sva1November 19 – December 18, 2013

Reception: Thursday, November 21, 6:00 – 8:00pm

New York, NY – School of Visual Arts presents “Primary Sources: Documenting SVA and the New York Art World, 1966 – 1985,” a survey of the myriad new ways of making and experiencing art that found a home at the College over two decades. The exhibition brings together publications, posters and press materials, artist correspondence, installation plans and photographs, and other rarely seen documents, along with works in various media by 21 artists who exhibited at SVA: Vito Acconci, Stephen Antonakos, Jared Bark, Rosemarie Castoro, William Conlon, Donna Dennis, Cris Gianakos, Carol Haerer, Nicholas Hondrogen, Alfred Jensen, Joan Jonas, Donald Kaufman, Sol LeWitt, Charles Luce, Dennis Oppenheim, Lucio Pozzi, Michael Singer, Eve Sonneman, John Torreano, Stan VanDerBeek and Lawrence Weiner. Organized by Beth Kleber, archivist, and Zachary Sachs, coordinator, “Primary Sources” will be on view November 19 through December 18, 2013, at the SVA Chelsea Gallery, 601 West 26th Street, 15th floor, New York City. Due to Thanksgiving Recess, the gallery will close at 1:00pm on Wednesday, November 27 and re-open at 10:00am on Monday, December 2. 

There were many factors that brought SVA and emerging artists together in the late 20th century. Beginning in the 1970s, student exhibitions were held at SVA-operated galleries in Tribeca and then SoHo; these shows stand today as some of the earliest instances of a college presenting student work within a thriving gallery scene. At the same time, the College’s policy of hiring practicing artists led to a faculty that included Eva Hesse, Sol LeWitt, Lucy Lippard and Brice Marden, while SVA-organized lectures, performances and screenings brought attention to such figures as Laurie Anderson, Allan Kaprow and Lawrence Weiner. The proximity of the College’s campus to downtown Manhattan further strengthened the connection between SVA students and the city’s art community.

Exhibition highlights include the conceptual-art milestone “Working drawings and other visible things on paper not necessarily meant to be viewed as art” (1966), for which artist Mel Bochner solicited sketches, notes, receipts and other ephemera from Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, Robert Mangold and others, then photocopied and displayed them in four identical binders; “Line” (1976), in which neon sculpture by Stephen Antonakos shared space with a Cy Twombly drawing and a Gordon Matta-Clark photographic collage; “Performance Spaces” (1972), in which Bill Beckley was seen singing while doing push-ups and, in a separate video, Dennis Oppenheim munched on a gingerbread man; and “Sculptural Density” (1981), featuring work by Carl Andre, Nicholas Hondrogen, Martin Puryear, Joel Shapiro, Mia Westerlund, Tim Whiten and Jackie Winsor. 

“The abundance of material testifies to both the range and the concentration of energies present in New York and the emphasis the College and its faculty put on participating in a living dialogue with contemporary art,” Kleber says.

The School of Visual Arts Archives serves as the final repository for the historical records of School of Visual Arts. Its primary purpose is to document the history of the College and to provide source material for administrators, faculty, students, alumni and other members of the SVA community, as well as scholars, authors and other interested persons who seek to evaluate the impact of the College’s activities on the history of American artistic, social and cultural development. Materials in the archives include posters, announcements, departmental and student publications and other printed ephemera and artifacts, dating back to SVA’s founding in 1947. SVA Archives also collects administrative and departmental records, photographs and the papers of important individuals associated with the College. For more information, visit

The SVA Chelsea Gallery, located at 601 West 26th Street between 11th and 12th avenues, is open 10:00am to 6:00pm, Monday through Saturday. Admission is free. The gallery is accessible by wheelchair. For more information, call 212.592.2145.

School of Visual Arts has been a leader in the education of artists, designers and creative professionals for more than six decades. With a faculty of distinguished working professionals, dynamic curriculum and an emphasis on critical thinking, SVA is a catalyst for innovation and social responsibility. Comprised of more than 6,000 students at its Manhattan campus and 35,000 alumni in 100 countries, SVA also represents one of the most influential artistic communities in the world. For information about the College’s 32 undergraduate and graduate degree programs, visit