The 1960s was an exhilarating time for the New York avant-garde. Previously unimaginable artistic activities were staged almost daily, and a photographer like Peter Moore, who took on the unique task of documenting the new and often unrepeated events, could not miss a single evening. Night after night, Moore took his camera to rooftops, basements, and public parks to capture the exquisite moments of dance, theater, and cinema that have become legendary in performance art history. At first, Moore was often the only photographer present, and his images alone allow us to rejoice in the unparalleled innovations of those festive years.
This exhibition will focus on six festivals that took place between 1965 and 1973, using Moore’s images and archival materials to convey the extraordinary atmosphere of each series of events:
First New York Theater Rally, May 1 – 26, 1965
ONCE AGAIN, September 17 – 19, 1965
New Cinema Festival 1, November – December, 1965
4th Annual New York Avant Garde Festival, September 9, 1966
9 Evenings: Theatre & Engineering, October 13 – 23, 1966
Flux Game Fest, May 19 – 20, 1973
The many artists and performers pictured include: Roberts Blossom, John Cage, Lucinda Childs, Jim Dine, Judith Dunn, Simone Forti, David Gordon, Alex Hay, Deborah Hay, Allan Kaprow, Takehisa Kosugi, George Maciunas, Walter de Maria, Jonas Mekas, Charlotte Moorman, Gordon Mumma, Claes Oldenburg, Nam June Paik, Steve Paxton, Robert Rauschenberg, Yvonne Rainer, Takako Saito, Carolee Schneemann, Alan Solomon, and Robert Whitman.
We are grateful to the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation for lending film documentation of the First New York Theater Rally, New Cinema Festival 1, and 9 Evenings: Theatre & Engineering.
Peter Moore (b. 1932, London, d. 1993, New York) began his career as a photo lab technician at Life magazine and an assistant to O. Winston Link. In the 1970s and 80s, Moore wrote prolifically on the mechanics of photography for Modern Photography magazine (1978-89). His work was included in the 1970 show “Happenings and Fluxus” at the Kölnischer Kunstverein in Cologne, Germany; “Alternative Gestures: Another Look at Dance Photography” at P.S. 1, Long Island City, New York (1978); the Fluxus pavilion at the 1990 Venice Biennale; “In the Spirit of Fluxus” at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (1993); the 2nd Lyon Biennale (1993); “Art, Lies and Videotape” at Tate Liverpool (2003); “Simone Forti. Thinking with the Body: A Retrospective in Motion” at the Museum der Moderne in Salzburg (2014); “The City Lost and Found: Capturing New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles: 1960-1980” at the Art Institute of Chicago (2014-15); and the 14th Lyon Biennale (2017), among others. He has had one-person exhibitions at Ecart, Geneva (1980); Gallery 360º, Tokyo (1989); Galerie Alfred Kren, Cologne (1990); Sonnabend Gallery, New York (2004); and several one-person shows at Paula Cooper Gallery.