601Artspace partners with artists, curators and other not-for-profit organizations to produce unconventional exhibitions, talks, film screenings and special projects within a non-commercial context. Its permanent collection acts as a catalyst for artistic and curatorial encounters. Through these interdisciplinary practices 601Artspace engages and investigates issues in the making, organizing, and reception of contemporary art.

601 West 26th St., #1755
New York, NY 10001
Hours: Thurs-Sat, 1-6pm

Artist talk (NEW DATE): Curator Robert Blake in conversation with artists Arnaud Claass and Penelope Umbrico
Thursday, October 23, 2014, 6:30 - 8p with viewing hours 1 - 6:30p

In conjunction with The Eye's Intention: The Photographs and Collages of Arnaud Claass, exhibition curator Robert Blake holds a conversation on photography with artists Arnaud Claass and Penelope Umbrico.

Robert Blake is Director of Special Projects at 601Artspace. Blake is an artist, photographer and educator who founded The General Studies Program at the International Center of Photography and served as its director from 1985 to 2008. Blake is an Emmy award-winning video director and producer. His artistic practice includes making color photographic murals. He has also created performances and installations using sound, film and video projection. An accomplished author, Blake frequently writes for American and international contemporary art and photography journals. He has contributed to exhibition and event programming at 601Artspace since 2008, curating the exhibitions Affinities, Alignments, Collisions (2009) and Cultural Memory Matters (2011) as well as co-authoring the catalog essay for Unspecified Index (2012). Blake’s own work was exhibited in the solo show Suture in 2010; the show included sound sculpture, two-channel video projection, photographs and engraved mirrors with text.

Arnaud Claass is a photographer and writer born in 1949 in Paris and now based in Sens, France. He discovered photography in 1968 after having studied music. In the 70s, coinciding with his first exhibitions and publications, he began to teach and lecture in France and abroad. He was appointed Professor at the Ecole National Supérieure de la Photographie, Arles at the school’s founding. Throughout the course of Claass’ four-decade career, he has explored topics such as fragments and landscapes (i.e., Paysages miniatures and Paysages minutieux, 1977-1982); his own surroundings and autobiography (Continuités, Silences, Enfances, 1982-1990); mineral surfaces and erosion (Lapidaires, 1990-1992); the vulnerability of objects (Précaire, 1992-1996); and the scale of urban settings such as New York. In addition to his black and white photography, Claass has completed three bodies of works in color: Mémoire Vive, a meditation on the visual complexities of our visual environment; Nuit Optimale, a set of out-of-focus, nearly abstract pictures of artificial light sources; and Heure Locale, a series dedicated to objects of daily life.

In addition to his practice of photography, Arnaud Claass is an active writer and editor. He was a critic for La Nouvelle Critique (1973-1976) and a co-founder and editor of both Contrejour (1976) and the journal Les Cahiers de la Photographie (1981). He has served as an editor of Infra-mince, the journal of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de la Photographie in Arles. Among his many publications is the recent book, Le Reel de la Photographie (Éditions Filigranes, Paris, 2012), in which the author discusses photography, its singularities and its relationship to other arts. His latest text, Le Temps dans La Photographie, will be available in October 2014 from the French publisher Éditions Filigranes. A text that mines philosophical and critical aspects of photography and dissects how we relate to its rapidly changing practice, Of Time in Photography is being translated into English concurrent with the exhibition at 601Artspace. The exhibition, an accompanying artist talk and the forthcoming publication hope to offer the American audience an opportunity to better know this significant contemporary French artist and thinker.

Penelope Umbrico is a photo-based artist whose work explores the ever-increasing production and consumption of photographs on the web. Umbrico has exhibited internationally and her work is in the permanent collections of the Guggenheim Museum; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY; Museum of Modern Art, NY; Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, among others. She is the recipient of numerous awards including a recent Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellowship. Her monograph, "Penelope Umbrico (photographs)" was publisehd by Aperture in 2011 and her forthcoming monographs include Range (Aperture 2014) and Out of Order (RVB Paris 2014). She is represented by Mark Moore Gallery in the US.


Movie Night! BYO Video Art and Collection Works
Wednesday, June 4, 2014, 6:30 - 8:30p

Join us for an evening of shorts at 601Artspace. We bring the pizza and beer; you bring the art!

We’ll screen a combination of the video art brought Wednesday night and that in the collection at 601Artspace. Collection films include works by Omer Fast, Rainer Ganahl, Anna Jermolaewa, Shin il Kim, Christian Marclay, Fiona Tan and Hiraki Sawa.

All videos brought for screening should be original and under 10 minutes long, either on a press-and-play DVD or in H.264 format on a flash drive. Screening sign up will be first come, first served. Films can also be sent to info@601artspace.org in advance.

Above: Still from Omer Fast, CNN Concatenated, 2002

Is an international art viable? A conversation with TFW curator Mariam Rahmani and artists Oasa DuVerney and Shahab Fotouhi about political art in the contemporary art context

Wednesday, May 21, 2014, 6:30-8p with reception following

May 2, 2014

Dear TFW Participants,

As I look beyond my desk into the exhibition space, the striking photos of Iranian waterfalls by Shahab Fotouhi appear to my left and a photo-realist sketch of Obama by Oasa DuVerney hangs on a wall to the right. Mirroring their opposite positions in the show, the works function like inverses of one another: in Shahab’s work, the text of a campaign debate has been omitted and set against other (at first glance, seemingly nonsequitur) images, whereas in Oasa’s, a seemingly nonsequitur (yet, one quickly realizes, stingingly appropriate) label accompanies an image lifted from an election campaign. Shahab’s work responds to a context actually and imaginatively far from New York — that is, Iran — while Oasa’s is about our current president. Yet the two artworks parallel each other, too: both are about a particular state’s domestic politics, and both rely on a text to mediate between the visual object and the audience (a statement accompanies the waterfall posters). But then, in the latter tactic, they diverge once again. The American political work is immediately legible as a stand against racism, while the Iranian political work goes through a great deal of trouble to disavow a straightforward reading (see Shahab’s statement below).

The tension created by having these two projects share a space at 601 suggests a field of questions that are crucial to an ethically responsible contemporary art discourse. Most essentially, I ask, is an ‘international art’ viable? No matter where in the (art) world I may be, I hear this phrase dropping like pennies in a Midwestern mall fountain — frequently and with an optimism bordering on foolishness. The now global standard of the white cube posits an anonymous art space that is everywhere and nowhere, but are we instead discovering that context does actually matter? More specifically, does displacing a political work neuter its significance?

Shahab and Oasa have agreed to join me on Wednesday, May 21st, for a roundtable conversation centered on this topic. We’re hoping for a lively debate with anyone who cares to participate. I look forward to seeing you and hearing your thoughts.


Images above: (left) one of four posters from Shahab Fotouhi, Establishing Shot; Interior, Night - Exterior, Day; without Antagonist and Extra, 2013; (right) Oasa DuVerney The Illustrated Guide To Not Being So Fucking Racist Vol. I Not an Eraser, 2011.

In Fotouhi’s view, this work should not be attributed to the following issues:

1. Censorship.
2. Championing good over evil.
3. Regarding people as extras.
4. Seeing the waterfall as an analogy for political events—that which 
has been, is and will be.
5. Woe is the captive who has been forgotten, 
Left ensnared when the hunter has already gone.

Fotouhi has not yet been able to choose from the following three propositions about the work:

a.) That examining or inquiring into what has been omitted is pointless, because he had no particular reason for selecting these specific excerpts from the debate.
b.) That, since he is still not sure whether he did or did not have any particular reasons for choosing these specific excerpts from the debate, he cannot prohibit the audience from examining or inquiring into what has been omitted. But that nevertheless, in his opinion, doing so is pointless.
c.) In the end, he has not been able to identify a particular artistic device that would justify the selection of these excerpts; nonetheless, he does not believe that such a device must necessarily exist. He thinks that most probably the representation of both sides of the debate in the excerpts is a necessary and sufficient condition. So, examining and inquiring into the content of what has been omitted is pointless, but not prohibited.

He regrets that he was unable to travel to the Shevy waterfall, which he imagines is the most beautiful waterfall in Iran.
He welcomes viewers to take these posters and hang them wherever they would like.

- Shahab Fotouhi, 2013, translated from the Persian by Mariam Rahmani

Abridged Version with Printed Matter's Max Schumann
Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 6:30 - 8:30p

John Baldessari
Taysir Batniji
Jennifer Dalton
Oskar Dawicki
Oasa DuVerney
Shahab Fotouhi
Sara Al Haddad
Ann Hamilton
Liz Larner
Christian Marclay
Rivane Neuenschwander
William Powhida
Jessica Rankin
and many books

601 Friends -

On Wednesday, April 30th, Max Schumann, Acting Executive Director at Printed Matter, will be introducing a selection of the books from the Thanks for Writing library.

The shelves in the space currently contain 129 books, all available for public use during our opening hours. Max recommended over half the books in the show, drawing my attention to various authors and artists, genres and trends outside the purview of my own growing book list. Ugly Duckling Presse in New York and The State in Dubai further enriched the final book selection by each curating a cohesive shelf. I’m grateful to all three institutions for expanding the library beyond the limits of my own familiarity and curiosity.

In assembling these volumes, I pushed myself to think about how each book worked in relation to the artworks in the exhibition. The books often spurred me to approach the set of questions that had come to define the 'Thanks for Writing' project for me from a different angle or with added nuance. Collecting a seemingly countless supply of volumes is the realization of any bookworm's dream - doing so for this show represented a miraculous bloom in what was a frigid and deadening winter.

I look forward to seeing these works come to life again Wednesday night.

Hope to see you soon,

Image above: Thanks for Writing installation shot, Rafael Gamo, 2013

A round table conversation on Para-Real moderated by Robert Blake and led by Magdalena Sawon with Greg Allen, Jennifer and Kevin McCoy and John Powers

NEW DATE Wednesday, February 5, 2014, 7-8:30p

Magdalena Sawon is a co-owner/director of Postmasters Gallery in New York where she organized over 200 exhibitions since 1984. www.postmastersart.com

Greg Allen is an artist, filmmaker, and writer based in Washington DC. He's published his blog greg.org: the making of since 2001.

John Powers is a sculptor. He writes about art, urbanism and pop culture on his blog and elsewhere. He lives and works in New York City.

Jennifer and Kevin McCoy are media artists based in Brooklyn, NY. Their artwork ranges from sculpture and video installation to software and curatorial practice, often using technology to produce live effects and experiences. www.mccoyspace.com

Robert Blake is the Director of Special Projects at 601. He is Chair Emeritus of the General Studies Program at the International Center of Photography, New York, and an artist, author, curator and educator.

Exhibition publication

Jennifer and Kevin McCoy: Installation View
© 2012 All Rights Reserved
ISBN #978-0-615-58880-3
To purchase, go to Amazonor contact the gallery: info@601artspace.org

Installation View documents the eponymous exhibition curated by the McCoys, which appeared simultaneously at 601Artspace, New York City, and Collectorspace, Istanbul from September 2011 to January 2012. Based on the McCoys' long-standing engagement with film and video, Installation View's intervention into 601’s affiliated collection via live public broadcast, revealed works of contemporary art in-situ: in private spaces such as a home, storage space, and garden. Installation View is a 56-page color-print publication designed by Tattfoo Tan with essays by artist James Cullinane, curator Chen Tamir, and a conversation between artist Merve Ünsal and Özge Ersoy (Collectorspace).

The Unspecific Index
On view: November 1, 2012—February 2, 2012

Plummeting Appliances, Dying Verbs, Enslaved Automatons, and Other Objects: Writers Talk
with Louis Chude-Sokei, Joshua Cohen, Matthew Derby, Jim Krusoe, Joanna Ruocco, and Sarah McDermott

Co-organized by Ben Bush

Sunday, January 20, 2013, 6-8 PM

Alice Hutchins, Magnetic Permutations 3, 1990 (Installation view, The Unspecific Index). Colored steel discs, lock washer, Alnico magnets, 2 of an edition of 14, approx. 2 x 2 7/8 x 1 1/8 in. Courtesy Thomas and Claudia Hutchins. Photo by Rafael Gamo

Release & Photographs

Robot Visions and Embodied Minds: A Talk by Dr. Peter Asaro
Free and open to the public
Wed, December 12, 2012 6-8 PM @601Artspace

Posting & Images

Open::Closed—Meet the curator: informal conversation with David Howe.
Free and open to the public, no RSVP required.
September 29, 2012, 1—6 PM @ 601Artspace
Posting | Photographs

Jennifer & Kevin McCoy presenting exhibition publication: Installation View.
Book launch and artist reception
Tue, September 11, 2012, 6—8 PM

The Armory Show & Re-Encounters: Objects and Phenomena
During the Armory Week 601Artspace and Re-Encounters are open
extended hours by appointment. Please, come by!
March 7—10, 2012

Film Screening—Hiroshi Sugimoto: Memories of Origin
Premier of a new documentary about artist Hiroshi Sugimoto, directed by Yuko Nakamura. Co-presented with Sugimoto Studio, Art21, and The Pace Gallery. Followed by artist reception.
@ 601Artspace
November 20, 2011, 7-9 PM

Narrative Objects
A discussion about the artist David Maroto’s novel, audience, and protracted engagement. Maroto will be joined by Christopher Ho (artist, curator and author) and Alexander Campos (Center for Book Arts). Moderated by Erin Sickler (601Artspace). Related publications will be available at the event.
@ 601Artspace
June 14, 2011, 7:30 PM

Artist talk: Joseph Rodriguez and Martín Weber
Closing Reception for Cultural Memory Matters
Joseph Rodriguez and Martín Weber talk about their new projects including Rodriguez’s work amongst Muslim youth in Sweden, featured as part of the BBC series Open Eye, and Weber’s exploration of A Map of Latin American Dreams.
@ 601Artspace
Thursday, March 10, 2011, 6-9 PM
BBC Series | A Map of Latin American Dreams

In Conversation: Jennifer McCoy, Kate Kraczon, and Erin Sickler
The Armory Show/ Volta NY Open Forum 2011
Artist Jennifer McCoy and Director of Curatorial Programs at 601Artspace Erin Sickler discuss the McCoy's upcoming curatorial project at 601, and her performative take on the uninformed art tour (a VOLTA NY Special Project). With Kate Kraczon, Assistant Curator, Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania.
Volta NY, Club 7W Talks Lounge, 7th Floor
7 West 34th Street between 5th and 6th Avenue / 11th floor
March 4, 2011, 3:30—4:30 PM
Volta NY Special Projects 2011

Plastic Summer
Video Screening
Curated by Stamatina Gregory and Erin Sickler
Artists: Elia Alba, Kim Collmer, ETEAM, Jennifer Levonian, Jilliam McDonald, Tea Mäkipää, Tom Pnini, Jaye Rhee, Carrie Schneider.
August 26, 2009, 7—10 PM

New Yorker Review of Cultural Memory Matters
New York Photo Review on Cultural Memory Matters
En Foco Blog: Martin Weber and Graciela Iturbide in Conversation