Red, White, Yellow, and Black: 1972–73
March 8, 2023 – April 29, 2023
512 West 19th St.
New York, NY
Opening Reception: March 7, 6–8pm
Exhibition Hours: March 8–April 29, Tues–Sat, 11am–6pm, FREE
Panel Discussion, March 11, 3pm, Free with RSVP
This March, the in-person portion of our winter/spring season kicks off with Red, White, Yellow, and Black: 1972-73—an exhibition recognizing the 50th anniversary of performances organized by the multicultural, female-led coalition. In December 1972 and April 1973, Shigeko Kubota, Mary Lucier, Cecilia Sandoval, and Charlotte Warren conceived of three multimedia concerts at The Kitchen, housed at the time in The Mercer Arts Center. Choosing a name that deliberately reflected the cultural identities of each member, the four artists conceived Red, White, Yellow, and Black as a group and inclusive platform that would highlight their individual backgrounds and experimental practices. The four women presented multimedia work which has notably dematerialized after the concerts, and has since been reconstructed only through scholarly text.
The coalition was initiated by Lucier and Kubota, who toured with the experimental music collective Sonic Arts Union in the late 1960s and began “discussing the need for women artists to come together” in the fall of 1972. Lucier invited Sandoval, a colleague from the ethnomusicology department at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, and Kubota invited Warren, an acquaintance from downtown theater and music ensembles in New York City, to participate in their first group performance. In the months prior to their first performances, the artists gathered in New York City, and, in lively correspondence, shared ideas about how to define their individual artistic practices and contextualize their life experiences within a shared program. Lucier wrote a letter to the other members in 1972, suggesting that “Each do what she does best… Shigeko, video, me slides and speech, Charlotte music and movement, and Cecilia tells stories in English and Navajo.”
This upcoming exhibition at our temporary home in Westbeth traces the energetic relationships of the four artists in group and brings together archival material and print ephemera from the evenings as well as the restaging of works by Kubota, Lucier, and Sandoval. Join us beginning March 7 to learn more about this history!