Flat Files

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About the Flat Files

The Pierogi Flat Files began in 1995 with the idea of making original artwork available to a larger audience. The files themselves are chests of flat drawers holding portfolios of artworks, including all types of media, from painting, drawing, and collage on paper, to photography… anything more or less flat that can fit in the drawers. The first files were exhibited at Four Walls in Brooklyn and consisted of 20 artist portfolios. Since that time curators, collectors, critics, art dealers, and the general public have donned white gloves to view work in the files, which have grown to include the work of over 700 artists, and which have been widely imitated. In 2009 Pierogi launched a (no-white-gloves-required!) online version of our Flat Files, searchable by artist, media, or basic stylistic tags. A selection of works by each artist are viewable online, and we generally have more works by each artist in the physical files which are always on view at Pierogi in Brooklyn, NY. Additional sets of traveling Flat Files are often on the road, and when not traveling are viewable at Pierogi. Pierogi’s traveling Flat Files have been on view in London, Manchester, Vienna, and at numerous institutions across the US. While the files were in London, one writer noted: “Drawings are ideally viewed in this way; through the process of locating, removing and handling individual pieces qualities of spontaneity, experimentation and intuition are enhanced… A more convincing representation of New York art than a dozen issues of Artforum.” (Mark Currah, Time Out London)  For most of the traveling Flat File exhibitions local artists have been contacted prior to the exhibition in order to include their work.

On founding Pierogi and the Flat Files, Joe Amrhein notes, “As an artist myself, I have always found works on paper compelling and often with a greater sense of immediacy than, say, a larger painting might have. The idea for Pierogi’s Flat Files grew out of my realization that people don’t often get to see these kinds of works in formal gallery and museum shows, and so the Flat File portfolios would be an ideal way for people to look through and actually touch original works and, in a sense, become their own curator, with works by established artists next to those by relative unknowns.” (Joe Amrhein, artist and founder, co-owner / director of Pierogi)

To look through the Flat Files in person, stop by Pierogi between 11am and 6pm, Wednesday through Sunday, or view the Online Flat Files 24/7 online.

The Flat File Travels:

School of Art Galleries, Kent State University
2007 Drawing Invitational
with the Pierogi Flat Files
Kent, OH
September 4 – October 5, 2007

University Art Museum, University at Albany
Pierogi: The Flat Files
Albany, NY
September, 2004

The Andy Warhol Museum
Pierogi: The Flat Files
Pittsburgh, PA
February 6 – March 30, 2004

The University of Southern Maine
Pierogi: The Flat Files
Gorham, Maine
September 2003

The Currier Museum of Art
New York, New Work, Now!
Manchester, New Hampshire
September 28, 2002 – January 12, 2003

Block Artspace
The Pierogi Flatfiles
Kansas City, Missouri
January 19 – February 28, 2001

POST Gallery
Haulin’ Ass
Los Angeles, California
November 18 – December 16, 2000

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
Multiple Sensations
San Francisco, California
August 4 – October 22, 2000

Rosenwald-Wolf Gallery, The University of the Arts
Pierogi 2000: The Flatfiles
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
November 4 – December 4, 1999

Bard College
Pierogi Goes to College
Rheinbeck, New York
October 5 – November 5, 1998

Vassar College
Pierogi Goes to College
Poughkeepsie, New York
October 5 – November 5, 1998

Pierogi 2000, New York: The Flatfiles
Vienna, Austria
August 28 – September 28, 1998

Weatherspoon Art Gallery
Art on Paper
Greensboro, North Carolina
November 16, 1997 – January 18, 1998

New York Drawers, The Pierogi 2000 Flatfiles
Manchester, England
October 4 – November 16, 1997

New York Drawers, The Pierogi 2000 Flatfiles
London, England
August 30 – September 28, 1997

The Brooklyn Museum of Art (BM)
Current Undercurrent: Working in Brooklyn
Brooklyn, New York

July 24, 1997 – January 25, 1998
The Exchange Show
New York, NY
June 1996

The Museum of Modern Art
In-house viewing by museum curators and collector’s circle / committee
October 1995

Ronald Feldman Fine Art
Other Rooms
June 1995