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  • Writer's pictureDavid Eichholtz

"Park Place Gallery: Founders and Friends, Then and Now"

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David Richard Gallery Presents a Survey of the Park Place Group Including Founding Members and Their Friends with Paintings and Drawings from the 1960s and Selections of Later Career Artworks from Each Artist

The Park Place Gallery, initially located at 79 Park Place in lower Manhattan, became an important artist collective and exhibition venue for experimental art in New York in the 1960s. The founding members, many transplants from the West Coast, were comprised of five painters: Dean Fleming, Tamara Melcher, David Novros, Edwin Ruda, Leo Valledor and five sculptors: Mark de Suvero, Peter Forakis, Robert Grosvenor, Anthony Magar and Forrest Myers. The gallery director was Paul Cooper.

Working in diverse materials and approaches, the group formed in 1962 to explore their mutual interest in literal and illusory space, music and social concerns. The founders invited their friends and younger artists to exhibit at Park Place Gallery where together they explored cutting edge and experimental art that included geometric abstraction, Op Art, shaped canvases, minimalism and large-scale sculpture. Their friends and guest exhibitors included many notable and important artists, including Sol LeWitt, Al Held, Brice Marden, Carl Andre, Eva Hesse, Peter Reginato and Joan Jonas among others. The gallery moved in 1965 to West Broadway in SoHo where it remained until 1967.

David Richard Gallery is pleased to present “Park Place gallery: Founders and Friends, Then and Now”. The curatorial focus of the exhibition will be on paintings and drawings from the 1960s as well as later career works from founding members Dean Fleming, Edwin Ruda and Leo Valledor along with several of their friends and quest exhibitors at Park Place: Linda Fleming, Patsy Krebs, Ronnie Landsfield, Robert Swain, Neil Williams and Mario Yrisarry.

The members of the Park Place Group and Gallery have been the subject of several important museum exhibitions that explored their contributions and importance in the burgeoning, cutting edge art scene in Lower Manhattan during the 1960s. Curated by Linda Dalrymple Henderson, the Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, presented “Reimagining Space: The Park Place Gallery Group in 1960s New York” from September, 2008 to January, 2009. Our exhibition overlaps with New York University’s Grey Art Gallery presentation, “Inventing Downtown: Artist-Run Galleries in New York City, 1952-1965”, curated by Melissa Rachleff on exhibition January through April 1, 2017. That presentation includes several artworks by Park Place Gallery founding members Dean Fleming, Edwin Ruda and Leo Valledor among many others.

David Eichholtz

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