Somewhere Downtown: Art in 1980s New York/ 下城往事: 1980年代的紐約藝術現場

This catalogue is published in conjunction with the exhibition Somewhere Downtown: Art in 1980s New York at UCCA Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, from October 1, 2022 to January 29, 2023. The exhibition is curated by Carlo McCormick and Peter Eleey.

UCCA Center for Contemporary Art presents “Somewhere Downtown,” a group exhibition evoking and celebrating the uninhibited creativity of Downtown New York City in the 1980s. The exhibition reveals the heights of expression that arose from within the urban landscape of America’s largest city at its economic nadir. Artists from vastly different backgrounds, working across a remarkable range of media, emerged in New York during this era and went on to become some of the most important artists of the late twentieth century. In galleries and museums, but also on the streets, in nightclubs, and at new alternative spaces that artists founded themselves, it was a time of radical experimentation and open dialogue, but also a turbulent period in which artists and their communities were buffeted by—and responded to—the AIDS crisis, New York City’s accelerating gentrification, and the expansion of consumer culture. Eschewing chronological or genre-based organization, the exhibition is arranged into ten sections that trace out themes through the work of artists in a wide variety of media: from interventions in painting, sculpture, photography, and performance, to explorations of then-nascent forms such as graffiti and new media installations. “Somewhere Downtown” features the work of sixty artists and groups, from the most celebrated artists of the era to unsung innovators.

-from exhibition website