE Portrait of Holly, 1976 photograph (in handmade artist frame) 22 他 x 50 他 inches Collection of Thomas Solomon and John Solomon

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GORDON MATTA-CLARK Portrait of Holly and Horace Solomon, 1975 photograph 41 x 32½ inches Collection of Thomas Solomon and John Solomon

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DAVID McDERMOTT & PETER McGOUGH Portrait of Holly, Date Unknown work on paper 13 x 16 inches Collection of Thomas Solomon and John Solomon

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NAM JUNE PAIK Portrait of Holly (large), 1997 c-print and marker 24 x 46½ inches Collection of Thomas Solomon and John Solomon

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MIMMO ROTELLA Portrait of Holly, Date Unknown Photo Silkcreen on Canvas 29 x 22½ inches Collection of Thomas Solomon and John Solomon

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NED SMYTH Portrait of Holly, 1983 mosaic 37 x 49 x 4 inches Collection of Thomas Solomon and John Solomon

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ANDY WARHOL Portrait of Holly, Date Unknown sequence of 4 photo booth snapshots 7¾ x 1½ inches Collection of Thomas Solomon and John Solomon

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WILLIAM WEGMAN Portrait of Holly, 1981 color photograph (diptych – Holly and Man Ray) 24 x 40 inches Collection of Thomas Solomon and John Solomon Photo Credit: Wegman Studio

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WOR KS

NICOLAS AFRICANO Girl With Fruit, 1991 watercolor on paper 27½ x 21½ inches Collection of Thomas Solomon and John Solomon

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LAURIE ANDERSON Break It (a film/song in 24/24 time), 1976 collage on paper 22 x 16 inches Collection of Thomas Solomon and John Solomon

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LAURIE ANDERSON White on White, 1976 collage on paper 13½ x 10¼ inches Collection of Thomas Solomon and John Solomon

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JARED BARK Untitled (Triangular Stomach), 1975 photograph 17 x 17 inches Collection of Thomas Solomon and John Solomon

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ROBERT BARRY It can seem to be interesting…, 1971 typewriter ink on 2 pages of paper 11 x 8½ inches each Collection of Thomas Solomon and John Solomon

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JOHN BOWMAN Another World, 1986 oil on linen with wooden frame 20 x 26 inches Courtesy of the artist

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BRAD DAVIS Bird & Lotus Tondo #4, 1979 acrylic and polyester on canvas 42 inch diameter Collection of Thomas Solomon and John Solomon

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DONNA DENNIS Tourist Cabin Porch (Maine), 1976 mixed media 78½ x 82 x 26½ inches Courtesy of the artist

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DONNA DENNIS Maquette of Tourist Cabin Porch (Maine), 1975 pebble board, glue, nylon stocking, pencil, watercolor 4½ x 4½ x 1½ inches Courtesy of the artist

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SUZAN ETKIN 5 Silvered Logs, 2013 hand blown silvered glass 17-21 inches long, 4-6 inches diameter Courtesy of the artist

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TINA GIROUARD Air Fire Earth Water, 1974-80 mixed media 3 x 12 feet Courtesy of the artist and Salomon Contemporary

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SUSAN GRAHAM Tornado With Cloud, 1998 silver gelatin print 8 x 10 inches Courtesy of the artist and Schroeder Romero Photo Credit: Chuka Chukuma

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MARY HEILMANN Untitled, 1978 Watercolor on paper 30 x 22 inches ŠMary Heilmann Collection of the Artist; Courtesy of 303 Gallery and Hauser & Wirth Photo credit: Thomas Muller

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LISA HOKE Timed Coffee Stain Series (1), 1996 coffee, paper pulp, ink on paper 25 x 20 inches Courtesy of the artist

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DOUGLAS HUEBLER Points of Corners of a 5� Cube in Isometric Projection, 1968 type, pen, pencil, tape on paper 15 x 14 inches Collection of Thomas Solomon and John Solomon

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JULIA JACQUETTE Touch Your Skin (Steak Platter), 1997 enamel on wood panel 20 x 27 inches Courtesy of the artist

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VALERIE JAUDON North Carrollton II, 1979 oil on canvas 18 x 18 inches Courtesy of the artist

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CHRISTOPHER KNOWLES Letter to Grandparents, 1977 red and green typewriter ink on paper 11 x 8½ inches Collection of Thomas Solomon and John Solomon

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ROBERT KUSHNER Wedding Dress, 1976 acrylic on cotton, nylon hats, silk tassels, Japanese silk 106 x 108 inches Courtesy of the artist and DC Moore Gallery

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THOMAS LANIGAN-SCHMIDT A Summer Before Vatican II (Tredentine Church), 1976 cardboard, foil, magic marker, plastic, printed material, staples, found objects, and other media 30 x 13Ÿ x 12ž inches Courtesy of Pavel Zoubok Gallery Photo Credit: Chuka Chukuma

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JEAN LOWE Installation of 12 Books, 1994-6 enamel on papier-mâché dimensions variable Courtesy of the artist and McKenzie Fine Art Inc.

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KIM MacCONNEL Fishin’, 1978 acrylic on fabric 89 x 104 inches Courtesy of the artist and Salomon Contemporary

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VIRGIL MARTI Young Nakeds (Oceanview), 1999 direct digital c-prints in plexi box frame 48 x 48 inches Courtesy of the artist

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VIRGIL MARTI Young Nakeds (Picture Wall), 1999 direct digital c-prints in plexi box frame 48 x 48 inches Courtesy of the artist

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GORDON MATTA-CLARK Doors, Through and Through, 1976 three color photographs 20 x 16 inches each Collection of Thomas Solomon and John Solomon

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GORDON MATTA-CLARK Etant D’Art Locatoire, 1975 2 panel diptych cibachrome 22 x 56 inches Collection of Thomas Solomon and John Solomon

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MELISSA MEYER The Princesse De Cleves, 1991 oil on canvas 80 x 78 inches Courtesy of the artist

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NABIL NAHAS Untitled, 1988 acrylic on canvas 47 x 39 inches Courtesy of the artist

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RICHARD NONAS Untitled, 1971 butcher paper and white glue in wood box 9½ x 14 x 1½ inches Courtesy of the artist

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NAM JUNE PAIK Tropics, 1991 acrylic with found wood mask, spoon, ½ scissors, Sony watchman, antenna, and plywood 41½ x 48 x 5 inches Collection of Thomas Solomon and John Solomon

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NAM JUNE PAIK Dog, 1995 video sculpture, laser disc player 56 x 17 x 22 inches Collection of Thomas Solomon and John Solomon

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IZHAR PATKIN The Meta Bride Concert at Holly Solomon Gallery, Easter Sunday, 1983 video 3 min 11 sec Courtesy of the artist

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JUDY PFAFF Wallabout, 1986 mixed media assemblage 103 x 68 x 59 inches Courtesy of Pavel Zoubok Gallery

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BARBARA POLLACK Simon, 1997 unique cibachrome 15 x 15 inches Courtesy of the artist

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JON RAPPLEYE All the way up to the top of the Night (illuminated), 2013 site-specific duratrans (Window Installation) Courtesy of the artist

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GEORGE SCHNEEMAN Plaid Shirt (Red), 1976 Plaid Shirt (Blue), 1976 fresco on cinder block 9 x 7½ inches each Courtesy of the artist and Pavel Zoubok Gallery

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ALEXIS SMITH Masculine/Feminine, 1978 (Details) collage 13 x 180 x 4 inches (the piece was installed horizontally in the exhibition) Collection of Thomas Solomon and John Solomon

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NED SMYTH An Instrument of Individualization-Structure and Reverence, 1973-95 wood with stone and 18 karat gold glass mosaic/concrete 93 x 96 x 36½ inches Courtesy of the artist and Salomon Contemporary

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ROB WYNNE SUIT, 1993 sewn canvas, silkscreen, and mirrored glass buttons dimensions variable Courtesy of the artist

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ROBERT ZAKANITCH Untitled (Floral Study), 1983 watercolor on paper 15Âź x 11 inches each Courtesy of the artist Photo Credit: Chuka Chukuma

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JOE ZUCKER Chomp, 1975 acrylic, cotton Rhoplex 30 x 30 x 2 inches Collection of Thomas Solomon and John Solomon

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Photo Credit: Etienne Frossard (Unless otherwise indicated)

Portraits

Works

NICOLAS AFRICANO, b. 1948

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NICOLAS AFRICANO, b. 1948

ED BAYNARD, b. 1940

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LAURIE ANDERSON, b. 1947

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CHRISTO, b. 1935

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JARED BARK, b. 1944

ARCH CONNELLY (1950-1993)

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ROBERT BARRY, b. 1936

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PETER HUTCHINSON, b. 1930

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JOHN BOWMAN, b. 1953

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ELISA JIMENEZ, b. 1963

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BRAD DAVIS, b. 1942

JOSEPH KOSUTH, b. 1945

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DONNA DENNIS, b. 1942

ROBERT KUSHNER, b. 1949

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SUZAN ETKIN, b. 1955

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THOMAS LANIGAN-SCHMIDT, b. 1948

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TINA GIROUARD, b. 1946

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ROBERT MAPPLETHORPE (1946-1989)

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SUSAN GRAHAM, b. 1968

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GORDON MATTA-CLARK (1943-1978)

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MARY HEILMANN, b. 1940

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LISA HOKE, b. 1952

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DAVID McDERMOTT & PETER McGOUGH, b. 1952 and 1958, respectively

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NAM JUNE PAIK (1932-2006)

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MIMMO ROTELLA (1918-2006)

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NED SMYTH, b. 1948

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ANDY WARHOL (1928-1987)

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WILLIAM WEGMAN, b. 1943

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DOUGLAS HUEBLER (1924-1997)

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JULIA JACQUETTE, b. 1964

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VALERIE JAUDON, b. 1945

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CHRISTOPHER KNOWLES, b. 1959

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ROBERT KUSHNER, b. 1949

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THOMAS LANIGAN-SCHMIDT, b. 1948

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JEAN LOWE, b. 1960

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KIM MacCONNEL, b. 1946

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VIRGIL MARTI, b. 1962

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GORDON MATTA-CLARK (1943-1978)

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MELISSA MEYER, b. 1947

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NABIL NAHAS, b. 1949

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RICHARD NONAS, b. 1936

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NAM JUNE PAIK (1932-2006) IZHAR PATKIN, b. 1955

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JUDY PFAFF, b. 1946

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BARBARA POLLACK, b. 1957

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JON RAPPLEYE, b. 1967

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GEORGE SCHNEEMAN (1934 – 2009)

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ALEXIS SMITH, b. 1949

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NED SMYTH, b. 1948

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ROB WYNNE, b. 1950

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ROBERT ZAKANITCH, b. 1935

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JOE ZUCKER, b. 1941

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Profile for Mixed Greens

Hooray For Hollywood!  

Celebrating Holly Solomon

Hooray For Hollywood!  

Celebrating Holly Solomon

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