Epicenter of Art: Inside Club 57


Club 57 was a nightclub in East Village, NYC that served as the home of performance and visual artists and musicians of the '70s and '80s, making it the center of New Yorker art and counterculture.

Club 57 bar, 1981. Pictured - Ira Abramowitz. Photograph by and courtesy Lina Bertucci

Located in the basement of a Polish Church, club and event manager Ann Magnuson described it as the home of the "point-toed hipsters, girls in rockabilly petticoats, spandex pants, and thrift-store stiletto heels...suburban refugees who had run away from home to find a new family...who liked the things we liked - Devo, Duchamp, and William S. Burroughs - and (more important) hated the things we hated - disco, Diane von Fürstenberg, and The Waltons."

The place was a market for ideas and creativity, and the Museum of Modern Art's Club 57: Film, Performance, and Art in the East Village, 1978–1983 will be the first exhibition to outline the legacy of the club through art, music, photography, fashion, film, collage, printmaking, zines, curating, and other new modes that began here.

Elvis Presley Memorial Party at Club 57. Pictured- Kristine Dreuille (center), Drew Straub (right). 1980. Photograph by and courtesy Joseph Szkodzinski; Gerard Little. 1980. Photograph by Robert Carrithers. Courtesy the artist.; Lady Wrestling at Club 57. Pictured- Tom Scully, Tish and Snooky Bellomo. 1980. Photograph by and courtesy Harvey Wang; The Rule of Mr. Klaus #19, 1980. Photograph by Anthony Scibelli, from a series for a photo-roman written by Peter Nolan Smith (pictured). Collection Peter Nolan Smith, courtesy the artist

The Club as considered the hangouts of Madonna, Keith Haring, Cyndi Lauper, Charles Busch, Klaus Nomi, The B-52s, RuPaul, Futura 2000, Kenny Scharf, Frank Holliday, Staceyjoy Elkin, John Sex, Wendy Wild, The Fleshtones, Joey Arias, Lypsinka, Michael Musto, Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman, Fab Five Freddy, Jacek Tylicki, and Jean-Michel Basquiat.

The show will be running through April 1, 2018.

Stacey Elkin in her Amazon School of Modeling fashions, 1980. Photograph by and courtesy Blair Rainey; Tom Scully, 1978. Photograph by Christina Yuin; Xerox art exhibition at Club 57, c. 1980. Photograph by and courtesy Harvey Wang; Youth against Death. 1980. Photograph by Katherine Dumas. From left - Nancy Ulrich, Scott Covert, Frank Holliday, and Natalya Maystrenko. Courtesy the Estate of Katherine Dumas

Images are from the press kit.

2017-11-07 #news #art #photography #club-57

One Comment

  1. mtsteve
    mtsteve ·

    There's some lovely grain in those BW photos.

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