Under Erasure at Pierogi

“Under Erasure”
Curated by Raphael and Heather Rubinstein
28 November, 2018—6 January, 2019
Opening Reception: Wednesday, 28 November. 5-8pm

Artists and authors included:
Joe Amrhein | Jenni B. Baker | Jean-Michel Basquiat | Heather Bause Rubinstein | Joshua Beckman | Gene Beery | Jen Bervin | Charles Bernstein | Luca Bertolo | Joseph Beuys | Lisa Blas | Mel Bochner | Ariana Boussard-Reifel | Pierre Buraglio | Doris Cross | The Deletionist.com, Amaranth Borsuk + Jesper Juul + Nick Montfort | David Diao | Peter Gallo | Dana Frankfort | Guerilla Girls | Harmony Hammond | Jane Hammond | Ann Hamilton | Matthea Harvey + Amy Jean Porter | Christian Hawkey + Uljana Wolf | Charline von Heyl | Dennis Hollingsworth | Janet Holmes | Jenny Holzer | Emilio Isgrò | Samuel Jablon | Ray Johnson | Ronald Johnson | Kim Jones | Joseph Kosuth | Cody Ledvina | Tony Lewis | Glenn Ligon | Mark Lombardi | Travis Macdonald | Suzanne McClelland | Arnold Mesches | Dan Miller | Donna Moylan | Kristen Mueller | Loren Munk | Bruce Nauman | Joshua Neustein | Nina Papaconstantinou | Bruce Pearson + Mónica de la Torre | M. NourbeSe Philip | Tom Phillips | Niina Pollari | Richard Prince | Edouard Prulhière + Raphael Rubinstein | Sylvia Ptak | Archie Rand | Stephen Ratcliffe | Robert Rauschenberg | Srikanth Reddy | David Reed | Ridykeulous + AL Steiner + Nicole Eisenman | Mary Ruefle | Jerry Saltz + Anonymous Artist | David Scher | Mira Schor | Teresa Serrano | John Sparagana | Antoni Tàpies | Shane Tolbert | Betty Tompkins | Jim Torok | Xiaofu Wang

Press Release

Two events held in conjunction with the exhibition:
December 12, 2018. 6pm.  A poetry reading with Matthea Harvey, Christian Hawkey, Mónica de la Torre, and Travis Macdonald

A panel discussion—details and date to be confirmed
Both events are free and open to the public

Pierogi is proud to present “Under Erasure,” an exhibition curated by Heather and Raphael Rubinstein. The exhibition will include works by 81 contributors, including visual artists, writers, and collaborative teams. Spanning the 1960s to the present, the exhibition features paintings, drawings, prints, agit-prop posters, books, manuscripts, and video, and is accompanied by an online catalogue at under-erasure.com and a print publication, Under Erasure, published by Nonprofessional Experiments.

Taking its title from Jacques Derrida’s concept of “under erasure,” the exhibition will include both visual artists and contemporary writers whose works feature different forms of erasure. For Derrida (as for Heidegger before him) to put a word under erasure (sous rature) is to signal the inadequacy of inherited language while also recognizing its inevitability. Since Derrida introduced the concept of under erasure in his 1967 book Of Grammatology, this emphatically visual act of intervention has become an indispensable technique in diverse disciplines.

Many of the works included in the exhibition, by artists such as Jenny Holzer and Glenn Ligon, utilize erasure and redaction to emphasize the political dimension of language, its coercive effects, its role in surveillance, as well as its capacity to make visible what has been marginalized, or at least register the trace of that marginalization. Urgent issues are addressed by works such as Ariana Boussard-Reifel’s excised white-supremacist tract, a Guerrilla Girls poster skewering the Trump Administration’s efforts to turn back social progress, and art critic Jerry Saltz’s performance-protests against climate change deniers. Included are publications and working manuscripts by innovative writers such as Jen Bervin, M. NourbeSe Philip, and other practitioners of Erasure Poetry, a literary mode that has gained popularity in recent years. At the same time, the show looks at how the partially erased word or name has been crucial to a certain style of painting, from Antoni Tàpies to Charline von Heyl and David Scher. The act of putting language under erasure—foregrounding its materiality—is a zone where painterly calligraphy and conceptual wordplay converse with each other. Another important aspect of the exhibition is its presentation of poets and experimental writers alongside visual artists, recognizing the increasing intermingling of art and literary practices. On exhibit will be works by pioneers of erasurist strategies rarely seen in New York such as Emilio Isgrò and Doris Cross, as well as works by numerous younger artists.

The curators: Heather Bause Rubinstein is a painter whose work was recently included in exhibitions at the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessalonika, Greece, and the Louise Hopkins Center for the Arts in Lubbock, Texas. Her work can be seen at heatherbause.com. Raphael Rubinstein is a poet and art critic whose books include The Miraculous (Paper Monument) and A Geniza (Granary Books). He is a Professor of Critical Studies at the University of Houston School of Art.