FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Oldest Alternative Art Space in New York City Leaves Landmark Clocktower Building And Announces 2014 Citywide Cultural Programs and Partnerships


Clocktower artists in residence, 1983-1984
Photo: Andrew Moore

After 40 years of operation from its historic 1894 McKim, Mead & White building in Lower Manhattan, the Clocktower Gallery announces its final exhibition in this legendary space, and its plans for relocation through a year of creative collaborations with partner organizations all over New York City.

Founded in 1972 by Alanna Heiss, the Clocktower Gallery was one of several spaces developed under the aegis of The Institute for Art and Urban Resources, an umbrella institution devoted to producing avant garde exhibitions in unused or overlooked spaces around the city. Among the sites transformed by the Institute were 10 Bleecker Street, the Coney Island Sculpture Museum, the Idea Warehouse, and P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center (now MoMA PS1). The Clocktower mounted groundbreaking solo exhibitions by artists including Joel Shapiro, Richard Tuttle, James Bishop, Gordon Matta-Clark, Lynda Benglis, Max Neuhaus, Dennis Oppenheim, Richard Artschwager, Pat Steir, Vito Acconci, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Charlotte Moorman, Laurie Anderson, and Marina Abramović, among numerous others. Since 2003, the building has housed the headquarters of the pioneering online radio station and audio archive operating at www.ARTonAIR.org.

The Clocktower is located in a City-owned building on Leonard Street, which has been sold to a developer with anticipated conversion for residential and commercial use.

On October 29th, 2013, the Clocktower will open the last exhibition in this renowned space, Dale Henry: The Artist Who Left New York, a show of painting, sculptural works and writing by the eccentric artist Dale Henry (1931 – 2011). The exhibition presents bodies of work not seen since the 1970’s and in many cases, never shown. This show of an almost forgotten artist shines significant light on the vibrant 1970’s Lower Manhattan arts scene, then the epicenter of Pop, Minimal, and Post-Modern work on an international scale.

Primer Sets at the John Weber Gallery, 1972. Photo: Clocktower Gallery

The Dale Henry exhibition will close on November 23rd, 2013. That afternoon Min Tanaka, the world-renowned dancer from Tokyo, Japan, will dance a farewell dance to the space. Tanaka’s historic connection to the institution is long-lasting. His dances at the Clocktower and P.S.1 have signaled and celebrated major times in the history of New York contemporary art and dance practice, including his 1976 dance for the opening of P.S.1, and his 2005 dance upon the death of Susan Sontag. Tanaka’s final Clocktower dance will be followed by a celebratory public event for the closing of the space.

As it searches for a new permanent home, the Clocktower has developed a groundbreaking new model for ongoing and overlapping collaboration with multiple organizations, covering a wide range of exhibitions, performances, residencies, and radio broadcasts. Beginning in November, the institution will be headquartered in Manhattan at Neuehouse, the private workspace Collective where Alanna Heiss will be be a Curator in Residence, contributing to Neuehouse’s existing programming and staging select exhibitions in concert with Neuehouse's Founders and Director of Programming, Michelle Grey.

In December 2013, the Clocktower will launch its collaboration with Pioneer Works, Center for Art and Innovation, in Red Hook with the second presentation of the Dale Henry exhibition in the center’s soaring ground floor gallery. Early 2014, the Clocktower will move into the Pioneer Works building for a year-long residency as part of Pioneer Works' institutional residency program, which will include a visual arts and radio headquarters as well as co-produced events. “The Clocktower, the oldest alternative space in the city, will move in with Pioneer Works, one of the youngest alternative spaces in the city. Dustin Yellin and I are thrilled to see our two institutions meet in this significant way”, says Heiss, Clocktower Director.

Beginning in January 2014, Alanna Heiss will serve as Curatorial Advisor for Knockdown Center, an up-and-coming art production space housed in a sprawling factory building complex in Maspeth, Queens. Heiss and her team will work with Knockdown to organize a range of visual arts programs, including a group exhibition of emerging installation and performance artists, and a historical show of minimal sculpture.


Times Square. Photo: The Pinnacle List

In Spring 2014, the Clocktower will renew its partnership with Times Square Arts for a second After Hours performance and installation series. Launched in April 2013, this program of evening events pairs musicians and visual artists to develop site-specific projects bringing audiences to hidden and peculiar spaces in the Times Square district, offering tantalizing glimpses of these spaces as creative catalysts. “We are excited to continue our partnership with the Clocktower. Their longstanding expertise in developing, broadcasting and archiving contemporary art continues to be key, wherever the location”, says Sherry Dobbin, Times Square Arts Director.

Essential to these many partnerships and locations is the continued, consistent broadcast activity of ARTonAIR.org, the radio station of the Clocktower. Accessible online 24/7, the radio will act more than ever as the institutional link between these many programs and spaces. It will accelerate its live streamcasts and remote broadcast partnerships, all archived on the organization’s website, while operating from a base station at Pioneer Works. The radio will reflect the intense programmatic visions of Pioneer Works, in addition to its own production and partnerships. Upcoming special radio partnerships include recordings and broadcasts produced with the Brooklyn Rail on the occasion of Come Together: Surviving Sandy¸ a 100,000-square foot, 300-artist exhibition commemorating the one year anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, presented in Industry City Oct – Dec., 2013.

Other upcoming projects include summer 2014 visual arts programs on Governors Island; Fall 2014 traveling exhibitions presented in Central and South America; and several exhibition catalogue publication projects.

For inquiries, contact Managing Director Beatrice Johnson at press@ARTonAIR.org or 212 964 9806



ABOUT OUR PARTNERS

Pioneer Works, Center for Art and Innovation, was founded by the Brooklyn-based artist Dustin Yellin in June 2012 with an open-ended cultural mission: to be a platform for innovation in contemporary arts and sciences and an incubator for cross-disciplinary collaboration. The center's brick and timber building in Red Hook houses exhibitions, performing arts, classes, lectures, art and science residencies & publications. Its diverse programming is designed to support cultural innovators and engage our community in productive dialogues. Emphasizing multi-disciplinary experimentation, artists, scientists & visitors collaborate to produce creative work and social change. Pioneer Works is a 501c3 non-profit social hub for the inception and dissemination of art and ideas.

Dustin Yellin, Founder & Director. Information: www.pioneerworks.org.



Times Square Arts collaborates with contemporary artists to experiment and engage with one of the world's most iconic urban places. Times Square Arts is a laboratory for contemporary art in the public realm - a place where ideas are tested and new possibilities explored. We work with artists and cultural institutions to create dialogues with Times Square and all of its physical and mythological manifestations. Through the Square's electronic billboards, public plazas, vacant areas and popular venues, and the Alliance's own online landscape, Times Square Arts invites leading contemporary creators to help the public see Times Square in new ways. Times Square has always been a place of risk, innovation and creativity, and the Arts Program ensures these qualities remain central to the district's unique identity.

Sherry Dobbin, Director. Information: www.timessquarenyc.org.



Born in 1903 in Maspeth, Queens, Knockdown Center was built to manufacture glass; it then was used to make doors. Situated on a sprawling three acre lot, it was a center for industry for over one hundred years. Now, it wants to be something else entirely. It wants to inspire and host the most inventive, courageous, and powerful creative projects it possibly can. Knockdown Center wants to challenge the world as it is, and manufacture sustainable ways to serve as a foundation for current and future cultural production.

Michael Merck, Project Coordinator. Information: www.knockdowncenter.com.



Neuehouse: From the modernist ‘machine for living’ to the post-modernist ‘machine for creating’ NeueHouse is a radically new kind of office: a series of spaces, experiences and amenities especially suited to ambitious innovators. A private membership work collective intended for both solopreneurs and those leading teams of up to 10 people, NeueHouse is a complete rethinking of the ideal working environment for today’s creators in such fields as film, design, fashion, publishing, the arts and tech.

Oberon Sinclair, Partner. Information: www.neuehouse.com.



The Clocktower Gallery gratefully acknowledges the generous support of Lawton W. Fitt, Agnes Gund, Jerry I. Speyer, Sanford Krieger, Lybess Sweezy, Wesley Johnson, Charles Carberry, and Caresse Lansberg. The Clocktower is supported in part by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council; the New York State Council on the Arts; the Jerome Foundation; the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Arts; the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation; mediaThe foundation; the Dedalus Foundation; the Harpo Foundation; and other foundations and individuals.